Comexi Group introduces OFFSET CI8, the market’s first offset printer with a central drum for flexible packaging (n92/2012)

- This innovative printer provides a response to the key challenges encountered in the plastic film printing sector

- The COMEXI OFFSET CI8 was presented at Drupa, the international trade fair dedicated to printing

- The COMEXI OFFSET CI8 reduces cost per m2 by some 30% for short runs and increases annual production by 50%.

Girona, 3th May 2012 – Comexi Group, a specialist in the manufacture of machinery for the flexible packaging converting industry, has presented the COMEXI OFFSET CI8 at the Drupa international trade fair. The company’s latest printer extends all the benefits of offset printing to printing on plastic films and flexible materials, marking a turning point for the sector.

After five years of work, the company’s R&D&I team has developed an offset printer with a central impression drum and variable format that uses solvent-free inks — characteristics that make it a market first.

With the COMEXI OFFSET CI8, Comexi Group is providing a response to the main challenges encountered in the flexible packaging printing sector: enhancing print quality, minimising time to market, reducing costs and protecting the environment.

The COMEXI OFFSET CI8 is equipped with cutting-edge printing tools and processes, guaranteeing the quality levels demanded by today’s packaging market. It also overcomes the drawbacks of this type of printing on non-absorbent and stretchable media.

One of the new machine’s most striking innovations is its sleeve and servo motor technology. By means of light sleeves made from aluminium or PU composites, the continuous process typical of this type of printing becomes highly repeatable and the job changeover process is streamlined. With the OFFSET CI8, a run changeover can be performed in a matter of minutes as the sleeves can be prepared with the plates and blanket cylinders in place.

For their part, the servo motors on the individual printing cylinders, combined with the central impression drum CI technology, make it possible to rapidly configure colour-to-colour registrations and to maintain registration accuracy throughout the entire run.

Another feature that helps to minimise time to market is faster pre-press, thanks to the offset lithographic plates. Design and production of this type of plate takes just a few minutes, which means that the machine can start working with very little downtime. The pre-press elements for flexo and gravure printing, technologies widely used in flexible packaging printing, offer production times of between 1 and 2 days and 1 and 2 weeks, respectively.

Having this type of printing technology at your disposal reduces both production time and costs, thereby minimising the overall cost of printing. The COMEXI OFFSET CI8 reduces cost per m2 by some 30% for short runs and increases annual production by 50%.

Thanks to the high level of automation of printing functions, all settings can be saved and retrieved in order to process identical or similar jobs, therefore also shortening delivery times.

The offset technology for printing on flexible material also enhances print quality, thanks to both the central drum and the wide variety of screen technologies. Central impression offers great positional stability of the reel on the surface of the drum, ensuring perfect image positioning for each repeat operation as well as stable and predictable colour reproduction.

The new machine from the Comexi Group can reproduce 2% and 98% screens and more than 80 lines per centimetre, making it compatible with the latest digital screen methods, so producers can define the optimum processing conditions for their jobs.

As regards sustainability and printer efficiency, a key feature is electron beam curing. This process is applied with inks made with a liquid mix of monomers and oligomers, supplemented with pigments and other additives. In contrast to UV-cured inks, EB-cured inks contain no photoinitiators, which prevents the risk of migration, making the process perfectly suitable for food-grade packaging.

Systems incorporating EB curing produce much less heat due to the absence of infrared radiation, avoiding deformation and tolerance problems as well as the expense incurred by the cooling system needed for UV curing.

Furthermore, EB inks for lithographic printing contain no solvents. This attribute, combined with the dampening water and correct temperature in the roller train, makes it possible to reduce viscosity sufficiently to obtain the properties necessary for optimum ink transfer.

The COMEXI OFFSET CI8 delivers a highly sustainable conversion process thanks to the elimination of solvents and its low energy consumption, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint that is perfectly in keeping with the company's environmental protection philosophy, in addition to improved safety and working conditions for printing professionals in the field of flexible packaging.

All the Comexi Group novelties will be on show in Hall 10 C62 of the Drupa Trade Fair.

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