flexo guy seeking advice on buying offset coater vs ir dryer


New member

Tasked with buying a good used offset press for our of our overseas plants.(we are a flexo house, and to date have outsourced the offset work. Budget is pointing me to a used Komori / Ryobi 20 x29 or so, (open to others) need 4 colors, no perfecting, and a coater, OR, can I consider a 5 color, that has IR dryers, and assume the 5th station can be used as a coater to add an overprint varnish?

I assume an anilox coater is best for speed and such, but is using the last station and adding an aftermarket Pierry / similar dryer an option?

Or do I not stress the lack of a coater, buy a 4 color, and buy a stand alone coater? Jobs are all small run.
Thank you all for your feedback


Well-known member
Just for clarity...usually the term “coated” would mean an aqueous coating applied with a blanket. While a “varnish” would mean an ink varnish applied by a metal plate.


New member
Thank you, the work we are targeting is 4 c and always needs an aqueous coating, usually a matte look.
Please educate me, I see used presses with dedicated coater, as well as machines with no coater, BUT an IR dryer. Am I correct that a 5 color machines with IR on last tower could accomplish what we seek , using the print tower to apply the coating and , i assume cured by the IR?
Thank you


Well-known member
you cannot apply Aqueous waterbased coating with a offset print unit, you need a dedicated coater with IR and hot air. You can apply varnish with a print unit but you will never match the type of coverage that you will achieve with a coater. If it were me I would get a 4 or 5 colour press + AQ coater with IR/Hot air dryer and extended delivery. There are many Matte and Gloss waterbase coatings available.
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