Tectonic International recently unveiled a new generation Flexico V5 plate mounting machine, the design of which follows on from their clever, industry first, “hands-free” mounting design which, using a rotating plate-bed on which the plate sits before mounting, offers printers a fast, stress free answer to perfect plate mounting.

Now an industry yardstick and with sales up by 50% in 2010, Tectonics’ V5 has upped its game and includes, as standard, colour cameras for superior picture quality, 17” TFT monitors and offers an application roller which rolls out the plate onto the cylinder removing any air bubbles as it travels around the plate for easy plate management and perfect registration.

The unique, patented, design of the V5 includes a rise and fall plate bed onto which the plate is dropped before being pulled forward under the colour cameras for line-up of the register marks.

Once the plate is lined up, a foot switch drops a holding bar gently onto the plate to hold the plate in position. Because the plate is sitting on the plate bed and held in register by the bar the printer’s hands are free. Throughout the mounting process the printers hands are at all times free and even a novice can mount a plate perfectly (rather than as is with some traditional machines where the printer has to hold the plate in his hands at all times whilst trying to achieve perfect register and having the plate stick prematurely to the tape).

Once the plate is in register and being held gently by the bar, the printer can use the two adjusting wheels situated on the right and left hand side of the plate-bed to “swivel” the plate bed for perfect registration.

Because the bar is still holding the plate in the precise position, the printer can then remove the backing on the tape and press the plate onto the sleeve/cylinder sticking it in position before releasing the holding bar so there is no movement of the plate away from his position whilst he is sticking down the plate. This means he achieves perfect registration every time.

A brake holds the sleeve/cylinder firmly until the printer is ready to stick the plate to the sleeve/cylinder.
When a larger circumference sleeve/cylinder is used the printer turns a wheel located on the left hand side of the plate bed. This robust wheel will raise or lower the plate bed to take different circumference sleeves and at the same time the cameras automatically refocus to suit the larger sleeve/cylinder, providing perfect picture quality instantly, rather than the printer wasting time having to play around with the cameras trying to refocus to suit the new sleeve/cylinder.

Therefore, the printer has no need ever, to touch the delicate cameras because the cameras are not continually being re-focused by ink stained hands throughout the process.