Lehner Sensor Systeme, a German sensor technology specialist, has launched FlexoMatrix, an automatic assembly and workflow technology designed for the label market to help with shorter run lengths, more frequent job changes, and the use of unskilled employees on the production floor.
‘Today’s narrow web sector needs to be flexible enough to cater for a variety of substrates that test the creativity of those responsible for production,’ commented Lars Lehner, CEO of Lehner Sensor Systeme. ‘This often requires special solutions and changes to familiar work patterns and processes that challenge even the most experienced press and pre-press staff. To maintain commercial viability in such a challenging environment demands more use of automation to keep quality standards high. We see FlexoMatrix as the missing link in today’s production environment.”
Lehner analyzed and identified the weak points in make-ready and job changeover, realizing that few print shops have the experience and skills required to handle increasingly complex and competitive market conditions.
FlexoMatrix is designed to complement and improve the efficiency of existing technology and operator skills by automating many of the processes associated with job preparation. One of the critical areas is the accuracy of plate registration on the print cylinder or sleeve. The new platform offers a smart adapter and air axes that allow all sizes and types of cylinder and sleeve to be processed quickly and accurately. This includes a 360-degrees register setting that aligns the plate, measures, and automatically adjusts it all around the cylinder from leading to tail edge.
Working with the integrated Lehner camera, FlexoMatrix identifies each plate and guarantees that only the correct plates are used and installed in the right direction. This functionality provides transparency in the workflow and creates a smart plate archive.
‘We have identified areas of the production workflow that offer previously unseen possibilities for profit potential,’ added Lehner. ‘FlexoMatrix matches registration in pre-press and printing and automates key steps in the workflow to set a new benchmark in industrial standards for label production. It allows the workforce to be integrated into the change and the print shop to benefit immediately from additional productivity and process transparency every time there is a job change. I’d say that’s a positive use of automation and an essential investment for those narrow web flexo converters looking to future-proof their business.’