Xpannd™ Offset is a joint project of GIDUE S.p.A. and Nuova Castagnoli S.r.l. for the development of an Offset rotary printing unit for the production of self-adhesive labels, carton, flexible packaging. GIDUE takes the responsibility of setting and controlling the quality parameters and the performance and quality guidelines. Nuova Castagnoli contributes with its deep skills in the manufacturing of rotary Offset units, proven by more than 1.000 successful installations worldwide.
The Xpannd™ Offset Head, as a result of the joint effort of the 2 companies, answers to the most demanding needs of the self adhesive labels and packaging industry.
Offset is the most demanding printing process in the industry for the mechanical parts of a printing unit. While the Flexo process needs limited printing pressures, Offset needs very heavy loads on the cylinders to enable ink transfer. The tolerances of manufacturing and assembly, and the robustness of an Offset print unit are crucial to the final print quality, together with the ink train design and the ink management system.
Vertical structure: the majority of the Offset print heads in the market (for sheet fed or web fed presses) are manufactured based on the vertical development of the structure, to help the robustness and the stiffness of the structure, for the best print result. This is the configuration chosen for the Xpannd™ Offset head.
Mechanical manufacturing: on the final print quality of an Offset print unit, the manufacturing process plays a dramatic role. The mechanical skills needed for the control of the complete manufacturing process of an Offset head are a result of over 25 years of consolidated and proven experience and know-how of Nuova Castagnoli. A more efficient manufacturing process developed for Xpannd™ performs a total control during the entire process, to meet the very strict quality requirements of the Project.
The inking system: the ink management inside the print unit has been specifically designed for the self-adhesive labels and for the packaging industry. High print quality for both fine process and heavy solids are possible, due to the 16 rollers in the ink train, the over dimensioned rollers, and an innovative fully automated ink management system. High speed productivity is also possible, without affecting the print quality, due to the robust manufacturing and to the redesigned ink train.
The Offset printing process in the label and in the packaging industry is often perceived as producing high quality of printing, with a lot of drawbacks in the efficient and cost-effective production of short runs, especially if confronted with the Flexo process. This should be considered generally true for most of the Offset print units today offered in the market. The Xpannd™ Offset head makes significant steps to successfully address the short runs issue.
Printing at slow speed
Most of the Offset print heads in the market start to achieve an acceptable print result at press speeds of over 30 to 40 meters per minute, and good and consistent quality over 50 meters. This set up speed can be very critical in case of short runs due to the high amount of wasted substrate.
The Xpannd™ Offset head achieves good and consistent print quality at the unprecedented speed of 12 (twelve) m/min. ! The wasted substrate during set up gets very close to that generated by the Flexo process. This result has been obtained by completely redesigning the ink flow geometry inside the ink train, and it is one of the most distinguishing achievements of the Xpannd™ head for the Label and Packaging industry.
Xpannd™ Ink Management System
While in the Flexo process printing pressure adjustments are an important key for the printing process control, the print result of an Offset unit, specifically in the case of Wet Offset, is mainly affected by the performance and by the control on the ink flow and of the ink-water balance. The philosophy of Intelligence which guides the Nemo™ project on the Athena™ and on the Intelligent Combat™ has been transferred to the advanced inking section of the Xpannd™ Offset head. A PC based interface controls all the parameters inside the ink train, and adjustments can be automatically performed by the main control panel through automated servo remote controls. The Ink Management System is able to store all the data for the inking process and reproduce them, for job storage purposes in case of repeat jobs or presetting purposes in case of new job. Waste and time during set up is thus greatly reduced, as all the inking parameters are under control, and can be reproduced.
The keys of the ink fountain are motorized as a standard, and are remote controlled to adjust the ink flow to the image, through the width of the print unit. In case of a new job, automatic presetting of the ink fountain is possible, by in-putting the original data file of the printed job. The keys will be automatically pre-set up based on each separation on each printing plate. In case of a repeat order, the PC will store all the adjustments and set parameters, in order to avoid substrate and time waste during set up.
Fast responding ink flow
The quantity of ink given by the ink train to the substrate is controlled by the proprietary inking parameters developed for the Xpannd™ Offset head, which make the ink flow and the ink-water balance adjustments simple to operate, and with a quick response to the printed substrate. This greatly reduces waste during set up, as the action on the ink flow gives immediate responses on the printed substrate. The fast responding ink flow technology developed for the Xpannd™ Offset head is another strategic achievement to reduce costs for the production of short runs on an Offset press.
Easy handling of the Print Cassette
Often Offset print units are associated to time consuming and cumbersome operations. The Xpannd™ print cassette is deigned based on a 2 cilinders cassette concept (plate and blanket cylinders). No print pressure adjustment is needed when changing cassette, neither to break the web. The cassette is light and easy to handle and the change takes only a few minutes.
Offset plate mounting on an Xpannd cassette has considerable advantages over Flexo plate mounting. There is no need of cushion tape mounting, neither of manual plate positioning on the tape. The combination of , in a fixed position, clamping bars, and a pin positioning device make plate mounting fast and accurate. Plate diagonal register is possible too directly on the press, without dismounting the plate, by operating on the clamping bars of the print cylinder, to avoid wastes due to incorrect plate mounting.
Access to the Xpannd™ Offset head
The head is fully accessible on both sides, as it allows front and rear complete man path. All the functions of the Xpannd™ print unit are accessible and visible, for press operations, inspection and maintenance. A comfortable and “open” operating room around the unit makes day-by-day operations very “friendly” for the operator.
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Gulmen Engineering Pty Ltd
Factory 1 No 20 Loop Road
Phone: +61 3 83617335
Fax: +61 3 83901835
Mobile: +61 438400402
Partners in India
Siddartha Art Printers
5/6 Industrial Area
New Delhi 110015
Indian Representative :
Mr. Harish Aneja
Australian Representative :
Mr. Saurav Aneja