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FLEXO Magazine : March 2013
Technologies & Techniques Wider Options for Narrow Choices Technologies Merge, in-line gets upgraded By Jason Manders Sometimes you have to invent a solution; sometimes the answer is right in front of you. For years, narrow web flexo press technology has been happily evolving with moderate improvements and advancements. The in-line industry has been satisfied with the technology, but of desire and necessity, always wants more. Meanwhile, the wide web world has also been advancing, albeit at a different level of technology and performance. Since the customer base for the wide and narrow industries are mostly segmented, it’s likely neither knew what the other was missing. Recently, the gap has been closed. GROUND UP DESIGN It is a common practice in design to make incremental improvements and refinements to equipment. Designers take what they know works in concept, and make it better. If a feature, not currently offered by a manufacturer or the in- dustry, hasn’t been requested by the customer base because it doesn’t add value or return on investment, they may simply not know what they ’re missing. Close up view of a single print deck in the els Max. 48 FLeXO MarCh 2013 www.flexography.org MELDING TWO WORLDS • Developers kept one eye on the wide web platform and one eye on narrow web and merged robust proven technology from two similar industries—the result: a press platform that enhances efficiency and profitability • Automation allows certain systems to be set to “cruise control” • Line shafts and hand knobs are a thing of the past • Viscosity control, peristaltic pumps, and a force controlled doctor chamber ensure the ink flow is maintained per specification, automatically... ” Set it and forget it!” • Automatic job setup systems get the machine running sellable print faster • Impression and registration systems kick in to get the machine into production in fewer than two press lengths of material