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FLEXO Magazine : July 2007
hot technologies 2 4 F L E X o J U LY 2 0 0 7 w w w . f l e x o g r a p h y . o r g Imagine controlling impression within a fraction of a micron. It is possible today, thanks to linear motors. The technology is not new, but its application in flexographic printing presses is just beginning. With only a few units in production, printers/converters are monitoring their performance and asking questions. FLEXO will continue to report on developments in the next few months. What follows is a briefing on the technology, how it differs from servo drives, the benefits of its applica- tion, and why it is something flexographers should be aware of and keep watching.. L inear motors have a potential that goes far beyond our imagination, when related to applications in printing and converting machinery. Linear motors will likely replace ro- tary motors because of the absolute ability of the system to move the print deck into position as much as 200 times greater than currently being achieved by ball screw technology. There are two specific areas of considerations that will be in- vestigated more and more as linear motor-equipped flexo presses become more present in the market, and more commonly used. 1. The increase of the positioning precision. No matter how good a rotary motor is, the final positioning resolution that comes out of any linear motor is better by no less than two orders of magnitude. The resolution achieved with linear motors, and the technology is in early stages, is 0.1 micron or 0.0000039 in. No rotary motor based machine today can even get close. 2. Flexo entering more challenging markets. It is well known how flexo printing has changed in the last 20 years. Almost every day there is a new evolution in the flexo world to help printers reach new goals, and enter segments of the market unattainable just a short time ago. Doctor blades, plates, inks, and many other factors have greatly changed flexo printing quality and allowed shares of other printing methods to be challenged and gained. Linear motors repre- sent the initial step toward a very high degree of printing precision that no other printing system will be able to match. Will Linear Be The Next Servo? New Motor Technology Making Stronger Impressions By Claudio Maggio P h o to s co u rt es y C o nv er ti n g T ec h n o lo g y S rl
Golden Anniversary Commemorative Journal