GERMANY • Various packaging applications need an all-rounder when it comes to flexographic printing forms. In this context, Flex-Punkt and Flint Group have been testing an ITR (in-the-round) photopolymer sleeve. The principle is that ITR sleeves form an endless printing plate. They are imaged as a round shape, which creates no seam between the beginning and the end of the print. This allows a constant, continuous print image. Flex-Punkt claims that to achieve the best results, its best to use the using nyloflex ITR products of Flint Group.
The nyloflex ITR Classic and nyloflex ITR Thin are endless ready-to-image photopolymer sleeves with a LAMS (Laser Ablative Mask System) layer for digital imaging (CtP technology). The companies state that this type of printing form eliminates the need for separate plate-mounting, as well as compressible adhesive tape. Thusly, set-up times, labour and costs are significantly reduced. In direct comparison to other commercially available products, nyloflex ITR Sleeves are characterized by an extremely high register accuracy and a longer service life, while at the same time offering better consistency in printing operation. According to Flex-Punkt, due to its very good ink transfer, low thickness tolerance and dot gain, nyloflex ITR Sleeves are particularly suitable for endless print motifs in line, full-area and halftone printing.
Together with test customers, in tests Flint Group was able to generate an up to 20% higher print speed with ITR sleeves. Compared to plate mounting, manual intervention is no longer necessary. With the nyloflex ITR Sleeves, assembly defects are a thing of the past. The digital imaging eliminates slipped printed images. Due to the accuracy of fit, the overfilling of the colours is significantly lower and a lower contact pressure is required. This allows a gentler pressure and guarantees an improved product life. Flex-Punkt claims that the nyloflex ITR Sleeves can be easily mounted onto a rotec H / C adapter. This compressible adapter is available as standard with three different airflow systems (Bridge, Unifit, Airo) and is suitable for conventional cylinder and cantilever presses. Further issues with the typical plate mounting set-up, such as air pockets and assembly defects, can now be ruled out and further shorten set-up times.
Flex-Punkt Druckformen started operations in 1994. As a pre-press expert in the packaging printing, the company is now active throughout Europe.