The Catena Washer, Dryer, Light-Finisher and Stacker provides the highest levels of automation available today in Flexographic plate processing. After loading a plate into Catena-WDLS, no further operator intervention or contact is required until taking the fully finished plate for cutting or dispatch.
Highest productivity with plate alignment
Unique plate alignment when loading the plate into the Catena-W avoids plate skew during transport. The advanced plate queuing, limiting the distance between plates to 50 cm, maximizes throughput for the highest possible productivity. At the end of the wash-out process the plate feeds directly into the Catena-DLS section.
Separate LAMs Removal Sections
Catena-W and WDLS have a separate pre-wash section designed to remove the LAMs carbon mask layer and contain it for easy maintenance and high quality plates. After the main wash-out section, a back-wash takes place so that in the unlikely event that any carbon or other residue remains is fully removed.
Plate punching is not required. A cleverly designed pinbar system transports the plate flawlessly through the washing process and returns for the next plate, no need for manual transportation of the pinbars. Three pinbars ensure continuous availability. Only an edge of 8 mm plate material is required to pull the plate through the wash-out unit (other systems typically need 20 mm). The pin-bar is returned without travelling through the dryer, saving a great deal of maintenance as any polymer residue isn’t baked on and simply disappears.
A sealed environment with efficient extraction ensures minimum solvent fumes in the working area, even when opening the doors a minimum of solvent smell will be perceived as the solvent section is completely enclosed.
Catena-DLS – Dryer, Light-finisher & Stacker Section
- 7 stacking positions
- 10 dryer units
- UVA+UVC light-finishing section
Precision Light Finishing
UVA and UVC lamps are monitored and controlled to ensure ultimate consistency from plate to plate. Sensors test intensity between each plate and monitored to ensure timely replacement when necessary. A record of lamp performance can be available for every plate for ultimate QC tracking. Robotised movement loads and unloads plates from the dryer sections into the light-finisher, with a rest in the stacker to cool before post-exposures. Finished plates are automatically unloaded from the light-finisher into the stacker after exposures, ready for collection.
Robotised Plate Movement
After washing, plate control is taken over by the DLS section. Robotised movement manoeuvres the plate through drying and light-finishing. As well as storage positions for finished plates, the stacker can act as a ‘rest’ position to ensure that plates are properly cooled after drying before being light-finished.
Individually Controlled Dryer Sections
Independent heaters, sensor control and ventilation for all 7 dryer sections. This ensures exact temperature and timings for all plates. Only required sections need to be active for economic operation if only a few sections are required.
All critical information such as motor current, controllers, operating conditions and working temperatures are monitored. This information can be stored and made available for total plate QC records.
Provides a cloud-based, constant monitoring service of all key components throughout the range. A brand-new level of predictive maintenance with on-line support is available. The need for physical service-interventions is minimised.
Provides a highly visible status report, via ‘airport style’ screens, showing all plates, their progress and expected time of completion.
ThermoFlexX GUI & Smart Comms
All ThermoFlexX equipment utilises leading brand PC’s, monitors and the latest Windows OS aimed specifically at high-end system development. ThermoFlexX Graphic User Interface is displayed via a Full HD touch-screen making operation extremely fast and simple. Key information is clearly presented to the operator for ease-of-operation without errors.
ThermoFlexX Smart Communication
Smart Comms between imagers and Catena modules gives an even higher level of set-up automation and further speeds up plate production.