Chronos clinches Clifton’s move to high definition
Clifton Packaging, in Leicester, UK, focuses on high quality stand-up pouches and food packaging, and expects its new Flexotecnica Chronos flexo press to “take the achievable quality to the next level with high definition results”.
Company chairman Khalid Sheikh explains: “The Chronos will expand our productivity with its fast job change-over, increased flexibility and superior peripheral equipment to meet the most demanding packaging designs, giving our customers a vital competitive edge”.
The new press has eight colours around the CI drum with print and anilox sleeve technology and a gearless servodrive system. Flexotecnica’s Insetter feature uses an eltromat DRC register control system to give second pass registration for the capability of 8+8 colour printing – an added value option available from a limited number of suppliers in the UK.
The machine is fitted with an AVT PrintVision Jupiter automatic defect detection system said to be one of the most advanced installed in the UK to date. Its software includes: pRegister for closed loop colour to colour print register set-up; Presco, which simultaneously sets plate and anilox pressures of all colour units at the start of each job; I?Eal for colour monitoring; and ABCv for in-line verification of printed bar codes.
Flexotecnica designed the Chronos “to introduce the latest servo communications and operator friendliness to a gearless press”. The specification includes an in-line slitting system, turret winders for automatic splicing, quick release doctor blade chambers, edge guides before printing and rewinding, inking, and auto wash-up and viscosity control systems.
Management of the print process is controlled by the FNC-3000 system, which stores all parameters for recall on repeat runs, and the press has a production speed of 350m/min, maximum web width of 1,320mm and a print repeat of 800mm – ideal for Clifton’s short and medium run work.
Pamarco picks EskoArtwork CDI flexo suite
EskoArtwork has supplied a full CDI flexographic suite to the Pamarco Global Graphics Imaging Division in Nelson, UK. The investment, which includes Esko DeskPack, JDF workflow and Esko WebCenter, will enable Pamarco to grow its plate production capabilities in the flexible packaging and labelling sectors. The company is also developing integrated systems with MIS and JDF software linking its three divisions in the UK.
Pamarco invested around £400,000 in 2007 and plans an additional £100,000 in proofing technology for 2008. Dave McBeth, vice president, sales and operations, explains: “This is all part of a fundamental strategy to integrate our systems and link our three divisions into one operation in the UK. We have a core team of industry experts working in IT, prepress, production and plate making. To become the supplier of choice we have set up an initiative called Value in Print.”
Steve Sullivan, plant manager at Nelson, comments: “A very important factor in the selection criteria was that EskoArtwork’s software integrates perfectly with our existing MIS system. We are working with the JDF capabilities in the workflow suite and integrating the BackStage server with our MIS to link up our three divisions. As we streamline our operation and examine cost and time savings, this will become the perfect business management tool from ordering through production to invoicing.
“In the prepress studio, the fully automated workflow has cut down manual interrogation of files,” he continues. “Operators can now use their time more efficiently. We are also in the process of installing WebCenter to improve file management and remote access.” He reports that in the plate making room, the large format Esko CDI Spark 5080 with Optics 40 has provided noticeable increases in the speed of plate production and is speeding up throughput dramatically.
The investment will play a key role in Pamarco’s Value in Print initiative, designed to maximize its customer service as one supplier offering a complete service. The Value in Print team will be led by technical director Dudley Underwood, who is also technical director of EFTA, and will address improvements in productivity, quality of product and most importantly, consistency.
Sleeves to suit labels
While the number of machines with sleeve technology is growing in label printing, many users are still hesitant about using them. Rotec’s answer is a new version of its Blue Light series especially for use in the labels segment.
Demonstrated at Labelexpo 2007 on machines from Nilpeter, MPS and Mark Andy, the Blue Light Label is said to have a very high dimensional stability right through to the outer edge zones of the sleeve. The printing characteristics and service life have also been improved compared with the standard version.
The new sleeve’s multilayer structure of synthetic resins and composite fibres is said to guarantee constant characteristics even after intensive use. In addition to the greater dimensional stability, these include constant parallelism of the sleeve during printing and exact register behaviour.
Blue Light Label sleeves are available with a wall thickness of 12mm and face widths up to 600mm. Said to be sturdy yet lightweight, they are designed for conventional plate mounting with foamed adhesive tape, are suitable for all plate and tape strengths and have a tough polyurethane surface resistant to scratches, cuts and solvents.
X factor performance
Omet claims its recently launched X-Flex press “sets a new performance benchmark for narrow web flexo”, with a ‘straight through’ web path for exceptionally low waste and high print stability. With only 1,650mm of substrate per print station, the
X-Flex is said to produce the lowest waste – only 30m of waste on an eight colour machine.
Additional features include a gearless/shaftless sleeve design, a new ink pan that requires only 0.25l to print, a gearless anilox system for rapid change-overs, and the Vision-1 automatic register control system, which adjusts both machine and lateral web directions on each print station.
The X-Flex is available in 340 and 430mm web widths and is capable of running materials from 12 micron unsupported film to 250 micron cartonboard.
Responding to requirements
Over the past 12 months, US press builder PCMC has been listening to its customers on the issues of waste elimination, ease of operation, safety, energy efficiency and the environment. It has responded with the PrintReady automatic impression memory system, Vortex HP with solvent saver, eXtreme energy efficient drying technology and Access Systems for efficient and safe change-over.
PrintReady is said to reduce set-up time and cut waste material dramatically. It automatically sets impressions by remembering previous isettings and adjusting historical set points. It is 100 per cent software, so there is no maintenance and no disturbance from substrate, inks or dust. No operator intervention is required and it is said to work seamlessly with any print register system.
Vortex HP is claimed to wash a complete 10 colour press in four minutes or perform a complete double fill wash in less than eight, saving valuable change-over time. It also features a waste eliminating solvent saver.
The patented eXtreme drying technology uses electrically heated compressed air from a dedicated compressor and is said to have a better heat transfer capability than conventional systems. The compessor also helps to reduce moisture levels, for better drying.
Modularity means more
With the current trend towards more versatility dictating a modular construction principle, the latest Gallus offerings are the wider RCS 430 model, a combination of flexo, offset, screen, and coldfoil capability, and the EM 340 S, with sleeve technology and hybrid print units for water base and UV flexo, as well as screen and foil for a wide range of substrates.
The Gallus EM 280 – “the flexo benchmark for aspiring label converters” – continues to evolve, with a new outfeed section and substrate thickness compensation extending the machine’s versatility. The latest versions also include a chambered doctor blade system, and a hotfoil saving and hologram insetting device to give greater flexibility and productivity on both simple and sophisticated labels.
Gallus staged two flexo seminars in 2007. The first looked at its EM S machine as part of an embedded workflow situation; the second, gave a world launch to the KM S line.
MPS claims to have initiated a significant change in flexo inking technology. The Dutch press builder has developed an “operator friendly” single chamber system that eliminates the meter roller and doctor blade.
The single chamber is mounted on a slidable rail and features automatic ink level control; gearless anilox roller technology; use of anilox handles; and re-use of standard anilox cleaning devices. Advantages claimed include: self regulating inking pressure; no ink spitting; higher speeds; and faster cleaning times.
Compact gearless in 10 colours
Carint has further developed its Cyberflex gearless press range. The well established Cyberflex 1708 compact model of the 8 CI gearless series will be joined by a newly engineered 10 colour compact Cyberflex 2010 model. During drupa 2008, the Italian manufacturer (Hall 10, stand 10A24), will present the new Cyberflex design in eight and 10 colour configurations. These gearless HS (High Speed) presses will offer “the proven reliability of the Cyberflex range, a new level of automation with advanced control systems and a highly developed mechanical configuration innovative for the market”.
One of Carint’s most significant projects is aimed at applying the concept of rotogravure on its central impression machines. The first press is said to be already running to the customer’s full satisfaction and others are to be delivered this spring.
Boelter back to BHS
A recent sales success for BHS was the installation of a second Flexline Compact press at Boelter Industries, in Winona, USA. The first, delivered in 2005, allowed Boelter to develop its capacity for printing high quality graphics and process work using flexo. The two presses are identically specified.
The latest Flexline Compact, fitted with automatic unwind and in-line flatbed die cutter, is already in full production. Says company president Les Boelter: “BHS managed to successfully interface with our existing die cutter so we had instant start-up. The press offers us excellent trapping properties, even when printing heavy solids downline, thanks to the high performance fitted dryers after print each station.”
This enables Boelter to print high volume ink laydowns as well as fine process line screens, and is a real benefit when using water base inks, as most print designs require both techniques. The servodriven BHS press is said to excel at vignettes, with no slurring or gear marking. “The only limit on speed is the flatbed die cutter, which tops out at 800ft/min”, comments Les Boelter.
Says Dennis Boelter, general manager: “We unwind, print, and die cut all in-line in a single pass, ending up with a finished blank ready for the finishing department. This type of productivity cannot be matched by traditional sheet-fed printing with off-line converting.”
Making their Mark
The XP5000 was Mark Andy’s first press with servodrive technology – used to achieve precise preregister and reregister and control of every tooling unit, including the die station. This makes for intuitive job set-up and operation of the press and gives full access to the entire operating system from any of the control panels. Troubleshooting can be carried out on-line or off-line.
The company also relaunched its best selling 2200 series (more than 2,000 installations worldwide). Available in three versions, the 2200 now claims to offer greater versatility and reliability. All three models can be upgraded at any stage to meet the growing needs of a customer’s business.
At Labelexpo, Comco gave a European debut to its new C2 series press, which features the
I-Drive – an advanced application of the servodrive. Designed for the production of labels, flexible packaging and folding cartons, the C2 promises fast change-overs, “virtually offset print quality” and an ergonomic design with modularity allowing a wide degree of production flexibility.