Long before it was a buzz word in business, Diamond Flexible Packaging, (DFP) has had a policy using less energy, fewer materials and reduced manufacturing time in producing our flexible packaging products. Obviously, there is an environmental benefit as an outcome and as important, it just makes good business sense to be “efficient”.
Three years ago, we moved into our new location in Northbrook, IL and at the same time invested millions of dollars in new manufacturing assets to further drive our efficiencies and quality.
Our new Uteco, a 10-color wide web press, is world class and has state of the art technology enabling:
• Significant reduction in energy consumption -- 50% less than rotogravure and legacy flexographic presses.
• Less film required to get to color and registration -- 80% less film used versus legacy flexographic presses.
• Reduced ink quantities due to automatic metering/wash up systems that control volumes of ink allowing optimized quality and efficiencies -- 25% improvement in ink utilization versus legacy printing presses.
• 98% of VOC’s are recirculated in the press and burnt off during the printing process. The remaining 2% are fed through our RTO (Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer) to all but eliminate our air emissions.
• 80% of the solvent we use in printing is recovered and reused in house. This significantly reduces our consumption and disposal of solvents.
We recycle almost everything we use through various means: (1) by shipping back to our suppliers for reuse; (2) shipping to companies that repurpose materials we use; or (3) by consuming the material in-house for set-ups or production across our manufacturing platforms. Below are details of these initiatives:
• Zipper Spools – broken down and shipped back to the suppliers.
• Wooden Pallets – shipped to recycling company for reuse.
• Film – used as set-up or production material internally, trim waste shipped back to suppliers.
• Boxes/Corrugated Material – shipped to recycling company for reuse.
• Remaining Ink – reused internally by matching to print jobs.
• Adhesive/Solvent Drums – shipped to recycling company for reuse.
Manufacturing efficiencies are driven by our process engineers. For example, we use run data to select which assets we use; our preventative maintenance program ensures equipment is inspected and serviced to meet our production goals; and the manufacturing floor is installed with Smart LED lighting, reducing our energy consumption by 95% versus our legacy lighting systems.
This year has been challenging as the pandemic has required us to change our work patterns and to ensure a safe work environment for all our associates. To date, our employees have not missed one workday and remain committed to providing the quality products and service our valued customers expect from Diamond Flexible Packaging.
As in the past 90 years of doing business, Diamond Flexible Packaging will monitor and meet changing market and customer needs with product innovation. We will remain committed to pursuing operational efficiencies for continuous improvement and competitiveness. And we will continue to focus on policies and procedures our employees, customers and associates can trust and rely on.