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FLEXO Magazine : August 2012
process, with accurate correspon- dence between the original artwork and the plate surface • Several press manufacturers have developed technologies which can “predict” the print pressure for a fast set-up, and can control the printed result during printing Flexographic technology itself is easier to control, in comparison to offset or letterpress, due to its short ink train and keyless configuration for the ink tray/ chamber inking solution. Furthermore, by using UV curable inks, the variables of solvent, alcohol or water evaporation, PH control and drying of the inks on the plate are eliminated. UV flexo technology has proven to be the most suitable tech- nology for practical application of Digital Flexo concepts. Register, anilox pressure and print pressure are the only variables to be adjusted on the print unit. CAMERAS = DIGITAL OPERATOR For example: Nuova Gidue’s Digital Flexo solution is based on the simple observation of the operator during set- up and printrun. During press set-up, his duty is to observe the printed result and manually adjust the print pressures, and eventually the print register. When deploying Digital Flexo, a digital HD camera, and seven mini-servo motors on each print unit substitute for the eyes and hands of the operator on the press. The HD camera (PrintTutorTM) “ reads” if there is too much print pres- sure or too little, by simply counting the number of pixels on two specific marks Picture 1: Less pressure and out of register. Picture 2: Good pressure and register. Picture 3: Too much pressure and out of register. TAbLE 1: Profitability comparison by changing the flexo plates costs. 60 FLEXO auGusT 2012 www.flexography.org Film Cost (per Label) $0.004 Flexo Ink Cost (per pound) $12/lb for all 6 inks Flexo Plate Cost (Per sq/in) $0.23 Labor $20/hour Speed * from 80 to 550 fpm Job Set Up Time 15 minutes Overhead Cost Per Hour $200 Film Cost (per Label) $0.004 Click Charge $0.00 Speed 75 fpm Labor $20/hour Job Set Up Time 2 minutes Overhead Cost Per Hour $200 Approximate Plates Crossover w/digital Equivelent in linear meters with 2 by 3 plates 25,000 labels 1123 meters with 3 by 3 plates 35,000 labels 1049 meters with 4 by 3 plates 43,000 labels 966 meters Gidue M5 Assumptions: Per Label Digital Assumptions: Per Label *Lower speeds used on shorter runs 0.0000 0.0050 0.0100 0.0150 0.0200 0.0250 0.0300 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 40000 45000 50000 60000 70000 80000 90000 100000 300000 500000 700000 900000 2000000 4000000 6000000 8000000 10000000 Cents Per Label Number of Labels Generic Label: Cost Per Label Label Dimensions: 5.125" X 3.54 " 6 colors 2 Across by 3 Around Plates Digital 3 Across by 3 Around Plates 4 Across by 3 Around Plates