Welcome to FlexoNetwork, Manufacturers Representatives introducing the latest technology to the flexographic printing and converting industry.

Our intention is to provide knowledgeable expertise to those looking to improve their process and efficiency with the industries latest cutting edge technology. Within our pages, you will find sales support, news, documentation, and general information regarding the latest innovations available to the flexographic printer and converter.

In addition, we will be reporting on present applications being used by press operators, equipment manufacturers, supply experts, process engineers and plant managers who are actively improving upon their process.

In addition to being manufacturers representatives to the flexible converting market, FlexoNetwork is also intended as a platform for bringing flexography users and converters together online. We ask and encourage you to take part in discussions and utilize the resources made available. We welcome all questions or comments that you might have regarding any aspects of your past or present experiences with flexographic printing.

It is our hope to become a valuable resource point for discussions and shared information on present challenges, new technology, market trends and forecasts in the industry. We will provide a valuable forum for information and opinions to be exchanged between actual “end users” and the manufacturer's of equipment and supply products within the industry, without obligation or expectation of future sales.

Please feel free to contact us at any time for immediate information regarding our present line of equipment represented. We firmly believe that these companies are leading the way in the ongoing improvement and profitability of the converting industry. We are eager to prove it!

We thank you for your time and consideration as we look forward to your becoming part of FlexoNetwork.





Mar 03 2015

LaserSharp FlexPak Services & LasX Industries to join FlexoNetwork!

Published by under Printing Industry

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 This configuration uses four 40 watt LaserSharp® Down-web Modules (LDMs) designed for integration into existing roll fed production process, to deliver machine direction scoring.  Each LDM can be quickly moved to a new location for flexibility in production.  Additional modules can be added to meet future production needs

FlexPak Logo LargeFINALLasx Logo

LaserSharp FlexPak Services, LLC a leader in laser digital converting services and exclusive representative of LaserSharp® Equipment for the Flexible Packaging industry has joined FlexoNetwork to offer Laser processing solutions to the growing number of requests for laser perforating and scoring equipment and toll converting in the western region.

The LaserSharp® Platform is manufactured in Minnesota by LasX Industries, Inc. (link) sister company of LaserSharp FlexPak Services, LLC that was founded in 1998, providing their high performance laser digital perforating and scoring solutions to the Flexible Packaging industry.  The technology offers converters a standard laser processing solution that has been fundamentally changing the industry.  With digital micro-perforating, The LaserSharp® Equipment is able to consistently achieve and control delicate precision needed for specific oxygen/gas transfer for many agricultural packaging designs, or provide a more open perforation design for bakery goods as well, with the same system.

For easy open applications LaserSharp®  offers laser scoring process that ensures a controlled score depth while not affecting the barrier properties of the package.  Laser Scoring can be package types such as tear strips, pour sprouts, zipper bags, stand up pouches, microwavable packages and peel & reseal PrimePeel™(link)

LaserSharp FlexPak Services, LLC located in Vadnais Heights, MN offers in house toll converting and package design, meaning a turnkey solution where the converters have the opportunity to send their specific materials for testing, design, configuration and production runs. All done exclusively processed with the LaserSharp® Equipment. 

 This relationship between LasX Industries and FlexPak provides an opportunity for customers to achieve “track proven” results in order to quantify a return on investment before committing to any capital expenditure.

Recognized as a leader in the flexible packaging industry due to their capabilities of advanced laser processing technology, FlexPak offers controlled and accurate laser scoring(link) and laser perforating(link) methods, through the use of the LaserSharp® Equipment.  FlexPak provides complete technical support, from prototype development to full-scale production, resulting in an accelerated time to market and reduced development costs.

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For information regarding the LaserSharp® Equipment or LaserSharp FlexPak Services, LLC contact FlexoNetwork LLC or LaserSharp FlexPak Services directly. Learn more about FlexPak by visiting their website: www.flexpakservices.com

 

 

 

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Nov 19 2014

Market Studies Show Pouch Business Expected to More than 7% Annually.

Published by under Printing Industry



Sebastian Reisig

Sebastian Reisig, Editor of GK- Techmedia’s Flexo, Gravure Global Magazine paints a very promising picture for the growing printed pouch business.  In his recent article he points out,

” In the last five years, the stand-up pouch market in the USA has seen a growth of about 50%”. He goes on that,  “According to a recent study, the US demand for stand-up pouches is forecast to grow by 42% over the next few years to reach almost 24 billion units in 2018″

On the side of the converter, end users are looking for ways to differentiate their product on the shelf and can even tout the fact that this is a “greener” approach. The fact that the stand-up pouch offers a product-to package ratio of approximately 35:1, as opposed to the glass bottle (1:1) or the PET bottle (10:1) gives a continued attraction to this package, though there are still challenges.

The biggest challenge comes in the consideration of pouch making equipment.

As a default, imported equipment from Japan, India and even Europe continue popularity.  These machines have been the standard for years but seem to be geared toward long runs.  However, practicality can sometimes be an issue, in that most converters wanting to enter this market need to be able to offer short runs. Existing customers looking to experiment with test marketing their product in a pouch, as opposed to a current packaging design, are looking toward minimal investment before becoming fully committed.

Consideration comes down to the amount of material and set-up time needed to start producing usable product that meets strict criteria for integrity.  In many cases, set-up times between  configurations can extend into several hours and hundreds of feet of linear waste.  As converters have spent spent many years investing in printing equipment to accommodate the need for short print runs, this leads to a situation where the pouch machine can be the defining contradiction.

 

The NEW Generation

Modern Manufacturing Machinery (LLC) in Palmyra New York has identified issues and taken great steps toward engineering pouch machines that can not only provide long continuous runs while maintaining consistent product but also have the ability to set-up new runs with minimal time and waste.

These “new generation pouching lines” incorporate a wide range of enhancements that make Modern’s pouch lines the most practical for those just getting into the pouch market, as well as those needing a primary machine for the growing number of customers needing an initial “short run introduction” .  Modern Manufacturing’s engineers have continuously reviewed and improved all aspects of the machines with particular attention being given to motion control, heat sealing, registration, ergonomics, and serviceability to create the highest quality, most reliable and most user friendly pouch machines available.

Modern vs…

As mentioned previous, there has been somewhat of a default with imported machines into the North American market.  Reason being is that during the time that pouches became popular, much of the pouch making was being done overseas in conjunction with gravure printed films. Consequently, those already involved in importing printed pouches and looking to get into manufacturing here in the US, found that choices for established pouch machine manufacturers were limited.  Many looked into what their present suppliers were using and made what they considered to be the obvious choice. Simplicity seemed spoke to leaning toward the actual machine, or as close to its design, that their present customers pouches where being made with. For many converters, this has proven to be a  very simple, yet regretful decision.

Unfortunately, what works overseas (particularly in the orient)  may not be the best default.

Some overlooked considerations were that fact that the foreign markets can afford to manufacture with far more waste in time and material. Here in the North American market, profit and loss are always directly relative to labor and material costs. Material and labor are far more expensive here in the US than almost anywhere else in the world. As a matter of fact, labor costs in the United States increased to 105.05  reaching an all time high of 105.10 in the third quarter of 2014.

One way that this oversight has manifested itself is the realization that the imported machines are, for lack of a more respectful nomenclature, “old mechanical technology”.  A perfect example of this is that most of these machines are still using a mechanically interconnected sealing section or “sealing bed”.  This is old technology from poly bag machines that used to use “rack and pinion” to control mechanical sealing bars. 

This means that setting the correct seal pressures involves “tweaking” a collection of heavy duty springs and “T-bars” until an acceptable seal integrity is achieved while watching countless linear feet of material go to waste. Another unfortunate (though obvious) problem to this issue, is that there is no possible way to “save” these settings or even maintain them with any accuracy for the next time that job is run.

Set-up times and material waste need to be of utmost importance when looking at manufacturing anything here in the US.  In the context of a pouch making machine, one can not afford to choose a machine that will take excessive time and waste to set up.

One of many Modern Manufacturing solutions..

Sealing Bar Modern Manufacturing has a patented “Active Tooling and Machine Design” that allows for minimal set-up through simple adjustments. This enables an operator to perform multiple change and adjustments to from a single point. All adjustments are completely tool-less and made very accurate through the use of hand operated adjustment wheels like those seen on precision mill works. In addition, all settings can be recorded and saved for repeat-ability.

Modern adjustment wheel

Optional DRO pictured

While their competitors seem to offer “off the shelf” machines that are built to accommodate very specific pouch configurations,  Modern Manufacturing platforms offer the ability to upgrade or change the machine incrementally as needed. Customers have found this to be essential to their needs.

Yet another differential is the fact that Modern Machines typically can do a stand up configuration with a single web.  This is something very unique, which adds to the ease of set-ups, in that the maintaining of registration, tension control or unwind of multiple webs is no longer an issue.

 

If you are looking to get into this growing sector, take a real close look at Modern Manufacturing Services.  There are a growing number of high end customers who are very pleased that they have!

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Aug 15 2014

Modern Manufacturing

Published by under Printing Industry

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