Thanks to innovation in engineering and process-oriented optimization the German manufacturer Maschinenbau GEROLD GmbH & Co. KG proves with its product line marketed under the GEROLD / FLEISCHLE labels that screen printing remains „state of the art“.
Two developments have recently been successfully launched by GEROLD.
Multi-station screen printing machine
GEROLD sets new standards in mass production screen printing with a newly developed modular system that is variably configured for 1 to 8 color prints. The multi-station print system is engineered for high throughput of flat substrates such as glass or plastic plates. Drying is effected in ultraviolet or infrared drying modules, respectively.
Recently, a 4-color print system with UV-drying modules for plastic panels was realized (cf. fig. 1).
For the first time, the precision of a SMD (surface-mounted-device) printer is merged with the cycle time performance of a mass production printer, as can be found in the automotive glass industry. This is due to the modular design of the printing units, allowing cycle times of under 5 seconds each.
The variable transport unit permits processing different types of materials and features outstanding performance in terms of maintenance-friendliness, durability and resistance against temperature and UV-radiation, while preventing damage to the sensitive substrate surfaces during transport.
Thanks to the unique and forward-thinking combination of adjustable printing unit along with adjustable positioning means such as printing nest or table in one color module extraordinary accuracy and repeatability is thus achieved, even with consecutive multi-color prints. Thus, the thermal stress occurring during the intermediate drying steps can be compensated.
To reduce the need for human intervention in the process flow, buffers and loading magazines are available for integration allowing for batch processing of larger lots in one flow. Process stability is thus optimized.
All of these developments allow screen printing meeting the current trends in functional design coatings and finishing.
In many areas it has been noted that classic designs make way for functional coatings. This can be found with e.g. control panels for household appliances - washing machines, dryers, ovens, touch panels, hot water controls for showers and sinks. Here is often worked with capacitive sensors and materials such as stainless steel, glass and any type of plastics for touch surfaces.
The new GEROLD multi-station screen printing line does not only allow printing of up to 8 different colors but moreover serves for functional and decorative prints onto a substrate.
Due to the individual design of the printing units classic screen printing or even stencil printing is permitted. The equipment control features individual settings each printing unit allowing for parameter adjustments for processing highly viscous conductive inks with stencil printing as well as for processing low viscous colors for decoration.
This is all possible in one pass and allows thereby a significant reduction of processing times compared with conventional screen printing.
Focus on productivity - setup time reduction
GEROLD / FLEISCHLE is always striving to increase their customers´ productivity and engineers equipment that meets today´s requirements while being prepared for addressing future trends.
The growing trend for finishing glass, ceramic and transparent materials and plastics more and more with functional coatings is fully addressed with GEROLD / FLEISCHLE printing equipment. The machines´ capability and variability offers excellent potential for future-oriented manufacturers.
In addition to this, the recently developed and realized GEROLD screen printing equipment for automotive glass production sets new standards thanks to an innovative laser setup feature. The laser´s industrial-strength ensures performance and accuracy even after years in production. Together with a number of other optional features the screen printer can be equipped to allow setup within a few minutes by just one operator.
The laser-based setup feature is also available for FLEISCHLE screen printing machines offering decisive added value with architectural glass manufacturing, too.
Innovation and equipment improvements, particularly in the areas of setup time reduction and process-control, are a top priority for GEROLD / FLEISCHLE.
Thus, even in times of digital technologies screen printing remains the production technology of choice.
FLEISCHLE´s unique screen cleaning and ink recovery system and numerous equipment features have found a new home with the integration of the FLEISCHLE brand in GEROLD´s screen printing equipment portfolio.
Overall, this has created a screen printing expertise that combines the highest stability of the FLEISCHLE screen printing machines with the precision and speed of the GEROLD printers and proves once again that the highest quality, productivity and accuracy can be achieved with screen printing technology.
„Our goal is adapting the expertise gathered from over 30-years of screen printing machine manufacturing for various branches of industry to meeting the future-oriented, individual needs of our customers." - says company owner Lutz Gerold.
Screen printing technology, a continued existence with bright perspective - TODAY just like yesterday.
Source: GEROLD GmbH & Co. KG
fig. 1 - multi-station screen printing machine (here: 4-color-system)