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FLEXO Magazine : August 2012
Press operators like those pictured here, expect to be active and engaged participants in a press purchasing decision. They crave simplicity, respect, recognition and an open dialogue. impression OK?” “Is color correct?” Only then can a job be put into production profitably. When running a job, an operator needs to ask: “Do we have the ability to minimize set-up waste in a predictable fashion?” Also, “Am I running the job at a profitable speed (not always the fastest speed, by the way)?” After complet- ing the job, the operator reviews these questions: “Did we complete the run without any major stops? If not, how can we minimize downtime while running?” “Can we quickly change over to the next job?” “Did we have any returns for quality or quantity shortfalls?” “Is the quality suited to the end use?” “Are there any modifications that can be done on future jobs to improve the end user’s experience?” Modern flexographic printing technology provides many an- swers and more. Today ’s presses incorporate a host of specially designed automated systems that ensure consistent, repeatable and reliable production, while minimizing costs and waste. TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANTAGES At drupa 2012, numerous innovations were launched in the flexo industry. The roster from one press manufacturer to another included: • Automatic Register • Automatic Impression • Automatic Viscosity Control • Changeover of Decks While Running • Additional Colors • Higher Speeds Many companies have used commercially-applied systems for automatic registration, using pre-registration set up or registration marks. The latest generations of automatic regis- tration systems, however, now use a so-called click and drag feature, based on the image itself and oftentimes require no register marks. Similarly, new automatic impression systems ensure an extremely low set-up waste. Automatic viscosity control, an added dimension of stability, further manages the usage of inks and solvents in an optimum fashion for both water- and solvent-based inks. Systems to change running decks, while the press is oper- ating (like the safe sleeve change system) also exist to boost productivity and lower costs, and even C.I . presses with up to 12 colors and for speeds up to 2,000 FPM and beyond, are now available on the market today. OPERATOR’S PERSPECTIVE One important caveat with all of the above new technology has to be remembered: “If operators don’t like it, they won’t use it.” Therefore, despite the temptation to buy all of the bells and whistles available, one must be mindful of involving the operator in the press purchasing decision. What operators like and what they don’t like must be considered, so simplicity and user friendliness are of the utmost importance. Also, education plays a critical role in both technology acceptance and its application for the fullest possible benefit. Like most people, operators desire simplicity, R-E -S -P-E-C -T (in capital letters), recognition for their efforts, and an open dialogue of how to improve things in the future. They want to feel a part of the team and contribute a great deal to the flexographers’ end results. INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS Other recent improvements include color monitoring systems, automated roll handling, easier dryer access, and sleeve quality control systems. Several manufacturers have come out with video camera systems which interface with X-Rite and other systems to monitor color on-the-fly and even adjust the color press side with various off-line carts or “mini ink mixing labs.” ETI Latest Technologies: 1490-H Nobel, Boucherville, Quebec, CANADA J4B 5H3 — Phone: 1-450-641-7900 — Fax: 1-450-641-7911 MinilinerTM & Linerless UV Silicone coating Hot melt adhesive Slot die coating heads Rotating bar Servo motor driven In-line coat weight measurement Sliding cassettes Sliding cassettes Self-aligning pressure setting Horizontal die-cutting Auto peel off Automatic registration control FEATURES Control Flexibility User-friendly Substantial savings RESULTS COHESIO TECHNOLOGY Multifunctional off-line or in-line printing along with silicone and adhesive coating INNOVATE TO CONQUER www.eticonverting.com Come visit us at BOOTH 5603 34 FLEXO augusT 2012 www.flexography.org What Operators Want • Simplicity • R-E -S-P -E -C-T • Recognition • Open Dialogue