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FLEXO Magazine : March 2013
More and more end users like the flexibility of short run, small order quantities that a digital printing market can ac- commodate. The advantage of digital printing is that there is no makeready, so converters can go from job to job with fairly short changeovers. Advancements in this technology also give faster running speeds with wider print formats that provide converters the ability to enter into the mid-size order market and still be competitive. The addition of small web seaming machines has allowed converters to enter the shrink sleeve market at half the cost that was previously needed. These small seamers were developed for short run, small orders. These 200 mm layflat size machines have the ability to run the majority of the sleeve sizes currently in the market. This flexibility allows for a converter to enter the market at a lower cost, but still have the capability to cover most customers’ shrink sleeve printing needs. Karlville Development has designed the K1 seamer for the entry level and digital converter, so it can enter the market with a low initial investment of $50,000 USD. The machine can also be used as an inspection machine, which increases the value of the initial equipment investment. To inspect the seamed rolls the operator will just need to make some minor adjustments to the machine by adding a set of rollers and then the seamed rolls are passed through the machine again in order to inspect the seam integrity. In addition to seaming, converters will also need to be able to inspect and cut labels depending on customers’ needs. The inspection process will check the shrink sleeve’s integrity and quality. During the inspection process the shrink sleeve can also be wound to the correct quantity per roll if the sleeve is being shipped to the customer as rolls. Shrink sleeves may also be sold as individual pieces. In this case, after the labels have been inspected they will be Shrink sleeve maker developed for the entry level and digital converter. 42 FLEXO march 2013 www.flexography.org