This is how Fast Modern Flexo Printing Can be

More than 500 guests experienced the latest developments in package printing at “Experience the Future of Flexo” On 27. and 28. March, machine manufacturer Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) hosted visitors to the open house "Experience the Future of Flexo". More than 500 visitors from around the globe attended demonstrations showing how fast an optimized printing processes can be today: Just 3 hours after a group photo was taken, the image was produced on the new NOVOFLEX II at speeds of 600m/min. Job changes every 5 minutes demonstrated the efficiency of the W&H machines and intelligent automation systems for short runs.

The highlight of the Open House was the premiere of the NOVOFLEX II
high-performance flexographic printing press, which can print the most
challenging jobs at maximum speeds. W&H demonstrated the
performance of the new system by switching between two images at a
speed of 600 m/min. Both jobs were high line count graphics with
particularly hard leading edges of plates. The first image was the group
picture taken in the morning.

Speed in the overall process
The conversion from image to finished print in 3 hours was made
possible by an optimized overall process. Partner KODAK FLEXCEL
used the FLEXCEL NX Ultra solution to produce ready-to-print Ultra
plates in less than one hour. The NOVOFLEX II with its clearly
structured printing unit as well as automatic storage and sleeve ejection
system enables a sleeve change in just a few minutes. The EASY
automation modules ensure fast setting as well as impression setting
and register setting in less than 90 seconds. "We wanted to
demonstrate that flexo printing, with its high quality and proven process
reliability with modern W&H machines and an optimized overall
process, enables enormous flexibility and speed. The reactions of the
guests showed: We were successful," summarizes Hermann Veismann,
Head of the Printing Division at W&H.

Performance across the entire portfolio
The MIRAFLEX from W&H is the market’s best-selling press with more
than 650 machines worldwide. At the Open House, W&H showed the
MIRAFLEX II in two versions: The proven dual-port and a new compact
single-port that requires less floor space. Thanks to the face-to-face
winder configuration on the single-port, there is a central loading and
unloading area for the winder, which shortens web and operator
distances. In addition to a pure 4C process job, the single-port showed
further developments in the fully-integrated VISION print monitoring
system designed in-house by W&H. The audience was particularly
interested in the unique Head-Up Display and the intelligent print defect
classification. "The developments presented are part of our focus on
PACKAGING 4.0: intelligent machines, intuitive operation and
integrated processes," says Veismann.

CMYK color separation to multicolor separation
W&H also used the demonstration of the two MIRAFLEX II versions for
a direct comparison of CMYK color separation with multicolor
separation. While the single port printed in 4C, the dual port worked
with a fixed 7C color palette. This direct system comparison showed the
advantages and possibilities offered by the consistent use of an
extended color gamut. In this context, the technical highlights in the
areas of inking, inking unit design and drive technology of the W&H
presses were clearly demonstrated.

Maximizing machine benefits through digital services
New digital technologies will facilitate customer support in the future.
The Information and Diagnostics Center (IDC) demonstrated the use of
digital data glasses during live troubleshooting: A customer who needs
technical support puts on the headset with integrated camera and
connects to an expert from the IDC. The expert sees everything the
customer sees in real time and can help him quickly and easily. In the
medium term, the digital services will be used in both service support
and training. "With digital data glasses, we are bringing our experts
even closer to our customers. This enables us to make our service
even simpler, faster and more convenient for our customers," says
Christian Brönstrup, head of the IDC.