Around 1000 Attendees Watch SOMA’s Online Product Launch
SOMA, the producer of flexographic printing presses, slitter rewinders and laminators, has launched a new generation of its successful and well-established Optima² flexo press, during its On-line Product Launch Webinar 2020—a substitute for its planned drupa 2020 activities. During the webinar, SOMA introduced not only the next generation of its Optima² CI flexo press with new Intelligent Automation Features, but also the S-Mount automatic plate mounter and a new generation of its Pluto slitter rewinder.
The SOMA Intelligent Automation Features Package contributes to high quality printing, improved communications, and primarily helps to ensure a quick and easy change-over between jobs, while minimizing operator error. Some of the new features include:
Automatic S-Mount plate mounter
Automatic plate mounting is a precisely defined process. With it, press downtime due to incorrect plate mounting is minimized. Part of SOMA’s process utilizes the ARUN feature of plate topography and register measurements, which provides the foundation for automatic registration and impression settings on the press.
Print quality oriented Intelligent Job Tuning
Intelligent Job Tuning is SOMA’s second-generation Advanced Bounce Control feature, contributing to exceptional print quality. It is a specially designed software algorithm, performed during job set up, that minimizes the bouncing effect for each design.
Intelligent Service Platform
During the webinar, SOMA also introduced a web-based Intelligent Service platform. It is a comprehensive cloud solution that provides a quick problem-solving communications channel for a every SOMA customer.
The live printing demonstration in front of the webinar audience utilized four cameras to confirm that everything—from plate mounting to printing—was done without prior preparation. Before the first job began printing, SOMA demonstrated the Intelligent Job Tuning. As a particular challenge in the first design, a 5 cm gap completely across the web was purposely placed into the design to test the absence of bounce. Because that was not challenging enough, extra bouncing elements were designed into the artwork. The solid Optima² frame, Advance Bounce Control as well as the Intelligent Job Tuning eliminated bounce and the result was 500 m/min speed. The job changeover included automatic plate mounting by S-Mount and setting the registration and impression with the ARUN system on zero meters of waste. The second job ran at 500 m/min as well.
During the webinar, SOMA collaborated with Flint Group Packaging and Marvaco to print an eco-friendly, full high definition, Expanded Gamut Print (EGP) design on film. The design focused on 80 lpcm (203 lpi) HiQ expanded gamut printing, demonstrating gang-run printing of 10 brand extensions printed in different ‘brand’ colors. The job utilized low volume aniloxes and high intensity inks in CMYK as well as green, violet and a high opacity white. It demonstrated the ability of the SOMA Optima² to not only print detail, but do so while assuring that an undercoat of white offered substantial coverage. The vibrancy of the liquid hand soap colors was very impressive, as was the detail of the reverse text.
Challenging test design by INCI.FLEX
Also printed with successful results at 500m/min was a difficult test design—overseen by INCI.FLEX—that pushed the SOMA Optima² press to its limit. The job utilized Ultra LED technology solving a number of prepress challenges such as very high tonal contrast, along with natural colors. Smooth vignettes within the skin tones were particularly extraordinary, as well as highlights fading to zero. Expanded gamut screen builds were created of unusual brand colors. Even four-color blacks were reproduced with exceptional densities. It also demonstrated that the new Optima² is capable of reproducing rotogravure-like print quality.
SOMA plans to continue with the launch of remaining Intelligent Automation Features via dedicated webinars in the fall, as well as a conference scheduled for 7th October 2020. SOMA says that it will be an excellent opportunity to witness these unique Intelligent Automation Features in action.