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FLEXO Magazine : October 2010
Technologies & Techniques weighing, the system generates the required color correc- tions to reach the color target precisely. There is no need for the operator to make any additional corrections, so subjective assessments and color corrections are prevented. In addition, the system memorizes the “recipe” from the ink formulation module, allowing it to be reproduced on demand. Formula corrections can also be stored and used again when running repeat orders. The system will immediately sense if existing inks cannot be corrected to achieve target colors. If this happens, appropri- ate ink replacement recommendations will be made, reduc- ing time for further color matching and tests. Analysis of production runs in several pressrooms have shown that typical color matching takes from 30 minutes to an hour—in some cases even longer. This is press downtime that can be eliminated. With the color formulation module, annual savings of up to six-figures are achievable and additional production capacity is freed up. Mixing and dosing After the formulation has been set, the corrected ink must be mixed and metered. The printer can prepare the color based on the corrected ink formulation using the central mixing station. If the mixing section capacity seems to create a bottleneck, adding a second section specially designed for small quantities can be beneficial. Another possibility is keeping the base inks in small con- tainers near the press. The corrective color formulas are then added to the ink supply system of the press manually. This is a very simple and practical process. An optional module for mobile dosing carries all base colors and blends and auto- matically adjusts the corrective formulas, providing precise blending and dosing.This section can process different ink systems and can be used for several printing presses. Data processing integration for formula transfer to the customer’s main ink room is possible. suMMary and Preview There are big potential savings by automating the color matching process. Today ’s on-press color matching technolo- gy reduces set-up times caused by subjective manual mixing and residual ink waste. The three modules allow operators to precisely define the required ink quantities and to make nec- essary corrections for the desired color target with accurate ink dosing. n ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Klaus Kleemann is technical sales manager for flexographic and gravure printing presses at Windmoeller & Hoelscher in Rhode Island. He has 27 years of experience in the printing and converting industries, 20 of which have been with W&H in Germany and North America. Kleemann has a degree in mechanical engineering. The article references patented EasyCol automated color matching technology from Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp. For more information, contact Klaus at klaus_kleemann@ wuh-group.com. www.flexography.org october 2010 FLeXO 35 SYS TEC NORTH AMERICA, LLC. 108 State Street Suite 103 Greensboro NC 27408 Phone 336-273-4866 www.systecamerica.com firstname.lastname@example.org INNOVATIVE FLEXO MOUNTING SOLUTIONS WITH VIRTUAL IMAGE SYSTEM FLX_Oct10_mech.indd 35 10/15/10 12:31 AM
Sustainable Fall 2010