So, what is REVO and the Digital Flexo Revolution? REVO is a flexo technology developed by a team of industry supplier partners with the goal of “digitalizing” the flexo printing process. Along with Gidue (presses), the REVO team consists of Adare (converter), Apex (Anilox), AVT (inspection), DuPont (plates), Esko (prepress), Flint Group (inks) and UPM Raflatac (labelstocks). The print method the team developed integrates the latest developments in UV flexo, extended color gamut and digital automation technologies. With REVO, traditionally manual flexo operations such as ink color matching, pressure and register settings, and exchanging of print cylinders are fully automated and digitally controlled. PMS colors are “digitally” prepared via software. Inks and anilox rolls are never changed in the press. With 7 colors, most PMS colors can be reproduced, and an unlimited number of PMS colors can be printed within the same job.
With the Gidue open house as the setting for REVO’s world premier, there were four technical seminars and four live demonstrations each day of the event. The demos were executed on the Gidue M5 press for labels and the Gidue 630 for flexible packaging. The M5 demo for labels featured a configuration of 370mm web width, eight colors, three diecutting stations and Gidue’s full “digital” nonstop automatic exchange of print cylinders and diecutting tools.
REVO technology incorporates Ancora Low Migration UV inks, Cyrel DFUV photopolymer plates, GTT anilox rollers from Apex, Esko’s Equinox separation pre-press, UPM Raflatac’s Fit range of substrates, Infinite Flower print units from Gidue, and the AVT Helios II 100% inspection system. Following the Open House, the REVO Set of Technologies is now available globally as a “turnkey” package.
Dan Pulling, Esko business development manager, commented on finally seeing REVO in action. “To see REVO finally come to life was fantastic. Even more amazing was the interest among print converters and their suppliers to look at new possibilities in manufacturing – this is exactly why REVO was created. REVO is about combining technologies to simplify, automate and consistently produce labels or flexible packaging in the most efficient way possible. As a turnkey solution, REVO provides converters a simple out-of-the-box solution. Essentially, REVO delivers a flexo press with 1200 Pantone colors built in.”
Friedrich Wolf, DuPont’s technology manager, Packaging Graphics Europe, said, “During the Gidue open house, the REVO system demonstrated excellent print qualities, with high consistency, high flexibility and high productivity. The concept using consequently seven colors, within a highly standardized and automated print system, is a huge progress step for packaging and label related productions. The synergies of the involved industry partner’s results into revolutionary system functionality, with features matching market needs and expectations.”
Nick Harvey, technical director, printing solutions EMEA for Apex Group of Companies, emphasized the transparency between the REVO Team members as being key to the project. He says, “During the project, there has been a complete openness between the team members, that has enabled each partner to make minor adjustments and modifications to their products to ensure all parameters are completely in tune. This is truly unique. During the Open House, Apex has been able to explain to the audience the importance that the GTT engraving plays in achieving this required level of consistency.”
“It was a great feeling to see our vision behind REVO come to life and to see customer when they realized during the demonstrations how truly revolutionary REVO is," said Niklas Olsson, Flint Group's global brand manager. "It provides tools for converters to address the needs for short run label work, offering a viable scalable alternative from ultra short runs of labels, over to a game-changing way to produce flexible packaging. REVO has the solution for any converter no matter what label sector that is important to them, but we also showcased a first ever turnkey solution for the needs of the flexible packaging industry. At Flint Group Narrow Web we are confident that through cooperation and team efforts we are able to push the boundaries forward to offer solutions that will change the industry.”
Adare is label converter based in the UK, and as a member of the REVO Team, brings a different perspective than its supplier partners. The company played the important role of field-testing and validating the technology as it developed. “As the end user of all of the REVO technologies, it was a joy to watch three days of live demonstrations,” said Daragh Whelan, Adare’s technical director. “By a simple push of a button, each job was set up automatically – with little user intervention – producing the same results every time. Adare is excited about the endless possibilities REVO will bring to our customers. Design flexibility, shorter lead times, reduced minimum order quantities and high definition print to name just a few.”
Concluded Matteo Cardinotti, Gidue’s managing director, “Working on the REVO Digital Flexo Revolution Project has been a great experience. I believe and, as already stated loud and clear, I’m deeply impressed about the performances and features of the REVO Digital Flexo Revolution. The open house activities were a great success and raised high interest. I’m sure it will have many positive consequences for everybody in the near future.”
At Labelexpo in September, Gidue will introduce REVO for the first time to the Americas market.