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FLEXO Magazine : August 2011
www.flexography.org AUGUST 2011 FLEXO 23 Harper Anilox Roll Engineered for performance. Built to last. Guaranteed performance. From four locations across the globe. At Harper Corporation we do more than sell anilox rolls. We deliver confidence that comes with a 100% performance guarantee, backed by a team of graphic experts, and supported by a full compliment of products and accessories. With anilox roll manufacturing and restoration facilities in Charlotte, NC; Green Bay, WI; Herford Germany and Bangkok, Thailand; Harper Corporation delivers dependable consistency no matter where you print. To learn more, call 704.588.3371 or Toll Free at 800.438.3111 Or visit our website. ANILOX ROLL DIVISION HARPERI MAGE.CO M Americas • Europe • Asia ©2011 they are a major factor in the makeready process during short runs, as they offer a quick change solution that will remain competitive with the up and coming digital printing market. In either market, wide web or narrow web, sleeve technol- ogy has taken makeready times to an all-time low. Designed more for the fully auto- mated servo presses of today, sleeve systems are ideally suited for today 's Lean environments. They offer a tooless and easy one-step exchange of the plate and anilox sleeves with no wasted movement. Ease of storage and mate- rial handling has also created a much safer and friendly working environment. • We no longer need overhead cranes, jigs or straps to move our tooling inventory to permanent stor- age locations that tie up valuable real estate. • Our inventory can now be safely stored and moved efficiently throughout the facility on specifi- cally designed transfer carts. • Sleeves are where we need them, when we need them. • In general, sleeves are one third to one fifth of the weight of traditional rolls. For wide web, they can be as much as one tenth the weight of traditional options. PRESS PERFORMANCE ENHANCED The optimal stability and low weight of the sleeves is also a very attractive feature for the press manufacturers. The lightweight nature of the sleeve is what allows for the reduced size and energy required by the drives and motors thus making the press more sustainable. These factors will lead to reduced on-press issues related to roll balance and or mechanical concerns from mechanical drive systems. The automation system itself offers a whole new world of press operation and works hand-in-hand with sleeve technology. Along with the use of sleeves, the presses are now equipped with an endless variable repeat system, due to the lack of a set gear pitch and com- mon drive train. Each cylinder in the press is driven by its own servo mo- tor, which allows all cylinders to be controlled independently. They can be automatically preset for register and print length, allowing no material waste to be generated during makeready. The auto register systems are aligned with pins on the sleeve mandrel to always know the location of the sleeve and its image. Computer systems of new presses can store each job for future recall. Now that most plate sleeves can be stored, mounted and ready to go, printers report great reductions in time and resources required to remount and demount plates. These features and benefits are why converters are achiev- ing faster makeready times and a lower cost of operation. MATERIALS & STABILITY There are many types of sleeve materials available to fit all our needs. Thin sleeves can be used with modified traditional plate rolls or on direct drive mandrels. Both plate and anilox sleeves are a combination of composites and other materials constructed in layers. Different layers serve different functions. Some layers are for repeat building. Some are for an expansion layer. All layers need to be dimensionally stable. Many sleeve suppliers will offer different levels of sleeve construction. It is critical to know what will be most effective for our process. There are many different types of fillers used for the repeat-building layer. Many of them react differently to humidity and atmospheric conditions. The thicker the filler material, the more susceptible it is to these environmental changes. These changes can directly affect the sleeves' taper and stability. Higher grade fillers can provide ex- tended dimensional stability and will be beneficial for critical reproductions of halftone and process oriented images. Total Indicated Run out (TIR) or eccentricity of the sleeves is also of major importance. This is influenced by many variables that include the expansion material and filler material and if the sleeves are being properly stored. These materials will not remain indefinitely stable. The majority of plate