The meeting organized by I&C to anticipate technological contents brought to the international printing and converting shows Converflex and Grafitalia  by seven leading companies.

A fine undertaking that of I&C, that in March organized in Milan, along with seven business partners, a conference to preview the characteristics of the systems and technologies that will feature at the coming Converflex-Grafitalia at the stands of BST, Camis, Gama, Huber, Kodak, Re and Uteco.
Assisted by Maria Laura Lombardi, head of Com, who fielded her expertise in B2B communication and organization of events, the company headed by Sante Conselvan thus confirms its aptitude to "network" with the represented companies and with the businesses that resemble them the most in terms of product and market approach. This leads to obvious synergies on the organizational and financial front, but also a greater communicative capacity and flow, which in this case took advantage of all the opportunities offered by the interactive formula (after lunch, journalists were able to interview the speakers) and the convivial dinner break. All this against the backdrop of the Milan fair that constitutes the "Italian" printing and converting event and that hence requires careful preparation.

Flexo plates: Kodak reviews the situation. Flat.
After the warm welcome given by Conselvan, the first talk was given by Michele Pioli of Kodak, who fielded a consummate experience as a divulgator backed up by an effective audiovisual presentation. The centerpiece of the event, the Kodak Flexcel NX platemaking system with its unique performance.
In contrast, in fact, to the normal systems for the production of digital flexo plates, whose exposure technology determines the classic round shape of the dot profile, especially in areas of highlights, the Kodak Flexcel NX removes all oxygen during UV exposure, producing flat topped dots with a solid base and broad shoulder capable of standing up to all the mechanical stress of print operations.
The benefits are clearly visible, as is reflected in a higher quality and especially in the predictability of the results, uniformity of the print from job to job and from shift to shift; less downtime and faster start-up; wider tonal range without dirty highlights; softer highlights and changeovers; better contrast. Kodak Flexcel NX – Pioli thus stressed – is the only flexographic system which allows the identical reproduction of the image from the file to the plate. The resolution is up to 300 lpi and spot colors can be reproduced in standard CMYK, the same offset separations can be used, ensuring the portability of the gravure, offset, digital and flexo work; a significant improvement in compliance between tests and print is also obtained. Since the system enables 1:1 reproduction from the file to plate and hence the accurate printing of microtexts and microlines, a value-added print can be produced with anti-counterfeit printing at no cost.
This is performance that meets the needs of quality and affordability expressed by print buyers and the printers and that opens the doors to new applications of flexographic printing. With an additional benefit, for the environment (and in terms of outlay): with Kodak Flexcel NX waste in the press room is down 25%. Not to mention that the NX plates can be stored and reused without reworking, enabling longer runs to be obtained with the same set, while strokes and halftone screens can be combined on the same plate taking better advantage of full color…

Absolute plate mounting preview
 The second person to speak was Mike Attard, sales manager of Eurograv Ltd. and "promoter" of the Camis business at international level, present at the conference along with Davide Pesenti, general manager of the Lombard company, and the staff of I&C that look after Camis on marketing and sales in  Italy  and some other country. He illustrated the Camis DM platemounting system that is to be launched at Converflex 2013, equipped with another totally new device, the Taper Slide biadhesive tape applicator. At the stand the tested line of Iriflex, Irisleeve, Irismall platemounter systems and the machine for gravure printing of flexible packaging Rotocam, with which Camis has established itself as a benchmark in the printing of flexible packaging will be on show.
At the Milan conference flexo printing took centre stage. Its improvements in quality and productivity have also generated the need for superior performance plates and biadhesives in prepress area. The mounting of the plate on the cylinder/sleeve is, in fact, a complex procedure, where accuracy, simplicity and flexibility need to be combined so as to ensure a high level of standardization of the process. The process hence not only consists of the mere registering of the plate but constitutes several phases, each with its own specific objectives: correct application of the biadhesive, plate mounting to register, application of plate without distortion and damage and repeatability of operations. Objectives that the Camis system, inspired by the concept of "total control", have achieved through the development of dedicated solutions for each single phase.
A first example is offered by the newCamis DM system for plate dismounting, which automates the removal of the plates and prevents damage to the polymer or polyester liner, essential to allow the re-use (and hence the affordability of the process). To optimize the section workflow, Camis DM can be equipped with Taper Slide biadhesive tape applicator, and so increasing the yield of the mounting stations, improve the print quality by eliminating defects due to errors in the application of the biadhesive, reduction the machine stops attributable to the biadhesive and hence in the end minimize waste and general costs of the system.

Patent and graduation for the new brake
As well as showing the improvements made to the various equipment placed on the market in recent times on a special demo machine, Re Controlli Industriali, represented for the occasion by trade manager Roberto Galbiati, at Converflex will be launching the new pneumatic brake EXtreme. Fully patented in its design as well as in its operating principle, it is proposed as a new generation of industrial brake, able to guarantee high performance in a compact size, with pads that last a lot longer than normal.
EXtreme is a flagship product of the R&D department of the Bussero (MI) based company, a result of the continued activity of its technicians who have introduced and tested innovative, totally new materials to get unique guaranteed performance, and not just “on paper”. Prestigious partner of its development, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Brescia, that applied the most sophisticated computing systems and the most advanced engineering design technology to develop all the details and thus guarantee the performance subsequently verified in the Beta Test phase with all the care required. Performance well expressed in some significant figures: 1500 Nm of torque, 6 Kw of power dissipation, 300 mm diameter, 140 mm thick, 7 years of life of the pads …

A few words to understand better: the latest generation self ventilated disc in cast iron and flow-collector ensures a high cooling of all the critical areas of the disc itself, guaranteeing quality and consistency during the entire workcycle.
The essential and light aluminum bell has been designed to enable excellent heat dissipation and to allow the operator to easily check the brake pad wear with the naked eye and without having to completely disassemble the brake. In turn the pads, strictly asbestos free, have been made with new compounds, designed precisely to ensure extensive performance and life cycles (up to 28 thousand hours of production): in addition to pursuing the essential objectives of performance and economy, Re Controlli Industriali works with maximum respect for the environment and workers' health.

Technology and service: anti-crisis solutions
Leonardo Gobbi, commercial director of Uteco made his address in English, for the benefit of journalists in the international press invited to the event. His talk started from the difficulties that operators are facing all over the world and the pressing need to know, now more than ever, what needs to be done to remain competitive and to work with profit. The answers are imperative: increase contribution margins, increase productivity and efficiency and environmentally sustainable solutions.
The route Uteco has taken to ensure a suitable proposal is primarily of a technical nature, through the development of more advanced solutions, which are then applied to all models of printing and converting machines. Concepts such as the reduction of waste and downtime, increased productivity and print quality, production planning take shape in technical solutions, often patented, which offer real benefits to the customer. Similarly sustainability, which goes hand in hand with respect for the environment, is constantly pursued with the support of the company’s internal Converdrome R&D center and with universities.
Uteco is now working to strengthen its service and practice philosophy in markets around the world, to be closer to customers that, now more than ever, need to be able to work in a non-stop mode. And at Converflex Uteco will be organizing an open house at their Verona plant, connected to the Milan fair by a shuttle service, to show visitors the latest new features (the laser cutter, the special Shiny embosser, the Onyx 810 press with EB unit..) and a 10 color 1300 mm Onyx 108, specifically configured for printing flexible packaging, equipped with DuPont  plates and workflow. The Onyx in live demo will use digital plates with structured DuPont Cyrel® DSP surfaces, suited to applications that require a higher surface density of solid ink, capable of ensuring both a significant reduction of grain and wide tonal range with various ink substrates. The workflow will be optimized by DuPont ™ Cyrel® DigiFlow to reach new levels of quality and productivity.

The characteristics
of the"right" ink

Hubergroup is one of the largest European manufacturers of inks, paints and auxiliaries for printing on packaging, publishing and commercial printing. The company’s liveliness in R&D terms feeds an offer constantly enriched with new proposals that meets the emerging needs of users. Massimiliano Fantini Caretta, Product Manager Sublimation Transfer Inks, offered a rich range of products that anticipates the presentation to the visitors at the fair. Here are some examples.
• The Gecko solvent based inks for packaging printing form a modular system formulated to cover a large variety of applications with minimal products and components, and capable of meeting all food packaging requirements. They are based on an easy-to-use mixing system, which enables the formulation of the ink set (also special) starting from basic Gecko concentrates. This system has won a name for itself for its reliability and the ability to maintain high levels of productivity, to optimize the management of the ink and reduce waste and returns.
• The Hydro-X water-based liquid inks for flexographic printing also form a modular system of concentrates, thinners, coatings, additives, specialty products and services.
• The !inkredible brand products are characterized by special pigments, vibrant colors and excellent printability. They include inks for hot drying, printing of newspapers, printing sheets and reels.
• NewV is a brand that brings together UV inks, varnishes and additives, offering fresh and intense colors, with superior rheological properties and consistent quality, suitable for a great variety of substrates and printing processes.
• The Crown-MGA brand inks and varnishes are low-migration certified for food packaging, and are also organoleptically neutral and formulated according to GMP specifications.
• The NewV pack MGA are UV offset inks that contain only substances that do not migrate or are suitable for food contact. The low migration is guaranteed even if the process of crosslinking is incomplete.

Global debut for ink controls
As owner of I&C and commercial partner of Gama, Sante Conselvan then offered a series of previews of its new solutions for quality control in inks, for which the Robbiate (LC) concern is planning a global debut at Converflex. They are automatic systems for controlling viscosity, pH and temperature using VIS G28 and VIS G29 vibration technology. Characterized by compactness, ease of use, no mechanical parts subject to wear and low maintenance, they have been designed in order to minimize energy consumption and environmental impact, in compliance with explosion prevention laws. They also integrate the ink flow conduit with the printer.
The two versions are distinguished by sector of application. VIS G28 controls the viscosity and temperature of solvent-based inks and is suitable for publishing. VIS G29, on the other hand, features sophisticated software that controls the viscosity and pH of water-based inks and, where necessary, makes automatic adjustments by adding stabilizers. This system thus constitutes an important aid for print quality and enhancing performance in flexographic and rotogravure printers; moreover, it transmits this information to the operator in real time and issues a production report. The operator can archive the set-up and operational parameters for any later reprints, and all data can be sent to the management system for production cost analysis. VIS G29 can be integrated with the G90 system for ink temperature control; in such a way the temperature stabilizes between 22 and 25°, and foaming is minimized.
Capitalizing on its experience in the packaging sector, Gama has also created G100: an offline system available in multiple versions which, using a densitometer and/or spectro-densitometer connected to the viscosity system, reads the density values of the color scale of a print and sends the data to the supervisor for any automatic corrections.

Belt control and guides at the largest stand
At the largest stand of its history, BST Italia, a subsidiary of BST International GmbH, presents QCenter, QCenter.Spectral and the most recent developments in guide and rotary belt control applications, for optimizing production and measuring materials. Paolo Tamburrini, Managing Director of BST Italia, supplied some teasers, first and foremost involving the modular line QCenter, which established itself as one of the main attractions at the last Drupa, and in particular on the QCenter.Spectral unit for in line spectral color measurement. QCenter performs centralized control of a wide range of functions. It integrates 100% print inspection and visual belt control in a single platform, enabling the use of an intuitive touch screen interface to perform color check and measurement, enlarged view, detail selection, monitoring throughout the print development process and much more. This equipment also features gesture command and 1:1 image reproduction of the print step with HDTV quality.

The in line spectrophotometric measurement system QCenter.Spectral supplies homogeneous technical data on specific colors throughout the reel-fed print run. Thanks to the concern’s close collaboration with X-Rite, the in line measurements and those offline performed by portable spectrophotometric devices are now comparable and equivalent for the first time.
his solution sets the new industrial standard for color quality control and workflow simplification. Furthermore, BST presents for the first time in Italy the EKR 500 digital controller, a digital version of the well-known control unit for belt guide systems EKR 500 Plus, and the products of the recently acquired BST ProControl (formerly Betacontrol and Protagon), which broaden the BST offer with instruments for measuring thickness and weight in plastic film, paper, aluminium, etc.