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FLEXO Magazine : August 2009
TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES ADVERTORIAL Sophistication Through Simplicity Omet’s X-FLEX Takes 2008 FTA Technical Innovation Award S implify the press. Simplify the process. Two things that, ironically, are far from simple to achieve. And this, at its core, is the reason that fl exo press manufacturer Omet S.r.L. was awarded the 2008 Flexographic Technical Association (FTA)/Flexo Market News Technical Innovation Award. The innovation: its X-FLEX narrow-web press. The X-FLEX represents new levels of automation and waste reduction. Since it’s introduction in 2007 it has proven to offer the most stable print platform, superior changeover times, and unsurpassed user friendliness. This is achieved by combining components and functions. But perhaps its most easily noted feature is the web path. With only 5.5ft. of web per print station, the X-FLEX boasts the shortest web path of any fl exo press on the market today. COMPLEX ORIGINS Omet was founded in 1963 as an engineering company, and has quietly been an innovative leader in the printing and converting fi elds. In 1984, OMET introduced the model ET 255 fl exo and letterpress label machines with chilled rolls. In 1995, the company unveiled the Multifl ex press, which had a separate chilled drum and servo motors to control web tension dedicated to ensuring printability of fl exible packaging material. The Varyfl ex was introduced in 2001 with a chill roll for different materials, the fi rst narrow-web press to have a Gearless-Shaftless servo design and print sleeves instead of the traditional plate cylinder with gear. It also included Omet’s patented “CAM” system to control the print pressure of anilox/plate/impression cylinders with a simple, automatic device. Fast forward to today, the X-FLEX has inherited all the proven features of the Varyfl ex plus has a uniquely engineered print station that combines the impression cylinder and the chill roll. This is the core source of the abbreviated web path and is also a critical factor in the press’s ability to average only 98ft. of startup waste (on an eight-station machine). THE MAGIC BUTTON While the shortened web path is the most dazzling aspect of the X-FLEX, it is certainly not the most important performance variable. The real secrets are not so visible and tangible. The waste reduction in starting up a new job on the printing machine is determined only in small part by the length of the web path. OMET’s “Vision” fully automatic register system adjusts both the MD & LD directions on each print station providing consistent set-up every time the press is started. Time and waste for getting a new job into register do not depend on the operator’s skill and training on the X-FLEX, which answers customer’s challenge in fi nding/training qualifi ed print staff.. It is enough to press the Vision button and register is set. To give you an idea of how effective it is, some customers are calling it “the magic button.” Besides the exceptional register stability and the exceptionally low material-waste when starting a new job, other aspects about the X-FLEX that make it stand out from other presses: • Exceptional print quality. • Reduction of ink waste - uses only 8 ounces of ink! • Automatic cleaning of the anilox roll in the machine before replacement. • Anilox without gears, for very fast changeovers. • Ink pan and doctor blade removal, are independent of each other. GRAND RECEPTION The global Flexographic community was fi rst introduced to the X-FLEX at LabelexpoBrussels 2007. During the exhibition the press demonstrated the ability to startup with minimal waste and hold perfect register throughout the run. All the visitors of Labelexpo and the other people that have had the opportunity to visit OMET’s demo center were very impressed. The responses to the X-FLEX demonstrations have been overwhelmingly positive. Customer comments include: “I can’t believe it,” “I have never seen anything of the kind,” “It’s what we need,” “It’s not possible to do anything better,” and “This is the machine we were waiting for!” 2009 UPDATE Since 2007 OMET has installed dozens of the X-FLEX platform worldwide. The X-FLEX press design is proven by the commercial success of the X-FLEX press and by the many competitor copies that will be on display at Labelexpo this year. The OMET X-FLEX’s innovative press design has answered the production needs of label printers worldwide, establishing itself as the press platform for the 21st century. At Labelexpo-Brussels 2009 participants will get to see the latest version of the award winning OMET X-FLEX with many new converting features that further enhance it’s versatility. The X-FLEX press is a proven solution from a proven leader in the narrow web press market – OMET! ■ Condensed and reprinted from FLEXO May 2008. www.flexography.org AUGUST 2009 FLEXO 59