SPGPrints has introduced a new 914mm version of its rotaLEN Direct Laser Engraver for imaging nickel screen cylinders, taking the technology to new markets including mid-web package printing, applications for folding cartons, and other converting applications. Featuring a sealed CO2 laser that ablates the printed areas without film, chemicals or water, rotaLEN images SPGPrints’ non-woven nickel re-engravable RotaMesh rotary screens with high-definition resolutions of up to 5,080 dpi in a single step. A narrow-web version of the engraver, used primarily by label converters, accommodates screens up to 660mm wide. Capable of applying ink or varnishes of up to 250µm thickness in one pass, the rotary screen process is a productive way of creating high-impact embellishments, said the company. Examples include raised, coarse and textured varnishes, rich and opaque colours, metallic finishes and functional tactile features such as Braille and warning triangles. The process can provide an alternative to embossing for tactile features. Laser-imaged rotary screens can also be used on a wide range of paper grades including tissue, as well as for high-quality long-production runs.
SPGPrints’ technologies cover every stage of the workflow. Its RotaMesh rotary screens feature a seamless hexagonal hole-structure (giving them strength to withstand handling) and may be re-used multiple times, even on different jobs. Depending on the application, printing speeds up to 150m/min (490fpm) can be achieved. The company’s printing units, with UV-curing or hot-air drying systems, can be integrated inline on almost all web presses up to 914mm width, alongside flexo, offset or gravure processes. Files processed by rotaLEN can be prepared with SPGPrints’ software, providing optimum control when creating fine positive and negative images. For label converters, the engraver can image two reusable RotaPlate screens simultaneously (exclusively for label printing because of the extra width), when applied to a drum with a 1,300mm circumference. RotaLEN is compatible with the complete rotary screen range – from the finest meshes available (such as SPGPrints’ RotaMesh 405 and RotaPlate 355F screens), to RotaMesh 75 for 250µm-thick Braille dot reproduction.