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FLEXO Magazine : August 2011
22 FLEXO august 2011 www.flexography.org Converting From Roll to Sleeve Faster Makeready times & Lower Cost of Operations are attractions By Paul teachout Over the past two decades there has been a major shift in the way we go to press. Led by the wide web press manufacturers, we have begun the shift from traditional metal, or alloy plate, and anilox rolls, to the more ergonomic and lightweight composite sleeves. This trend has been widely accepted throughout our industry and has also been adapted by many of the narrow web press OEM’s over the last decade. Either used as anilox, imaged in the round (ITR) or carrying flat imaged plates, sleeve technology has grown to a global application that has brought the flexo- graphic manufacturing process to another level. Sleeves can now offer a wider repeat range on one shaft and reduce the amount of print-related defects caused by mechanically induced vibration. In the narrow web market, The Skinny on SleeveS • Sleeve technology has grown to a global application that has brought the flexographic manufacturing process to another level. • Converters are seeing tremendous gains in produc- tion, quality and product consistency. • On average, sleeves will last three-to-four years before the inner layers, end rings, key ways or body either wear out or get damaged. • Extreme care must be taken in the handling, material movement, storage and cleaning practices. Photos: Harper Corporation of america; DuPont Packaging graphics. an anilox sleeve being positioned on a narrow web press. TEchnOLOgies & TEchniques