The new screen unit basically works by replacing the anilox roller and rubber roller as used in a standard flexo inking system with the drop-in unit, which acts like another impression roller. Developed with Stork Prints BV, individual units can be retrofitted at any stage in the production sequence without the need to replace any printing unit, or to extend an existing press configuration.
Following successful beta testing, one of the first commercial installations of the drop-in unit is at the OPM Group. It purchased two units and retrofitted them to an existing FA-3300 press, equipped with eight UV-flexo units and a cold-foil unit. It was installed about two years ago to produce high-quality paper and filmic self-adhesive labels, as well as pouches, sachets and similar flexible packaging products. Founded 32 years ago, OPM has six other Nilpeter presses from a relationship dating back 13 years.
Chris Ellison, OPM’s chairman says, “The new screen units are completely integrated within the press. We have retained the same UV-lamp configuration and because they operate with the same print register controls there is no extra set-up time involved. There’s been a super reaction from the operators who find this slot-in version is easier to use than Stork’s regular RSI rotary screen system. Also, because it is not mounted above the regular flexo print units there is a shorter web path and materials wastage is therefore reduced.’
Nilpeter says roughly one in three of the narrow-web presses it currently supplies for label or package printing allows users to screen print in tandem with one or more printing processes.
Jakob Landberg, sales director, expects above-average demand for the new drop-in system, especially from users in South East Asia. ’Printing houses in that region have increasingly expressed a wish for the simplest possible means to integrate screen printing into existing flexo presses. They have achieved tremendous advances in terms of print quality in recent years. Many have skipped a number of development stages and adapted their quality standards surprisingly quickly. The new generation of Asian label printing shops demand maximum flexibility in order to open up horizons in different market segments. This flexibility also applies to the substrates used, such as printing and converting label laminates, packaging films or carton board.’
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