With the retail environment demanding more and more colour, not only on its retail ready packaging but also on its conventional packaging, the very latest technology available in high end 3 colour presses will prove to be a real advantage to retailers in creating more impact for brands at a lower cost than the printing methods traditionally used.
The 3-colour press just installed by Fencor Packaging Group at its Peterborough plant offers the opportunity for stronger branding on retail packaging with more colour options. Whereas full colour printing was previously served by litho and screen print, due to the increase in print capabilities this new flexo printer will deliver really good quality in 1, 2, 3 and 4-colour print offering a very competent print alternative.
The new 3-colour press has the ability to print on lower quality, lightweight papers as well as high quality coated liners, which means a far better end product. With previous technology the machinery used to press down heavily on the material being printed, hence the term printing press, but today, the way the fibres are laid down and the additives used mean that a much lighter weight liner, used in conjunction with this printer means it’s now unnecessary.
By using a vacuum transfer system to control the material as it moves through the printer, a tighter registration, within 0.5mm, is achieved. The highly accurate machine alters the plate pressures to within 0.1mm pressure which gives an exact adjustment for the material being used. There is also a visual digital display so that inaccuracy, often caused by a wrench wielding print setter, is a thing of the past.
Gone also is the waiting time for unused inks to filter down in order that they could be removed and thrown away … up to 6kgs at a time … now, with an efficient return pump ink wastage is reduced by some 70%!
The blanket onto which the die blades are pressed is trimmed by a computerised anvil trimmer to ensure that every single cut is perfect and consistent. The circumference is then automatically measured by computer and the machine adjusts the speed of the drum resulting in perfect print to die registration every time.
After the die blades have completed their work the stripping element vibrates whilst air is pumped across the work taking all the waste away and leaving the piece perfect and ready for use.
So, with the light touch print plate enabling far higher quality from lower cost materials, with equal strength, and with the ability to print and die cut in a single pass for certain applications, the ease of setting, cleanouts and return pump, all add up to a speed of process dramatically faster, giving a reduction in turnaround times of approximately 40%. That is an efficient, cost effective process with which the retailers can improve their brand awareness.
For those of us who have been around a while it makes one wonder what might come next?