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FLEXO Magazine : June 2009
TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES Makeready and changeovers Even Again owing to the physical design of the in-line press, all print stations are very accessible and therefore easy to change over. Also, in-line presses tend to be narrower, making plate sleeves, anilox rolls and other tooling lighter and easier to handle for an operator. In addition, some printers purchase additional print decks that can be made ready outside of the press, so when there is a more full changeover (more than just plates, but inks, too), they can just swap out the print decks. Up to about 10 years ago, in-line presses had an advantage over CI presses. With the advent of dedicated sleeve CI presses, this has changed. The new generation of CI presses is far more efficient and ergonomic than the large and bulky cylinder presses that preceded them. Other developments—automatic wash-up, automated pre-register and impression setting, etc.—have greatly improved the productivity and changeover time of the CI press. Press installation Process flexibility Purchase price Throughput speed Wet trapping In-line In-line CI Even CI Because its weight is spread out over a longer footprint, the in-line machine normally does not require any special foundation work. Also, the height of the CI press requires rafter and/or ceiling modifications in some plants, whereas this concern is almost non-existent when installing an in-line machine Because of the variable nature of the in-line’s physical configuration, it is possible to string many more operations together. Plant floor space is the only real limitation. Also, since most or all of the press is at floor level, it is easier to shuttle modules such as screen printers, foil stampers and embossers in and out of the press. Future reconfigurations are typically easier with an in-line press due to its open physical architecture. In the final analysis, cost will always play a major role in the justification for a specific machine. Based on initial capital investment, for equivalent web widths, CI presses are normally somewhat less expensive to purchase. Since product must be diecut, stripped and stacked, the theoretically higher top speed of the CI is negated. In roll-to-roll applications the CI will run faster, however in folding cartons the process is not finished until after diecutting. The argument that multiple diecutters can then keep up, giving CI an advantage, is specious, since more capital and labor are required thus raising the converter’s cost per thousand and neutralizing the printing speed advantage. When all is boiled down to the business proposition at hand, lowest cost wins. CI presses can be equipped with an EB curing unit that eliminates the need for individual forced air, electric and/or UV dryers. Input for this article was submitted by Rick Ruenzel (Comexi North America), Jerry Henson (Mark Andy Inc.), and Mike Pfaff (Gallus Printing Machinery). It’s more than black and white… Praxair Proline¨ laser engraved ceramic rolls deliver quality your printing operation can depend on. Whether you need extended life, improved ink laydown, better opacity, or more repeatable print results, Praxair Proline¨ series of engravings is for you. Our ART (Anilox Reverse Technology) and raved ceramic roll to the printing industry. You can see the results every time the press rolls. Improved printing quality. Consistent reproduction. Reduced maintenance Experience the science behind the service with Praxair. Call 1-800-234-3131 for information on how we can help your business. www.praxair.com/printing www. f le xography. org JUNE 2009 FLEXO 19
Sustainable Spring 2009