What is a Hybrid Press?

by Kimberly Young

What is a Hybrid Press?

Inland’s team has been on the edge of our seats awaiting the arrival of our new hybrid press.  Over the years, Inland has invested tens of millions of dollars into state-of-the-art equipment and improvements to our facilities from Heidelberg presses, autocut lines, MyPortal, new specialty film press and facility, to name a few.  And, that’s just the last 10 years!  Our latest investment is a new print technology that is the first of its kind at Inland.  This new asset is a digital hybrid press that will live at our Downingtown, PA location.  Now, many of you are very familiar with the existing press assets that we have from offset, gravure, flexo, and even digital…but may not be “in the loupe” on what is a hybrid press.

What is Inland’s new press?

Inland explored 13 different assets before the ABG+Durst hybrid press got our stamp of approval.  A hybrid press takes the best attributes of digital and flexo print technologies and combines them into one press.  This state-of-the-art piece of equipment is all about speed, quality, and efficiency.

Durst is the digital engine of our hybrid with a digital inkjet, which is different than our HP 20000 which has toner inks.  The Durst digital has the process color inks (white, cyan, magenta, yellow, black, orange, and violet).

ABG is the provider of the flexo units, with a non-stop splicer, turn bar, 2 UV curing flexo stations before the digital unit of the press and 2 flexo stations after the digital portion, 2 UV curing flexo stations, die-cutting, 100% inspection camera, and inline turret finishing.

Who is ABG + Durst?

Like Inland both ABG and Durst are family-owned organizations.   AB Graphic International is a British engineering company and a leading name in the print finishing industry.  ABG’s focus has been on manufacturing innovative print finishing equipment since 1954.  ABG is a worldwide corporation with over 11,000 print finishing machines and over 2,500 customers across the globe.  ABG is an industry leader in digital to flexo converting and has worked with just about every digital partner in the world.

Durst is an engineering division that looks at every aspect of digital.  They evaluate from the front of the press to the back and pick the components that have the speed and reliability to lead the industry.  Durst has 900 digital assets in the world that print on all surfaces such as ceramic tile, vinyl flooring, garage doors, as well as label and packaging printing.

With these impressive attributes, we knew we were in great hands.

What are the capabilities of the hybrid press?

Inland’s ABG+Durst hybrid press will primarily be used for Inland’s pressure sensitive business.  While that is our current focus, there is a potential for shrink sleeves and cosmetic web for flexible packaging to be run on the hybrid in the future.  The hybrid press will improve speed to market with its ability to consistently run up to 300+ feet per minute.

The press can run the traditional pressure sensitive materials with additional features like cold foil capabilities, the ability to back print, as well as a digital white that is near rotary screen opacity.  Utilizing expanded color gamut inks within this press allows precise color to be run interchangeably across the hybrid or the flexo press with seamless repeatability from run to run so your branding isn’t sacrificed!

Our new press includes a Fleye Vision camera system that will provide near 100% inspection on every production run.  At the front of the press, we have a non-stop unwind system that allows our operators to load new material while a current job is running, while also being able to splice off.  This will not only reduce wasted material, but this capability will conserve time per job changeover. On the flip side, the back of the press has a turret rewinder, which automatically splices rolls into the correct quantity.  This allows for rolls to be split to the correct widths and quantities and put directly into a carton for shipping.

The ABG-Durst hybrid press is an exciting new addition to our Downingtown location, and we can’t wait for you to experience the benefits of this piece of technology with us.  Don’t hesitate to reach out with more questions here! Let’s Talk.