Spot color printing on CI flexo pressesSoma develops cartridge for solvent-based and UV curable inksSoma Engineering has developed a new ink cartridge system for spot color printing on CI flexographic printing presses. Developed in conjunction with the launch of its new 800 mm wide, Optima printing press, the system offers printers a means of reducing ink costs on printing jobs where expensive spot colors, special effect and metallic formulations are required. These high pigment inks are expensive consumables and reducing ink volumes and residual waste permits printers to maintain profit margins while meeting end user price demands.
Soma Engineering has developed an ink cartridge system for spot color printing on CI flexographic printing pressesOn a typical 7-color job using solvent-based inks for example, the pumps are primed with CMYK and spot colors. The minimum volume of ink for each color in the system including a doctor blade, ink hoses and ink bucket is 6 litres for each color, plus ink to print, for example, 400,000 labels. When the print run is complete the 6 litres of ink for each color is returned to the ink bucket. This is feasible for the CMYK inks, but for Pantone spot colors and expensive metallic formulations that cover less than 1% of the print area, it is not practical. Using the ink cartridge system for the spot colors reduces ink waste and provides considerable savings. The ink cartridge system operates at a minimum level of one litre and at a maximum of three litres. Based on current experience Soma claims to have seen an average of 17.9% in ink savings.
The Soma ink cartridge is suitable for water-based, solvent-based and UV curable inks; fixes easily and quickly on the doctor blade chamber cross beam without tooling; has an integrated automatic viscosity control and wash-up; offers touch screen panel control to each printing deck; has a simple tool free maintenance; and is available for all Soma flexographic printing press models.
The cartridge is patent pending and advances the flexographic printing process by providing users
with a competitive edge and a new tool that saves time and reduces costs and waste while maintaining profitability. The system is unique to Soma and a first in CI press development and design.