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K 2013 SHOW REVIEW

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November 2013. SOMA Engineering reports on a successful K 2013 show where the company launched its new Optima flexographic printing press, a dedicated machine developed for short run print jobs. Designed to deliver dramatic savings in pre-press, consumables and energy consumption, the press offers users increased efficiency and profitability from a small footprint machine without sacrificing print quality.

Available in printing widths of 620 and 820 the Optima features a new ergonomic design concept that separates the print area from the material section for improved operator space and efficiency. The press design is currently protected under various patents and is aimed at both entry level customers as well as existing print operations seeking to transfer short run work from high performance lines. A mid web, 620mm wide version is also available for customers requiring a machine for test/laboratory purposes, or shrink film label production.

One of the few machines running live jobs during the show, an 820mm Optima model was demonstrated twice daily in full production mode printing a five colour Bon Pari graphic on 0.20mm thickness BOPP using Kodak Flexcel plates and a 175 lines per inch anilox screen. A second five colour job was also printed on the same type of substrate that featured a Ricore graphic using Dupont DSP plates and the same specification anilox screen. Subsequent converting was carried out on the company’s latest Pluto III slitter rewinder. Both machines were sold off the stand to customers in Russia and Bulgaria.

The modular design of the Optima permits the addition of a full range of options comparable to those available for SOMA’s top of the range models for as much or as little automation as required. These can be supplied at the time of purchase or at a later date to meet changes in market demands or production needs.

We were delighted with the reception of the new Optima and interest exceeded expectations,” said Pavla Kusa of Soma. “Customers perceived the development as filling a gap in the product offering currently available from top of the range press manufacturers. I am also pleased to report on comments made by customers from various countries, for example, one from Malaysia compared the development of the machine with that of a well known smart phone, the first to offer more functionality and added value than the rest. From Turkey, again the impression was a ‘smart solution’ that fills a gap in the market. A Russian customer was impressed that we were the only company running live jobs and providing samples and one from the USA admired the concept for future expansion in relation to market demands. Finally from Latin America, we again heard the word ‘smart’ and just what I’m looking for in a compact press, big on quality and low on price. A high quality of sales leads is now being processed and the equipment can of course be seen at our new SomaGlobe Training and Development Centre.”

The company also took the opportunity to introduce a new version of its Lamiflex laminator at the show. Available in widths from 950 through to 1500mm, the new Lamiflex solvent free laminator offers a robust, entry level machine that resonates with current legislative trends toward the reduction of VOC emissions. Designed to process a full range of films, paper and foils, the machine features a side tilting, sleeved transfer roller that permits sleeve changes within the machine. High efficiency material bonding is ensured through a three roll system that presses and forces out air during lamination.

Located in Lanskroun, Czech Republic, SOMA Engineering designs and manufactures high quality printing and converting machines for a wide variety of industries. Its portfolio encompasses CI flexographic presses, slitter rewinders, laminators, mounter-proofers, sheeters, die cutters and special purpose machines. The company serves an international market with representation and distribution channels throughout the world.