In the fourth week of the third quarter, we went to Alphen a/d Rijn. Alphen? That is not near Eindhoven I hear you think.
True, but Alphen is where the company Flexologic is located. Right in the middle of South-Holland, in an unsuspecting industrial area, the plate mounting technology market leader has their headquarters. Their slogan is “we innovate” and we learned that that is no exaggeration during the afternoon we spent at their facility. First, we got a short introduction to the field they operate in, which is the mounting of flexo plates onto rollers which are used for printing. This mounting has to be done with micrometer precision, in order to print with high resolution. Flexologic offers solutions that can do this mounting fully automatically. After this short introduction, we received a tour showing the machines in action in order to better understand the challenges involved in the mounting process. Next, we received more general information about the company and the type of jobs they offer, and we got the chance to ask more questions. Then, we were shown the next generation of machines they are working on, including a fully automated robotic cell that does the taping of rolls onto which the plates are attached. This is normally a very tough job as these rollers are very heavy. This robot could do all kinds of different sizes of rollers fully automatically. We finished the day with some drinks.