Delhi-NCR based Provin Technos, the distributor of MHI-PPM, Ryobi MHI Graphic Technology Limited range of sheet-fed and heat-set web offset presses and Miyakoshi narrow and mid-web label presses in India, recently introduced the Miyakoshi MLP 16 – C semi-rotary offset label press at an open house organized at Pragati Pack’s Kukatpally unit at Hyderabad. The press that was ordered by Pragati a year ago and installed in the third quarter of 2017, is equipped with 7 offset units, 2 flexo units, a Pantec Rhino hot foil and a rotary embossing and diecutting units. BST eltromat scanning systems with two cameras for immediate and inline registration are installed on the press.
Pragati Pack now has six label presses at its Kukatpally plant in Hyderabad that give it tremendous flexibility and strength in terms of substrates, variable printing capability, run-lengths and premium value additions. These include four narrow web flexo presses, the HP Indigo digital label press and now the intermittent Miyakoshi.
The Miyakoshi offset intermittent press at Pragati Pack machine is capable of performing short and middle run jobs ranging from 500 meters to 30,000 meters. With a maximum web-width of 420 mm and maximum repeat length of 406 mm, it can run at a speed of 101.6 meters a minute and is capable of printing and converting substrates ranging from 70 to 300 microns.
At the open house, the Pragati team ran two labels. The team first printed on a clear film with white and 4-colors along with gold printing, coating and diecutting at a speed of 160 impressions a minute. The second label comprised of 4-color printing on a paper-based label stock with coating and hot foil stamping on the Rhino. The team took 20 minutes to switch from one job to the other excluding the hot foil makeready. The maximum printing speed attained by the machine during the open house touched 210 impressions a minute. The machine can run at a maximum speed of 250 impressions a minute or 101.6 meters a minute depending upon the film substrates and the application.
Advantages of the new press include gapless printing, fast changeovers and less material wastage since the intermittent capability means that the print length can be suitably altered for each project. The offset plates used by this machine make it more economical as compared to flexo and the plates are also faster to make. The in-line rotary diecutting and embossing features of the press help to produce premium labels that are difficult to produce in one pass using any other method.
“We can see a lot of things about the comparison of flexo with semi-rotary. To be honest, semi-rotary has both advantages and disadvantages. Lately, there has been an increase in demand in the market for short runs all over the world and one needs to understand the pros and cons of semi-rotary before purchasing it. Basically, the plate cost is cheap, a lot cheaper than flexo, and also the end cost can be more economical. Although we can make short-runs, the ease of operation may be different for those used to flexo. In offset there is the involvement of the dampening systems and one needs to be careful with the ink-water balance during the production process,” says Masamichi Nakamura, deputy sales manager of Miyakoshi. “All in all, if you have a flexo press and you think about going into semi-rotary, you have to train the production staff at the workfloor efficiently including the sales staff.”
“For those label printers who have an offset background, it is easy but for those who come from the flexo background, there are a number of parameters to watch out for. Flexo, offset and digital, all have their own advantages. But one needs to see which fits into his or her own process in order to make maximum profits,” says Vinay Kaushal, director of Provin Technos.
“Five years ago, flexo was the best option in the label industry as the volumes were much bigger; digital has its own importance in the market for very short runs. Today, the run lengths are getting trimmed day by day and that is where semi-rotary comes into play. It is ideal for trimmed run lengths and there are various factors behind this,” Kaushal concludes.