As the world progresses and technology develops rapidly the printing quality standards keep rising. As a result, the significance of the flexo market increases each day within the printing industry. To keep up with the dynamic changes, we at AV Flexologic are continuously innovating. We do so by ensuring that our mounting machines are of top quality in the industry, therefore setting our standards much higher than our competitors. An ideal example of such an innovation is the Fully Automatic FAMM 3.0.

Introduction to the FAMM 3.0

The FAMM 3.0, which is available in ≤ 1500, 1700 and 2500mm (59”, 67” and 98”) is AV Flexologic’s most recent and advanced mounting machine in the wide web industry. As the name implies, the advantage of the FAMM 3.0 is that it is fully automatic, and therefore, does not require any operator interaction. Not only does it have unique features which give it a competitive edge, but it has also been completely redesigned in the past 2 years and is implemented with upgraded features. The purpose of doing so is to assure that the mounting machine is always ten steps ahead of its competitors.

Why invest in the FAMM 3.0?

This next-generation FAMM is the epitome of speed, repeatability and accuracy. Here’s why:

It is able to change a sleeve in less than 10 seconds and mount a plate in 30 seconds, positioning the flexo plates with an accuracy of less than 2μm (microns). Therefore, its average maximum capacity is ±700 sleeves per day.

Being fully automatic, it does not require operator interaction. Since it requires less manpower it reduces labour costs.

It is more sustainable compared to other mounting machines.

It triples mounting capacity, therefore creating room for growth.

The fully automatic mounting machine eliminates press downtime.

Amcor has been working with AV Flexologics for over 15 years. The machines are placed all over the world in their different offices. “In 2011 I travelled to Cumbria to see the FAMM in action at the SGS plant that serviced Amcor in the region. I was instantly intrigued by the simplicity and incredibly efficient output of the FAMM. I then travelled to Hollan and viewed two FAMMs in operation at Elopak, again incredible output.” – Amcor

What are the key features of the FAMM 3.0?

As mentioned earlier, the FAMM 3.0 has unique features which make it stand out. Below are some of its key features:

Automatic Mandrel Rotation Big Plate

Automatic Mandrel Rotation

Once the printing plate is accurately placed on the FAMM 3.0, the cylinder moves up and the pressure roller fixes the plate onto the sleeve. Finally, the cylinder rotates and the plate is mounted onto the sleeve. Once that is done the cylinder goes back to its original position for the next plate to get mounted. Not only is this entire process fully automatic, but it also takes less than 30 seconds to complete.

Conveyor Belt FAMM 3.0

Conveyor Belt

A recently installed conveyor belt in the redesigned FAMM 3.0 provides the operator with the option to identify the plate from the bottom by scanning the QR code. Furthermore, the conveyor’s backlight and laser line allow plates to be aligned easier.

linear motors

Linear Motors

The ultra HD cameras installed in the upgraded FAMM 3.0 move into position automatically by using linear motors which accelerate with 10ms/2. Therefore, increasing the speed of the overall mounting process.

Robotic Manipulator

The new and improved pick-up unit transfers the plate from the conveyor belt to the mounting position. The flexo plate is automatically positioned with an accuracy of 2 microns using image recognition (IR) software.

Second Pressure Roller

Second pressure roller

To mount the plate onto the sleeve two pressure rollers are used. First, the top pressure roller mounts half of the plate, then the mandrel lowers down and the second pressure roller mounts the rest of the plate. While this is happening the pick-up unit has already placed the next plate for mounting, therefore optimizing the mounting time and increasing productivity.

What does the FAMM 3.0 workflow look like?

The FAMM 3.0 features optimum robotic loading and unloading of the sleeve and plates. It uses state of the art linear motor technology to move the cameras with high speed and accuracy. In addition to this, the FAMM 3.0 has a second pressure roller which is used for simultaneous mounting and positioning. The fully automatic mounting machine picks up and places units with high speed, using a vacuum. As for positioning accuracy, it is able to position a plate with an accuracy of 2 microns, making it the most accurate mounting machine in the world. The FAMM 3.0 also features a split conveyor belt which allows a third camera to identify the plate’s ID using a QR code, thereby ensuring that the right plate is mounted in the correct position on the sleeve. This as a result eliminates any operator related press downtime. With such technological advancement, the FAMM 3.0 can mount a single plate within 30 seconds, therefore allowing it to mount on average 700 sleeves per day.

Elopak supplies over 800 markets and they are currently using 3 FAMMs in their plant in the Netherlands. They only use one operator for the 3 machines per shift. Reinard Dreesman, plant manager at Elopak says: “Since the installation, output and quality are as expected. We mount approximately 1000sleeves per week and mounting is considered an important part of the printing job. In the past, misregistration often caused press downtime. Now our mounting results and consistent and precise.” – Elopak

Achieving complete automation from start to finish!

Before a mounting machine begins the process of mounting flexo plates, an operator is usually required to place the plate and sleeve onto the machine, and/or tape onto the sleeve. This begs the question, can the entire mounting process (from tape application and mounting of the sleeve to removing the sleeve from the mounting machine) be automated? Yes, it can. With the aim to innovate, as our motto reads, we also focused on finding ways to automate the stage prior to mounting a flexo plate onto a sleeve.

Workflow including tape application and mounting

The workflow begins with the operator placing the Tech Cart inside the RoboCELL and selecting a job from the HMI console. From there, the RoboTAPE will take over by taking the first sleeve and applying tape around it automatically. Next, it will load the taped sleeve onto the fully automatic FAMM 3.0. The RoboPLATE (plate loader) contains the required plates for this specific job. The second robotic unit will pick up the plates and place them on the conveyor belt. The robotic manipulator of the FAMM 3.0 will then take the first plate and position it with an accuracy of 2 microns. When the mounting process is completed as explained above, the robot will unload the mounted sleeve and place it back on the Tech Cart. The entire process is repeated until all the sleeves for the selected job are mounted. Regarding the total duration of this process, the sleeves of a 10-colour job, for example, can be taped and mounted in less than 25 minutes!

It is important to note that the abovementioned equipment is only compatible with the FAMM 3.0. To learn more about the bundle package (FAMM 3.0 + tape application and mounting equipment), please contact our sales team. You can find the contact information below.

“Thanks to the FAMM we have saved a lot of costs.”, explained Joachim Block, technical director at Nordenia in Halle, Germany. Nordenia is now a part of the Mondi group. “AV Flexologic is the main supplier of flexo plate mounting machines for the whole Nordenia group. Our cooperation with AV Flexologic has always been optimal. We consider AV Flexologic to be the market leader in the flexo plate mounting machines field and therefore we have a lot of confidence in their products.” – Mondi

Interested in knowing more about FAMM 3.0?

You can contact us through the following ways:

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Email: [email protected]

Phone: +31(0) 172 434 221