Agfa Graphics today announced that Le Mac Australia Group, a packaging printer that specialises in flexible packaging and bottle labels, recently installed the :Dotrix Modular digital UV inkjet press. The company, which has been operating since 1983, purchased and installed the system earlier this year. Le Mac needed a solution that would help them as print buyers were trending toward shorter runs with greater variety.
“We have printed UV flexo since 1998, but run lengths have been falling steadily. Jobs that were once 30,000 running metres are now down nearer to 10,000 running metres and still dropping. Print buyers and brand owners are looking to buy smaller quantities more frequently, and change things more often for special promotions and do all this with shorter lead times,” said Ken Fletcher, Le Mac’s GM R&D.”
Le Mac’s clients are world famous brands such as Coca-Cola, Unilever and Diageo, and they demand the highest quality, and the most attractive and functional packaging at the best possible price. Keeping up with the demands at the top end of the market is challenging, but Fletcher has been tracking developments in digital press technology for some time, and thanks to Agfa’s Dotrix, he is able to deliver every time.
“We have shown the :Dotrix output to our customers and they like what they see,” Fletcher said. “The quality of the low migration, low odour :Agorix LM UV ink is the same from start to finish. Flexo printing has to be done carefully to ensure stable colour density and register. With :Dotrix, ink density issues or colour mis-register problems can’t occur. The UV colours are applied in a single pass guaranteeing register while density is digitally controlled. :Dotrix Modular allows us to tackle the shorter/medium run work where flexo can struggle due to the time and cost needed to make plates and set the press up.”
“Environmental factors are increasingly important in the Australian print market and the :Dotrix Modular is helping Le Mac cut waste dramatically. With a typical flexo press there are several hundred meters of waste produced at start up. With the trend increasingly towards shorter press runs, the result would normally be a significant rise in waste. However, the :Dotrix Modular has no start-up waste and it doesn’t need to stop between jobs since it switches between them whilst maintaining full production speed,” said Jan de Vooght, head of marketing and sales at Agfa Graphics, Industrial Single Pass Inkjet.
The :Dotrix Modular digital UV inkjet press, with a printing width of 63cm, is the most productive UV, single-pass printing press in the industry. :Dotrix is the only digital press able to print with high production capacity on a wide variety of substrates ranging from flexible foils, 20µm over self-adhesives, to folding cartons up to 600µm. With its modular construction, traditional UV flexo printing stations that can serve as coating and varnishing alleys can be added to the roll-to-roll basic configuration. Slitting and die-cutting as well as sheeter installations can also be integrated to complete the system.