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FLEXO Magazine : May 2013
• Faster set up times that support the opportunity to take on more jobs and generate significant increases in incre- mental revenue Based on converters’ initial experiences with QCDC, Flexographic Technical Association named it the winner of its prestigious Technical Innovation Award for 2013. It was one of two honorees in the heavy machinery classification; the other being Berry Plastics Indirect Flexo process (see page 42). Supporting documentation, included with Mark Andy ’s winning entry, stressed QCDC’s ability to unlock capacity and profitability on the Performance Series press. “Faster change- overs, faster running speeds, and fewer matrix breaks can lead to 45 percent capacity creation,” states John Howard, product manager, Mark Andy. “Based on production data, a typical two-shift flexo printing/converting operation that runs 3,720 straight forward jobs per year can grow that number to 4,724 with incorporation of a QCDC station.” With 1,494 more jobs per year, total revenue gain, based on today ’s dollars for one press running two shifts, over five years, would total $5.9 million in incremental revenue. Howard adds, “In 10 years’ time, that figure leaps to $11.7 million.” CREATED WITH PURPOSE QCDC die cutting technology was created for the Mark Andy Performance Series flexo printing platform (winner of FTA’s Technical Innovation Award in 2011—see FLEXO June 2011, page 28 and October 2011, cover and page 50). Any new model P5 or P7 press, as well as the 200+ existing instal- lations, can be configured or retrofitted with single or dual- station QCDC die cut capability. According to Howard, “Traditional die cut designs are vertical. We found that components, if not properly aligned, could produce inconsistent cuts based on surface contact. QCDC was designed with stiffer components and refined, in-line cylinder alignment, providing more consistent cuts without liner strikes and better die line squareness to fit the printed image.” Height from floor to top of die station is 38-in. Howard asserts that this horizontal, in-line roll geometry holds rolls (die, support, anvil) more securely, eliminating deflection and inconsistencies and allows an operator to manage a die changeover without bending, lifting, reaching or straining. Furthermore, he maintains, “The top guard design allows complete access to the entire die station during setups, some- thing press operators really appreciate.” Elaborating on those points, Howard notes that the horizon- tal layout of die station components gives more stability and consistency to die pressure. Rolls are able to run cooler, with little to no expansion or contraction. Thinner material liners are cut more consistently, causing little to no liner strikes; all of these resulting in more accurate die lines and reduced waste. KEY ATTRIBUTES QCDC technology is described by Mark Andy as a com- pletely new approach to die cutting. Key attributes include pushbutton hydraulic tractor actuation, cassette and cart system designed to load in less than one minute and capstan tension regulation allowing high-speed matrix removal. Howard explains, “At the push of a button, tractors are hydraulically moved away from the die for die removal or are hydraulically moved to load the die for cutting, eliminating the need to remove tractors for changeover. Hydraulic actuation provides precise pressure, displayed on gauges, which is pro- grammable, and can be saved and recalled for repeat jobs. ” www.flexography.org may 2013 FLEXO 47 QCDC was designed with stiffer components and refined, in-line cylinder alignment, providing more consistent cuts without liner strikes, as well as better die line squareness to fit the printed image.