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FLEXO Magazine : August 2012
technologies recently introduced that significantly increase the productivity of the press and improve print quality — all the while making the machine easier and safer to operate. This article will address some of these new technologies and their impact on press productivity. IMPRESSION SETTING SYSTEMS In 2004, the first automated impres- sion setting systems became com- mercially viable. They were originally developed to help the less experienced operator properly adjust the print impression on the press. Two types of impression setting systems have since become available: static and dynamic. • Static systems use an indirect method to measure plate topog- raphy (either on the mounter or on the machine) and then transfer that data to adjust the decks on the press. The advantages of static sys- tems are that the print can usually be set using only 40-50 feet of film. It can however, require expensive mounting equipment and may not be suitable for all print designs. • Dynamic systems use direct feed- back from the print (using line scan cameras) to set the decks. In this case, cameras evaluate changes to contrast as the decks are reposi- tioned. While dynamic systems are more accurate, they can require up to 500 feet of film to set the print depending on the number of colors and repeat length. REGISTRATION SYSTEMS There are several new technologies now available to set registration auto- matically on the press. In the past, spe- cial print marks were required to align the decks. These marks were often then trimmed from the film, resulting in excess waste being produced during printing. New registration systems do not require any print marks and can bring the press into register in a short amount of time, resulting in very little waste. In one system, the microdots are used to set registration. A web video locates the printed microdots, the operator identifies them on the video screen and the press then moves the decks into alignment. In another system, no print- ing or set-up film is required to set reg- istration. Here, the decks are aligned by a laser looking at labels mounted on the print sleeves. The labels are placed on the sleeves and the plates are mounted using the labels as a reference position. INK WEIGHING Weighing each individual ink contain- er minimizes waste at job completion by calculating how much ink is being used in real time and then determining how much is needed to complete the job. Here, the operator no longer needs to guess on the ink volumes required. Ink weighing allows more accurate estimat- ing of job costs. COLOR MATCHING & MONITORING Recent studies by a press manufac- turer, found that nearly 50 percent of the total job changeover time can be attrib- uted to color matching. There are auto- www.flexography.org august 2012 FLEXO 27 theDiff erence! Experienc e flexodaily.com fb.com/ andvre twitter.com/ andvre linkd.in/ AndVre youtube.com/ andersonvreeland gplus.to/ andvre The world’s finest selection of flexo materials. A&V offers the world’s finest selection of flexo materials. Like nyloflex® NExT high-output UV technology and thin plate technology from Flint Group; new flat dot tech- nology from Toyobo; plus in-the-round technology and direct laser engraving. A&V supports these materials with 50 years of flexo experience and the finest technical support. Great materials and great service... that’s a hard combination to beat. 866.282.7697 fx: 800.223.6869 www.AndVre.com info@AndVre.com See us at Labelexpo Stand 929