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CODIMAG introduces ANIFLO technology to North America

Press release from the issuing company

(September 03, 2008) Labelexpo Americas will see the official launch in North America of the new VIVA 420 Aniflo. Designed for high-quality label printing, the VIVA 420 Aniflo is a pioneering keyless Anilox offset technology in the narrow web world.

Efficiencies are constantly monitored and reviewed in printing companies and phrases such as 'lean manufacturing' populate the vocabularies of printers. Weaknesses such as print process control are good candidates for improvement as this has traditionally been a weak point in the label manufacturing process.

Rotary offset technology has echoed the developments of sheet-fed machines, incorporating a lot of automation to achieve the highest level of standardization: automatic ink key control, closed loop color and register control, consistent ink/water balance for set-up or production speed, CIP3-4 integration. This demands a high level of process control from pre-press to finishing and a broad understanding by press operators of the systems.

Similarly, flexo has shown great improvements towards high-quality printing, with consistent degree of repeatability. Albeit, daily production shows that practical application still require a high degree of operator capabilities and manufacturing organization to produce good print results.

Therefore, the key for future success is high print quality married to a simple process with easy operation and the flexibility to react to customer's requirements.

Keeping it simple with Aniflo

CODIMAG implemented keyless anilox offset on its VIVA 420 range of presses to address label printer's expectations. Printing offset quality without the concerns of adjusting ink/water balance, roller pressures and maintenance; becomes a real opportunity in the label industry.

The key words are shorter set-up times and lower waste. On intermittent (semi-rotary) presses, time is not lost with size change as cylinders or cassettes do not need to be changed. Operators lose time when setting up color in the print units to get the desired results; this is one of the reasons why automatic ink key control is becoming standard on sheet-fed presses.

To avoid technology complexity, CODIMAG has developed an anilox offset alternative, with just four cylinders to get the ink from the chamber down to the web. To achieve a high level of standardization, an anilox roller (sleeve on a mandrel) is used to deliver a constant ink layer, as opposed to an ink fountain (duct). The ink is transferred to a form roller (rubber blanket) and then onto the imaged area of the plate. As this is offset technology, the ink is transferred to the web from the blanket.

When comparing an anilox offset unit to a traditional offset unit, the main difference is the number of rollers (usually more than 15 rollers on traditional offset unit). With just 4 cylinders, the Aniflo unit set up is much simpler and much faster.

In order to be able to control ink density, the Aniflo unit is temperature-controlled with water circulation into the anilox mandrel and with an IR lamp on the blanket cylinder. This system is much more reactive than an ink key control on a traditional offset unit.

With the Aniflo keyless system, the anilox creates a constant ink layer. Ink delivered to the web is precise and predictable. Color matching is built in and does not result in wasting time and material. The temperature control system allows color adjustment on press, so that the operator can fine tune color and match the proof without having to change the anilox.

Another issue with roller-dependant technologies (letterpress and offset) is ghosting, when the rollers and oscillators are not correctly set. The Aniflo technology, with four cylinders of equal size, results in ink distribution around the cylinder at 1:1, which eliminates the risk of ghosting.

Offset for labels

Label printers are increasingly interested in offset for two reasons: Quality and Cost.  Offset is the most common technology in the graphic industry. Pre-press is available everywhere. Printers are trained. You do not have to rely on complicated color separations to get good print results. CtP technology for offset plates is now common and affordable even for small print shops.

The cost of plates is very low, and mounting is very simple and accurate. It does not require D/S tape, as plates are clamped directly onto a cylinder.

There is an incorrect perception that offset is too complicated for the label industry, that it generates high waste and long set-up times and that has hindered its acceptance as a common technology.

Aniflo technology is the answer: You benefit from offset quality without the complexity of the process.

Proven technology

CODIMAG has been a pioneer in the label industry for many years with proven production philosophies. Similarly, Anilox offset technology has been used by sheet-fed press manufacturers such as Heidelberg and KBA, for different applications: plastic card printing, commercial printing and newspaper printing.

With the Aniflo, Codimag's strategy is to offer high efficiencies for short runs, with lower waste and shorter set-up times, providing profitable solutions for tomorrow's decreasing run lengths with offset quality.