Direct laser engraving of flexo sleeves made from elastomer type materials could receive a boost from recent technical advances and trends towards shorter runs of shrink sleeves and film wraparounds. The single-stage process eliminates dispros and plate mounting, allowing users to typically produce finished flexo (or letterpress or dry offset) plates in around 20 minutes. This offers obvious benefits where short turnaround times are critical.
These factors prompted Laritryck, a Swedish converter of food and beverage labels, to install a Stork Prints Helios engraving system as part of its move into flexible packaging. The Helsingborg company also backed this expansion by installing an eight-color Mark Andy XP 5000 UV flexo press fitted with Stork rotary screen units for producing labels and flexible packaging.
The company considers the Helios system ideal for coping with volumes of film based work that increasingly have lead times measured in just a few days. The unit helps it avoid the potential bottlenecks formerly experienced when using conventional plates supplied by trade houses. An absence of post processing stages has seen to be especially useful when plate remakes are required. The digitized system is also said to meet the company’s high standards of reproduction quality, while offering greener credentials than conventional platemaking: it eliminates chemicals, film and UV light exposure — and offers dot-sharp repeat platemaking after uploading the relevant file.
• The Stork Prints Group has opened a new Technology Center at its headquarters in Boxmeer, the Netherlands. It houses five rotary screen printing lines. Customers can test RotaMesh and SpecialScreen cylinders with their chosen inks, coatings and substrates, supported by Stork’s technical engineers. Bespoke training programs are also be held at the new facility.