What we do?
At Tech Sleeves, we are dedicated to serve the global scope of the flexographic printing industry with Bridges and Plate Sleeves. You can bank on us for: quality, innovation and reliable service.
What is flexographic printing?
Flexography started as a rubber stamp printing method. In 1980, the first patented press using flexographic printing was built in Liverpool, England by Bibby, Baron and Sons. Flexography uses relief printing plates with raised images and fast-drying inks to print. It is a rotary in-line printing method that can use variable repeat lengths and enables printing with a broad range of inks and substrates. 60% of the printed packaging industry comprises of flexographic printing.
With advancement in technology, flexographic presses have become the fastest growing printing process in the world. It is challenging to imagine a day without crossing a flexographic product. Around you, you will find many products, be it grocery or office-supplies, which are packaged with flexographic printing. Business forms, flexible packaging for food and drinking products, labels, envelopes, wallpaper, gift wrapping paper, newspapers, textiles, labels, folding carton, foil are just some of the examples of flexographic printing products.
Flexographic presses today also have a laminating and die cutting process integrated to protect the product’s final shape and size. Due to the rising demand for package printing, flexographic industry is growing rapidly.
What is a printing sleeve?
Initially, printing plates were mounted on the cylinders directly. But since plates were not easily interchangeable and using multiple cylinders for several jobs lead to high costs and storage problems, printing sleeves were developed. Sleeves can be easily floated on and off the printing cylinders. Printing plates are mounted on the printing sleeves, which are floated onto the mandrel by using compressed air.
Sleeves are important for the flexographic printing process as it has a major influence on the efficiency and the quality of the print. Sleeves reduce press downtime as the next plate can be mounted on the sleeve while another job is running. It helps in getting multiple jobs done without having to demount the plates, thus saving time and energy and increases productivity. Briefly, sleeves are cost-efficient, easy to float and enfolds around the mandrel providing the same level of quality and accuracy.
What is a Bridge/Adapter?
Bridges are pneumatic or hydraulic adapters used in the flexographic printing industry to ‘bridge’ the gap between a printing press mandrel and the inner diameter of printing sleeve. The bridge is designed to increase the size of the mandrel in the press. It is used especially when the outer diameter for the printing is big. The bridge eliminates the need for sleeves with a high wall thickness, which makes the sleeve lighter and cheaper. Bridges are more cost efficient. They are also known as adapter sleeves or format adapter sleeves, mounting sleeves, carriers or bridging sleeves.
What we do?
At Tech Sleeves®, we manufacture composite plate sleeves and bridges (adapters) for the global flexographic printing industry. We understand the problems in the industry and therefore build the sleeves/adapters using highest quality of materials to provide durability, consistency and dimensional stability. We use 2-component vinyl-ester epoxy resin combined with Spherecore and Dyneema® to build up the core of the sleeves and bridges. All our products have supreme chemical resistance as it is protected against most chemicals used in the flexographic industry, with a special and unique compound. The volumized fiberglass infused with Epoxy Vinyl-Ester-Resin strengthens the core of the sleeve and guarantees form stability, thereby ensuring resistance to bouncing. It is qualified for high printing speed of up to 800m/min, or 2,624 ft/min. In addition to these high quality materials, Tech Sleeves® also offers additional features like sealed edges, the full inner metal ring and the metal cutting line to increase the sleeve lifetime. The outer metal ring reinforces the pin, ensuring perfect registration and increases the durability of the bridge. RFID chips and magnets can be added to both sleeves and bridges on request.
This is our product portfolio:
Tech Sleeve® Soft:
A soft compressible sleeve is an investment for the future. It is designed to eliminate the need for compressible double sided mounting tape. Soft sleeves allow thin 0.1mm non-compressible tape to be used instead of 0.5mm tape, which reduces the overall expenses on mounting tape. Moreover, the compressible surface of the soft sleeves does not lose its compressibility. Therefore, you may leave the plates on the soft sleeves, thereby saving time.
Tech Bridge® Soft:
Tech Bridges® Soft, or ‘Soft Adapters’ or ‘Soft carriers’ are specialized products, used to print with In The Round sleeves (‘ITR’). These ‘seamless sleeves’ are generally used with traditional plate mounting for designs that need a continuous background colour, such as white or varnish. The soft outer layer of the adapter provides the compressibility needed for the required print impression.
Tech Sleeve® Hard
Majority of the flexographic printing industry uses hard printing sleeves. They are durable and shorten the press downtime. Plates are mounted on the hard sleeves using tape. This tape gives compressibility to the sleeve. The thicker the tape; more is the compressibility.
Tech Bridge® Hard
Hard Bridge is used to increase the size of the mandrel in the press. A sleeve reaches its limitations after a certain wall thickness. Hard Adapter eliminates the need for sleeves with a high wall thickness by bridging the gap in the circumference. Moreover, it is light-weight when compared to thick walled sleeves, making it easier to handle. It is also cost-efficient.
We also offer supporting equipment:
Sleeve storage system
Sleeve storage system stores the sleeves horizontally as storing them vertically could cause deformation. It allows easy access, storage and retrieval of sleeves with an optional Semi-Automatic feature. This feature entails that the horizontal movement of the racks is motorized by use of electric motors. It allows the user to input a repeat number or job on a touchscreen interface, through which the racks automatically “open” to the specific rack where the sleeves are stored. Given the space restrictions, the sleeve storage system is customized to store sleeves of different dimensions in a multiple level system.
The Plate Demounter is a machine mainly designed to prevent damaging the printing plates and sleeves. It efficiently removes the printing plates and mounting tape from sleeves, without any damage. A motor driven silicon roller generates friction to pull the printing plates or mounting tape off the sleeve or cylinder. It distributes equal force across the width, as opposed to edges, to demount the plates safely. Along with saving plates, it also saves time to allow the operator to focus on other activities in the prepress department.
TIR Measurement system
The TIR measurement system is the winner of the International print & innovation award 2015. It is analyses the quality of the sleeve or cylinder by measuring the ‘3D landscape’ of the surface. A high quality laser takes the measurement with an accuracy of 5 micron. This information provides a thorough insight on its condition. Subsequently, it can be placed with right pre-settings in the press to prevent press downtime. It calibrates any irregularities to ensure precision on micron level. A full report is generated to keep track of any irregularities. TIR also stores records for future reference.
In case of questions, Contact us.