FFEI launches new Graphium features

Richard Stuart-Turner
Thursday, September 15, 2016

Digital imaging specialist FFEI has launched several new media handling and digital finishing enhancements for its Graphium hybrid digital inkjet label press.

The Hemel Hempstead-based manufacturer has also added a new orange ink for the device, its third-generation digital UV inkjet press for labels, packaging and speciality print.

The immediately available new features, which FFEI managing director Andy Cook said are entirely user-driven and build on existing strengths, can be retrofitted to existing presses and are being configured with new machines.

“The new features satisfy the requirements of customers who see that the Graphium platform is highly adaptable but needs customisation in order for the product to fit their business entirely,” said Cook.

“That element of flexibility is key, every Graphium built is customised to the client’s specific needs.”

A new thin-film modification kit launched for the press is said to make Graphium the first hybrid digital inkjet system able to handle film as thin as 12µm.

“For food and beverage, personal care, household and wine and spirit brands, this opens up promotional print opportunities that simply weren’t cost-effective or even possible before, such as medium- to long-run product variants and promotional packaging with full-colour variable data print,” said Cook.

Graphium’s new closed-loop tension control, advanced encoder and rollers for thin film production mean the handling of 12-250µm films is now more practical. This capability means that packaging weight and waste can be reduced while maintaining high print quality.

Additionally, Graphium’s inline closed-loop lamination is said to enable the precise application of a functional barrier to provide superior rewind without curling.

Also new for Graphium configurations with a number of flexo units is Edale’s Automated Inking, Impression and Registration (AIIR) control system, developed in conjunction with AVT for its FL5 and FL3 flexo press.

The system receives data from marks read by the AVT Helios camera and then automatically sets up each flexo station, correcting pressure and registration within a single press length.

Graphium’s inkset is also being extended further with the introduction of Fujifilm’s new orange ink, which will be provided as an option and is said to give the machine the widest gamut digital label press on the market.

Additionally, a new range of finishing techniques can now be applied to enhance the look and feel of labels, digitally and inline, including back printing, digital varnish, rotary screen emulation, tactile effects and textures and digital cold foiling, plus a range of die-cutting and converting options.

“Finishing and embellishment can provide the added value for converters that separates labels from printed graphics,” said Cook.

“Being able to offer new creative enhancements, imaged digitally, cannot only help them win new business but also improve margins.”

As a hybrid system, Graphium can print both flexo and digital elements in a single pass. The base system comes in two widths – 13in and 16in – which can be populated with up to six colours.

The cost of the machines starts from around £480,000. FFEI said customers only pay for what they need as the firm's ability to tailor precisely to their requirements means customers do not need to invest in features they don’t require.

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