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FLEXO Magazine : December 2011
DigiFlow DFQ 133-250-LPI plates (with and without Microcell screening) and EskoHD Microscreening. Starting at a high viscosity, UltraCell-Plus density was 1.4 , while GTT was 1.38; no big difference for a target of around 1.3. At a lower viscosity, UltraCell-Plus dropped to 1.2 , while GTT held at 1.29. They settled at 24 seconds where GTT deliv- ered slightly higher than UltraCell-Plus’s 1.3 . “T he density results were obviously close, but the difference in print quality and duration were critical,” explained Lessing. “GTT produced precise dots that had minimal ‘doughnut- ting’ or haloing. Most important, after 300,000 feet at high speed, the densities and dot gain remained consistent without cleaning. Conventional hexcell just can’t deliver that kind of repeatability.” Printability (less pinholing, dot gain and better ink laydown), uptime (less cleaning, faster dry times) and profitability (thin- ner inks) convinced Perreault that GTT is a positive revolution- ary step. He looks forward to moving toward Pantone process simulation on as many jobs as possible. ACROSS THE POND In a landmark May 2011 United Kingdom test, a high-end, wide web flexible packaging printer offered Apex a chal- lenge. A customer made a familiar demand: improve print quality and slash printing costs. Was GTT up to the task? The printer’s requirements were to reduce from seven colors (CMYK plus two spot colors and white) to five colors (including white), thus replacing the spot colors with CMYK simulations. Two pressruns of 100,000 meters/328,000 feet each—one with conventional hexcell anilox and the other using UniFlexGTT XS – would be measured for print quality, ink and solvent usage, and cleaning. The common elements were the press and high-definition laser-engraved plates. At the end of the trial, the results were dramatically con- vincing. The five-station GTT run provided an improvement on the desired quality requirements. Results revealed that savings in ink totaled 27.5 percent over conventional hexcell.1 . Volume of solvent was decreased by 9 percent and reduction in registration/setup time was slashed. Savings on mounting tape were 30 percent, simply from using fewer ink stations. Just as important was the savings in cleanup downtime. Over the course of the entire run, GTT installation required no stoppage to clean plates or GTT rollers, while the hexcell anilox installation had to be cleaned multiple times. Ink-to-plate transfer characteristics comparison Ink doctoring characteristics comparison 32 FLEXO december 2011 www.flexography.org EBECRYL® 571 Resin A New Benchmark in Shrink Sleeve Performance & Productivity Email: firstname.lastname@example.org l Worldwide Contact information: www.cytec.com Contact Us Today : US Toll Free: 800-652-6013 l Tel: 973-357-3193 l Belgium: +32 2 560 4511 Trademark Notice: The ® indicates a Registered Trademark in the United States and the TM or * indicates a Trademark in the United States. The mark may also be registered, the subject of an application for registration or a trademark in other countries. © 2011 Cytec Industries Inc. All Rights Reserved. Introducing EBECRYL® 571, Cytec Industries’ newest resin system for UV/EB curable flexographic shrink sleeve printing ink and coating applications. EBECRYL® 571 has excellent pigment wetting, is suitable for process colors and is compatible with metallic and white pigments. Find out more about how EBECRYL® 571 can reduce cost and time while increasing the overall performance of your narrow web energy curable printing by contacting us at the e-mail address and phone numbers listed below. CROSS-SECTION OF ANILOX CROSS-SECTION OF GTT BLADE DIRECTION BLADE DIRECTION INK doctorINg cHArActErIStIcS coMPArISoN Conventional anilox cup geometry creates aeration and turbulence within the ink fluid at doctoring. Ink can “mist” or “spit” after doctoring Shallower GTT slalom channels enable ink to flow along the blade path, reducing stress. The ink itself encounters no blockages along the blade path and thus emerges from the chamber in a “calmer” state. GTT SURFACE PRINTING PLATE PRINTING PLATE CROSS-SECTION OF ANILOX INK-to-PLAtE trANSFEr cHArActErIStIcS coMPArISoN Stressed ink and cell land areas create uneven plate inking in conventional geometry, forcing ink up between plate dots and remaining within the cell cups. GTT open geometry allows calm, consistent ink transfer. Less aeration, shallow and narrow wavy channels, and thinner land areas all serve to deliver ideal ink volume to plate.