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News & Press: Pressroom

AICC’s Maintaining the Flexo Class Convenes at Printcon

Friday, June 2, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: AICC Staff
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What do you get when you convene more than 30 maintenance professionals from corrugated box plants in the USA, Canada and Mexico together with technicians and experts from the equipment maintenance and best practices side of the business? You get AICC’s inaugural Maintaining the Flexo course. In what is sure to serve as the template for future Maintaining the ________ and Operating the ________, this class, conducted over May 23 and 24, was a resounding success.

There’s a tremendous learning opportunity when the students come from companies that collectively have flexo presses from more than 10 different manufacturers with vintages spanning from the early 1960’s to 2017 installations. Several of the machines are from manufacturers who are no longer in business, which creates a unique maintenance challenge.

The class was divided into three groups in order to be able to be in and around the machine safely but to also allow for closer discussions. Bobst North America Technicians Harvey Hiller and Joey Griffith took the students through real life maintenance in the classroom and on the Clemson Printcon Bobst Flexo 160. John Kravontka of TPM Unlimited LLC presented best maintenance practices. Scott Ellis of P2 spoke of Maintenance Standard Operating Procedures.

The instruction in the classroom and on press focused on several maintenance topics: safety, safety and safety; cleanliness; maintenance manuals; manufacturer’s schedules and recommendations; documentation of practices and procedures; measurement of best in class maintenance performance; standardization; time and intervals; machine operator involvement and partnership; machine running maintenance v. machine down maintenance; how to do preventive maintenance better; the maintenance technician as a teacher and trainer.

Here is a glimpse of a few of the discussion points raised during the classes: don’t create your own problems by doing things like mixing metric and American measure parts, mixing slot head and hex head screws; clean the inside of the machine as often as the outside; involve the operators in maintenance when practical; how to avoid the “run to failure” mentality; 80% of machine breakdowns have two causes – contamination and improper lubrication; the need for maintenance to understand the markets served by the jobs run on the machine, for example the need for “food grade” oil and grease; maintenance saves money; 95% of maintenance occurs after a breakdown; understand the number of shifts basis for manufacturer recommended intervals and adjust if your plant is running more frequently; use all your senses to conduct maintenance.

AICC, The Independent Packaging Association, is developing more courses along the lines of Maintaining the Flexo. We welcome suppliers and equipment manufacturers to make inquiries about becoming involved in creating generic courses focused on maintaining a particular section of a machine or process in the corrugated, folding carton or rigid box market. For more information please contact Taryn Pyle, Director, Education and Leadership Development, at 703.535.1391 or