Home' FLEXO Magazine : August 2016 Contents uptime. Technologies that are imperative for meeting the increasing
demands in production schedules include zero speed initial impres-
sion and registration setting, ink color and viscosity management,
automatic ink/deck washup, central impression (CI) drum cleaning,
energy efficient and responsive drying, and closed loop, camera based
impression and registration.
Enclosed ink doctor chamber designs increase ink usage efficiency
and allow for more automation along with greater ease of use. This
is due to toolless and on or off press preparation. Built in, multifunc-
tional operator station touchscreens allow operators to have access to
many press features and functions at their fingertips.
“Presses need to have operational features that are user friendly and
intuitive,” said Rogals. “ Training packages must also address the
changing landscape to help operators remain up to speed on the
technology and proper usage of the equipment in order to optimize it
to its full potential.”
In many ways, the automatic features of newer presses and the
training that accompanies them have replaced the formal training
programs of the past. This approach helps increase the speed at which
new operators gain knowledge important to achieving successful
PRESS SIZE & DIVERSITY
The industry is seeing more compact press designs that allow for
safer and easier access during operation, and foster much faster job
changeover opportunities. This is because of the shorter distances
to walk, the ability to stage setup items closer to the press, increased
changeover automation and not needing to use lifts or ladders during
the changeover process. Presses that have sleeved plate and anilox
technology offer additional benefits that help reduce operator fa-
tigue—providing a more rewarding and fulfilling work experience.
Compact press designs are beneficial to printers that are challenged
with optimizing their facility space utilization. They allow more assets
within the same square footage and help spread the overhead cost
of support personnel over a larger number of assets. Smaller presses
also have lower purchase, installation, and maintenance costs due to
having fewer and smaller parts.
For greater flexibility to meet industry demands, many printers are
investing in both CI and inline press designs, allowing them to better
diversify their product mix. Print products using board, label stock,
shrink and other specialty films are now being pursued as comple-
ments to the typical film production of the past.
The time to market for updated or new press designs is also shrinking.
Printers are looking for press manufacturers willing to collaborate to
develop improved solutions. In addition, some partnerships between
OEMs and printers have led to in depth analysis and refinement of job
changeover procedures—often reducing the time between running
production by up to 75 percent or more.
OEMs that have positioned themselves with robust CI and inline press
products capable of printing with tight tolerances and on a variety of
substrates are seen as valuable partners to printers. Press manufac-
turers continue to be challenged to incorporate tried and true print
technologies into smaller press designs capable of running a variety of
ink types with appropriate drying technologies.
“Press manufacturers and customers working together to design and
develop enhanced solutions and equipment is vital to businesses
achieving higher effectiveness and efficiency,” said Rogals.
As the flexible packaging industry continues to grow, the challenges of
shorter run lengths, increased changeovers, higher quality and faster
turnaround time will only intensify. Flexographic printers will contin-
ue to respond to the challenges that come their way. Partnerships with
industry providers will be one of the keys to their success. n
About the Authors: Carl DuCharme is a prod-
uct and applications leader within the printing,
coating and laminating value stream at Paper
Converting Machine Company, providing techni-
cal support to the commercial team, commercial
direction to the design team and strategic process
support to the operations team.
Nicole Onesti is a communications technolo-
gist with Paper Converting Machine Company,
providing marketing and communications to
support the company’s business objectives.
“It is critical that press
technologies that allow repeatable
and reliable changeovers,
minimized setup and waste of
materials, and systems efficient
in ink management and energy
PCMC Sales Director for Printing, Coating and Lamination Products Rich Rogals
104 FLEXO | AUGUST 2016
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