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Akzo advances UV flexo and screen

Akzo Nobel Inks claims “ground-breaking results” for its new Uvoscreen II CombiWhite — an opaque white ink for combination UV screen/UV flexo print on narrow web presses. Developed specifically to provide a crisp, solid white base with perfect over-printability with UV flexo (particularly half tones), it is said to offer 20 per cent greater opacity than other screen inks. At the same time, says the company, it can be run at 60-70m/min – “a nearly 50 per cent improvement on current press speeds”.

According to Niklas Olsson, global brand manager, narrow web: ‘While opaque white screen inks have been used successfully for years with the UV letterpress process, printing UV flexo over a screen ink has historically given poor results, with low colour strength and poor dot reproduction. The thin and sensitive flexo ink layer does not sit happily on a screened base printed with normal screen inks, due to the conflict in surface tensions. We engineered Uvoscreen II CombiWhite in such a way that this conflict no longer occurs.”

He adds: “We have naturally conducted exhaustive trials to prove its properties – and both we and our press and printer partners in the trials are really excited with the outcome. Uvoscreen II genuinely helps you achieve better results, faster.”

The new ink will be of particular interest to manufacturers of toiletries, cosmetics, and beers, where a screen printed ground is often used for improved pack aesthetics and text legibility. It is said to be especially suitable for ‘no-label look’ applications. Tests on a variety of substrates including PVC, PE, PP, PS and PET are said to have demonstrated the ink’s good all-round on-pack performance characteristics – low curl, good scratch and scuff resistance, and resistance to water, chemicals, and autoclaving.

Uvoscreen II CombiWhite can be overprinted with other Uvoscreen inks for all-over screen printed labels, and with most other UV flexo and letterpress inks. Supplied press-ready at optimal viscosity, it is suitable for a variety of UV rotary screen systems, and formulated for all types of screen mesh.

Niklas Olsson comments: “It really offers a breakthrough in the kind of high impact graphics you can achieve with combination UV flexo and screen. It’s a speciality ink, however, and special ‘housekeeping’ is required to avoid contamination and achieve the desired results. We also recommend in-line corona treatment when printing on film substrates.

More information from Niklas Olsson, Akzo Nobel Inks – TEL: +46 (0)410 59302. WEBSITE: www.aninks.com

Corrugated claims ‘near preprint standards’

To meet the increasing market demands for point-of-sale/transit cases that combine cost effectiveness with high quality, Rigid Corrugated is now offering “near preprint standards” combined with lower origination charges. Initially, the company is decorating the corrugated fibreboard cases in up to five colours, including varnish, with a sixth colour option soon to follow.

The new print capability – which also allows shorter production runs – follows installation of an advanced Bobst Masterflex post-print press. This represented a £2M investment by the UK based company, which has plants in Desborough and Selby, and is part of VPK Packaging.

More information from Claire Medhurst, Rigid Corrugated – TEL: +44 (0)1536 760266.

Made to master cartons

Canada’s Arpeco plans to sell its Cartonmaster narrow web systems in the UK and Ireland.

Cartonmaster combines flexo printing with rotary embossing, foil transfer, die cutting and pin stripping in one pass. Available in 407, 558 and 660mm web widths, it is claimed to be economic on short runs and floor space compared with traditional carton making processes.

A recent innovation is the Injector System. This uses flexible steel tooling without having to change magnetic cylinders, eliminating on-going investment in repeat-specific tooling and associated change-over time, according to Arpeco.

More information from Fred E Zinnbauer, Arpeco – TEL: +44 (0)161 406 8330. EMAIL: salesuk@arpeco.com WEBSITE: www.arpeco.com

Swing to UV print on heat sealed lids

Lid and closure print specialist Chadwicks has partnered its ink supplier, Sun Chemical, to establish a state of the art proofing laboratory. As part of Chadwicks’ swing to flexo UV printing on polyester substrates, Sun has designed a range of odour-free inks capable of handling the high temperatures involved in the heat sealing of containers for food and dairy products.

Bury, UK based Chadwicks installed its first Mark Andy UV flexo press last January and is converting a second. “Our partnership with Sun has made a major contribution to our progress,” says production director Jonathan Marriott.

More information from Jonathan Marriott, Chadwicks – TEL: +44 (0)161 7632100.

Alpha better

Taglil, of Tel-Aviv, Israel, is the latest label manufacturer to invest in Edale’s Alpha. Due to his growing business, owner, Ron Cohen required a five colour press that was economical, compact but yet gave excellent print quality.

“The Alpha outscored my expectations”, he reports. “It incorporates all the features I was missing on my old press. Due to its clever design, the machine will not take up much room in my factory and yet the print quality is as good as any other larger flexo machine. I will certainly get a return on my investment in terms of productivity.”

Other machines in the Edale range include the recently launched Sigma. A dedicated packaging press using the latest ‘shaftless’ technology, this model is built individually to meet each customer’s requirements.

More information from Bernhard Grob, Edale – TEL: +44 (0)1794 524422. WEBSITE: www.edale.co.uk

Czech this press

An eight colour mid-web CI Somaflex Mini UV flexo press was recently supplied to a converter in the Czech Republic to print high quality flexible packaging and shrink sleeve labels with a resolution of up to 80 lines/cm.

The machine is equipped with a CDTS central drum thermal stabilization system designed to negate press frame temperature fluct-uation. According to Soma, the optimal dynamic properties needed for print quality are ensured by its rigid construction, as well as use of cylindrical roll bearings, ball screws and needle bearings.

UK based GEW supplied a specially designed Nuva water cooled UV curing system for the press.

More information from David Horton, GEW – TEL: +44 (0)1737 824500.

Combative competitor

With 60 Combat flexo presses installed worldwide last year, Italian manufacturer Gidue is targeting the label and packaging markets for 2003.

The FS Combat narrow web machine can use solvent based flexo inks for flexible packaging work. Inter-station drying on this 530mm wide press has been totally redesigned. In place of infra red dryers, it has large double-flow air fans, with infinitely variable power supply and temperature control. These Flexo Storm dryers for solvent based inks are said to achieve production speeds 150m/min without solvent retention in any working condition, and on any substrate.

The chilled drums have also been enlarged to give higher surface exposure to the air flow and good web transportation through the press. Tension control is provided by the digitally assisted DDM system included in all F – Combat presses. Servo driven print cylinders, infeed and outfeed, rotary die cutting and sheeting, non stop unwinder and rewinder are available as options.

More information from Cristina Toffolo, Gidue – TEL: +39 02 9668181. EMAIL: gidue@gidue.com WEBSITE: www.gidue@gidue.com

Chronos takes after Tachys

Flexotecnica’s new Chronos gearless flexo press supersedes its Tachys Fast and consolidates the technology of the Tachys eight colour gearless and 10 colour models, and the Tachys F8G for large printing repeats.

The Chronos is an eight colour CI press, fully sleeved, and said to be well suited for short runs, with excellent print quality and job change-over “in a few minutes”. The control system has all the functions of the original Tachys, enabling the operator to enter new jobs or recall those previously memorized to set up the press automatically for the selected print run.

The new machine is available in widths from 1,000-1,270mm, print repeats from 340-750mm and speeds up to 300m/min.It can be supplied with turret winders for automatic splicing to 1,000mm reel diameter, quick release doctor blade chambers, and edge guides before printing and rewinding. It can also be retrofitted with an auto wash-up system, and a video camera with auto-register setting.

More information from Anna Maria Dornini, Flexotecnica – TEL: +39 0371 443 396. EMAIL: annamaria.dornini@flexotecnica.it WEBSITE: www.flexotecnica.it

Three in a row at Labelgraphics

The installation of a third high spec Gallus EM 280 flexo line at the Labelgraphics plant in Glasgow marks another step in the company’s ‘pursuit of excellence’, according to managing director Alex Mulvenny. The latest Gallus, a 10 colour machine, is equipped with a corona treater, two rotary screen units, delam/relam facilities, turner bars, hotfoil embossing and varnishing capabilities, and twin slide-away die heads. It also has full UV curing.

Seen as additional insurance for meeting deadlines, the three Gallus presses have: “raised average hourly output from 1,000 to 2,000m in a decade, and lifted the quality of printed dot to a position where comparisons with litho are too close to call,” according to general manager, Eddie Owens.

Work at Labelgraphics spans 1,000 to 10M labels on a variety of substrates from self adhesive paper stocks to filmics used for ‘clear on clear’ products.

More information from Gallus Group UK – TEL: 01763 242244 www.gallus.ch