Sturdy Print has ordered a second Edale FL3 UV flexo label press and will take delivery of the machine in the first week of December.
The 350mm wide eight-colour machine will join a similar press installed at the Skelmersdale company three years ago. However, the new machine offers a cross over unit for two- and three-ply labels and reel and read products. It also includes the Edale Air, autonomous inking, impression and print registration system that cuts waste at start up and ease the burden on operators.
The system brings the cylinders into register using camera marks and when printing adjusts pressure of the plate cylinder by monitoring the quality of the full image using AVT technology. While the technology is a huge aid to reducing makereadies, as was demonstrated recently at Labelexpo, managing director Simon Sturdy believes there will be advantages also on longer runs.
“It will give 1005 quality control through the run, automatically adjusting the pressure as cylinders and ink react to the build up of heat. This makes the press a lot more operator friendly,” he says. “If we get the prepress right, the press will make ready a lot faster than the other machine, we can get the work through faster and it means that the skill levels are not as high. We can train someone to run it a lot faster. It seems to make sense to us.”
The company also runs a general commercial print division alongside the labels business. The focus is on longer runs in personal care, food and drink and labels for the chemical industry, says Sturdy. “We have a Xerox in the general printing side, but the label business is all flexo. We have been looking at it for years, but we cannot justify the cost, especially because of the speed that the technology becomes obsolete.”
This is contrast to the Edale equipment. Sturdy Print has recently added a Stork screen printing module to the first FL3 to meet a particular demand.
“Our market tends towards the longer runs,” he says. “We are not doing much in the wine or craft beer industry where shorter runs are needed.”
He hopes to have the machine in operation before Christmas and it will go immediately on double days, using existing operators to train others. A further advantage of returning to Edale is the compatibility between the presses, not just for operators but in terms of cylinders and tooling for die cutting.
Edale showed an FL3 at Labelexpo complete with Graphium inkjet unit and the EFX printer. Sturdy Print is taking neither of these, but will be using the Aiir technology for automated running of the eight colour UV flexo press which it will install in December.