Patrick Lüdecke: The flexo market continues to grow, but we need to remain conscious of the challenges. There is a real need for creativity coupled with new solutions.
At Flint Group, with our 'rotec' sleeves and adapters, we have specially developed several new products and technology to address the main challenges in the industry. In my eyes, every product that helps solve problems should be interesting.
The health and safety of employees is paramount in modern workplaces. Other challenges are related to profitability. Job lengths from brand-owners are still decreasing, which leads to an increasing number of job changes. What can be done to make the job changes faster and increase overall productivity? How can productivity be increased while further improving overall print quality? How can the printer decrease costs? Simple product cost is one thing, but how much additional value a product can bring to the table should also be considered.
The cost of other expenses - like compressed air or compressible tape - can be reduced with the right sleeve or adapter. Speeding up presses and job set-up times can help too. This lets customers increase productivity and capacity for additional jobs, which ultimately improves profitability. Using our rotec sleeves and adapters, we want to help our customers stretch the machinery to its limits, while conserving human resources.
Looking at sustainability, there is real value in a sleeve/adapter with a long life. By conserving materials and simplifying production, new technology sleeves and adapters can really improve the process. Some customers might see sleeves and adapters as a mere 'consumable', but in fact, innovative, state-of-the-art sleeves and adapters are long-lasting tools and useful investments.
At Flint Group, the rotec sales and product development teams are customer-oriented to specifically develop solutions for these challenges. All our new products work to make printing better, faster and easier; for example, our patented rotec Eco Bridge revolutionised the air supply system for adapters. This significantly improved health and safety for the operators by reducing noise by up to 99%.
Moreover, easier sleeve mounting reduces the effort needed by the operators. Faster sleeve mounting also allows an increased number of job changes and, as a consequence, increased productivity. Less compressed air volume and pressure is needed for mounting sleeves on the Eco Bridge, thereby reducing costs.
Another example of our work comes in the form of our rotec Smart family of sleeves. Improved health and safety requirements are achieved by using up to 30% lighter and mechanically durable materials for the construction of the sleeves.
The base sleeve was also optimised with easy-mount technology, so job changes can be done faster. In the field, performance tests indicate that, when using this technology, press speeds can be 30% quicker, especially with challenging designs with hard edges that tend to bounce. This improves print quality, increases overall press productivity and reduces costs.
Innovative market-oriented technology is one reason. Beyond that, the enthusiasm and knowledge of the rotec team is the key. Through promoting cooperation and teamwork with the customer, we listen to their needs and work towards finding solutions, in terms of quality and productivity.
As it is Flint Group's ambition to become the innovation leader in flexographic plates and sleeves solutions, it addresses this challenge through continuous innovation, leading to superior products. Flint Group works daily on all customercritical topics to satisfy their needs for improving cost and quality, according to the key principle of 'better, faster and easier to use'.