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The Telstar Rotary Screen Retrofit Article from the September Issue of Label & Narrow Web Magazine
Twenty years ago when Tom Kirtz started Telstar Engineering, one of his first press retrofit projects was building a rotary screen add-on to a customer's existing Mark Andy 2200 press. Over the ensuing years, rotary screen has been an important and steady part of the Burnsville, MN-based company's wide range of retrofit decorating and converting unit options. Three screen systems have been shipped and installed this year with another soon going into production. "These are no longer just for narrow web label production. We are getting orders for rotary screen sizes up to 28" from customers who want to improve the performance and capabilities of their existing equipment," Kirtz says.
Custom designed for 22" wide screens, this retrofit unit shown prior to shipping, operates right-to-left operation, a Telstar exclusive.
While rotary screen came into it's own as a way of providing a heavy, opaque background for other decorating techniques, Kirtz says it remains the standard for this application even on the newer clear and "no-label" look products popular today. It is also used for specialized applications such as conductive inks for electronic patterns, thermochromatic and metalized inks, heavy deposits for special effects, tactile deposits of UV curable inks, specialty chemical applications; varnish over hot foil, medical salves and ointments for "patch" products, Braille inks along with other raised tactile surfaces and thixotropic inks.
Telstar points to its CadToGo on-site engineering service as a major factor in the continuing strength of its rotary screen retrofit units. "Virtually any brand of existing or new press can be outfitted with a retrofit machine from Telstar and can be bridge or rail mounted, placed within a stretched press path, or can be installed for first-down application. The retrofits accommodate woven mesh screens from suppliers like Stork, Kocher-Beck, Gallus and more," he says. Kirtz points to an industry exclusive feature of Telstar rotary screen units: they are available in both left-to-right and right-to-left operation. "Pre-engineering a custom-designed unit also means there is very little downtime at installation," he says.
A Mark Andy LP3000 with three Telstar rotary screen print heads.
In continuing support of its rotary screen unit customers, Telstar also offers a complete line of peripheral equipment necessary for quality performance and production including seamers, shear punches, squeegees, rings and gears. Its ink pumps can be both standalone single units or stackable. The pumps are reversible for easy cleanup.
"We see rotary screen as a staple product in the label industry, especially now that retrofit equipment has become widely recognized as a way to get more out of existing press equipment. It allows many printers the chance to compete in markets they were not able to reach," Kirtz adds.