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At Infoflex in Indianapolis

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  • At Infoflex in Indianapolis

    The actual show opens tomorrow. Tonight was the banquet honoring winners in the FTA quality in flexo competition. Just wanted to share this photo of the FTA banquet which honoured a variety of flexo printers and of Hamillroad software receiving the 2018 Technical Innovation award for Bellissima screening.
    This pic also shows half of the attendees. Second from the left is Andy Cave the developer and Danielle Kinsella the chief marketing person. Click on image to embiggen.

    DSC06022 sm.jpg

  • #2
    Day 1.

    It's hard to show the crowds attending because I couldn't get an overhead view. Ground level pics just don't show attendance very well. Click on pics to embiggen.

    Show floor.jpg

    One of the educational solutions seminars:

    Andy speaks.jpg

    The first day of the show attendance was very good with booths seeing lots of interest from printers and trade shops. Most attendees were from the US and Canada, however there were folks from further afield (e.g. Germany, India, and the Japans). What surprised me were the number of commercial printers looking to add flexo to their service offerings - perhaps to offset the reduction in their offset business. Although they typically have in-house prepress they are looking to outsource their flexo prepress - to keep it separate from their offset work. Much like how digital was added to offset. Speaking of digital - I could not see much interest in flexo folks adding digital, nor extended gamut. This is very different from what I saw recently at LabelExpo in Brussels.

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    • #3
      it was a good show. im still intrigued by the bellissima screening but the limitations on anilox will probably keeps us from testing it. wont be early adopters on this.

      looks like i was captured in the bottom picture and my buddy on the top picture lol

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      • #4
        Originally posted by pushpixels View Post
        it was a good show. im still intrigued by the bellissima screening but the limitations on anilox will probably keeps us from testing it. wont be early adopters on this.

        looks like i was captured in the bottom picture and my buddy on the top picture lol
        Apex can provide loaner aniloxes for, I believe, a 3-6 month period, so that you can test for yourself. There is a technical reason that the GTT anilox was selected - its ability to consistently transfer ink. That is not to say that other aniloxes won't be certified in the future - but you've got to start somewhere.

        I agree, it was a good show for sure.

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        • #5
          i definitely dont think the aniloxes should be a deterrent for everyone but in our case it will be. if it was my call i would move forward with testing. for the company we will need to see that it is stable in more applications or that bugs found are resolved.

          its really an exciting development for flexo and i want to do some testing at some point.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by pushpixels View Post
            i definitely dont think the aniloxes should be a deterrent for everyone but in our case it will be. if it was my call i would move forward with testing. for the company we will need to see that it is stable in more applications or that bugs found are resolved.

            its really an exciting development for flexo and i want to do some testing at some point.
            I would love to understand why the change in aniloxes would be an issue for you. You can PM me if you don't want the reason public.

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            • #7
              We have experience with Apex aniloxes and have seen issues with them that may not show up in a 3-6 month trial. While I'm sure Apex would work with us to resolve the problems there would be costs including potential delayed shipments to customers if these issues happened during a production run. For us it would be better to wait to make sure these problems are resolved.

              To be clear, it is very possible that the issues we saw were aberrations and I don't want my comments to detract others from trying this. I know there are constant developments and breakthroughs in flexo. It is only normal for there to be some setbacks.

              Right now is not the time for us to do R&D with so many variables.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by pushpixels View Post
                We have experience with Apex aniloxes and have seen issues with them that may not show up in a 3-6 month trial. While I'm sure Apex would work with us to resolve the problems there would be costs including potential delayed shipments to customers if these issues happened during a production run. For us it would be better to wait to make sure these problems are resolved.

                To be clear, it is very possible that the issues we saw were aberrations and I don't want my comments to detract others from trying this. I know there are constant developments and breakthroughs in flexo. It is only normal for there to be some setbacks.

                Right now is not the time for us to do R&D with so many variables.
                Makes sense. Note that the Apex GTT is the only anilox certified for Bellissima - and that the GTT was redesigned about a year ago. If the GTT was the vexing one that you tried then perhaps the issues you experienced have been resolved.
                NB, I'm not affiliated with Apex.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gordo View Post

                  Makes sense. Note that the Apex GTT is the only anilox certified for Bellissima - and that the GTT was redesigned about a year ago. If the GTT was the vexing one that you tried then perhaps the issues you experienced have been resolved.
                  NB, I'm not affiliated with Apex.
                  Strangely, I have been thinking about this general problem of inking flexo plates for a while. Anilox cylinders work but I am not really a fan of the technology. Too simple and it has its own set of issues and lack of predictability.

                  In my view, which most people would think is a backward step, is to go back to a more letter press method of inking. This would of course require an improved roller train and a positive ink feed. As far as positive ink feed goes for flexo, I have experience with Dry Offset, which is very much like letter press with respect to inking. With the Dry Offset process, as used on Polytype presses, I think I now have a concept of how to provide performance consistency plus low cost automation of the inking method. The same general method could be applied to flexo.

                  The general benefit for this new flexo concept, would be very consistent and predictable print density. The ability to run higher tack inks and a variety of strengths. The ability to adjust print density. No issues with plugged anilox cells. No issues with ink transfer.

                  So, I see that this possible technical solution for flexo would be a bit more complicated but that is what would be required to gain more control and more operational flexibility.

                  Anyhow, I always have fun thinking of what might be possible.

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