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FLEXO Magazine : August 2010
Technologies & Techniques Making Every Second Count new Flexo Press Technology is Revolutionizing setup and Changeover Times By Jeff Feltz One second can make a big difference. Consider an Olympic swimmer, nosing out his closest competitor by a fraction of a second to win the gold medal. Or a cyclist in the Tour de France, who may not have finished first every leg, but prevails thanks to precious seconds saved earlier in the race. This translates to today ’s printer/converter as well. Seconds saved on setups and changeovers throughout the day turn into minutes and hours that can be used to win more con- tracts, produce more saleable product and enjoy more profits. Press manufacturers understand how important these saved seconds can be and acknowledge setup and change- over times as important considerations when developing and introducing new technologies. Key technology upgrades implemented into new press designs to help cut down on setup and changeover times include servo motors, simplified ink system designs, and self-positioning plate cylinders with discrete adjustments. SErvo TEChnology Servo technology is gaining popularity in the flexo press market and is almost considered to be a new standard. There- fore, what really differentiates one press from another is how those servos are implemented. When designed and engi- neered effectively, servos can dramatically reduce setup times. Recent presses have been introduced with servos located at each print station. The biggest changeover gains are made possible when the plate cylinder drive is separated from the web pacing drive. When a servo drives the plate cylinder independently from the web, pre-registration becomes a pos- sibility. Pre-register systems automatically position each plate into registration to one another. This automation eliminates the time-exhaustive process of stopping the press, disengag- ing the cylinder to position it onto the correct tooth, then re- starting again. After the pre-register process is complete, only Time Saving Technologies • Automatic pre-register systems. • Automatic impression setting. • Auto-positioning of ink train components. • Save one minute in setup at each print station and increase capacity 5-10 percent annually. Pre-register helps to ensure consistent quality. All art courtesy Mark Andy. new inking systems allow the operator to load key components and simply lock them into place, simplifying the inking process significantly. 64 FLeXO AugusT 2010 www.flexography.org August2010_mech.indd 64 8/13/10 7:46 AM
Sustainable Summer 2010