The World of Wide-web
Package printers are finding faster options in the wide-web market, allowing for more jobs to go the wide-route.
By: Chris Bauer
THE SLOW SET-UP of wide-web presses has long been a thorn in the heel of printers faced with short-run jobs. And in this day of print-on-demand, just-in-time delivery, and more personalized jobs, that thorn is digging deeper into shops that are trying to meet these demands while still needing to turn a profit. To bring some relief to printers in this position, vendors have been working to reduce make-ready times and the labor involved in setting up the press.
Tom Jacques, marketing strategist for Paper Converting Machine Company (PCMC), notes the increasing demand for short runs in the packaging industry caused PCMC to retool its flexo press offerings for the wide-web market.
"Increasingly we see a lot more short-runs coming in," says Jacques, who explains the new eXell press from PCMC was introduced as a hybrid between mid-web and wide-web offerings. "Quicker and quicker change-overs will get us to the point that mid-web and wide-web won't have a difference in terms of changeover times."
With the eXell, PCMC is able to offer the packaging industry several new features
Fifteen-minute changeover of all 11 color decks with the eXsys robotic exchange system.
Eleven-color capability to take advantage of today's six- and seven-color process technologies.
New eXtreme drying technology.
100 percent digital control platform.
This quick changeover, Jacques says, will allow printers to take on jobs they could not traditionally handle using wide-web presses, and were considered "nuisance" jobs. He predicts this will result in less frustration for operators and bigger profits for shop owners.
Steve King, director of U.S. sales for Graphic Systems Services (GSS), which offers the Schriber line of flexo presses, says he has seen similar needs from customers. "I see the equipment getting much more sophisticated as far as set-up and makeready, giving the customer the ability to set up quickly." King predicts more vendors will be combining wide- and mid-web presses and feels it will be a big trend for the future.