In co-operation with DuPont and several sleeve manufacturers, Dutch company Neroc Packaging has developed a new flexo sleeve system it claims is easy to use, reliable, and cuts costs significantly.

The Flag (Fits Like A Glove) concept comprises three elements: the air cylinder, the adapter and the sleeve. Sleeve and cylinder come in standard sizes. The adapters vary in thickness and slide between the sleeve and cylinder to bridge the register gaps. The thin, flexible sleeve is said to slip easily over the air cylinder and adapter – eliminating assembly costs and a minimizing preparation time.

Printing can commence as soon as the sleeve, which is polymer coated and then digitally exposed using CDI technology, has been slipped over the adapter.

In addition to being easy to use, the Flag will also reduce costs, says Neroc, as the use of adapters allows a standardized sleeve to be made from a very thin, polymer coated layer of polyester (wall thickness 0.33mm). With less material being used, the cost price is less than that of conventional sleeves, the company states.

As the sleeves are manufactured digitally, set-up and change-over times are reduced significantly. Furthermore, since the Flag concept allows faster printing in register, less material is lost on the presses and the amount of time saved is considerable, according to Neroc.