Caption: In 2008, the Miraflex C generated considerable interest when it was unveiled at interpack and drupa. Now – just two years later – the first installation a Miraflex AM is in progress at Astrapak’s East Rand Plastics operation in Brakpan, Gauteng.
And now, just two years after its début at interpack, we have news of the imminent installation of a Miraflex AM press in South Africa – at East Rand Plastics (part of the Astrapak group).
‘East Rand Plastics has traditionally been a six-colour print house,’ explains Herman Jacobs, executive in charge of Astrapak’s Flexibles BU (inland) – which incorporates East Rand Plastics (ERP), Tristar Plastics, City Pack and Plusnet/Geotex.
The new press is a perfect fit for ERP, a flexible packaging and specialty converting manufacturer serving the food, beverage, construction, textile and health care markets from its modern facilities in Brakpan, Johannesburg.
‘Our customers’ demands for top-class print quality and the strong moves among our traditional customer base towards seven- and eight-colour printing, made it necessary for us to step up our print capability to eight colours,’ Herman relates. ‘This was done last year through the acquisition of certain assets from Nampak and now our investment in the Miraflex AM from Windmöller & Hölscher,’ he adds.
‘We chose the Miraflex for several reasons,’ Herman continues. ‘First, we liked its large diameter winders, its high-speed, fast changeovers, and the excellent support from W&H in both Germany and South Africa.’
This state-of-the-art press will enable ERP to aggressively pursue eight-colour work in traditional markets in the bakery sector as well as pursuing new markets where the company can offer customers cost-effective quality print solutions.
‘Target markets will be expanded product ranges among our existing customer base, as well as allowing us to enter new markets where we can offer top-quality printed form-fill-seal reelstock, as well as bagged packaging solutions.’
Fast register, minimal waste
The Miraflex AM features eight colour decks, a maximum material width of 1 320mm and a maximum printing width of 1 270mm. Production speed is 370m/min and print repeats range from 370 to 800mm.
The press includes a Turboclean 400A modular wash-up system, plus specially-profiled extruded doctor blade chambers, which are closed but pressure free, with patented ink flow barriers.
‘The absence of pressure on the end seals results in longer seal life and eliminates the ink mess normally associated with flexo presses. The system also features a one-touch/one-tool use for easy changeover of the doctor blades in the press,’ explains Simon Pollock of W&H Southern Africa.
The team at East Rand Plastics is very excited about the imminent arrival of this press – and particularly looks forward to its Easy-Set automatic impression setting feature.
As Simon goes on to comment, it normally takes an operator around 12 minutes to get the plate cylinders and anilox rollers into accurate impression and uses some 600m of film. ‘With Easy-Set,’ Simon adds, ‘this is accomplished in three minutes with half the waste.’
Also reducing waste is Easy-Reg, W&H’s automatic register setting system requiring no register marks.
Among other innovative features is the sleeve type nip roller before the first printing deck which enables the nip roll to be changed from film to paper or to tube production quickly and easily.
In its development, W&H designers paid great attention to operator friendliness. Manually-operated bearing caps allow fast and reliable plate and anilox sleeve changeover while the newly-developed doctor chambers make doctor blade and seal replacement a cinch.
Ed’s note: we’ll publish a follow-up article once the new press has been installed and commissioned. Watch this space . . .
Windmöller & Hölscher
East Rand Plastics (Astrapak)
T +27 031 7010260
T +27 011 8179000