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FLEXO Magazine : December 2011
Technologies & Techniques High Definition Flexo Advances in Plate & Anilox Technologies Boost quality, Trim Costs By Jack Fountain Most packaging printers recall a time, not too long ago, when achieving a 100 line-per-inch process screen was something to crow about. Sure, up close the dots looked like compressed doughnuts, but it sure beat 85 lpi. Since then, advances in plates, software, and ink-to- plate transfer have empowered the 15 percent of printers, with top-shelf aspirations toward offset/gravure quality, to embrace the idea of a “high definition flexo” revolution. Each year, it seems, some new incremental technical inno- vation brings closer the possibility of superfine, crisp, consis- tent and repeatable dots. HEAD-TO-HEAD TRIAL RESULTS • Five-station GTT run results compare and contrast with data collected from conventional 60° hexcell anilox roll printrun • Savings in ink totaled 27.5 percent over conventional hexcell • Solvent volume decreased 9 percent • Savings on mounting tape were 30 percent • GTT installation required no stoppage to clean plates or GTT rollers, while the hexcell anilox instal- lation had to be cleaned multiple times 30 FLeXO deCemBer 2011 www.flexography.org 50 40 30 20 10 0 47.2CONV.41.80GTTGTTCONV.CONV.GTT40.50CONV.36.00GTT10.80CONV.45.7CONV.171.60CONV.164.00GTT39.18CONV.33.00GTT80.70CONV.204.5CONV.186.50GTTMAGENTAYELLOWCYANBLACKKILOGRAMSWHITESOLVENTLINEBLUEGOLD39.50GTT UK Wide Web Trial Ink Consumption: GTT vs. Conventional Anilox (Ink measurements in kilograms: “neat” ink prior to solvent addition)