Product of the Month: Optima CI flexography press

The Optima from Soma Engineering is a CI Flexo press which helps achieve quality printing results with maximum efficiency and least downtime and material wastage, Petra Marešová, PR and media manager, Soma Engineering, tells Rahul Kumar

18 Aug 2021 | By PrintWeek Team

The Optima concept removes the web path limitations of a traditional CI Flexo press design

What does the machine do?
The Optima is the most compact press in terms of its footprint, and it is easy to operate. With the features innovated by Soma R&D team, the machine is designed to meet the present and future needs of the converters.

Which are the different models?
The models are Optima; Optima2 8C; and Optima2 10C/8CL.

Is there anything in the machine which is available as a standalone?
This is one of the biggest advantages in all Optima presses — all the solutions offered by Soma are completely modular. The Optima concept removes the web path limitations of a traditional CI Flexo press design, because the unwind and rewind systems are located outside of the printing unit modules. This variable design allows the option of choosing any unwind/rewind configuration and inline upstream or downstream printing and converting units.

When was the machine launched?
This is the recently launched second generation of a machine that is already very successful, so customers can be confident that they will receive an exceptional, proven Flexo press.

What was the thought process when the machine was conceived?
The powerful features that defined our first-generation Optima include quick job changes for short runs, exceptional print stability for long runs, as well as excellent machine serviceability. In addition, the user will appreciate that the next-generation machine can perform many activities automatically and will do so by switching jobs in the most efficient way. The new press is focused on increased efficiency and producing cost-effective print runs with reduced VOCs and material waste through automated job settings.

What is the target market(s)?
Everyone who is doing flexible packaging for food/non-food applications, shrink sleeves, wraparound labels, paper, etc.

What kind of substrates it can handle?
It can handle substrates such as LDPE, HDPE, OPP, CPP, BOPP, PET, OPA, laminates, and paper, among others.

What is the USP of the machine?
From among a number of our new intelligent functions, I would like to highlight Intelligent Job Tunning. During job setup, we can automatically tune the press with specially designed algorithms that can minimise the bouncing effect significantly for typical bouncing design jobs. It takes into consideration the dynamic effects of each job — the bridge, the sleeve, the tape and the design itself. This lets each specific piece of artwork achieve its ideal drive setting on the press. It’s quite a revolutionary technology that can bring control of printing press stability to new and exceptional levels of precision.

How fast is it?
It depends on the artwork and many other parameters but the maximum mechanical speed of the machine is 600 m/min.

What are the other features of the machine?
The newly developed S-Mount automatic plate mounter—combined with the automatic register and impression setting system and Soma’s unique ink cartridge system offers printers a powerful solution for short-runs with significant ink savings. The machine’s completely redesigned drying system enables optimal drying of demanding designs up to a speed of 600 m/min.
The design of the Doctor blade chambers has been changed significantly. Ink distribution has been partially integrated into the massive support frame. This significantly reduces the weight of the body of the doctor blade chamber while significantly increasing the stability of the entire system.

Another small but outstanding feature is the cooling of the cylinder housings at the motor side, similar to the cooling of the central impression drum. This prevents any temperature-caused expansion, thus preventing dot gain. Another clever feature has been developed for the inter-deck dryers. It allows them to swing open by 90 degrees, similar to a door. This makes it easier for cleaning, and provides effortless access to the substrate and CI drum.

What training and support are on offer?
We believe in sharing the technology with our partners which helps them take complete advantage of our technology. So, official training and strong local regional support from DKSH India is already in place. In case of any press issue, a service request/ticket is delivered by the Soma S-Chat app — a ‘WhatsApp’ type of communication — to Soma’s service team. With the help of the S-Cloud, which contains all relevant information, such as communications history, pictures, and videos. The S-Cloud can also include equipment manuals, a spare parts list, or service programs — even instructional videos. To a certain extent, it’s like your SOMA service team is on site 24/7. In India, DKSH India offers strong local support.

How much does it cost?
Well, it depends completely on the specifications and different level of automations possible in the machine.

Installation numbers worldwide?
Around 150 Optimas now.

What are other solutions provided by Soma?
Beside CI Flexo presses, SOMA also makes sophisticated solventless laminators; high-speed slitter-rewinders; die-cutters and  plate mounters.

Technical specifications:
(Depends on specific model)
Printing decks: 8/10
Print width: 620 to 1450 mm
Repeat: 240 to 850(1200) mm
Speed: 350 to 600 m/min
Substrate: LD PE, HD PE/PP, CPP, BOPP, PET, OPA, paper, laminate and more

Contact details:
Amit Bera, manager, business development,
BU Technology DKSH India
Mobile: +91 80975 99223