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FLEXO Magazine : October 2010
Thinking Thermal? You Have Choices. MacDermid Printing Solutions is a leading supplier of thermal plates and processing tecnology. Our digital photopolymer sheet plates are unique in that they can be dual processed either in traditional solvents or using MacDermid’s LAVA thermal processing equipment, you choose. MacDermid also offers the only digital capped plate in the world, which can be dual processed. So before you take the next step in your plate processing work flow, take a look at what MacDermid has to offer. When you’re looking for the most flexible range of options in taking your operation thermal, count on the company that says “Yes We Can” . MacDermid. NotSoFastNotSoFast Think You Only Have ONE Choice? Photopolymer Plates Equipment 5210 Phillip Lee Drive, Atlanta, GA 30336, USA Telephone: +1 800.348.7201 www.macdermid.com/printing © 2010 MacDermid, Inc. All rights reserved Technologies & Techniques This presses the sheet onto a counter plate which does two things: provides a stable surface against which the knives in the die can cut, and holds the female channels that receive the male scores in the die. These channels help create scores that will not crack upon folding when the carton is glued and subsequently erected and filled with product. Embossing or debossing may also be accomplished in the cutting and creasing station. After the sheet leaves this section of the press, it is held together by tiny nicks in the die that keep it from falling apart until it reaches the stripping station. At this point, all internal and side waste is trimmed away. Some presses may even de- liver separated and counted individual piles of cartons, neatly stacked and ready for the next converting process (Figure 8). A press this size, which can handle a sheet up to 44in. X 64in. , may reach speeds as high as 7,000 sheets per hour. Rotary or flatbed diecutting may also be accomplished in-line at the end of a flexographic or gravure printing press (Figure 9). A web press starts with blank paperboard rolls at the feed end and delivers printed, diecut and scored carton blanks. These kinds of presses can run at speeds up to 500 feet per minute. Stripping of WaSte Whether the folding carton is printed on a web or press, in- ternal and external waste must be stripped away before addi- tional finishing is completed. In some cases, this is done after diecutting is complete. Pallet loads of sheets held together by nicks in the die are moved to an area where waste is manu- ally removed either with hand-held hammers and chisels, or even jack hammers. More and more frequently, internal carton waste and trim from the edges of the sheet are automatically removed as part of the cutting and creasing process. A routine part of all folding carton production: stripped waste is collected, sorted by grade and baled for resale and recycling. This waste is repulped and remanufactured into new paperboard that may be converted into new folding cartons over and over again. other finiShing Several other visual and practical enhancements may be made to folding cartons before they are glued, packed and shipped to the customer. These may include, among others: • Foil Stamping • Embossing/Debossing • Windowing Foil Stamping. The consumer’s eye is easily caught by packaging that stands out on the shelf. One way to accomplish this is by applying bright foil to all or part of the box. More than in just gold or silver, foil now comes in a dizzying array of colors and patterns, even lasered or holographic. This process is also known as hot stamping, since heat applied to a metal plate with an engraved image improves the release of the foil from its carrier roll as it is pressed onto the paperboard. Foil stamping presses may be either simple, hand-fed machines or sophisti- cated, high-speed production centers. Embossing/Debossing. Embossing places a raised im- age on a box. Debossing presses an image into the surface of the paperboard. A score that will allow a carton to fold without cracking requires a female channel into which the steel creasing rule will press the paperboard. In the same way, the more elaborate images pressed into a box panel for figure 7. An early flatbed carton press. Photo courtesy of John W. Fleischman. 48 FLeXO october 2010 www.flexography.org FLX_Oct10_mech.indd 48 10/15/10 9:28 AM
Sustainable Fall 2010