Hampshire, UK - The Demax Graphic Arts Group, Bulgaria, has invested in a fully-automated Edale FL5 single-pass flexographic press to print sophisticated lottery scratch cards. The press, the first of its kind in Europe, has been installed at the Demax production facility in Sofia and has already transformed the company's scratch card printing capability. Edale flexographic presses are distributed in North America by Matik, Inc.
Demax is a diversified and successful business specializing in digital, plastic cards, labels, flexible packaging holographic and security printing and has over 40-percent share of the label printing market in Bulgaria. The investment in the new Edale FL5 press was made to transform the company's lottery scratch card production and provide extra capacity to support the company's expansion outside Bulgaria. The fully-automated 20-inch (510 mm) wide, 17-color FL5 web-fed press at Demax integrates UV flexo and digital variable data printing and verification with in-line cold foiling, sheeting and stacking in one complete system. Instead of a six-step sheet-fed offset process, the complex cards are now all printed roll-to-sheet in one-pass on this new press.
The press installation was supported by Edale's Bulgarian partner Dominov and, since it was commissioned, Demax has experienced significant benefits due to improved productivity, fast turnaround, reduced waste and higher profitability. The first job was 600,000 tickets and, in the last three months, the new press has already printed over 12 million lottery tickets for the Bulgarian market.
The press is also the first in the world to feature Edale's new integrated AiiR system, which ensures the high-level of accuracy and consistency Demax needs when printing scratch cards. AiiR is a fully autonomous inking and print impression and camera controlled liner and cross registration system. Aiir features camera-based press control technology and guarantees an optimal level of registration not seen before in single-pass printing. Bespoke software developed in-house ensures that five additional motors, individually positioned on each print station, adjust the print impression, inking and cross register to ensure the highest print quality. By fully automating print and registration processes, the level of operator intervention is reduced leading to fewer errors and a more consistent, higher quality final product.
"The FL5 gives us a total solution manufactured and supported by Edale, giving us complete confidence when printing time-sensitive and quality-sensitive lottery tickets," says Ivan Nesterov, Demax Technical Director. "This press with multi-color with cold foil and varnish gives us a significant boost in capacity, and gives us the ability and opportunity to produce more creative games. We used to need three weeks' lead time to produce a million tickets, now it takes just two days."
"It's testimony to the power and flexibility of the innovative FL5 system that Demax has chosen it to transform its lottery card printing operation and significantly boost its capacity. Accurate engineering and registration are critical for lottery card production and the FL5 is the ultimate precision printing system," says James Boughton, Managing Director of Edale.