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.
“In today’s world with decreasing run lengths, the low make-ready waste of waterless has a great impact on the bottom line; especially when using costly materials are often used for packaging and security products,” says Ms Batko.
Using Sahara UV Cure ink from Classic Colours switching between paper and non-absorbent substrates, like different kinds of plastic or metalized materials, is easy – a critical factor for achieving maximum productivity.
“Waterless is a valuable tool for printers seeking to expand their product range and increase profit.” states Ms Batko.
“Waterless plates produce razor sharp, brilliant images, with a wider colour spectrum than conventional printing, on nearly any kind of non-absorbent substrate, like plastics, foils, metal or even wood.”
She adds: “No dampening water gets rid of the instability problems one has with conventional UV printing, resulting in higher quality consistency, less waste and the elimination of all fountain chemicals from the effluent. A B1 format press running web offset on three shifts consumes up to 100.000 liters of water, 10.000 liters of IPA and 3500 liters of fountain concentrate every year. Toray plates provide a totally sustainable process that has the highest quality and environmental credentials.
By combining the best technology for both printing and finishing the printers of tomorrow can achieve maximum productivity and product diversification.