It was back in mid-2010 that a Fischer & Krecke FP-16-S press was commissioned at this ever-burgeoning flexible packaging plant in Ndabeni, Cape Town. Now it has been joined by an eight-colour F&K 20SIX. Guests watched entranced as the press – almost noiselessly – quickly attained a running speed of 400m/min; and were even further captivated to witness a running splice at near full speed.
Not unexpectedly, Gary Seale, MD, and his team were exultant as they joined guests in watching this perfect performance! So, too, was the man from Bobst, Alain Jendly, who visited Cape Town especially for this event, and the Beswick Machinery team of Bruce Beswick and Riaan Hopley.
Available in print widths from 1 050mm up to 1650mm, repeats from 320mm up to 1 200mm, and production speeds up to 600m/min, the F&K 20SIX is designed to cover the entire range of flexible packaging printing. At CTP flexibles, fast changeover capability and an array of technologies to enhance productivity are among the many features expected to provide an excellent return on this important investment.
‘Everything has been faultless,’ comments a smiling Gary Seale, adding high praise for the German technicians who saw to its commissioning, and the local team from Beswick Machinery.
He has nothing but praise for the press’s capabilities, notably its smartGPS (Graphic Positioning System), its width and integrated slitting system that allow multiple designs to be printed simultaneously, its noiseless operation, and an amazingly fast job changeover time.
Most of all, Gary is delighted to confirm that the press can be customised to meet flexible packaging requirements from long runs to very short runs.
‘The GPS significantly reduces start-up waste – both materials and energy use – as well as greatly reducing set-up times,’ he explains. ‘We achieve spot-on register and impression within four metres.’
This is because the GPS provides the correct print impression with the first ‘kiss’ of the plate to the substrate. In the past, operators had to print and then make adjustments while the press was running. Using the GPS, all parameters for register and impression are measured and downloaded to an RFID chip in the plate sleeve during plate mounting. Once sleeves are loaded, all data is transmitted immediately to the on-board computer – all while the machine is at a standstill.
Among its numerous features, this gearless flexo press offers direct drive to the totally enclosed CI cylinder and uses sleeve technology for both printing plates and anilox rolls. It also incorporates a ‘retractable’ inter-colour dryer designed for maximum accessibility and offers automatic wash-up between jobs. It has been factory-fitted with an integral corona treatment system.
When it comes to inspection, the 20SIX is equipped with the Bobst Web I system for checking print quality and conformance throughout the print run. CTP flexibles also purchased the MIS option that collects, analyses and reports on production data per reel, per shift and per job.
The entire CI section is fully temperature controlled to ensure perfect stability during the entire print run regardless of the operating environment. ‘In fact,’ sums up Bruce Beswick, ‘The 20SIX was specifically designed with the environment in mind but these design improvements also result in substantial cost savings through features such as minimal ink in circulation, reduced solvent consumption during the wash-up cycle and overall lower energy consumption.