A first for the Nampak group, the Screen CtP project has been four-years in the making, bringing more efficiency and precision to Divfood and setting the tone for world-class printing with an environmentally-friendly approach.
With its 60-plus years’ history, the division manufactures two- and three-piece food cans, rectangular meat cans, a comprehensive range of plain and lacquered can ends, full aperture tinplate ends, and easy-open and peel-off ends for the personal care, confectionery and industrial markets. Other diversified products include aerosol, paint, beverage and liquid tins, general-line cans and decorative tinware.
‘We have an array of printing presses, and wanted a platemaking system with specific profiling to suit our current mix,’ states Jan van der Linde, divisional operations engineer (printing and coating). ‘Printing on metal is a far bigger challenge than printing on paper and our previous computer-to-film system pales in comparison to the Screen Platerite Ultima 16000II series,’ he remarks.
Perfect print every time
Incorporating Screen’s Trueflow SE workflow system, the Screen prepress equipment can easily manage the dot gain curve of each press and adjust it automatically to produce a plate profile to suit each station, giving a perfect print result every time.
‘We deal with multinational customers who require exact print results for their products so it’s imperative that our profiling is perfect,’ continues Jan. ‘We can now “nest” customers’ files and, using a cutting-edge RIP engine, produce real-life proofs on our Epson printer. It’s quick and accurate and proofs can be signed off almost immediately. Real plates can then be made for a perfect print result!’
The Screen CtP system, a first for the Nampak group, took a short time to install and commission. The entire project was supervised by Johan Faurie, Kemtek’s regional product manager, in conjunction with Jan van der Linde and Piet Wisser, Divfood’s project manager.
‘From the start, Jan and the Divfood team knew what they wanted and worked tirelessly to make sure that the specially-built room was nothing short of perfect. We completed the entire installation and commissioning and we’ve also conducted thorough operator training,’ Johan confirms. ‘Additionally, we’ll continue to support Jan and his team with network-based servicing and repairs, if required, along with our usual high level of service and support.’
Billed as a true multi-format platesetter, the Screen Platerite Ultima 16000 series is designed for ultra-high quality and fast imaging and can handle large, multi-format output from four- to 16-page plates, in sizes as small as 650 x 550mm up to 1 470 x 1 165mm.
Inline punching, fitted as standard, provides greater registration accuracy than either manual or off-line punching. Overall, it helps eliminate human error and supports faster makeready.
Automation is a key element in the handling of large-format plates and Screen’s plate handling systems are integrated into the design of the PlateRite Ultima. No contact is made with the plate’s sensitive emulsion side during transport, eliminating the risk of plate damage.
Precision-built and environmentally friendly
Behind the Platerite Ultima is an OVIT Galaxy in-line processing system composed of a SIRIO plate processor and SUN oven providing a constant, controlled high temperature. The hot air is circulated by two motor fans in a carefully insulated burning chamber with even heat distribution. ‘A controlled room and oven temperature is critical to keep the plate material in the best shape possible, and we’ve pulled out all the stops to ensure this,’ confirms Jan.
Once processed, plates are fed via a stainless steel transport belt to a cooling table that allows them to before cool washing and re-gumming. Once washed and re-gummed, plates are conveyed to an automatic stacker, ready for the press.
‘Every plate requires a “bullet-proof” emulsion to sustain long runs with UV inks,’ explains Jan. ‘Each job is different, and the metal is hard on the plate material, so it’s got to be very durable,’ he continues.
Besides offering quality improvements and quicker makeready, the Platerite Ultima is also environmentally friendly. It’s fitted with an OVIT water recycler, which can recycle 100-litres of water over and over again, which offers cost savings. ‘Besides saving water, the entire Screen CtP unit uses 40% less power than our previous prepress system,’ confirms Jan.
‘What we have constructed, in collaboration with the team from Kemtek, is really impressive. Overall, it’s an exciting time for us and the modern, high-speed prepress equipment has definitely met and surpassed our expectations and needs. We can offer customers shorter lead times, superior quality and better service. Furthermore, we can produce at a very competitive price,’ Jan adds.
Nampak Divfood’s major investment in CtP technology and new press line (due for completion in October) is more than a step-change for Nampak. According to Jan it’s a quantum leap: ‘Our Screen Platerite CtP investment is long overdue,’ he states. ‘We need to catch up to stay competitive and regain certain customers who may have moved to other decorative options, such as labels,’ he explains. ‘We’ve now stuck our necks out to construct a world-class dedicated prepress area that includes a plate proofing department and QC section, and we’re very proud of it. It’s been a joint effort to make this a success and our collaboration with Kemtek has worked exceptionally well. The Screen Platerite Ultima 16000 II CtP system has made all the difference to our entire print process,’ Jan concludes.