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FLEXO Magazine : August 2012
matic color matching systems now available that combine ink weighing and spectrophotometry that reduce this time by half and guarantee delta E values of two or less. Once the registration and impression have been set, a print sample is taken and compared to a reference using a spec- trophotometer. The color variation is analyzed and the system computes the volumes of ink components that need to be added to the existing ink to obtain the required color before starting the print job. The job can then be continuously monitored during printing and the operator is alerted if the color varies beyond a prede- termined specification. REMOVABLE MANDREL MACHINES Without a doubt, sleeve machines have had a significant impact in reducing time for changeovers and increasing press productivity – especially with narrower and smaller repeat machines. At larger web widths (>67-in.) and larger repeats (>35-in.), the advantages are less. The bridge adapters can become very heavy and expansive and require operators to access the upper decks on the machine using lift platforms that require significant additional time for press changeover. New machine technologies are now available that roboti- cally remove the mandrels from the press and bring them down to floor level where operators can change the sleeves without climbing up on the machine. This concept also allows for the internal storage of five jobs or more, further reducing changeover times. Combined with advanced wash-up systems, a wide long repeat mechanical changeover of 10 plate sleeves and 10 anilox rolls can be accomplished automatically in 10 minutes, just by pressing a button. There are more than 15 of these new machines bound for North America, where the demands are greatest for high throughput, high quality printing. In order to meet the demands of the evolving printing environment, press manufacturers and component suppliers continue to develop new technologies to make the printing presses more productive. These technologies will focus on minimizing changeover times, increasing print speed, and having a press that is intuitive and safe to operate. n About the Author: Mike Reinhardt is product manager for Windmoeller Hoelscher’s flexographic printing press division in North America. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the design, development, manufacturing and marketing of capital equipment for the energy, hazardous waste and print- ing industries. Mike has a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering plus an MBA with a concentration in marketing. He currently serves on FTA’s Board of Directors and FFTA’s Board of Trustees. flexible packaging loves ink Flexible packaging converters will love inks formulated with Laroflex® HS 9000, a new and innovative ink resin technology from BASF. With improved printability and on-press performance, Laroflex HS 9000 delivers stronger colors, more opaque whites, high bond strength, and lower solvent usage. Contact your ink supplier for more information and a press trial. At BASF, we create chemistry. basf.us/dpsolutions 2012-BASF-flexpackLink_FLEXO.indd 1 7/8/2012 9:29:39 PM 28 FLEXO august 2012 www.flexography.org