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Patent for dynamic roller positioning in flexo printing

Isimat’s Dynamic Roller Positioning System (DRP-System) has received a European patent for flexo printing onto flexible tubes.

High quality flexo printing requires kiss pressure between flexo plate roller and impression roller. Kiss pressure is set by setting the gap between these two rollers. If the gap is too wide, dots will not be printed, and if the gap is too small, dots will be distorted.

Isimat’s TH 8130 is a hybrid tube printing machine with flexo and screen printing stations. It features a DRP-system in each flexo printing station to allow half-tone printing of ‘stunning’ photo-like images, and ‘vibrant’ printed solids and texts, claims the company.

A DRP-system in the flexo printing stations of a tube printing machine can move independently the two sides of a flexo print assembly. The radial run-out at base and tip of each mandrel is measured in the machine after a tool change. These measurements are used to calculate two movement profiles for each mandrel: one for the operator side (tip of mandrel) of a flexo print assembly, one for the machine side (base of mandrel). This dynamic positioning of the flexo print assembly maintains a constant gap between flexo plate roller and mandrel. The negative effect of mandrel-runout is then virtually eliminated.

Launched in November 2009, the TH 8130 is being used in tube decoration in the UK, Austria, Germany and India. Further installations will start production later this year, including ones in Russia and Switzerland, says Isimat.

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