Aspen Paper Products is boosting output of high-quality paper table top products and achieving production efficiencies after installing a nine-colour TRESU Flexo Innovator printing and coating line at its Kansas City, Missouri, facility. The line already accounts for up to 70 per cent of production at the facility
Established in 1977, Aspen Paper Products manufactures table top paper products including plates, bowls and lunch bags, supplying retail, wholesale and quick service restaurant markets nationally. Its Kansas City headquarters employs over 500 people and produces 400 tons of paper products per day.
Changing social trends transformed market demands, so that by 2016, even with the factory’s three existing flexo presses running three shifts, five days a week, Aspen was struggling to provide printed material to the converting lines, and a new press was needed.
The Flexo Innovator press at Aspen features CMYK in the first four positions, followed by spot colour positions, and units to apply seal-coating for waterproofing and grease-resistance, as well as the option to apply reverse-sided coating.
“We specified more stations than we needed to save makeready time, especially when spot colours and ink changes are needed,” said Troy Walls, general manager, Aspen Paper Products, Inc. “Idle units can be prepared for the next job while the press is in production. Thanks to the automated ink supply and controls, job changeovers can occur within a few minutes – significantly faster than on our other presses.”
The Flexo Innovator features TRESU’s enclosed chamber doctor blade systems with the F10 iCon ink supply system, to automatically ensure ink supply at constant viscosity, flow-rate and pressure. The doctor blades are positioned to avoid anilox wear and stop air entering the chamber. This means the Flexo Innovator can run at top speeds and assure uniform ink coverage and consistent ink density throughout the run.
“With its fast setup times and stability at high speeds, TRESU’s Flexo Innovator enables us to offer rapid response times for large and small volume orders, without compromising on productivity.” Walls concluded, “With the big accounts, we may run 40 rolls at a time, then jump out to run a few rolls for a discount store, then return to the large order. This kind of flexibility is essential to maintaining customer satisfaction as well as margins. We are very satisfied with the collaboration and the progress makes us well positioned to continue with the next stage of our growth phase at our Kansas City facility.”