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02-05-11
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Flint Group Flexographic Products drives automation in flexographic form processing

Open Houses on March 23 and 24, 2011 attract high interest

Approximately 70 participants followed the invitation to two open house events at Flint Group Flexographic Products in Stuttgart, Germany. On March 23 and 24, 2011, the processing of photopolymer printing plates and sleeves on the latest equipment was presented to an international audience.

Today, the flexo form making process is far behind efficient automation, while printing plates are produced with a high level of automation in other competing printing processes. This subject matter was highlighted in an introductory lecture, pointing out what Flint Group Flexographic Products is doing to drive automation and standardisation in flexographic printing, thus helping customers to increase productivity and reduce costs.

During the following live demonstration, guests could take advantage to see the efficiency of the new equipment. The presentation started with the nyloflex® In-The-Round technology showing the time saving nyloflex® ITR Exposure for parallel exposure of two ITR sleeves and the highly productive nyloflex® ITR Processor, where up to 120 sleeves can be processed per day.

The highlight of the event was the new nyloflex® Automated Plate Processor (APP), which was presented for the first time. The fully automated processing line for flexographic printing plates combines a digital round brush washer, a dryer including 8 drying drawers, a unit for post exposure and light finishing (UV-A / UV-C) and a stacker with 8 drawers. Thanks to the high level of standardisation and the efficient automation, the fully automated processing line has a capacity of up to 120 plates (320 m²) per day and also helps to improve plate and print quality. At the same time, waste and failure rates will be minimised, which may induce significant cost reductions.

The new innovative nyloflex® NExT exposure technology also attracted a high level of interest. Based on powerful UV LEDs, the technology is able to generate unique element shapes with precisely reproduced surfaces, commonly known as Flat Top Dots. The new exposure technology doesn’t involve the use of inert gases or require additional expensive consumables. The effect of the oxygen inhibition will be eliminated, which improves repeatability of plate making, expands the tonal range and offers the possibility for surface screening, which allows an improved ink transfer and ink lay-down. The new technology is suitable for digital printing plates and can be easily implemented in the existing digital workflow.

The visitors were impressed by the new processing equipment and the progress that has been made in the automation process. „Efficient automation processes in flexo form making have been missing so far, while these are established in other printing processes such as offset and gravure for a long time. - Flint Group Flexographic Products is on the right track with the newly presented technologies,” says Norbert Krandick, Dänecke GmbH. Sascha Paus, Laserflex GmbH & Co KG Siek adds: „The automation of the flexo form making process is one of our next big challenges, thus I’m really pleased to learn that Flint Group takes the matter up. Additionally, I liked the transparency of the equipment where the production process can be followed with the eyes!

For more information about Flint Group please visit www.flintgrp.com or contact info.flexo@flintgrp.com .