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FLEXO Magazine : August 2014
BRANCHING OUT Nilpeter’s engineering team observed, “Today’s converters are con- stantly challenged to reduce cost and offer the highest quality. Presses, designed from the ground up, offer the most precise reproduction and print quality, as well as the tightest tolerances available with the absolute highest level of automation. This makes it ideal for penetrat- ing high end flexible packaging, health and beauty, and the wine and spirits markets. With lean inking systems, plate sleeve technology, quick change converting and a list of added value decorative offerings, the versatile platforms are the logical choice for the converter ready to take advantage of these emerging markets.” Omet marketers agreed: “The printer’s request is to be efficient and preserve margins when printing short to long runs and simple to diffi- cult jobs. What seemed impossible years ago is now accessible. Presses have become modular and flexible to adapt quickly to the shortening of runs, easily accept variability in designs and face just in time (JIT) deliveries. “Label presses can switch to flexible packaging printing, having all the pressure and tension controls suitable for both applications,” Omet’s experts noted. “Folding cartons and flexible film are managed by the same press with the addition of special converting sections, etc. “Flexo has reached the highest levels with regard to printing quality and consistency, as well as operational flexibility,” they proclaimed. “Flexo is by far the most used process technology for the printing of labels, not only self adhesive but any kind—shrink sleeves, in mold, pouches, bags, etc.—and flexible packaging. Presses are digitally con- trolled and jobs are repeatable with predictable results.” SUPERIOR INTELLIGENCE When designing a press, automation plays a fundamental role. Ac- cording to Omet, “When you blend different technologies, the control over processes must be total—register control systems, tension, temperature, pressure, speed—must be highly automated, in order to reduce the possibility of error, promote the replicability of jobs and maintain the best working conditions.” Servo technology is not the last frontier of technology. Advancements are around the corner. Processing of data acquired through cameras and sensors are digitally analyzed to keep total control over press work. Manufacturers explained in unison, “Servo motors are mere equipment controlled by a superior intelligence, moving the press and carrying forward the process workflow. Mechanics are still important but digital controls and mechatronics (mechanics and electronics) have conquered the place of honor.” Nilpeter noted that with several servo motors on each print station, all critical printing parameters can be saved and stored in the press memory bank. This allows for total print position recall, not just register recall. This level of automation also allows for all press settings what appears simple is often Qualitaly! M3 Digital Flexo Digital Automation for controlled quality, AUGUST 2014 | FLEXO 65