How do you see the market today? What makes sleeves interesting?
We expect the flexo market to develop going forward, as long as we are conscious of the challenges. There is a real need for creativity coupled with new solutions. At Flint Group – with our ‘rotec’ sleeves and adapters – we have identified several common printing problems, and have specifically developed products and new technology to address these issues. In my eyes, every product that helps solve problems should be interesting, right?
What are the main challenges for the flexo printing market today?
The health and safety of employees are paramount in modern workplaces. Other challenges are related to profitability. Brand owners demand results quickly, resulting in an increasing number of job changes. What can be done to make the job changes faster and increase overall productivity? How can productivity be increased while further improving overall print quality? How can the printer decrease costs? Simple product cost is one thing, but how much additional value a product can bring to the table should also be considered. The cost of other expenses – like compressed air or compressible tape – can be reduced with the right sleeve or adapter. Speeding up presses and job changes over time can help, too. All this lets customers increase capacity for additional jobs, and ultimately improve profitability. Using our rotec sleeves and adapters, we want to help our customers stretch the machinery to its limits, while conserving human resources.
What can a sleeve or adapter really do? Isn’t it just a consumable for flexo printing?
No. Looking at sustainability, there is real value in a sleeve/adapter with a long life. By conserving materials – but also simplifying the process – new technology sleeves and adapters can be a driver in the process. Some customers might see sleeves and adapters as a mere ‘consumable’ – but in fact innovative, state-of-the-art sleeves and adapters are long-lasting tools and useful investments.
How can rotec sleeves and adapters meet the changing needs in the industry?
At Flint Group, the rotec sales and product development teams are customer-oriented to specifically develop solutions for these challenges. All our new products work to make printing better, faster and easier. For example, our patented rotec Eco Bridge revolutionised the air supply system for adapters. This allows significantly improved health and safety for the operators by reducing noise by up to 99%, ending the need for hearing protection. Moreover, easier sleeve mounting reduces the effort needed by the operators. Faster sleeve mounting also allows for an increased number of job changes and, in consequence, increased productivity. Less compressed air volume and pressure is needed for mounting sleeves on the Eco Bridge, reducing costs. Another example of our work comes in the form of our rotec Smart Family of sleeves (rotec Smart Sleeve and rotec Smart Premium Sleeve). Improved health and safety requirements are achieved by using (30%) lighter and mechanically durable materials in the construction of the sleeves. The base sleeve was also optimised with easy-mount technology, so job changes can be faster. Performance tests in the field indicate that, using this technology, press speeds can be 30% higher, especially with challenging designs with hard edges that tend to bounce. This improves print quality, increases overall press productivity and reduces costs.
In general, why should printers buy rotec sleeves and adapters?
Innovative and market-oriented new technology is one reason. Beyond that, the enthusiasm and knowledge of the rotec team is key. Through cooperation and teamwork with the customer, we listen to customer needs and work towards finding solutions, both in terms of quality and productivity.