Board Converting News, April 4, 2022

Cleaning, IR Drying (CONT’D FROM PAGE 48)

IoT Advantages Integrated IoT is another invaluable feature that facil- itates preventive maintenance by issuing prompts and eliminating unplanned downtime. This technology allows operators to view a system live to see if there’s anything starting to go wrong with it. It’s like the oil light in a car that comes on quite early and once it’s changed, it’s good to go. But without that early indicator, the next sign that the car is need of oil is when the engine blows up, which is a much bigger, more expensive problem. Efficiency Meets Quality The key to benefiting fully from cleaning and drying automation is accomplishing time savings alongside main- taining the overall print quality that brands and consumers have come to expect. Operators generally spend huge amounts of time cleaning and are non-productive at all stages of the pro- cess. It can take 10 or 15 minutes for each plate and every time to stop. And that’s for each and every print job that could happen multiple times throughout the shift. Imagine having a four-, five- or six-color print job, and most of these machines are anywhere from 2.1 to 2.8 meters wide, so it’s a time-consuming task to accomplish manually. During the production run, a huge amount of time is lost from stopping the machine to clean hickeys off and to clean debris from the printing plate to maintain the print quality, the demand for which is ever-increasing from cus-

are modular and can be easily changed without any tools in the event of a lamp failure or other malfunction. Most of today’s solutions require tools and extensive down time in order to replace a bulb. For the FlexoDry system we wanted to ensure that lamp changes had a very minimal impact on the overall efficiency. To do this we ensured that removing the module from the lamphead was a tool-less operation and could be completed in under 5 seconds. Modular segments have the added advantage of allow- ing the operator to manually adjust the width of the dryer depending on the board that is being run. In some cases, it is possible to automatically adjust the width of the dryer from the signal from the press, removing another step. It’s also possible to go a step further and turn off in- dividual modules where there isn’t any print. All these incremental savings add up not only to quite significant energy saving, but also to improving the overall process efficiency. Automation takes away processes from operators where possible to reduce overburdening them. There’s no point in having optimum settings for a given job if the op- erator is constantly having to manually make adjustments. With an automated drying system, the operator can call up configured settings from previous jobs before and enable them again to quickly have the best finely tuned settings for the conditions.



April 4, 2022

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