Flexibilityvia stretches in compatibility and poweris the most sought-after surface treatment.
by Susan Friedman
How physically fit is surface treating technology? Package printers continue to find out, as suppliers heed the push to achieve higher power, higher treatment levels, and increased configuration flexibility.
Jeff Opad, V.P. of sales and marketing at Pillar Technologies, confirms converters' demand for a flexible corona treating approachparticularly in the form of "convertible" or "universal" systemssolidly outweighs extruders' demand.
Marc Nolan, sales manager at Sherman Treaters, views the convertible unitone that affords transitioning between a bare roll and a covered roll systemas a practical system for converters having to deal with many variations in their converting process. In systems that include a "true dual dielectric," however, he believes the corona can be weakened because the corona power has to pass through two insulating materials and the web itself.
Nolan encourages package printers to ask questions and obtain specifics. "Hype attached to terms like convertible' and universal' can create confusion, leading customers to believe a treater magically adjusts to whatever is required," he comments.
Augie Ray, Enercon's director of corporate communications, also emphasizes the importance a bit of explanation plays in the consideration of these systems. With Enercon's Universal Roll System, it's made clear to customers they're getting a roll which functions similarly to a bare roll, but also has a non-conductive ceramic coatingnot a ceramic covering as a traditional covered roll would, says Ray.
The system's coated roll and covered electrode split the heat load, allowing the roll to run cooler so more power, and hence higher levels of treatment, can be applied. Adjustments aren't needed, Ray explains, because the system is configured ahead of time for the toughest-to-treat substrates on a printer's agenda.
Pillar's Universal corona treater is so named for its ability to run bare roll, covered roll, or dual dielectric by changing electrode magazinescomponents originally developed to facilitate cleaning. The electrode gap can be set on the fly, and the treater station can be rotated 180 degrees to treat the opposite side of the web.