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New BOBST Smart DigiMount flexo plate mounter optimizes closed loop process on inline presses with print sleeves

BOBST has announced the introduction of a new version of its DigiMountTM fully automated flexo plate mounting system. The latest Smart DigiMountTM, further improves efficiency on narrow- and mid-web inline flexo presses & multi-process printing & converting lines that make use of sleeve technology.

Smart DigiMountTM features advanced electronics for improved speed and accuracy of plate mounting. It handles sleeve repeats of 254 - 812.8 mm and optionally 1066.8 mm (10 - 32 in optionally 42 in). This extends its capabilities to accommodate larger web widths and formats. Also new is an enclosure to exclude ambient light, helping the positioning system to operate consistently whatever the environment. The original DigiMountTM version is also still available to suit print cylinder repeats of 139.7 - 609.6 mm (5.5 - 24 in).

BOBST has worked to eliminate the workflow issues that derive from inaccurate plate mounting since the early days of the Digital AutomationTM project. This has revolutionized the way inline flexo presses for labels and packaging work by making all press operations fully digitally checked, adjusted and controlled. As part of the project, the first DigiMountTM flexo plate mounter with digital assisted operation was launched in 2015.

The market has since become very familiar with the Digital AutomationTM program, comprising the Digital Flexo technology and the REVO 7-color Extended Color Gamut process, which automatically manage the whole printing and converting workflow from validation of the artwork to the final product.

Flexo plates need to be mounted with accuracy and speed that cannot be performed manually by an operator. In particular, when a press runs using the 7-color ECG process, any manual intervention by the operator should be avoided so as to provide total digital quality and productivity, effectively closing the loop of Digital AutomationTM.

The DigiMountTM system is easy, fast and effective: the operator only has to place the plate in the mounter and start the alignment sequence of the reference mark alignment from the touchscreen. An automatic quality check confirms that the plate has been mounted correctly or informs if the procedure needs to start over. This is all it takes to achieve a plate mounting accuracy of 0.02 +/- mm, repeatable and consistent on each print cylinder or print cylinder sleeve.

"Every concept within the BOBST Digital AutomationTM programme is continuously upgraded or extended so as to keep pace with the equipment evolution and to always ensure new improved levels of integrated automation", said Matteo Cardinotti, Managing Director of Bobst Firenze and Head of Narrow & mid-web multi-process Product Line. "This has led to the development of the Smart DigiMountTM version of the plate mounter in order to provide a solution for BOBST narrow- and mid-web production lines dedicated to the production of labels, flexible packaging or carton packaging that use sleeve technology. This can accommodate larger formats and web widths, such as the M6 and the M8".