by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : February 2013
Despite all of the recognized and accepted benefits as- sociated with the use of round print forms, the actual adop- tion rates have varied significantly from region to region. In Europe, there are more than 25 round imaging and process- ing systems installed in a variety of flexible packaging trade shops and printers, and continuous print sleeve usage has grown steadily since the early 2000s. In North America, sleeve volume is less than half that of Western Europe—even though the flexographic flexible packaging industry is approximately the same size in both regions. Why? For DuPont Packaging Graphics, this is an important ques- tion. With a long-standing belief in the benefits of continuous print sleeves for flexo, and continuing investments in the development of the Cyrel® Round continuous print sleeve offering, the question is: “Are we in fact working on a technol- ogy that fits the needs of the American market?” CARRIER TECHNOLOGY Cyrel® Round continuous print sleeves were first introduced in 2003. These ready-to-image sleeves—sometimes referred to as ‘blanks’—were available in two gauges and were designed for a solvent process sleeve-making workflow. After imaging on an Esko CDI with in-the-round imaging capabili- ties, the sleeves were exposed and processed in a dedicated, solvent based processing system that took about three hours from start to finish. These round “In-Liners”—as these processors were called—were large and expensive; but highly productive and were quickly adopted by European trade shops that make most of the plates used by wide web flexo printers. In North America, on the other hand, a high percentage of flexible packaging printers have their own platemaking departments or an in-house managed facility provided by an aligned trade shop. The original in-liners were not particularly well-suited to the needs of these users. The Cyrel® FAST Round sleeve processing system, which was introduced in 2010 has a much better fit with the North American flexible packaging industry. With its small foot- print, the elimination of processing solvents, and a very rapid turn-around time, this was a technology that better fit the realities of the market, and four of these systems have been installed here so far. ROUND SUPPLY CHAIN Perhaps a greater obstacle to the adoption of round im- age carriers has been the supply chain for both the sleeves and the compressible adapters required for use with some types of sleeves. A flexo platemaker can easily keep a box of flat-sheet photopolymer on the shelf and then trim the plates to the size required for the individual jobs on an as-needed basis. Sleeve blanks, on the other hand, are a make-to-order item produced for the specific printing repeat and press width www.flexography.org february 2013 FLEXO 25 finished base sleeve awaiting the application of a photopolymer layer. all manufacturing operations take place in “clean room” environments. Manufacturing photos: DuPont Packaging Graphics.