Caption: Guests were intrigued by a demonstration of the TAPS system on a Rotomec RS 4003 MP gravure press.
This latest development in electronic shaft (ES) and register control integration technology was shown to reduce waste to unprecedented levels.
To highlight the extraordinary performance of the TAPS system, as well as the efficiency of the inking and drying systems of the RS 4003 MP press, Rotomec ran a job with different design complexities, printed on 25µm PE film.
PE film is reputedly the most difficult substrate to print using the gravure process, because of its extensibility and its need to dry at low temperature.
According to Rotomec, TAPS is truly unique – the company claims no other similar system is available to date. It works with a single touch of a dedicated button on the main console and achieves preregister setting and in-register printing in just minutes by reading a dedicated pattern printed on the web.
The demonstration started with the ten-colour RS 4003 MP press set up to print a six-colour job. As the TAPS system allows any type of printing cylinder (integral, hollow or sleeve) to be inserted at any angle in the press, a member of the audience was invited to move gravure cylinders placed ready on the trolleys to prove that their random position doesn’t affect the speed of the preregister setting.
One advantage of the TAPS system is that it’s unaffected by conventional preregister issues. It doesn’t require preregister devices such as laser pointers, preregister rings, adhesive tapes or reading sensors for cylinder marks, and so obviates mistakes that might occur in setting up such devices.
TAPS is also unaffected by web path configuration because it works even if mistakes occur during web threading. It also works with reverse printing.
After trolley insertion and a touch of the TAPS button, visitors followed the fast sequence of the cylinder phasing and register setting on the six printing units, which took only a few minutes before the machine started accelerating to achieve 350m/min.
The excellent tenure of register during acceleration and printing is thanks to the HDI (High Dynamic Interface) function fitted on all Rotomec presses. The integration between the ES and the Registron register controls enables the fastest correction time even at critical times of speed variations.
On a second screen, visitors saw the amount of waste generated. On the three days of demonstration, which started with a web length of 64m in the press, substrate waste was less than 86m.
At the end of the demonstration, visitors gathered around the rewinder to collect print samples and check the excellent quality of printing on the PE substrate.
The RS 4003 MP is a highly efficient gravure printing press suitable for medium to long production runs of high-quality printed flexible materials. Its compact design provides approximately 20% reduction of web length in the press and its operator-oriented job changeover features enable fast operation without tools.
Its inking system features inking bars which provide perfect ink distribution and prevent the formation of air bubbles in the cylinder cells which can adversely affect print quality. The drying system is highly efficient as shown by the quality of printing on the PE substrate which presents some challenges as it requires low-temperature drying.
At a time when it’s crucial to maximise the profitability of pressroom operations so that converters can produce superior quality packaging at the optimum price for their customers, the availability of technical solutions to cut waste and reduced unproductive time is of exceptional relevance.
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