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FLEXO Magazine : June2010
The narrow-web printing industry has expe- rienced a variety of changes in recent years. End-users have become more demanding of converters, requiring shorter run quantities, less stock on their shelves, and extremely high print quality, all at a reasonable price. These changes in demand from end-users combined with unsettling economic times, have forced converters to take a serious look at their operations, analyzing both their equipment as well as the material and manpower resources used to operate that equipment. Suppliers of flexographic print technologies have found that the only way to provide these converters with the resources they need to effectively meet their customers’ expectations is to incorporate new technolo- gies and adapt to this ever-changing market. Mark Andy has filled this niche. A History of Setting the Standard For years, Mark Andy has been known worldwide as a leader in flexo print solu- tions. From its beginning in 1946 to the introduction of the first in-line flexographic press in the 1960s, Mark Andy has always been at the forefront of printing technol- ogy. By introducing benchmark equipment such as the 800 series, 2200 and XP5000, the company has long set the standard in narrow-web print technology with more than 7000 installations across the globe. Built on a history of collaborative working relationships with its valued clients, Mark Andy recognized the industry was shifting with press users refocusing their priorities. This prompted the company to perform ex- tensive global customer research through its Voice of the Customer (VOC) program. The results? Converters expressed a vari- ety of needs, a few of the most consistent among flexo printers being: • My customers continue to push for lower prices • It is becoming more and more dif- ficult to find qualified / skilled press operators • Increasing material costs continue to hurt my profits • My run lengths continue to get shorter Based on these inputs, the engineering and product management teams at Mark Andy set out to reinvent the standard of in-line presses. After more than a year of research and development, the Perfor- mance Series line of flexographic printing presses was born. Redefining “Traditional” On-press Workflow The key technology in the Performance Series press is the revolutionary print station/print deck design. With this sig- nificant advancement, the Performance Series dramatically changes the output and performance of flexographic printing. The innovative printing platform redefines traditional on-press workflow, resulting in substantial material and ink waste savings and remarkable simplicity for the operator. Central to the print station of the Perfor- mance Series is its commitment to stream- lined productivity. With simple, repeatable settings and limited operator steps for quick and easy job setup, the Performance Series exhibits the fastest and most con- sistent makeready times in the industry -- a four-color setup can be complete in just 3 minutes and a single station sets up in less than 35 seconds! A minimal amount of ink required for production runs (6 oz), along with a brand new make-ready process can reduce material waste by up to 50%, giving converters a more efficient and lean edge in today’s competitive environment. The innovative load-and-lock inking system, self-positioning doctor blades, easy-to- operate controls and wide open access to the entire print deck and plate roll make this press simple and swift for any operator, regardless of skill level. Some more in-depth details of these key features are as follows: Load and Lock Inking System Three simple steps fully set-up a single print station 1. Install ink pan, add ink 2. Drop in anilox roll & doctor blade 3. Swing to fully engage all com- ponents The load-and-lock inking system elimi- nates several steps from traditional in-line workflow. Each print station features a self-positioning doctor blade and robust, snap-in components saving quantifiable time during set-up and changeover. The system reduces ink requirements, saving on upfront costs, as well as disposal. The system provides consistent ink density with no adjustments required. Drop and Lock Print Cylinder This completely new design for loading plate rolls is extremely fast and efficient. Set-up and changeovers are sped up dra- matically -- over 50% faster than traditional in-line flexo presses. With a special pneumatic locking system, the plate roll is locked into place with the touch of a button. Simple Controls Mark Andy has completely redesigned impression and registration tools using effortless, uncomplicated controls and ad- justment knobs. This updated design drives controlled consistency, shifting away from the ‘art’ of job make-ready and set-up. A few minimal adjustments are required and the operator only needs to set ink once, making the process quick and easy for operators of any skill level. Condensed Workflow With make-ready and time to set impres- sion at 50% faster than the traditional flexo workflow, there is virtually no wasted mate- rial between stations. Initial impression sets itself at the touch of a button. Optimal registration is achieved almost immediately with simple controls and exclusive soft- ware. The self-setting components of the ADVERTORIAL The Narrow-Web Flexo World is Evolving FLX_June2010_mech.indd 36 6/10/10 9:39 AM