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Apex Soars to New Heights in Anilox Innovation, Delivery

“Flexo Takes Flight” is the theme of Apex North America’s product-line debut at LabelExpo Americas 2012. Apex unleashes for the label and narrow web market its reduced-weight UltraCell series anilox rolls, the ReadyRoll advance in-stock roll program, and GTT-Label – the revolutionary successor to anilox technology. Visitors to Booth 3003 can also expect a peek at Apex’s new adapter sleeves tailored to the needs of label flexo printers. “With UltraCell anilox and GTT-Label rolls that are 30-50% lighter than others, more durable, precise and in-stock, customers can now choose price, quality and turnaround,” notes Apex Narrow Web Sales Director John Batistatos.

As the world’s largest manufacturer of anilox rolls with deep label/narrow-web roots in Europe, Apex recently introduced its line of label anilox products to the Americas marketplace. “We are eager to bring to North and South America our global reputation for quality, reliability and expert service,” notes Apex VP of Sales Ken Ralton. “In the European marketplace, Apex label and narrow-web anilox product sales continue to soar because customers know our products are innovative, reliable and promptly-delivered. We now offer that same quality to the Americas. Who else but Apex offers precision stainless-steel journals and headers as standard features?”

The Flexo Revolution in Label Quality
“UltraCell anilox and GTT-Label arrive in the Americas at a unique point in flexo history,” notes Apex Batistatos, “With higher-quality plates, inks and presses, label printers are turning out amazing work. It’s truly a quality revolution. But what’s been missing – until now – was the anilox component that can deliver predictable, consistent ink release. Apex GTT-Label and UltraCell anilox rolls add the reliability and precision which this label revolution requires.”

UltraCell and GTT Ink-Metering Rolls: “Better and Best”
The patented GTT-Label roller employs a radical new “Open Slalom Ink Channel” geometry that allows ink to “flow” precisely onto a printing plate. This transformative combination of GTT-Label’s slalom geometry, hybrid ceramic and laser method can deliver better inventory control, printability, uptime and profitability. What’s more, fewer GTT rollers are needed to cover the wide array of convetional anilox line screen/volume combinations most printers use. Using merely six “sizes” of GTT-Label cylinders (XS through XXL), a printer could dramatically streamline anilox inventory while reducing roll changes and make-ready. A recent university study concluded that in addition to high overall quality, improved ink density with thinner laydown, GTT-Label cleaned up faster and delivered amazing vignettes. In other published studies, GTT yielded 27% ink savings and solvent reduction while maintaining consistent density without adjustment over extremely long runs.

For those printers who don’t require the high quality and precision that GTT yields, Apex offers its UltraCell and UltraCell+ conventional anilox rollers with an improved hexcell geometry and ceramic. “We admit it. We can be pretty shallow,” jokes Batistatos about UltraCell’s shallow cell depth. “And in the case of anilox cell geometry, shallow is good.” The UltraCell-series shallow cell geometry enables more complete ink release to plate, even at superfine line counts. “Especially in label, printers can rely on our exclusive HVOF nickel corrosion barrier to protect against harsh cleaners and inks,” observes Batistatos. In addition, a unique multi-phase laser engraving called UltraMelt ensures that cell walls and “land” areas emerge hardened and extra smooth, thus ensuring improved ink release.

Both UltraCell and GTT technologies have garnered many industry accolades and certifications: GTT was granted a European patent with US and other foreign patents pending. GTT was also the first ink-transfer roll to receive ESKO high-definition flexo certification. TUV-Nord, a premier independent industry quality-rating organization, certified UltraCell’s precision cell-volume measurement quality control manufacturing process. The European Corrugated Association (FEFCO) awarded GTT its Technical Innovation Award in 2009. And Apex recently hit the 32,000 mark for GTT roll/sleeve units sold worldwide.

ReadyRoll Program: Daily On-Time Departures
Apex reveals its big investment in the label/narrow-web arena with the ReadyRoll program — the world’s largest label/narrow-web inventory with over a thousand pre-coated bases in popular sizes in-stock and ready for custom engraving. Over 50 of the most-popular OEM roll sizes for label presses models are ready at any moment for custom UltraCell or GTT-Label laser engraving. “We continually add to our stock list of rolls as new presses from OEMs come online,” says Batistatos. “Every roll is lightweight, HVOF-nickel corrosion-resistant and coated with Apex ultra-low-porosity ceramic. ReadyRoll slashes delivery time so our customers won’t have to wait for quality.”

Roll Up Your Sleeves
Responding to marketplace demand for more precise and durable adapter and plate-mounting sleeves, Apex introduces its TruSleeve line of super-accurate sleeves. For label and narrow-web professionals, TruSleeve-BRIDGE adapter sleeves addresses printer issues regarding sleeve accuracy, dimensional integrity and corrosion-resistance. TruSleeve uses a brand-new proprietary composite and manufacturing process that delivers the utmost precision, longevity and performance for all flexo sleeve applications.

About Apex North America
Based in Donora, PA near Pittsburgh, Apex North America is the fastest-growing subsidiary of Holland-based Apex Group of Companies, the world’s largest manufacturer of anilox rolls for narrow-, wide-web, corrugated, and coating applications. Apex also invented and holds the patent on the Genetic Transfer Technology (GTT) product line, the successor to conventional hexcell anilox products. With manufacturing and sales operations on six continents, Apex provides further value in supplying customers with end-to-end anilox or GTT solutions including ink measurement devices and proofers, cleaning products, and educational/use-and-care seminars.  Apex is dedicated to enabling its customers to do their best work – consistently and proudly – every day. www.apexnorthamerica.com