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FLEXO Magazine : September 2011
Technologies & Techniques Finishing Touches integrating laminating, slitting, Coating & Plant Workflow By Michael D’Angelo As pressrooms have evolved over the last decade, more and more printers are taking more control of the supply chain through which they serve their custom- ers. Printing, perhaps the critical communication tool in pre- senting a product to a consumer, is very rarely the only step in the construction of a package. More and more printers are integrating converting and finishing steps in their pressroom, either in-line with printing or off-line. For the purposes of this presentation, we will focus on the following finishing processes: laminating, slitting, registered and unregistered coatings, cold seal and post print. Most of these “downstream” operations can be done in-line or off-line, depending on the pressroom and the philosophy of the printer. LAMINATION Lamination is the most discussed finishing operation. Ro- togravure is historically the most common method utilized for laminating, which is the process of combining (bonding) two or more substrates together. Lamination creates a structure CONVERTING WITH COMPETENCY • Printing is rarely the only step in construction of a package. • Post-print finishing processes can be accomplished either in-line or off-line. • High efficiency drying allows for the integration of the laminating process in-line with the printing press without reducing press speeds. • Off-line slitting of a master roll assures better man- agement of the master roll and the finished smaller rolls. • Water or solvent coatings are applied to a web for the purposes of promoting scuff resistance or enhancing glossiness. • For post print of colors on a pre-printed roll, consider only line work and never halftones or process work. 58 FLeXO sePteMBer 2011 www.flexography.org single-pass operations, combine print and converting in-line. Package construction is accomplished seemingly in one step. Photos: Bobst group.