Uflex launches first Made-in-India 8-color gearless CI flexo press

Ajay Tandon, president and chief executive officer, engineering business, Uflex; and Gianfranco Nespoli of Comiflex SRL with the 8-color gearless CI flexo press. Photo: The Packman

Uflex launched the first ever Made-in-India 8-color gearless CI flexo printing press, Uflexo Elisa, at an Open House organized at its Noida premises on 8 March 2018. The brand new Uflexo Elisa with an additional station for special coating applications is the resultant of a technology transfer agreement that took place during drupa 2016 between Uflex and Italy-based Comiflex SRL to manufacture CI Flexo printing presses.

We are even working a step ahead towards IoT (Internet of Things) which is still in the infancy stage where we will like to have failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) under the IoT based environment which will help identify what should be monitored in the product to minimize potential product failures — Sanjay Malik Sabharwal, executive vice president, engineering business, Uflex Limited.

Uflexo comes in two variants –Valle running at 300 meters a minute and Elisa running at 400 meters a minute. The first flexo press will be commissioned at Uflex’s own converting plant. “We as a practice use the first machine in-house. Only after it is tested and cleared on all operational parameters, we shall start supplying in the open market,” said Ajay Tandon, president and chief executive officer, engineering business, Uflex. The company already has orders for three presses which include one export order and two orders from the domestic market.

The level of automation in Uflexo is higher than any other comparable machines, and the cylinder bouncing level has been significantly reduced. Photo: The Packman

Gianfranco Nespoli of Comiflex SRL said, “The level of automation in Uflexo is higher than any other comparable machines, and the cylinder bouncing level has been significantly reduced. The design and construction of the machine is completely different from other CI flexo machines that reduce cylinder bounce.” The 120-mm thick side frames of the press also provide stability while running and contribute to reducing the cylinder bounce. Nespoli is a hardcore technocrat and is revered in the industry for his knowledge and expertise in designing CI Flexo printing machines for over 40 years now. Nespoli added, “The press is easy to operate, and offers very fast registration. Users can learn to run the machine under a very short learning curve.”

The level of automation in Uflexo is higher than any other comparable machines, and the cylinder bouncing level has been significantly reduced. The design and construction of the machine is completely different from other CI flexo machines that reduce cylinder bounce — Gianfranco Nespoli of Comiflex SRL

The CI cylinder of the flexo press is double walled, steel drum with 1400 mm diameter mounted on self alignment roller bearings, rectified and provided with water circulating system. Driven by a brushless AC motor with digital servo feedback, the CI cylinder has chrome protection on the surface. For a perfect synchronization between the central impression, plate and anilox mandrels, the CI cylinder is connected in axis with high precision digital ratio encoder connected in axis with the CI cylinder. There is also a thermo-regulator unit with closed loop circuit for the conditioning of the CI cylinder and the two chill rolls.

Uflexo is easy to operate, and offers very fast registration. Users can learn to run the machine under a very short learning curve. Photo: The Packman

Emphasizing upon the computer control management of the press Tandon said, “Uflexo Elisa is an extremely operator friendly printing machine with 19 inch one-touch screen monitor for complete setting of press and control of running conditions. The system comes equipped with modem connectivity to the service team of Uflex for remote monitoring, diagnostics and associated trouble shooting to provide real time assistance to the clients.”

Sanjay Malik Sabharwal, executive vice president, engineering business, Uflex, added, “The management at Uflex thinks about the future. In line with that, the machine can be operated with remote desk through an iPad also. We are even working a step ahead towards IoT (Internet of Things) which is still in the infancy stage where we will like to have failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) under the IoT based environment which will help identify what should be monitored in the product to minimize potential product failures.”

Visitors experiencing a live demo of the machine running at 400 meters per minute. Photo: The Packman

Speaking about the future of CI flexo presses, Sabharwal said, “In the times to come, re-cylability is going to be a big thing which will push more and more applications towards single films. Moving towards single films will make printing on stretchable films more and more in demand for which flexo is an ideally suited process. It will be the demand of the process in times to come and people will have to look forward to this technology. In short, more and more packaging in polyethylene is likely to come which is better and easier to print on using this technology, so there is a huge potential that we are all set to tap.”

–Mahan Hazarika