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FLEXO Magazine : September 2011
are in use to help accelerate the bonding process. Until fully cured, solvent- less laminated products cannot undergo any further post-lamination finishing processes, such as cold seal, lacquer coating and slitting. Regardless of the method of lamination, control of ten- sion is a critical need to be successful. The best example is to consider the range of ten- sion necessary for proper web handling substrates that can range from foil to polyester to OPP to PE and even paper. Effec- tively managed tension greatly reduces the risk of “ web dipping.” The dipping of the web will cover the idle rollers and dryer nozzles with adhesive, result- ing in machine downtime for cleaning operations. Control of tension at the rewinder is equally critical. Prop- erly set taper tension is necessary for building uniform rolls. This is doubly important for solventless lamination where the “green tack” is very low coming off the machine because the adhesive curing takes place off line. SLITTING Another common finishing application is slitting. For in-line applications, a center slit with two edge slits is most common. For most mid to wide web applications, no more than a maximum of five slits is recommended. For in-line slitting, tension and tracking control are critical elements. Off-line slitting of a master roll is the best method for a roll with multiple treatments. It assures better management of the master roll and the finished smaller rolls. This ensures that the finished rolls shipped to the customer have no waste material at all. COATING Coatings are another application that can be made to the web post print. These can be water-based, solvent-based, electron beam or ultraviolet in nature. Water-or solvent- coatings are applied to a web for the pur- poses of promoting scuff resistance or enhancing glossiness. Thanks to its ability for precise coating weight consistency, gravure is the typical application method for these types of coatings. Electron beam and ultraviolet coatings are applied for high gloss (EB) or color-fastness (UV) and are typically applied by flexo. Cold seal is another typical downstream application that can be registered or non-registered, depending on the pur- pose. Cold seal is always applied with a gravure cylinder. COUPONS & CODES Finally, print can also be applied to a web post print. Gen- erally registered, additional print can be added downstream through either gravure or flexo on either the front or the back of the web. Applications include promotions (front), coupons (back), identification or security codes (front or back) and the ap- plication of more colors. For post print of colors on a pre- printed roll, we consider only line work and never halftones or process work. In summary, downstream post print finishing processes can be accomplished (dare we say easily) either in-line or off-line. The technology and the expertise exist to success- fully manage finishing operations within your plant without subcontracting. Consult with your equipment supplier(s) to determine the best methodologies for your mix of work. Be prepared to change your mentality and evolve your philosophy and practices if you go down this path and are a print-only converter today. Finishing operations, such as laminating and coating add value to the product and bring correspondingly higher prices. The key is to be flexible in your consideration of finishing treatments. You need to choose processes or integration methods that clearly promote best practices. Follow markets that are the most important and of the highest interest to your customers, today and in the future. n About the Author: Michael D’Angelo is vice president, web- fed business unit, Bobst Group, North America. Technolo- gies discussed in this article will be included in his Tuesday, Sept.27, 2011 presentation at CPP Expo in Las Vegas, NV. D’Angelo will speak in the “Using Off-line Finishing to En- hance Converting Workflow ” seminar, set for10:15 am. For most mid to wide web applications, no more than a maximum of five slits is recommended. For in-line slitting, tension and tracking control are critical elements. Duplex lamination provides for functional, waste-saving and eco-friendly features. Control of tension at the rewinder is critical. Properly set taper tension is necessary for building uniform rolls. Rotogravure is historically the most common method utilized for laminating. Bobst Group North America, Inc. 146 Harrison Avenue, Roseland, NJ 07068 -1294 Tel: 888-226-8800 It would take a LOT to justify a new press these days. Consider it done. Small footprint. Minimal operating envelope. The 15-S is ideal for modern plants where space is at a premium and efficiency is a primary concern. It's unique face-to-face design enables both the unwind & rewind to be accessed and monitored from one central position. The highly efficient web path also minimizes the height requirement. Exceptional performance and features for a remarkable price. Every aspect of the 15-Series is state-of-the-art, except the price. From operator and maintenance accessibility, to speed and wide range of substrates, to premium F&K performance and quality — all at a highly competitive price. Today’s business environment requires solid reasons to move ahead. Examine the advances incorporated into today's Fischer & Krecke 15-Series flexo press and you'll have all the justifi- cation you’ll ever need. The Fischer & Krecke 15-Series Flexo Press Off-press set-up for minimal waste. Our revolutionary smartGPSTM, Graphic Positioning System, establishes registration and press settings before each flexo sleeve is mounted on the press. This eliminates the ‘trial and error’ fine-tuning of each color thereby eliminating over 90% of all of the materials wasted during typical job changes. Fastest changeovers in the industry. In addition to material waste, smartGPS also eliminates wasted time. When the sleeves are already set, press time is used to run jobs, not lengthy set-ups. Nobody else can do this because nobody else has anything like smartGPS. Bobst-F&K-15-S Ad_Layout 1 2/16/11 4:24 PM Page 1 60 FLEXO sePtembeR 2011 www.flexography.org