New Speeds in Flexo Printing
Flexo printing meets quality of gravure and offset printing with new technology
rotec® High Speed Sleeves and rotec® Atlas Adapters pave the way
Flint Group experts offer support for best practice and development
Charlotte, NC USA, August 21, 2017 - With a culture of innovation, Dominion Packaging of Richmond, VA selected the latest technology in flexo printing to produce premium folding carton packaging for the tobacco, food and beverage markets when deciding its print direction. Its formula for success lies in the combination of state-of-the-art machinery and a market-focused strategy to provide exceptional product appeal. A key driver – to offer quality packaging at a modest cost – led the company to develop new technology using a flexo press operation capable of replacing jobs that were previously printed on both gravure and offset presses.
The advancement is based on the successful installation of a TRESU Flexo Innovator press (FI1400-10, 55-inch, 10-units). The new Innovator is a flexographic in-line press equipped with rotec® High Speed Sleeves and rotec® Atlas Adapters from Flint Group. This particular combination of sleeves and adapters provides optimal control of plate bounce by absorbing press vibrations and providing added stability, thus permitting the press to run at faster speeds while still allowing for a solid kiss impression.
The unique polyurethane composition of the rotec® High Speed Sleeve provides the compression necessary to reduce bounce-induced skipping (a common occurrence on press as speed is increased) and offers a wider impression latitude, which enables the printing of half tone images and solids on the same print deck with a consistent print quality throughout the job. Additionally, since the sleeve has a durable compressible surface, plates can be mounted to the sleeve using an inexpensive 5 mil transfer tape, rather than the more expensive cushion tapes.
For even greater stability at high print speeds, the rotec® Atlas Adapter with a special carbon fiber structure and a hard surface presents further vibration dampening characteristics and affords maximum print performance. Randy Butler, Dominion Packaging Flexo Operations & Converting Manager explains, “The materials used in the rotec® sleeves and adapters allow us to print a very fine dot structure; it helps us to eliminate cushion tape and allows us to print a wide range of products at the highest level of dot reproduction.” Butler continues, “Our solid ink laydown and excellent combination print are directly attributed to the success we have been able to achieve at high press speeds with this particular combination of rotec® sleeves and adapters.”
According to Wes Johnson, Regional Sales Manager, Flint Group Flexographic Products, “The maximum line speed of a typical folding carton press would normally be around 1200 fpm, but we were able to employ a combination of the rotec® High Speed Sleeves and rotec® Atlas Adapters to allow for the production of quality product at the maximum speed of the equipment.” Dominion Packaging is probably the only folding carton producer using 150 LPI plates for this print segment, and this press could possibly be one of the fastest folding carton presses the industry has seen to date.”
The relationship between Dominion Packaging and Flint Group goes back for over 20 years, and Butler is quick to attribute the technical expertise of Wes Johnson as being “instrumental” to the recent developments made at Dominion Packaging.