Developments in drying and curing

Flexo goes to extremes

PCMC claims to have taken drying technology to a new level with its eXtreme dryer technology. Winner of two technical innovation awards, it is said to have met with great success in various new and retrofit installations around the world.

“Customers wanted better drying, and we gave it to them, “boasts PCMC marketing specialist Lisa Prunty. “This system was introduced with the launch of the eXell 11 colour printing system a few years ago, but it was quickly adapted to our new generation of gearless flexo presses. Both the Infiniti II CI model and the new Evolution in-line flexo converting system use the innovative technology.”

The dryer has been successfully retrofitted into both PCMC and competitors’ equipment and is “the most important drying technology breakthrough in 25 years,” she claims. “These installations have seen increased line speeds, along with energy savings, lower maintenance, and lower retained solvent levels. These are just a few of the benefits that eXtreme customers have noticed.”

Jeff Calaway, technical director of De Pere, Wisconsin, based packaging converter Belmark, reports “tremendous” results. “We had a unique drying problem that PCMC helped us solve in a fast, professional way,” he states. “The new eXtreme dryer increased our drying capabilities and helped us exceed our customer’s requirements. In fact, PCMC ‘s dryer increased our line speeds over 25 per cent.”

Greg Lund, plant engineer at Printpack, in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, is another satisfied customer: “PCMC has proven the benefits of the system to our organization. It has done everything they told us and more. The system has increased our line speeds, lowered our retained solvent levels, and assisted our operators with easier set-up. It is quieter and the nozzles have not clogged, even when we have experienced ink spills or applied a coldseal.”

PCMC Tel: +1 920 494 5601.

EB more economical

“The lowest priced production based EB system in the world” is ESI’s claim for the EZCure-III, introduced at CMM, last month. Designed for high speed web production, this new system can be retrofitted or installed on new production lines from 50-165cm width. It is designed to cure wet-on-wet EB flexo inks, coatings and laminating adhesives for the packaging industry. The inks dry instantly, and solvents and heat are eliminated from the web, according to ESI.

The company points out that EB coatings can be used to replace multilayer laminations with a single ply substrate and an EB cured topcoat. The EZCure-III can also cure EB laminating adhesives, which are 100 per cent solvent-free and cure instantly. This allows food flexible packaging converters to print, laminate and slit all in-line.

Energy Sciences Tel: +1 978 694 9000.

Film drying system keeps its cool

UV curing of heat sensitive unsupported lightweight packaging films is now possible on standard label printing presses, claims GEW. The company’s new VCP-Film system is designed for UV curing on heat sensitive unsupported filmic substrates when there is no standard chill roll on the press

Presses designed to print these substrates are normally equipped with chill rolls beneath the UV lamps, to minimize heat at the point of curing. However, VCP-Film is said to enable such work to be undertaken on presses not equipped with chill rolls, as the dryer has its own integral water cooled chill roll. Cooling of the web is claimed to be more efficient because of the wrap-around contact with the chill roll at the point of curing, and low water temperature.

  Available in power ratings up to 160W/cm, for print widths up to 45cm, the new unit is said to be very compact, to fit in the small spaces available on most presses. Low friction bearings, rotary water unions, and close tolerance precision machining minimize roller drag and help keep perfect register, according to GEW. A small refrigerator provides water cooling to control each roller to the optimum temperature for curing. A slide-out cassette provides access for easy maintenance.

GEW (EC) Tel: +44 (0)1737 824500.

All about radiation curing

RadTech Europe 2003, to be held in Berlin from November 3-5, offers a major exhibition and conference on all aspects of radiation curing materials and equipment.

Vincentz Network Tel: +49 (0)511 99 10 273.

Megtec’s more for less

Megtec claims its Legacy high efficiency dryer has features usually found only on more expensive units. A compact design is said to provide superior drying for low and mid speed presses. The patented Dual-Dry air bar system is claimed to ensure complete web stability. Other features are said to simplify set-up, reduce wait times, decrease paper waste, prevent sapping and provide superior operator safety.

The Dual-Dry system is also said to handle the web speed and stability demands of the world’s fastest presses with ease. The design of the air handling system and temperature balance within the multi zone Dual-Dry III unit is said to prevent solvent condensation and ensure print quality. Temperature profiles for all printing conditions are automatically adjusted by a PLC to reduce waste and lower energy consumption. Remote service monitoring facilitates preventive maintenance and assists troubleshooting.

The Dual-Dry TNV integrates the drying abilities of the Dual-Dry III with a recuperative oxidizer said to deliver 99.9 per cent VOC destruction with up to 70 per cent thermal recovery for low energy consumption. The built-in oxidizer eliminates separate installation costs, ductwork and redundant controls.

Megtec Tel: +44 (0)1628 776244.

Paper damping for digital print

The Weko-RFDi rotor damping machine is designed to balance the moisture content of paper webs used in high performance digital printing – restoring the material to its original condition and quality. In the digital printing process, colour toner is generally fixed onto the substrate by heat. This causes a loss of the inherent moisture in the paper, with an adverse effect on the properties of the paper and on subsequent processing.

By restoring the natural moisture to printed material, the Weko-RFDi is claimed to eliminate all problems associated with dry paper – such as static electricity and curling – increasing both quality and productivity. The stand-alone unit, which uses ordinary water, does not require its own drive and can be connected to a standard power point. There are no electrical or mechanical connections to the printing system and a quick acting shutter permits rapid start-stop operations. Weko says successful trials have been conducted at a number of sites

Weko (UK) Tel: +44 (0)20 8549 8039.

UV lamp changes made ‘in seconds’

IST Metz’s FLC (Fast Lamp Change) wireless UV lamp system is said to allow lamp changes within a few seconds. There are no mechanical parts to be unscrewed, nor any cable connections. The used lamp is simply removed from the UV module and the new lamp is fixed by a snap lock.

IST Metz Tel: +49 (0) 70 22 6 00 20.