Zecher – improving quality while reducing the cost of anilox rolls

Zecher’s technical webinar and demo for flexo techies

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Sven and Svetlana presented Zecher's anilox technology on 15 April 2021 Screenshot PSA
Sven and Svetlana presented Zecher's anilox technology on 15 April 2021 Screenshot PSA

Zecher’s webinar on 15 April 2021 had quite a bit of helpful content for flexo printers. Meant for savvy users of flexography, it presented several ideas that, if combined, can save printers considerable money and at the same time improve their quality.

The webinar showed the range of Zecher products and services. It discussed how adopting one, and preferably several options available from the company could considerably reduce the cost of tooling for flexible packaging and label printers.

The Zecher colleagues Sven and Svetlana said that, in general, huge savings could be made by reducing the number of anilox rollers that a plant buys, uses, maintains, and cleans. “Printers have too many anilox rollers,” they said. They introduced the company’s HIT aniloxes with open-cell volumes, and its Stepped Hex engraved anilox rollers that can save up to 5% in ink.

Zecher webinar discusses savings using its Stepped Hex anilox rolls Screenshot PSA
Zecher webinar discusses savings using its Stepped Hex anilox rolls Screenshot PSA

They showed a typical list of rollers that a flexographic printer might have and how as an example, this number can be reduced from 30 to 22 anilox rolls. A vital benefit of the Zecher technology is that its rollers are plasma-treated, which improves ink transfer across a variety of image saturation.

The webinar then proceeded to the Windmoeller and Holscher demonstration center in Lengerich. Zecher anilox sleeves were used to demonstrate a difficult flexible printing job with a gold halftone and solid but produced using just using CMYK units and a spot color brown on one more unit of the W&H Miraflex CI flexo press. The Kodak Flexcel NX flexo plates were provided by one of the leading German prepress suppliers.

The event was interesting for those who are keen to refine their practical technical knowledge of flexography and the use of various types of anilox rolls. The presenters spoke about Zecher’s refurbishing service for anilox rolls. And interestingly pointed out that they can re-engrave the old anilox rollers with some of the new cell formations and treatments. The laser cleaning of anilox rolls was discussed as the ultimate way of performing this necessary task. It became clear that tooling is one area that can help to improve quality and ease of operation while also controlling overall costs.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy.

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