One of Colombia’s leading manufacturing suppliers of flexible packaging, Flex Pack SAS, has installed Flexo Wash technology at its plant in Bogota to help improve the quality of work being produced on its two flexo printing presses. Founded in 2001 and still owned and managed by Carlos Alberto González and his wife Maribel Jácome, the company is vertically integrated offering a variety of services in-house from extrusion to rolling, printing, and valve inserting. Currently around 90% of all output is printed, and then supplied to markets as diverse as food and beverage, household goods, and medical supplies.
It was with the advent of its second printing press in 2018 that Flex Pack realised the need to improve its overall production efficiency. Following a visit to Labelexpo in Chicago and a meeting with the Flexo Wash team, the decision was made to invest in a PW82WR Plate Washer and an FW992XL Anilox Washer. According to Mr González, the machines have transformed Flex Pack’s capability to reduce cleaning times and brought a degree of automation to the production process. “Not only are we saving time, but we are enjoying the benefits of completely clean plates and anilox rolls that have not suffered any of the customary damage that manual cleaning can bring,” he explained.
Asked why he had chosen a European manufacturer he responded: “Flexo Wash is the acknowledged market leader, and we had many excellent references from existing users in Colombia. We were impressed with the delivery time offered as we needed a quick installation, and they were very supportive throughout the transaction, which allowed us to buy the best technology available.” Another key factor in Flex Pack’s decision to choose Flexo Wash technology was the support given by local agent Sperling, which in addition to distributing cleaning fluids also provides technical back-up and training as well as having engineers on-hand to assist with installation.
Speaking for Flexo Wash Wilson Ramos, Area Sales Manager South. America concluded: “We were delighted to meet Flex Pack at the expo in Chicago and have the opportunity of demonstrating what a difference our technology could make to their business. They were quick to recognise how a relatively small investment in automated cleaning would make a big improvement to the performance of their major investment in a new printing press.”
Since installation of the Flexo Wash technology, Flex Pack has seen a noticeable improvement in print quality and production efficiency, and as a bonus has been able to re-deploy the staff who previously were dedicated to cleaning plates and anilox rolls to more productive tasks. “This makes for an improved situation all round – better quality cleaning means better quality print – machine washing gives the plates and aniloxes a longer working life – and the staff enjoy more fulfilling opportunities than performing manual wash-ups.”
With the variety of products produced in-house, from two- and three-layer laminates to bags with zippers or valves, two- and three-cell flat bags, and flow pack bags with or without degassing valves, Flex Pack’s staff of 70 is kept very busy. Recent years has seen the company enjoy a sustained period of growth and profit which it has re-invested in new technology and the generation of employment in the area. This has enabled the company to become self-sufficient and remove the need to outsource work. The result is a better end product for the customer with controlled quality, and a successful enterprise for its owners and all its employees.