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Events, innovations, installations and applications

EFTA events

Over 650 tickets for the Annual EFTA Print Awards Dinner have been sold already. The judging was completed over two days in November and nominees have been informed. Again hosted by Steve Rider, the event will take place, during flexo 2005, on March 16, at the Hilton Metropole NEC. It offers an ideal opportunity to network with the industry as well as having a very enjoyable evening, celebrating the best in flexography. To ensure your place, contact Lorraine Thyer on for a booking form.

The 2005 EFTA Masterclass in flexography will run from April 5-7. Limited to 10 delegate places, students will design a flexo job, provide the repro specification, make the plates, chose the printing parameters and print the job “in less than the two days”. Support is provided by EFTA experts from Connect Digital Imaging, BASF Printing Systems and Coates Lorilleux, and chaired by David Galton, of Asahi Photoproducts (UK).

The residential programme for flexo will again be held at the National Print Skills Centre in Leicester. Tutored by Les Taylor, the association’s technical training manager, and supported by industry practitioners, the courses aim to introduce staff to all aspects of flexo, including colour, repro, inks anilox and plates. They culminate in a one-day practical where students learn how to make and mount plates, and print a job. The Level 3 course concentrates on advanced skills, including fingerprinting and fault finding. Both courses include a closed book examination and Level 3 students are encouraged to complete an in-house assignment to gain an EFTA Diploma. Course fees include all accommodation and meal cost as well as examination fees, and students will receive a detailed handbook. The courses will run on the following dates: Level 2 (February 8-11, April 19-22, May 24-27, June 21-24, September 13-16, November 15-18. Course fees are EFTA members £750+VAT, non members £950+VAT. Level 3 (March 1-4, October 11-14). Course Fees are: EFTA members £900+VAT, non members £1,200+VAT

Following last year’s successful two-day workshops on Lean Manufacturing for the flexo industry, a third workshop was held in January. It focused on improving productivity and efficiency through the introduction of Lean Techniques. Delegates learnt about quick change-over techniques, waste management, total productive maintenance, 5 S and using OPE as a measure of effectiveness. A full workbook complete with many practical examples was included.

In addition to its residential courses, EFTA has developed a two-day programme for staff responsible for on-the-job training. It covers: Basic Principles of Learning; Giving Effective Training; Using Visual Aid; Effective Communication; Lesson Planning; Developing Instructional Skills; Coaching and Mentoring. Cost of the course is £350 plus VAT, including all accommodation costs and a detailed workbook.

Narrow web plate mounter

New from Camis, the Irismall 600 flexo plate mounter for label and tape printers is designed to enable narrow web printers to mount plates quickly and accurately. It is built with solid, yet lightweight aluminium and steel frames fitted with a “highly accurate” camera optical rail and cylinder support beam. Manually displaced high magnification cameras are linked to individual digital position indicators, allowing multiple plates to be laid without the need for extra cameras.

The 12in split-screen monitor provides for simultaneous control of registration of the microdots and/or crosshairs. The ergonomically designed mounting table supplied allows large plates to be positioned in register prior to attaching the double-sided tape, reducing the possibility of damage to the polyester liner and of introducing fugitive air bubbles in the tape.

The Irismall 600 can accommodate a maximum sleeve width of 600mm and repeat ranges from 200-800mm. lt can handle cylinders, sleeves and cones. Customers can specify a cantilevered sleeve change system (mandrel excluded) or adjustable cones for shaftless printing cylinders. An optional moveable support trolley is also available.

Eurograv is the worldwide distributor for the Camis range of flexo plate mounting machinery

More technology follows 2004 success

Mark Andy’s UK subsidiary reports a successful 2004 for narrow web flexo press sales in the UK and Ireland. Say managing director Paul Briggs: “We’re delighted with the 16 press sales we’ve achieved in what remains a slow market, particularly as 10 have been of the new Mark Andy LP3000 flexo line which was launched only last year.”

Building on the success of the LP3000, Mark Andy previewed its servo driven stablemate, the XP5000, at Labelexpo in Chicago last year. It will be the second of three new lines from the company. The third, the XT platform series, the new Comco press range, will preview at Labelexpo 2005.

Partners in plates – and sleeves

Rotec has appointed Pamarco Global Graphics as its exclusive distributor in the UK and Ireland, selling the full range of Rotec sleeves, Greyback build-up material, and RPC plate cleaning machines.

Pamarco’s package of complementary products and services includes anilox engraving for both rolls and sleeves, which already incorporate Rotec’s Ani Light base sleeve. Added to this are repro and polymer plate making services, and Pamarco’s consumable products, including Care cleaning solutions, tapes, plate materials, filtration systems and proofers.

Rotec customers will also have the choice of using Pamarco’s web based EasyQuote system at, where they can use the on-line price calculator to cost any variant or specification of sleeve, and process the order.

Gidue making its mark

An E-Combat press supplied by Gidue has been used by Ciba Specialty Chemicals to run live demonstrations with Prime IT, a new surface modification technology to improve printing, coating and adhesion on plastics. The process grafts photoinitiator onto the film prior to printing. Hot air or IR removes the carrier and a UV station grafts the photoinitiator. The technology is being used to treat PP carton material converted in Italy for a dental whitening product.”

Gidue has also concentrated production of its anilox rollers at Praxair’s Centre of Excellence in Novara, providing better service and faster turnaround. In another development, Gidue has launched the Intelligent Register system for the E-Combat. Available on new models or as a retrofit, it enables the press to perform register set-up automatically without operator intervention – and to detect register behaviour on different substrates. Waste is said to be reduced and press register accuracy increased independently of substrate or speed changes.

Xtreme improvement in roll engraving

Harper Corp of America’s new XLT (Xtreme Laser Technology) anilox and coating roll system is said to create “levels of performance and line screen counts unachievable with current laser and ceramic surface technology”. Tests have accomplished “extremely clean high line-screen counts, with cell cavities even smoother” than the firm’s Platinum laser anilox.

The parabolic cell configuration is also said to provide steeper wall angles, which enhance the life expectancy and offer a higher ink-capacity-to-wear-ratio than conical cell profiles. The process will enhance overall consistency of each cell’s geometric properties around and across the roll, says Harper.

The company says its existing Echocel and Platinum processes will both be retired when the new technology is fully operational by the second half of this year.

Veris in first UK packaging application

Reproflex 3, the flexo reprographics specialist located near Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, is using a Creo Veris digital proofing system to produce contract quality, colour accurate proofs of flexo packaging work. The complete system includes Profile Wizard Mio, which simplifies the production of professional bespoke ICC profiles.

The Veris makes high resolution contone proofs based on Creo’s Multi-Drop Array inkjet technology. This is claimed to achieve colour control and image precision previously not possible with inkjet. It also ensures customer confidence with the Creo Certified Process, for a visible confirmation of the quality control, says the company.

“With our analogue Cromalin proofing system we had to do a lot of manual calibration, which was time consuming and costly. With Veris, we press a button and within 15min we have an accurate calibrated proof,” confirms Reproflex 3 director Andy Hewitson.

Chinese foothold well founded, says Omet

“The packaging market in China is full of opportunities. After a year of exploration, I can state that our decision to enter this market directly was the right one.” Angelo Bartesaghi has no doubts about the experience of Omet Shanghai – the new branch office his company opened in the business and industrial heart of China last year. Machines have already been installed at several Chinese companies, he says, “and many others will be soon be dispatched to customers”.

Among these is a 520mm web width Varyflex to print cartons. It features 10 in-line flexo units, suitable both for UV and water based inks, with hot air drying and a UV plant, reverse printing and silkscreen printing units, suitable for both UV and solvent based inks, and a rotogravure solvent printing unit. Two hologram insetters can be added, as well as hot foil and cold foil units, and two rotary die cutters.

Omet has also appointed Offlex Oy, as sole agent for its presses in Finland. The first machine sold is a 255mm wide Flexy press with six flexo units.

Three awards in a row for Alcan

Alcan Packaging Cumbria received the Flexo Grand Slam Award for its excellent use of the latest technology, realised by the Flexpress 16S/8 from Fischer & Krecke. The award, the first of its kind, was presented to John Callion, technical print manager for Alcan Packaging and his crew by Ralf Bendler, export manager of F&K, and Lawrence Wild, of UK agent Edlon Machinery.

This special award was presented to Alcan Cumbria for winning the FlexoTech International Awards’2003 ‘Supreme Winner’, EFTA’s 2004 ‘Best in Show’, and the USA FTA’s 2004 ‘Best in Show’. Both UK awards acknowledged the same winner, a print design for Safeway The Best Hand Cooked Chips, whilst the winner in the USA was a design for Scotbloc Plain Chocolate Flavour Cake Covering.

Speed up and energy costs down

Flexible packaging printer Schulz Flexodruck, in Baden-Baden, Germany, has installed a GEW (EC) NUVA water cooled UV curing system on its 800mm wide Soma CI flexo press. The UV system comprises eight water cooled UV lampheads – seven after each print station around the CI drum with an eighth unit on a remote station for varnishing. The lampheads are rated at 200W/cm, enabling the operator to run the press at up to 200m/min. Depending on colour application, tone and speed, UV output can be set individually for each lamphead and saved into a job memory program, thus managing energy costs.


Edale has redesigned its website “making it easier than ever to find or request the needed information”. The company, which opened a new factory last year, is also increasing the focus on its export markets and strengthening agent presence in many countries.

In the UK, Lüscher Flexo has secured accreditation to ISO9001:2000 – awarded for its procedures on the design, manufacture and post-sales service of its FlexPose!direct direct-laser ablation technology, used to image sleeves and plates, for flexo, dry offset and letterpress. Lüscher Flexo was formed in March, 2004, following the acquisition of ZED Instruments by Lüscher AG.

RK Print Coat Instruments has supplied FlexiProof colour communication systems to six French companies. The multi tasking unit has been purchased by organizations operating in board making and converting, ink additive and ink manufacturing, and security – the Banque de France. French companies such as Laboratories Fournier, Rhone-Poulenc Recher, Alsacienne Aluminium and Cebal have also taken RK’s Rotary Koater pilot printing, coating and laminating machine.

Liverpool, UK, packaging and label printer T W Parker has installed DuPont’s Cyrel FAST plate making system. The package comprises a DuPont Cyrel Digital Imager, a Cromalin AQ digital proofing system, and the Cyrel FAST processor.


Tel: +44 (0)7836 719 650
DuPont Cyrel
Tel: +44 1438 734863
Tel: +44 (0) 1458 241455
Tel: +44(0) 1794 524422
Tel: +44 (0) 1932 336262
Fischer & Krecke
Tel: +49 521 3048 112 www
Tel: +44 (0) 1737 824500
Tel: +39 02 9668181
Tel: +1 704 588 3371
Lüscher Flexo
Tel: +44 (0) 1844 267021
Mark Andy UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1625 500964
Tel: +39 (0) 341 367513
Tel: +44 (0) 1925 456796
RK Print Coat
Tel: (+44) 01763 852187

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DuPont Cyrel
Fischer & Krecke
Lüscher Flexo
Mark Andy
RK Print Coat