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Machinery developments and installations

Ease of use is Comexi’s aim

Billed as “efficiency in its purest form”, Comex’s new Flexo F2 gearless press is designed to meet the needs of medium and long runs in the flexible packaging industry. It features the Spanish manufacturer’s patented FlexoEfficiency concepts of ergonomics and accessibility, along with the “performance and strength” of the FPlus system.

Available in printing widths ranging from 1,270-1,470mm, eight colours, and print repeats from 350-850mm, the new press is said to include state-of-the-art electronic systems to achieve the best print qualities, even at high speeds (up to 500m/min). It can print film, paper and laminates using solvent or water-based inks.

The Flexo F2 has been designed for ease of use and maintenance: easy access to the doctor blade, easy threading, easy cleaning of dried sections between colours, no need for tools, easy cleaning of the central drum, and with an array of ergonomic enhancements.

Comexi will be introducing the new press at Drupa 2012 (see show preview this issue).

Mark Andy’s Performance press reinvigorates label printing

Mark Andy’s P3, P5 and P7 Performance Series presses have a special printing platform that is “proven to significantly reduce setup times and material waste”. For Performance Series users, these productivity enhancements are said to have improved margins on existing jobs by 10% or more, allowing for extra capacity and increased revenues for each machine installed.

With more than 135 machines now installed worldwide, Mark Andy says many P-Series owners have more than doubled their output compared with traditional flexo presses. Some are replacing several older presses with one or two new P-Series, “drastically impacting overhead and profitability”.

In 2011, the P3 won the FTA Technical Innovation Award in the USA and the FlexoTech International Innovation Award in Europe, and Mark Andy is continuing to develop the diecutting and add more packaging applications.

HiDef flexo for folding carton production

Drupa 2012 will serve as the platform for a series of innovative upgrades and options to the Gallus ICS 670, an inline machine system tailored specifically to the needs of state-of-the-art folding carton production.

At the Düsseldorf event (Hall 2, stand 2A45), Gallus will demonstrate a combination of its HiDef flexo printing system and a new gravure unit, as well as other high quality finishing processes, such as rotary screen printing or coldfoiling in a single pass.

The HiDef flexo system is said to produce top quality at all speeds, from proofing to full production. Temperature-controlled anilox rollers, dynamic printing pressure adjustment and “perfectly matched” components, such as inking systems and printing plates, allow for demanding applications, the company states. Ink cartridges, sleeve technology and chambered doctor blade systems also minimise setup and changeover times.

HiDef modules can be made ready outside the machine and incorporated into any EVA (Easy Value Added) platform without any need for tools. ICS 670 users can also integrate the flying imprint option (a spare print unit that allows promotional images or text to be changed without interrupting production), and the new 100% quality control system with blank ejection.

Flexo press customised to Colbert’s needs

US manufacturer of folding cartons and labels Colbert Packaging has installed a 9-colour, 23 inch wide Primographic CP 585 flexo press custom built by CPS Canadian Primoflex Systems.

Colbert’s CP 585 can print 4-colour processes (4/4) on both sides of webfed paperboard and coat in a single pass. It provides increased format options for customers, and can print both water-based and UV inks. It also features coldfoil and HoloCure technologies for producing metallic and holographic effects on packages.

The new press can run at up to 500ft/min and includes in-line flatbed diecutting and rotary embossing.

Rock ‘n’ Roll is Omet’s theme

Omet has introduced the Rock ’n’ Roll matrix stripping unit with servodrive on its XFlex X6, and XFlex X4 presses, which allows the printer to print flexo and diecut at high speed. Features include a brushless servomotor on matrix rewinding, and a matrix rewinder with controlled steady tension, to cope with high speed printing and converting of all type of label shapes.

Nylofl ex Next Exposure now available

Flint Group Flexographic Products’ Nyloflex Next UV exposure technology is claimed to produce precisely defined surfaces on flat top dots. It also provides a precise image reproduction to ensure the highest print quality with excellent ink laydown, even with long print runs, the company states.

Plates are exposed with high intensity UV-LEDs which allow a consistent UV emission and reproduction of even the finest detail. Nyloflex Next is suitable for all digital plates regardless of type, thickness and format and can easily be implemented into existing digital workflows. There is also no need for additional consumables.

Two types of Nyloflex Next exposure unit are available: F III, the mid-size with format 920 x 1,200mm, and F V, the large size with format 1,320 x 2,032mm.

HD Flexo gaining acceptance

More than 160 flexo users have now achieved HD Flexo certification “guaranteeing high quality flexo printing”, reports Esko.

“Customers are finding HD Flexo certification makes a big difference,” says Jan Buchweitz, Esko’s senior product manager digital flexo. “They want to know that certified components will work perfectly together, whether they are printing machines, ink or tape. They also want advice from providers that understand exactly how HD Flexo delivers an improved print performance, and how individual providers can best leverage this capability within their operations.”

Adds Buchweitz: “When we launched the HD Flexo certification programme, we began with customers but soon realized that suppliers were keen to gain certification as well. They found it to be a terrific way for them to demonstrate that their systems were capable of producing consistent and reliable high quality results.”

Among the customers that have seen HD Flexo transform their business is Ampac, whose art director, Joe Lydic, confirms: “HD Flexo has done a great thing for the process image – we see a lot of positive attributes happening with solids and ink density. It also gives more ink saturation.”

Sean Keeney, president and CEO of Walle Corp – the first North American label printer to achieve certification – adds: “Prior to HD Flexo, selling flexo shrink sleeves against rotogravure was harder – the quality didn’t quite match on the more intricate designs. Then we saw a huge impact in drop shadows, so we don’t have any challenges getting to fine zero and 1% dots. Our customers are also realizing the benefits – winning awards for their package reproduction.”

“Efficiency in its purest form”: Comexi’s new Flexo F2
gearless press Comexi

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Mark Andy
Flint Group