07 April 2019 Analogue Printing Technologies

Bobst points way to fast change flexo

Despite the rise of digital printing, Bobst continues to refine the flexo process to compete on short runs and fast turnarounds.

Bobst has announced what it calls “two revolutionary solutions” that will change flexographic printing. These were shown at a labelling and packaging innovation event in Florence where Bobst produces label and mid width flexo presses, though not the larger CI machines.

The developments seek to enable shorter production runs, faster and less wasteful start up and greater colour accuracy from unsupported web flexo printing. These continue a strategy that has been in place since the introduction of the Revo fixed palette colour system for ‘digital’ flexo printing.

The 12 Revo partners, for inks, plates and so on, are part of the latest developments which relate to improving ink delivery the press. The first is described as Ink on Demand. It eliminates the need for ink trays and chambered doctor blades and needs on 30g of ink in the unit to operate. This ultra short runs of special colours become feasible, Bobst argues, with just minutes to remove one ink, wash the unit, and load with a new ink.

The second development is DigiColor, a closed loop control system that allows changes in the density of the ink without having to change the thickness of the ink film. This works by combining to variants of the same colour, one a darker hue, the other lighter. According to spectrophotometric readings, the amount of each variant is adjusted on the fly to ensure that the printed result remains consistent and within the delta E target.

This depends on consistent ink in each of the of the extended palette of colours, orange, green and violet as well as CMYK. It will enable brands to be confident that colours will reproduce accurately regardless of substrate or where in the globe the job is run.

It also depends on technology from AVT, X-Rite. Pantone and Esko to bring the analogue flexo press into a digital workflow and eco system that includes Esko’s WebCenter, ColorCert, SpectraLab and PantoneLive for a description of colours.

The event also provided Bobst the opportunity to show progress on the Mount inkjet label press that was announced at Labelexpo two years ago. The LB702 UV version of this technology will be shown at Labelexpo in a ready for market condition.

By Gareth Ward

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Open house in Florence

Open house in Florence

Bobst has shown visitors how it can improve the quality and consistency of inline flexo print for its label and mid width packaging presses using new developments for its Revo fixed palette printing concept.

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Bobst prepares for shift to digital