We had an opportunity at Printpack to meet Codimag at the Genius Flexo stand in Hall 3. Codimag is a French company that manufactures an interesting label press that combines two interesting ideas – offset printing with anilox inking. The third element is to provide semi-rotary coating and finishing options.
The idea is to come up with a label press that can deliver the very high quality of high resolution offset printing and the relative ease of printing with flexography, which transfers fixed amounts of inks using the cell depth and design of the anilox rollers to determine the quantity of ink without much variation. Using dry offset plates and anilox inking also eliminates the need to achieve and maintain ink-water balance.
The idea of Aniflo is not dissimilar to that of Heidelberg’s Anicolor used on its smaller multicolor sheetfed offset presses or that of K&B’s Cortina web offset newspaper press, but Codimag says that it is the first to use the concept for narrow web label presses. Dry offset plates are of course much cheaper than flexo plates and also take about 4 minutes to make.
Codimag’s Viva Evolution series of presses use waterless offset plates from Toray for their 6- or 7-color printing units. The 7-color fixed set with CMYKOGV offers an extended gamut solution for producing most, if not all, of the spot and brand colors needed for labels. A flexo unit is used for varnishes. Both rotary and flatbed options are available for hot foil stamping and for embossing. Screen printing with semi-rotary screens is an option. For inline opaque white applications, there is an optional ink-jet bar from Xaar which offers high opacity that can replace traditional screen printing with similar quality and speeds.
The Codimag Viva comes in two widths – 340 mm and 420 mm. The Codimage Viva Evolution in the 340 mm width is the press designed for short-run labels and is claimed by the company to be competitive with digital – lowering converters’ break-even in comparison to digital label presses in the 250 meter to 1300 meter range.