ITALY • In the packaging sector, flexo printing is carving out an ever-important role given its various favourable characteristics that are increasing its appeal, including production speeds up to 800 m/min/ 2624 fpm), the possibility to alternate between different processes more swiftly (from 10 to 30 minutes), ease of use, premium quality printing results and, last but not least, a speedy start-up process with minimal wastage.
In recent years, the global market for this sector has grown significantly with flexo print shops being required to produce increasingly visually-appealing packaging, in different shapes and materials.
Converting technology makes the difference
As is the case with all printing processes, it is the technology that comes both before and after the printing machine that really makes the difference. For flexo printing in particular, coaters and laminators of small, medium and large sizes, depending on the required production needs, are being used offline or directly in connection with printing solutions. Owing to the quality of the lines produced, Italy boasts numerous internationally renowned manufacturers.
Slitter/rewinders are used in combination with the more important machines and coating lines for the production and processing of different laminated materials (plastic films, paper and cardboard, Aluminium sheets and special materials). For smaller sizes and runs, digital printing lines can be used as a possible combination.
These cutting solutions, in addition to taking up less space, are practical and simple to use in terms of management and maintenance and are characterised by controlled and smart automation, so as to ensure an outstanding performance for all sizes, both big and small.
This type of machine constitutes a fully-fledged member of the Industry 4.0 era, thanks to the optimisation of the production processes, automation, and machine-machine interaction, intended to store energy, rationalise costs and increase performance. Moreover, these solutions are designed to comply with the indications contained in the 2017/18 Budget Law and are therefore subject to lower taxation, i.e. hyper-depreciation equating to 250%, as stipulated by the government plan currently in force as regards Industry 4.0.
Flexibility as an important added value
Slitter/rewinders are special machines, created and developed for various different types of products and applications, or specifically studied and designed on a made-to-measure basis depending on the needs of the customer/user, who must, in turn, satisfy market requirements. Contemporary carrier-roller rewinders are designed and made with a robust steel structure containing carrier rolls and a rider roller (traction and regulation dancer roller). In addition, the machines can have differing levels of automation to improve the production process and the working parameters can be set from the touch-screen operator panel.
Converting equipment at Print4All
On occasion of Print4All, numerous manufacturers, including many Italian companies, will be presenting their latest developments within the slitter/rewinder sector for flexo machines.