Apex’s smart solutions enable innovation

Apex International is known in the industry for its approach to the flexographic printing process. Labelexpo Europe 2017 provided a platform to demonstrate to a global audience how it addresses major trends in the industry.

The introduction of an RFID-equipped anilox roll will enable Apex customers to reach new levels in automation and process control. Remco Snik, research and development manager at Apex International, said, “This ‘Smart Anilox’ is able to automatically share status information with intelligent systems. The Smart Anilox data will be integrated into the MIS. This will simplify scheduling jobs on various presses and shorten make ready times. And the system will be able to provide feedback that enables preventive anilox maintenance to take place in time.

“By teaming up with press manufacturer MPS – already one of our technology partners for over 20 years – and its ground-breaking ‘talk to me’ connectivity technology, Apex is once again expanding its offer to printers to become more efficient and more productive.”

Labelexpo set the stage for a new industry initiative, FoodSafeUV, to promote the safety of UV inks and varnishes for indirect food contact packaging. UV inks are known to cause problems such as ink spitting, due to their high viscosity. By reinventing the concept of anilox ink-to-plate transfer with its patented GTT Open Slalom Ink Channel anilox geometry, Apex is providing a solution to prevent this problem from occurring.

To improve both quality and efficiency in flexo printing, Apex promotes and enables fixed palette printing. The company is also a member of the REVO-project, supporting the aim to digitally standardise and automate the flexo process from pre-press to print delivery, as was demonstrated at the BOBST stand during Labelexpo.

Apex used Labelexpo to announce the formation of Aniken Graphics International, a joint venture with UK-based prepress expert Hamillroad Software to bring Bellissima Digitally Modulated Screening into the flexographic mainstream. Nick Harvey, the newly appointed managing director of Aniken, explains the importance of this partnership: “Bellissima was developed and fine-tuned using GTT aniloxes, so not only can our customers consistently see print quality results that exceed gravure and offset, but they can do so for a fraction of the cost allowing flexographers to gain significant competitive advantages especially with shorter runs.”