With the program of installation already underway, Reflex has now received delivery of the first two FTS mounters at its site in Barwell, Leicestershire, which specialiszes in labels and printed laminates for sachets. The remaining machines – one for Mansfield and one for Boston, Lincolnshire – are scheduled to be in operation before the end of August.
According to Paul Sefton, operations manager at Reflex Labels, sustainability is at the heart of operations here at Reflex, which is the driving force behind the choice of Heaford. “We invest in technology for continuous improvement, and our day-to-day experience of the FTS has provided hard evidence that it delivers considerable efficiency improvements,” he says. “It mounts plates more than twice as fast as a conventional mounter. Then, when you factor in its accuracy, easy operation and the minimal human intervention required, it all adds up to a huge advantage for production on the kind of scale we are handling at each Reflex site.”
The four machines in the new order are identical in specification, while differing from the first FTS installation at the company’s facility in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which included a specialized micro-gap cutter to provide consistent plate joining accuracy for continuous design printing without the need for ITR (in-the-round) sleeves. The FTS uses high-magnification cameras situated below a cushioned table to line up with the register marks through a viewing slot on the table. Once the operator has positioned the plate on the table and verified alignment, the machine takes over the mounting process, eliminating any further operator contact to reduce the risk of plate or cylinder damage and prevent any incidence of human error.
For Reflex, the faster, more accurate mounting systems mean that each FTS can service multiple presses at the same time, which is a key benefit. “There’s no risk of production delay while we wait for plates to be mounted,” adds Sefton. “The mounted cylinders can be ready by the press to change from one job to the next with minimal downtime.”
Claiming return on investment within a year for the FTS mounter, Heaford maintains that the lack of manual intervention required in operation has additional cost benefits over and above the speed of changeover. “The costs that accrue due to plate and tape damage in a large setup can be eye-watering, both in terms of consumables outlay and lost production time,” explains Nigel Heaford, sales manager at JM Heaford. “The FTS is purpose designed to mount plates with total precision every time in a fast operation. Even in the hands of an inexperienced operator, the machine performs to the highest accuracy while minimizing any risk of plate damage. When it comes to production on the scale they do it at Reflex, the FTS will continue to prove its value in their drive towards efficiency and sustainability.”
From its 10 BRC-certified UK sites, Reflex practices a strategy of investing in new, high-quality production equipment and processes to produce packaging for some of the world’s best-known brands. Its wide range of packaging services covers labels and labeling systems, flexible packaging and shrink sleeves, including specialist and value-added processes such as HD flexo, foiling, holographics, braille and personalized labeling. The company has an ever-growing range of energy-saving initiatives and pursues a reduce, re-use, recycle policy with the goal of achieving zero landfill waste.