Rexroth and the New Printing

Servo motors have been important to the printing industry for decades. The combination of accuracy and power makes a servo motor perfect for the demands of newspapers, magazines, and other reading materials.Now, when many people read more words on packaging than in printed reading materials like books, flexographic printing and other specialized types of printing have made the servo motor even more essential to modern printing. 3-D printing (which relied on steppers for some time), nanoprinting, and other futuristic forms of printing demand the precision and power of servo motors.

But as we wonder about the future of printing, Rexroth is part of the newest printing technology. Digital printing is responding to consumer demands for customization with dynamic variations in content, document size, and more. A finishing system must be able to identify and handle a wide range of pages — not just the standard newspaper, magazine, and book dimensions. The Sprint Variable Data Finishing System from VTIS was developed to handle these challenges.

And it was developed with Rexroth.

“As we looked at the challenges, we came to the conclusion that only Bosch Rexroth would be able to provide the precise control technology we needed,” said John Salamone, director of new product development for VTIS, in a ControlDesign interview.

The system is made up of modular, independently driven components, each of which plays a speficic part in creating a book, mailing piece, product insert, or other printed item. Depending on the specific configuration, a system may have 10 to 30 axes. Each module uses its own combination of Rexroth IndraDrive servo drives and IndraDyn servo motors. Modules cut, fold, and bind — and the specific actions have to be precise. Each component shares data about the workpiece registration. This makes it possible to avoid an accumulation of tiny changes in registration that can add up to big changes by the end of a run.

All of the components are controlled by a central Rexroth IndraMotion MLC motion control platform. The level of communication among the machines makes the desired level of automation, plus the desired level of customization, possible.

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