Justin Mack, makeready production operator, completed his training as an industrial mechanic at Heidelberg and has been working in the company's own anilox roller production ever since.

In this interview, he gives us insight into the manual production of this important part of the Speedmaster printing presses.

Mr. Mack, a production process is usually very extensive. What exactly are your tasks?

The anilox rollers are smoothed and prefinished. Their roughness value and the final dimension are checked according to the production design. In the next step, the desired structure with the required parameters is applied to the anilox roller with a laser.

The pulse laser process (PLP) developed and patented by Heidelberg is used here. This guarantees a higher dimensional accuracy than the previously known and used processes and no solvents are required, which also makes our process environmentally friendly.

After the laser process, the anilox rollers are finished again to smooth them out. Finally, the rollers are cleaned with a CO2 snow blasting system and measured with a microscope. The rollers are assembled including accessories, visually checked again, and packed, ready to be shipped.

Which aspects of your work are particularly interesting for you, and which personal skills are especially in demand?

I personally find the plasma coating and laser technology incredibly interesting. It is so fascinating and complex that I just feel the urge to learn, improve, and master everything about it.

The 100% QA from the start of the process to the packaging of the rollers and the mix between production and assembly require my constant attention and make my job quite varied.

Having an interest in learning and an eye for details really helps to recognize possible error patterns as quickly as possible and, of course, to be able to correct them. I will soon be completing my training as a technician and hopefully will be able to continue working in this department. I am proud to have a job that inspires and interests me.

How do you benefit from the experience of your colleagues who have been with the company for many years? How close is the cooperation with each other?

Since the entire manufacturing process, from the delivery of the components to the delivery of the finished anilox rollers, takes place within our department, we work closely together and hand over the work steps almost face-to-face. There is automatically a frequent exchange in which colleagues are happy to share their experiences, and I quickly learn more and more.

How do your work and skills contribute to the premium quality of Heidelberg's products and services?

Every stain, every hole, every scratch, or defect in the visual appearance could lead to problems when using the anilox roller in the printing machines. That is why recognizing and avoiding defects, carefully checking all process steps, cleanliness, and a systematic approach to my work are very important and central elements for delivering 100% Heidelberg quality to our customers.

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