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FLEXO Magazine : August 2014
to be captured for future runs. “Regardless of operator, the next label produced will look just like the last from previous runs.” Elaborating on the point, they added, “Servo has revolutionized flexo press offerings. No longer are we concerned with mechanical degrada- tion and parts wear. No longer are we concerned with gear backlash or torsional line shaft whip. Servo motors perform as well on day 1,000 as on day one. We can store all critical servo motor positioning for future recall of production and produce higher quality at a lower cost.” Mark Andy management seemingly echoed that point. “Presses need to be equipped with tools that can effectively monitor and report on the various factors that go into a print job (material, ink, overhead, etc.) . This information can provide feedback measur- ability, traceability and visibility, as well as machine performance indicators for better decision making and production floor plan- ning. Equipment that has these advanced automation technologies provides the printer with the tools to effectively manage these costs and improve productivity in the operation.” They expressed this opinion: “Being able to provide a high quality product consistently at an affordable price is going to keep customers profitable for any application segment they are supporting. On press automated systems, such as pre registration, registration management, job save and recall, are all processes that can ensure that consistency. “New press platforms feature the latest fully integrated independent servo drives, which allow for more precise control of the various tooling compo- nents of the print station, including anilox, impression and plate mandrel, creating more accurate positioning of tooling and more precise control of web feed rates. All of these add up to more precise print registration, higher print quality and consistency coming off the press,” Mark Andy engineers concluded. Visionaries at the St. Louis firm also said that, “In the future, we see servos playing more of a role in diagnostic and corrective action processes, transmit- ting errors and issues within the print to the control system, which will gen- erate reports and allow for corrective actions to be made.” To date, several manufacturers indicat- ed that automation of setup processes has eliminated multiple steps, allowed for repeatable settings, automated po- sitioning of all print head components, eliminated time consuming adjust- ments for repeat changes, incorporat- ed servo driven registration systems and shortened web paths—all leading to faster makereadies and higher efficiencies. A print station setup can be completed in less than 30 seconds, as open access design provides no obstruction, fewer operator adjustments and fully auto- mated pre and re registration.” Short web paths and small minimal repeat size are credited with low- ering plate costs and reducing labor requirements. MULTI PROCESS PRINTING Multi process printing, the combination inline of different tech- nologies for printing, converting and finishing all in one pass, has alleviated the need for offline re working, consequently saving time, personnel and energy costs, not to mention the space needed to ac- commodate different machines to obtain the same result. Omet said, “Such hybrid presses do accept any job, from the simplest to the most complex, capable as they are to adapt quickly to the next job specifica- tions. Specialty graphics, handling of difficult substrates, lamination, hot foiling, etc., are easy tasks, thanks to the availability of a whole array of tested, first rate printing and finishing groups.” Mark Andy also declared, “Combination printing is critical and in high demand across flexo converters in North America and beyond. Flexibility is key to success for the future of converters. Having the right interchangeable technology in place allows a converter to respond to a variety of demands from buyers. The more options and greater flexibility give the converter more control over what and how quickly it delivers labels and packages.” PATENTED TECHNOLOGIES Options are everywhere. That said, FLEXO® asked narrow web press manufacturers to comment on a few distinguishing features of their brands and lines. The collection of technologies singled out for men- tion follows. It is organized by manufacturer. GIDUE Digital Flexo Excellence is a system of technologies developed to “digitize” and “automate” the workflow, setup and run of a flexog- raphic press for labels and packaging. Process consistency, efficiency and cost reduction are the objectives of REVO Digital Flexo Revolution. Extensive Digital Automation in the printing press is needed to collect all the opportunities. On the GIDUE printing and con- verting sections, servo motors and digital HD cameras substitute the eyes and fingers of the operator with digital eyes and digital fingers. The wide 17-in. M5 GIDUE UV Flexo press contains all aspects of the Excellence Technology: ExcelPrint, ExcelDie and ExcelCut for the automatic “non stop” exchange of print cylinders, magnetic and flexible dies. Mark Andy focuses on the converters’ pain points and works diligent- ly to find ways to alleviate or overcome specific converter challenges. The firm calls this “Business Responsive Technology.” Mark Andy QCDC MPS Print Sleeve Up, Drawer Closed MPS iControl Nilpeter Cleaninking 66 FLEXO | AUGUST 2014