18 March 2017 Prepress

Apex unveils beginners Cron for B3 litho

Apex Digital Graphics aims to extend the success it has had with larger formats of Cron platesetters and plates into the B3 market.

Apex Digital Graphics is targeting remaining DPX installations in the UK with the entry level Cron UVP 2632 platesetter. “This is aimed at the B3 litho marketplace where we still have 200 polyester plate sits out there,” says Bob Usher, managing director of Apex Digital Graphics.

The unit was shown for the first time in the UK at the Real Print & Finish open house in Hemel Hempstead last week. “This uses the same UV laser as the other Crons for conventional plates, has 32 lasers and can image a maximum SRA2 plate,” he says.

It was running with plates developed in a standard soap solution, avoiding the need to store and dispose of photo processing chemistry. And it is a compact machine, smaller than other Crons, though bigger than the DPX that Apex hopes this will replace.

There is a new feed, taking the plate into the imaging drum which for the first time for the Chinese manufacturer includes a plate punch. On the larger models the plate travels across a bridge before punching.

The resulting plate has a run life of 200,000, though less on a press running UV inks. The platesetter will also run develop on press plates, produced by Cron or other providers.

The new unit is alongside existing Cron platesetters with either thermal or UV lasers for imaging conventional presensitised plates. These can be loaded on the RMGT9, SRA1 LED UV that is the centrepiece of the showroom. It means that printers can run meaningful tests on the new generation UV litho printing technology and plate companies can also run meaningful tests ahead of launch.

The press is set up to run plastics as well as paper and boards. This means there is an extended delivery with an LED UV system in the swan neck. This has higher power and thus a longer throw than the standard unit fitted on a take off cylinder. In turn it keeps the diodes away from any tendency for the tail of a polypropylene sheet to flick up and damage them.

The press also demonstrates the feeder developed by Mitsubishi for larger and faster machines, bringing a greater degree of feed accuracy to the Ryobi machine. A new design for the side frames completes the transition to a new corporate styling.

To date Apex has sold 16 LED UV presses in the UK, giving it more presses with this technology than other manufacturers. Nine of 11 sold machines are SRA1, four are eight-unit presses, four are B3 format and one is a B2 press.

The popularity of the Ryobi SRA1, says Usher, comes from being able to print eight A4s with bleed and crops on a sheet, and being available in any configuration from two to ten units, with perfecting and coaters as required. Apex has yet to sell any with coaters. “There is no longer any issue with yellowing of a varnish with LED UV,” says Usher.

The press is also fitted with Technotrans Inkmate agitators, needed because the UV inks are more viscous than a standard litho ink.

The press console also owes a great deal to Mitsubishi technology. A large flat panel display has feeds from three cameras to allow the operator to watch the feeder as well as delivery and the perfecting drum if fitted. It displays the ink profiles and feed from the PQS colour management system if fitted.

The event also featured equipment from Renz and IFS. It was inviting visitors to its own showroom next door where Horizon finishing lines and Perfecta guillotine were in operation. A Foliant laminator was put though its paces in the Apex area. This was running both lamination and digital foiling using a selection of products from Foilco. “The range for this type of foiling is increasing all the time,” says Lee Murphy of Graphic Arts Supplies. “It is about allowing digital printers to increase their margins by adding value to what they print.”

The foils can be overprinted for further impact or used in conjunction with Deprosa laminating films. The Spanish company is the originator of soft touch films and is still market leader despite a number of imitators.

Organisers claimed success for the low key event, attracting a mix of new and prior visitors among the 80 companies making the trip over the three days last week.

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Cron UV-P 2632

Cron UV-P 2632

Apex introduced the latest small format Cron platesetter during the Real Print and Finishing event last week. Like the larger Crons it will image UV sensitive or thermal plates, including chemistry free plates that are processed only in soapy water.

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