Servos and Presses–What does the Future Hold?

Printed electronic circuit board by Creativity103

Rexroth servomotors and servo drives have long been one of the go-tos for printing press machinery. Servos are great at meeting the needs of printing presses because they don’t lose their position and run practically forever without problems. Most servos we service were installed decades ago and are just having their first problems now.

We’ve looked at the history of printing,  but now we’d like to look at the future of printing presses and where we’re headed next.

3D printing has been one of the most exciting possibilities for new printing technologies. 3D printing of objects has some advantages for short runs and for multiple iterations of models, but the lack of economies of scale makes it impractical for ordinary manufacturing at the moment.

However, the possibilities of edible printing and of bioprinting (printing out replacement body parts) are just two of the exciting prospects in this area. We can’t even predict what else might be possible with this kind of printing.

Sheet-feed digital printing has possibilities in the printed electronic world, too, where electronics are printed onto films for use in different applications. If you’ve ever seen bendable electronics on film, like smartphones with contortionist displays, you’ve looked at printed electronic technology. Made with layers of semi-conducters between plastic sheets, they have to be perfectly aligned to operate correctly.

Servo motors, like those made by Rexroth and Indramat, could be used to run multi-axis rollers that need specific tension, as one expert says.

As for conventional modern printing presses, the potential demise of print books and magazines has been talked about a lot in recent years, but it’s not happening yet.The prospect of Nanoprinting and new developments in offset keep the presses humming — and packaging makes printers essential no matter how many Kindles are sold.

It’s fun to speculate, and it’s exciting to be in the middle of the next major change in printing technology. If your servo is having issues, though, getting it repaired is your top priority. If you call us in to help, it’s ours too.

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