Mounting a sleeve onto an adapter is a routine procedure carried out dozens of times a day in thousands of flexographic presses around the world. The main challenge with sleeve mounting at Upakmarket was an inconsistent pressure and volume in the compressed air system. Like many other printers, they were using a standard type adapter, with six air holes on the operator side to mount the sleeves. Unfortunately, at the low points of pressure and volume in the compressed air system, sleeve mounting was extremely difficult and could be nearly impossible for the operators. Looking for a solution, Upakmarket brought this issue to their long-time partner Itraco, who recommended the innovative new products of Flint Group, which could help Upakmarket improve efficiency and be more competitive in their market.
Upakmarket has been using Flint Group’s rotec® sleeves and adapters since 2010. The rotec® Blue Light sleeve and rotec® Airo Adapter were very good products that worked well, but as new technology was developed, Itraco introduced new products to Upakmarket as potential solutions for continuous improvement.
Concerning the challenging sleeve mounting, the Itraco/Flint Group team had a solution – the rotec® Eco Bridge. This patented adapter technology uses an innovative, unique way to supply the air to the sleeve for mounting, offering significant advantages compared to the historical standard adapters. Instead of air holes, there is a breathable metal ring on the operator side, which distributes the air from the cylinder across the entire circumference of the adapter. An immediate air pillow is created and allows the rotec® Eco Bridge to mount sleeves considerably easier and faster. More importantly, the compressed air volume can also be significantly reduced by up to 90%.
With the rotec® Eco Bridge, the inconsistent pressure and volume of the compressed air system are no longer a problem at Upakmarket. Additionally, it is worthwhile to mention that the noise from the compressed air was reduced by over 90% in the plate-mounting area, contributing to a healthier and safer workplace for operators. This was a significant improvement for the health and safety of the operators. Recently, Upakmarket also started trialing the rotec® Smart Premium Sleeve, which is a new generation polyurethane sleeve. The optimized sleeve construction with new, advanced materials provides almost 20% weight reduction for the sizes being used by Upakmarket. Another potential benefit that is being explored further at Upakmarket is the the rotec® Smart Premium Sleeve’s vibration-dampening properties, which allows for an average of 30% increase in press speeds for difficult jobs with hard edges that tend to bounce, and therefore overall better press productivity. The rotec® Smart Premium Sleeve also has a glass barrier layer that gives this product superior dimensional stability for extremely long-lasting quality.
Upakmarket continues to meet the needs of the market, by being competitive, providing high print quality and reducing press set-up times for increased productivity and meaningful cost savings. The long-standing partnership and collaboration with Itraco delivering consistent high-quality Flint Group products to Upakmarket serves the Russian market best.