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FLEXO Magazine : January 2012
Technologies & Techniques Shorter Sleeves lower Costs All Around The Load-N-Lok Air Sleeve System by LuminiteTM was developed to allow the printer to have more flexibility than ever before, thanks largely to the elimination of the need for expensive air mandrels. According to the manufacturer, “This technology means that sleeves do not need to be the same length as printing mandrels and in many cases, Load-N -Lok sleeves can be used with existing in-house mounting systems. ” In addition to the production related flexibility this innovation brings to printers, Luminte says, “It provides economical benefits and improved print quality vis- à-vis photopolymer printing plates.” Elaborating on the point, it cites these economic benefits: faster on press make-ready, increased printing speeds, multiple lane printing and repositioning, reduced start-up waste of ink and substrate, cost savings due to smaller sleeve and elastomer- ic covering requirements, less cost in disposal and consistent digital direct in-the-round laser engraved image surface. Ink transfer is said to be excellent. Repositionable Load- N-Lok sleeves eliminate plate breaks and ensure no plate lift when compared to photopolymer plates. Load-N -Lok sleeves are suitable for all substrates (film, paper, tissue, foils) across all industries (flexible packaging, folding cartons, wall cover- ing, p/s labels, shrink sleeves, wrapping paper, etc.) and with all water, solvent and UV based ink systems. LONG RANGE & DURABLE “ To date, we have found that the economic benefits, unde- niable print quality and the flexibility that our repositionable air sleeve system offers are a game changer,” explains David A. Denn, director of sales and marketing at Luminite. Benefits of the Load-N-Lok Air Sleeve System are that it offers: • Better than 50 percent reduction in job set-up over plate systems • Greater than 60 percent reduction in start-up waste for inks and substrate over plate systems • Significantly improved press uptime as elastomer covered Load-N -Lok sleeves provide three-to-four times more impression life than photopolymer plates, thereby eliminating the need to replace/re-register plates • Elimination of sticky back tapes and adhesives • Seamless continuous print (no plate breaks) Sleeve lengths need to be just two inches longer than the print area. Denn says, “Shorter sleeves with less cover- ing equate to lower costs all around.” The patent-pending technology offers high durability and it is suitable for line, solid and halftone/process printing with a tonal range of 1-98 percent and up to 175 line screen with uniform build thickness across composite and nickel sleeve types. n TECHNOLOGY TO WATCH Load-N -Lok Air Sleeve System by Luminite • Introduction Date: National launch planned for 2012, initial sales made as early as 2009 • Benefits: Faster make-ready, increased printing speeds, reduced start-up waste • Impact: Higher durability, quicker changeover than photopolymer plates • Experience: Considerable flexibilities, plus cost sav- ings in production time and materials • Watch for: Consistent, digital direct in-the-round laser engraved image surface • 2012 Exhibitions: INFO*FLEX, CPP, Labelexpo Americas 42 FLeXO jAnuAry 2012 www.flexography.org