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FLEXA II Stack Press for Hart Industries

Charting a Course in the Paper Industry

Headquartered in Baltimore, MD, Hart Industries recently made its first investment in W&H technology with the acquisition of an 8c FLEXA II flexographic stack press.

Established in 1969, this third-generation family-owned company is a leading supplier of specialty packaging products in the paper-based flexible packaging converting space, with collaborations with several global consumer products companies. Today the company is run by Tim Hart, president, with the support of his sons, TJ, who heads up technology, and Michael, who leads quality and compliance.

TJ is driving the momentum towards modern equipment. “I have known of W&H since I was in high school, so when Vladimir Utovac reached out, I was interested. The timing was perfect. We went into the discussions thinking we needed one thing, then realized the FLEXA II was right for us,” said TJ. The company knows stack presses well; they already three flexographic stack presses and a central impression press. They do not plan on retiring any of these presses when the FLEXA II arrives. The new press will support growth, enhance adaptability and flexibility, and keep Hart at the forefront of the industry.

Hart sees a lot of efficiency gains coming with the FLEXA II, both with the technology and the onboarding process. “We are going to be able to print on both sides, run a larger variety of papers, and prep the next job when the press is running,” said TJ. The FLEXA II boasts inline slitting, automatic turret winders, and the latest deck technology from W&H, which will modernize the current large repeat production process.

He is equally excited about what this means for “learning”, a term he prefers over training, because it promotes long-term active learning and collaboration. “The numerical feedback on set-up will build our skill sets faster because we’ll immediately see cause and effect, and create a collaborative environment, which is crucial for adapting to new technology,” he adds.

The company, which has 75 employees, has doubled its business since 2019 and credits this growth to effective supply chain management and the adoption of advanced processes like extrusion coating and lamination. Hart currently serves the food and beverage, candies and confection, construction materials, and medical and personal care markets. Hart is dedicated to sustainability, working with the paper circular economy, water-based inks, and specialty coatings. They are exploring recycling certifications and plan to incorporate extrusion of biopolymers in the future.