That’s pretty much the way we opened an article that marked the company’s tenth anniversary (PPM, Jun09, p60) but we don’t apologise for the repetition because it underlines, once again, what a long way this dynamic duo has come in a dozen years!
At the time of that significant anniversary, Trevor and Steven were considering the purchase of an eight-colour press (and were still wavering between flexo and gravure). But whatever the printing technology turned out to be, they knew they’d need more space and were considering a move to a new factory.
In the event, however, they came up with an alternative plan.
‘We’ve taken an adjoining factory unit and moved our laminating and slitting equipment there, making space for the new press in our original factory,’ Trevor explains.
So now the company’s 780m2 premises in Central Park, Elsies River, are dominated by a towering Flexotecnica Tachys 8 flexographic press that severely dwarfs several older presses, while all laminating and slitting operations are carried out in a second unit nearby in the same factory complex.
The eight-colour gearless CI press – fitted with an additional, ninth flexo unit – features quick-change printing sleeve and anilox sleeve technology, as well as automatic inking and a computerised pre-register system, all designed to achieve fast job changeover and speedy set-up. It has a print width of 1 000mm, with a maximum repeat length of 900mm. It’s not a brand-new press but has been imported from the UK in ‘as new’ condition.
Installed in October last year, the press was signed off by the engineers in December, and trials took place during January. It’s now ready for full-time production.
At the time of our visit, Steven and Trevor were studying the results of fingerprinting tests by two of Cape Town’s leading plate suppliers – Syreline Process and Raised Image.
‘These trials show that we’re achieving optimum results and we’re confident of turning out excellent work on this press,’ says Steven. ‘We’re going to be a force to be reckoned with among Cape Town’s flexible packaging converters,’ he asserts happily.
The results from both tests were outstanding. With the Syreline test, the latest MacDermid flat-top dot technology had been used, allowing the use of four-colour CMYK inks to achieve the same result as eight-colour printing (see article on page 25).
Also of great value is the work carried out by CAE (Ceramic Anilox Engravers) to analyse the anilox rolls supplied with the press.
Steven and Trevor are very complimentary about the service provided by CAE which, they say, is exemplary. They were delighted to receive a complete database of their current stock of rolls that included a report on the condition of each anilox, including cell wall thickness, cell depth and volume.
Flexotecnica’s established local agent, Ferrostaal, is also on hand to offer future assistance with maintenance and spares.
Laminating and slitting expertise
As recorded in our previous article, a significant investment occurred in 2007 with the purchase of a Nordmeccanica Simplex SL solventless laminator that took Allflex into a new era of complex laminations. This was followed in 2009 by a further investment in a 1 250mm-wide Pelican Soloslit slitter that was purchased to alleviate bottlenecks in the slitting department.
These two items are now installed in a nearby unit leaving the original factory as a printing operation.
‘With our world-class equipment for printing, laminating and slitting, we’re now serious contenders in the Western Cape’s flexible packaging market,’ says Steven with his usual infectious grin.
‘Thanks to the extra business that we’ll be able to attract with our top-quality printing, laminating and slitting, a new and enlarged factory will be on the cards very soon,’ he promises.
A further development has been the introduction of a second generation to the Allflex team. Steven’s son, Garth, and Trevor’s son, Steven, have both joined the company.
The message is clear – Allflex Packaging is highly successful. ‘We’ve built up an exceptionally good name with customers, suppliers and our financial partners. We intend to maintain this good name and to make our mark in the flexible packaging field,’ Trevor concludes. ‘Our objective is to maintain and increase our market share; to be sensitive to customers’ constantly-changing needs; and to build sound relationships with customers and suppliers.’
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