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FLEXO Magazine : January 2012
Technologies & Techniques First & Last Results Match Cellular Foam Alternative Helps Control Flexo’s Variables Over the last several decades significant improvements in many areas of flexography have been recorded, most notably: press design, conversion from rubber to photopolymer printing plates, digital imaging, conver- sion from chrome to ceramic anilox rolls, the continuous refinement of cellular foam from leading manufacturers, etc. However, at the end of the day, all cellular foams are comprised of air pockets encapsulated in an elastomeric membrane. Controlled displacement technology is unlike any cellular foam. The patented design separates the elastomeric membrane from the air, resulting in a technology that allows a single product to be used on all colors of every job without compromise. Its manufacturer says, “It is designed to allow a printer to replicate the density of any cellular foam simply by increasing impression.” Wide web flexible packaging 8 Color Run length, 1 .5 million lineal feet ChannalBAC Cellular Foam tape Job Length 1,500,000 1,500,000 Press Speed, FPM 1100 800 Lineal feet before plate cleaning 140,000 45,000 Time used in plate cleaning, min 30 30 Hours of press time 28.1 47.9 In addition, product developers maintain that, “Controlled displacement technology provides a dynamic dampening capability beyond that of cellular technology, resulting in a reduction or the elimination of bounce, while in most cases providing significant increase in press speed. Controlled dis- placement cushioning provides the solution that will eliminate the need to choose among various cellular foam densities without sacrificing solid ink density or dot reproduction. It eliminates the guesswork associated with selecting a specific density of cellular foam, as well as the techniques likely to provide the best reproduction.” CPCs COMMITMENT The maker of ChannalBAC controlled displacement cush- ions notes, “Historically, print buyers have been suspect of the quality and consistency flexography can provide. Therefore, they have been reluctant to commit the most challenging graphics to flexography. With the introduction and adapta- tion of Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications and Tolerances (FIRST), consumer product companies have com- mitted an increasing volume to the flexo process. Customers now have come to realize the potential flexography can bring to the table, and no longer demand, but expect, quality, and consistency.” Not only do customers expect high quality and consistency but they also look to flexography as being a more cost-effec- tive alternative to offset and gravure. “ T he best way to meet customer expectations is to eliminate the variables and tools that lead to inefficiency and ever-changing quality, and that’s what controlled displacement cushioning provides,” accord- ing to a spokesman for the product’s developer. He continues, “It is well acknowledged that cellular foam, regardless of the manufacturer, varies in gauge from roll to roll, and sometimes within a roll. The unique proprietary TECHNOLOGY TO WATCH ChannalBACTM Controlled Displacement Technology • Introduction Date: 2008, late 2011 expansion of prod- uct availability • Benefits: Replicates the density of any cellular foam simply by increasing impression • Impact: Eliminates variables and tools that lead to inefficiency and ever-changing quality • Experience: Reduction or elimination of plate bounce, significant increase in press speeds • Watch for: No sacrifice of solid ink density or dot reproduction • 2012 Exhibitions: INFO*FLEX 52 FLeXO jAnuAry 2012 www.flexography.org