Flexo Press Applications Possible and Profitable with a Servo Infeed and Re-register System

Adding a Servo Infeed and Re-register system to a standard flexographic press allows the printer to use the press for a number of useful and profitable applications. These include printing extened content labels, finishing extended content labels done on a digital press, printing flexible electronic circuits, printing additional content onto previously printed rolls, profitably printing on extremely thin and/or expensive substrates, and “repairing” print jobs that have been flawed for a variety of reasons. The requirements for these jobs are two: the ability of the press to re-register the web on a roll of substrate previously printed on the same another press and the ability to maintain excellent web tension control and resolution at high press speeds.


A common problem in standard flexographic printing is to keep substrate waste to a minimum. This is done by getting a print run in register in an acceptably short span of substrate and by avoiding an excessive number of work stoppages for adjustments. In order for a printer to profit from taking on jobs such as printing electronic circuits or multilayer labels, doubling and tripling their color capacity, or fixing flawed rolls the minimum beginning requirement for profit is to control waste. By using a servo system such as the Servo 3000 the printer can get his press in register in one press length, the absolute minimum for any press. By using the precise servo infeed system of the Servo 3000 a printer can avoid many of the costly adjustment stops that eat up substrate and profits.


Once the substrate waste is under control the printer can use a servo system such as the Servo 3000 for a wide variety of printing applications. The Servo 3000 Digital Infeed + Re-register™ system by Rotary Technologies is able to precisely re-register the web on printed rolls. It will then maintain 0.0025 inch resolution at full press speed while holding a printed roll as well as a second roll in register for printing multilayer labels. This same resolution (70 microns) allows a standard flexographic press to enter the futuristic world of printing flexible electronic circuits. The press prints layers of conducting and insulating inks sandwiched in between two “polarizing” layers. Because the conducting parts of circuits need to connect the 70 micron requirement is necessary for printing products such as RFID chips, touch sensitive screens, and rear window defrosters. Mastering the technology needed to print this type of product allows the owner of a flexo press to produce circuitry by the kilometer!


There are types of print jobs that are better done on a digital press than on a flexographic press. These include short runs of labels and even extended content labels. This is because of the vanishingly low setup cost of a digital press. However, digital presses to not laminate, die cut, or strip the print job. Although there are machines made exclusively for this sort of work they can be costly in that they are often only used part time while their overhead cost is continual. Using a Servo 3000 upgraded flexo press allows the printer to re-register the web from the digital press job and finish the job as needed. Unlike a “stand alone” machine the flexo press can be used for a wide variety of jobs when not finishing digital press work. In fact, if the digital press is used to make multilayer labels a stand alone finishing machine cannot re-register the web in such a way as to properly finish multiple layers of label. Only a servo driven flexo press, such as one assisted by the Servo 3000, can do this.


The point of going into technically more difficult printing jobs is to make a profit. A distinct advantage of adding the Servo 3000 to a standard press is that its cost is a small fraction of what it would cost the printer to purchase a new high end servo press for the same kinds of work.