Degraf, the Italian manufacturer of equipment for the production of flexographic plates, has launched what is said to be the world’s first wash-out unit that processes plates in either batch or in-line mode. The Concept 505 XP is a patent pending system that was presented during the first Degraf International Open in Monte-Carlo. It allows the end users to choose the operating mode that best suits their production requirements.
In batch mode, the plate is automatically loaded into the washing bed at high speed. The machine’s 22 oscillating cylindrical brushes rotate over the entire surface in opposite directions in order to provide the required washing.
When this operation is completed, the support passes to the exit section and the machine is ready to load the next plate. Working in batch mode is particularly useful in the resurfacing of individual plates and in non-standard or occasional production, as well as in the use of extra-thick plates (exceeding 4mm), offering time savings compared to the in-line/incremental mode.
In in-line mode, the Concept 505 XP loads the plates one after the other. They then pass through to the washing bed, one after the other, without stopping. The cylindrical brushes move in the opposite direction with a rotational oscillating action. Since there is no downtime between the loading of the following plate, the in-line working mode allows for continuous production, optimizing the workflow.
The working mode can be selected through a touchscreen. Once the processing is completed and the machine is deactivated, the brushes are automatically washed with fresh solvent to eliminate any trace of polymer. The brushes are then lifted off the washing bed to avoid damaging the bristles.
“The new Concept 505 XP is really unique. There’s nothing like it, anywhere,” says Riccardo De Caria, president of Degraf. The system is already available on the market.
Degraf will present its latest technologies at drupa 2008 in Hall 9, stand 9D-74.
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