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FLEXO Magazine : October 2012
* Elastomer Sleeves last 2-4 times longer than Polymer Plates or Sleeves * True laser ablated sleeves utilize below surface engraving technology, thus controlling press gain. * Reduce traps to .003 consistently * Faster registration * Short set up time * Faster press speeds (2000 fpm+) * No more plate mounting, plate lift, press bounce or plate swelling * Reach color density faster with improved print contrast * Dramatically reduce non-revenue downtime on change overs * Hold perfect registration across the entire width of the sheet * Substrate savings and press optimization reached! It was a small group of innovative thinkers that proved the Earth wasn’t flat either... ROUND Elastomer Sleeves can be your future! For more information about: Kodak Flexcel Direct Laser Engraved Sleeves Call Carey Color Inc. at 800-555-3142. Or visit us at www.careyweb.com Left to right: Dr. Douglas J. Edwards, president, digital packaging & functional printing, Kodak; and Gary Moravcik, president and CEO, Carey Color Incorporated. www.careyweb.com sleeves allowed the production team to consistently hold a .0 03 trap across the entire sheet, reducing waste to zero. Pho- topolymer flat plates have a traditional tolerance of +/- .015 tolerance across a 66-in. web. “ The tolerance spec of elastomer sleeves is +/- . 0 01,” boasts Carey CEO Gary Moravcik. Printers are also able to combine sleeves with flat plates to gain some of the advantages of the sleeve without having to eliminate flat plates altogether. One of the reasons for the slow adoption of ITR in North America, as compared to Europe, has been the fewer cantile- vered presses in existence here. The last few years have seen a marked increase in the installation of cantilevered presses, but many printers have struggled to realize immediate returns on their investment. Print speed increases are easier to attain when using a 100 percent sleeve based workflow. Sleeves allow faster printruns and allow more printruns on multi-million dollar flagship press- es like W&H, PCMC, and F&K. One print salesman recently remarked, “Running a brand new press with flat plates is like buying a Ferrari and driving it only through school zones.” Sleeves also embrace new technologies like extended gam- ut and OpaltoneTM. The uniformity, consistency, and registration of sleeves combined with the ink transference, density, and resolution of digitally engraved elastomers allow faster printing speeds with superior quality. This allows printers to leverage new technologies to achieve ROI now, instead of later. ELASTOMER’S INHERENT ADVANTAGE Cost, perceived supply chain problems, and limited inventories have held back the use of elastomer sleeves in America, but new advances in imaging and manufacturing Below surface engraving reduces the risks of printing shoulders and inconsistent dot gains. Control of the shoulders allows for razor sharp text even at 1 and 2 point and the ability to print smaller reverse text without “filling in.” Imaging with a direct laser can create stronger dots than that of the Laser Ablated Mask system used in polymer plates and sleeves. 52 FLEXO oCtoBer 2012 www.flexography.org