Presses please despite the weather

5 June 2006

As we go to press I am still wondering when the summer is going to start. How I’d love to be writing the odd article on the laptop in my “outdoor office”, but after one false start it’s a summer of rain, gales and low temperatures here on the South Coast of England!

Choosing to brave the wet and cold of Milan in May, I even managed to miss that solitary week of soaring temperatures back home. But where Converflex suffered weather wise, the number of new presses launched by Italian producers either at the show or in a series of in-house events certainly made the trip worthwhile.

Developments were across the board – medium web, wide and narrow web - gravure, flexo and litho. On the litho front, watch out for Gidue and Rotatec (from Spain) in a UV litho narrow web feature in the next issue.

Flexo highlights included Uteco’s Diamond (the 600m/min top of the range CI press), Flexotecnica’s 1,200mm wide Chronos gearless press designed to produce with more efficiency and higher print quality at a lower cost investment level, and a clever combination press from Carint. New in its Cyberflex stable of CI presses is the OF.G, a servo driven machine offering a combination of offset gravure and flexo. Check them out in the flexo feature.

For me, though, the real highlight of my latest trip to Italy was an afternoon and evening at Rotomec’s open house. Its MW60 gravure press looks totally unlike any other (see News pages). Designed for short runs of medium web width (600mm) with considerably reduced materials waste and energy, what’s striking is the short web path and specially designed angled dryers. In the demonstration on the 10 print unit press, web length infeed to outfeed was just 48m.

Low point of the trip was the skin soaking downpours at Rotomec. Italian weather – who needs it? Italian built presses? Now that’s quite another thing!

Pauline Covell


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