Flexo press exceeds expectations

CE Stewart’s general manager Nash Soodhoo (second from left) with the Rotocon team of John Lombard, Pascal Aengenvoort, Akhmuth Sayed and Patrick Aengenvoort.

CE STEWART, a Durban-based labelling and packaging solutions specialist, recently invested in a ROTOCON ECOLINE RFP 340 LED flexographic printing press, Pro Mount platemounter and Pro Clean anilox roller cleaner.

This latest round of investments follows a business partnership built up with general manager Nash Soodhoo over 16 years, as well as the purchase of four rewinding machines from ROTOCON in the past two years.

Nash explains that this project to pursue new market opportunities started three years ago when CE Stewart’s director Roy Soodhoo did thorough research before investing. ‘Roy liked the functionality of the UV-LED curing system and servo-driven technology,’ he states. ‘After quizzing the ROTOCON team to determine if the press was the best fit for the company’s needs, he had the peace of mind to proceed and trust the team’s expertise.’

He adds that Michael and Pascal Aengenvoort made the investment process easier and played a key role in realising this project for CE Stewart. ‘The exceptional back-up, tooling and service we receive from ROTOCON’s Durban branch manager, Akhmuth Sayed, is also a valuable asset when investing.’

CE Stewart has invested in the flexo press primarily for self-adhesive labels and converting unsupported films. Nash reports that the press held perfect register after successfully running 38μm BOPP film trials for one of the company’s customers. ‘As BOPP tends to stretch, it can be described as a difficult job, but we were impressed by the press’ capabilities and quality,’ he comments.

According to ROTOCON director Pascal Aengenvoort, each printing unit is driven by a separate servo motor, and is designed for optimal ink transfer and pressure adjustment. This results in crisp, consistent printing in high line counts, text, linework, solids, adhesives and varnishes.

He points out that the BST web guiding and inspection systems ensure high quality during the printing process. The precision helical gear transmission of the lightweight aluminium print cylinders is designed for high accuracy, while the unwind unit is equipped with a corona treater, dust cleaning unit and static system for maximum printing stability. ‘Additionally, the UV-LED curing system improves the energy footprint across the dual web path. The filmic material isn’t affected by the UV curing temperatures during printing, thanks to a water chiller system linked to the anvil roller,’ he maintains.

Complementing the consistent quality of the flexo press is the Pro Mount platemounter and Pro Clean anilox roller cleaner, which were introduced last year as part of the ECOLINE range, Pascal adds.

The entry-level platemounter features a 650-line camera that reaches 70 times amplification ratio and ensures clear, bright images on the high-resolution display screen, improving plate mounting precision. ‘The platemounter ensures a good price ratio, ease of operation, plus maximum precision and highly repeatable accuracy for operators manually mounting printing plates,’ he asserts.

The ultrasonic anilox roller cleaner efficiently and quickly removes all types of inks and dirt from any line count anilox cells. ‘It’s equipped with a roller swivelling wheel and constant temperature heating system, which reduces any “hot spots” in the liquid that can create high-intensity power levels and potentially damage components,’ explains Pascal. ‘Ultrasonic cleaning is a more environmentally-friendly method as it converts electric energy into kinetic energy, without generating dust and sewage.’

These three investments in the latest machinery technology reflect CE Stewart’s vision of continuous improvement and innovation as the company endeavours to set an industry benchmark for outstanding service, quality and efficiency. ‘To offer real customer service, our team strives to add something more that cannot be bought or measured by monetary means – sincerity, integrity and attention to detail,’ Nash concludes.

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