Daily demonstrations of the application of Toray’s waterless plates combined with a fully automated production environment is proving to be a big draw for the drupa crowds as they see how tomorrow’s print possibilities can become a reality.
A KBA Rapida 106 five colour plus coater running Toray’s waterless plates is being demonstrated in conjunction with an Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV) ASTI APC 40 and a robot from Industrial Robot Automation showcase the benefits of a highly automated production and how it can optimize on demand printing solutions.
“Printers’ interest has even exceeded our expectations,” says Izabela Batko, Sales and Marketing, Graphics. “Waterless offset gives them the opportunity to easily and efficiently print a wide range of substrates, from paper to just about any kind of non-absorbent material. By combining the efficiency and versatility of waterless UV with a highly automated system for material handling and finishing, Toray is taking on-demand offset printing to the next level of superior performance.”
Quick Change Demonstrations
A short run of just a couple of hundred sheets begins the demonstration followed by a quick change to a job running a completely different substrate. After just a few sheets of waste it achieves the sharpness and colour brilliance typical of waterless, with correct density and perfect register while fan-out is not an issue.
The Rapida 106’s dryer has options for both regular and HR-UV flash lamps for UV cure varnish, plus infra-red lamps and hot air for water-based coatings. It is also fitted with an automatic plate changer and inline inspection system for monitoring all critical parameters. Optimum waterless printing performance is ensured by EPDM ink rollers, individual ink zone temperature controls from Technotrans, and a sheet cleaner.
Toray’s green coloured waterless plates, which are covered with a silicone coating to repel the ink in the non-image area, can be imaged by any plate setter with an 830 nanometer thermal laser at up to 300 LPI and depending on the plate type and run lengths up to 100,000 impressions can be achieved. They are developed in a plate processor that uses only a fraction of the chemicals required for processing conventional printing plates helping minimize environmental impact.
Comments Ms Batko: “The point of our presentation is that any press can be used for waterless printing. This particular machine is not fitted with temperature controlled plate cylinders; a normal cooling system for the ink with individual zone controls is sufficient. Most modern presses have this provision.”
Time to Automate Savings
The Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV) ASTI APC 40 from Toray’s Spanish partner Asti collects the printed sheets and while the first job is being transferred to the finishing area for cutting, the plates and substrates are changed for the next job. It increases productivity by saving two to three minutes on every job, reduces handling damage and provides a safer working environment. It also eliminates the mundane task of moving pallets, freeing up operators to concentrate on tasks requiring their skills as printers.
As the jobs are printed with UV-curable inks rather than oil-based inks, even uncoated paper can be handled immediately eliminating waiting times.
The job can be cut or bound immediately shortening delivery times to print buyers.