Industrial screen printers who wish to expand their service capabilities and deepen their revenue streams by offering high-volume decoration of containers and bottles typically face the purchase of dedicated equipment that’s engineered to deal with the intricacies of these demanding applications. Features such as precision container handling, pretreatment stations, and multicolor capabilities can inflate a press’s price tag, making this market a difficult one to effectively penetrate.
FLARE, Inc. designed its S-Series automatic screen press to provide printers with an economical solution for large runs of bottles, containers, and similar three-dimensional products. The company says the S-Series maintains the quality and reliability the container-decorating industry demands and is an ideal supplemental printer for large screen shops that focus on fully automated production and a vehicle for those who wish to grow from semi-automatic into fully automated, multicolor industrial and specialty screen printing.
The S-Series is upgradable from one to five colors and is able to print up to 4000 cylindrical or 5000 oval-shaped containers per hour. It accommodates container sizes of 1-3.94 in. (25.4-100 mm) in diameter for cylinders and 1-4.72 in. (25.4-120 mm) wide for ovals. Both container types may be from 1-10.63 in. (25.4-270 mm) in length.
The press’s input conveyor introduces the containers to the printer from most standard sorting devices or by manual placement. FLARE says the S-Series’ belt is designed to reduce the amount of scuff on containers—especially PETE, frosted jars, and bottles. The system’s pick-and-place unit selects the container from the conveyor and automatically positions it in the transport to start the printing process.
The printer comes standard with dual flame stations for pre-treatment of parts. Both stations also accommodate air only for removing dust and foreign particles from containers. The press’s pre-registration station then orients the container in the proper position to begin the printing process. After printing, the S-Series transports the decorated container to a UV-curing station that’s equipped with what FLARE calls the latest lamp technologies from either Nordson or Fusion. Cured parts are then either discharged from the printer or introduced to a second print station for multicolor designs. FLARE says moving containers to additional print stations is a simple and seamless hand off.
The company reports that it has recently made several performance upgrades to the S-Series. They include improved nose-cone mounts on all stations, side selector on all units, and additional vacuum for better bottle handling. A complete discharge manifold and tray unit, replacing a walking-beam transport, has also been incorporated to improve control of the containers from unloading, transport through UV curing, and discharge or hand-off of containers to additional color units. According to FLARE, the system also has seen the addition of features to satisfy OSHA safety standards. They include a pick-and-place safety guard, UV safety glass, and safety latches to stop the total operation of the printer when any of the doors or covers is opened.
FLARE designed and engineered the bottle tooling specifically for the S-Series. A complimentary set of standard tooling is shipped with each new screen press. The S-Series automatic container press is supported by FLARE, which also offers training and access to spare parts. The company provides three days of training at its facility, with additional expenses born by the customer. Installation on-site is available upon request. For more information, contact Flare Inc., 6210 Discount Dr., Ft. Wayne, IN 46818, 260-490-1101, 800-903-5273, fax: 260-490-1301, Web: www.flareincorporated.com.
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