The Innovation Shrink and Wrap (ISW) factory east of Johannesburg has more than enough space to accommodate great technology. Recently, however, that technology was dragging its castors.
Late last year, needing more capacity to meet the increased demand for short-run work spurred partly by the pandemic, co-owners Daniel Hanson and Gareth Ketley ordered a second-hand MPS EC 330 from the UK, a hark back to the first machine ISW ever bought. ‘We were banking on the machine arriving in early-2021, but with down-payment made and arrangements in place, the seller decided that he couldn’t part with the press and the deal disintegrated,’ Daniel divulges.
Patrick Aengenvoort of ROTOCON caught wind of the predicament and proposed the ideal solution – as only ROTOCON can – a brand-new ECOLINE RFP 340 über LED flexo press, boasting accurate registration at high speeds, eight servo motors and one die-cutting station.
The RFP 340 is finding homes across South Africa, this being the third installed locally over the last year, followed immediately by a fourth installation at another Gauteng company.
‘We completed the installation without a hitch at the end of July,’ Patrick states. ‘The press satisfies ISW’s need for a high-spec machine to handle both film and label work. The company should soon be hitting its peak of up to 200m/ min.’
The print unit features a double servo motor from Baumuller print sleeve technology, Patrick adds. It is suitable for all filmic and self-adhesive label materials.
It guarantees optimal ink transfer and pressure adjustment for accurate printing. Installing the printing cylinder in the printhead is a smooth and easy operation, and the print cylinders are lightweight and easy to handle. The impression roller has a water chiller system to ensure that filmic material is not affected by the UV curing temperature while printing. The unwinding unit is equipped with a corona treater, dust cleaning unit and static electricity system for maximum printing stability. A BST web guiding and web inspection video system and a UV LED curing system for an improved energy footprint complete the picture.
The two companies’ association goes back almost to day one of ISW, when ROTOCON supplied spares for its first UK-sourced MPS press. It has endured through years of supply of tooling such as flexible dies, and print and magnetic cylinders.
The run-up to the installation added a few grey hairs to the Hanson head, but things worked out. ‘Fortunately, as is always the case in this industry, our customers were very understanding of our predicament and extremely patient, and we managed to honour their orders through some fancy footwork,’ Daniel remarks.
‘Now, with the new RFP, we’re making up for lost time and are actually in a far better position than we would have been with the second-hand machine. Our supplier’s change of heart was actually a godsend.’
Now that’s an über-satisfying resolution if ever there was one.
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