Tech Watch: OMSO ServoBottle 8

by Brittany Willes, Plastics Decorating
The OMSO ServoBottle 8 is a more compact version of the the ServoBottle 12.

Originally introduced in 2012, the ServoBottle 12 from OMSO, Reggio Emilia, Italy, made use of the company’s servo-driven machine technology for screen printing on plastic and glass containers. The original ServoBottle featured 12 stations. Now, OMSO has introduced a more compact version, the ServoBottle 8.

One of the biggest advantages provided by the new ServoBottle technology is the decrease in changeover times. According to Tim Berenda, OMSO’s continental sales manager, “Older technology would require significant down time in order to complete a changeover. Most companies needed multiple lines so they could continue to run production on one machine while performing changeovers on the other machine – they couldn’t afford to have a machine down all day. With this technology, changeover times have been drastically lowered, which is the primary benefit. These days, with just-in-time inventory, companies are faced with shorter runs because their customers are not ordering hundreds of thousands of pieces, and those shorter runs lead to many more changeovers.” In the past, changeover times could take up to eight hours for a four- or five-color job. The ServoBottle printer allows for changeovers to be completed in as little as 30-45 minutes.

Changeover times are not the only things to advance with the new machines. As Berenda went on to explain, “Older screen printing technology required a significant degree of mechanical aptitude, where the new technology is driven by the computer.” The ServoBottle 8 is equipped with accessible screens to provide full visibility of printing groups and containers.

Furthermore, the printer has a simulator to allow operators to simulate and visualize the movement of the container in all groups (print, treatment, etc.) Finally, the Servobottle system memorizes job inputs for later recall, so all the parameters can be input into the machine and saved, rather than having to start the job setup from scratch.

ServoBottle 8 also makes use of OMSO’s “cure on the fly” technology. As Berenda stated, “Other machines can cure using UV LED technology, but we are curing on the fly, meaning we have an eight-station machine and each station has its own UV LED emitter. This is a patented process that allows the UV emitter to follow the bottle, rather than having a separate UV curing station after each screen printing station.” OMSO’s “cure on the fly” technology is what allows the company to create smaller, more compact machines. Additionally, Berenda reported the ServoBottle 8 also consumes 70 percent less electricity for UV curing and emits no ozone, all while producing less scrap material.

Thus far, OMSO’s customers have responded positively to both the ServoBottle 12 and ServoBottle 8. “Three out of four of my customers have ordered a second machine or are ready to order a third machine,” Berenda asserted.

Technical details

The ServoBottle 8 prints on any shape of glass and plastic bottles, as well as any shape of glass or plastic hollow container, such as cups, jars, etc. It operates with up to 10 colors, depending on machine configuration. Inks available are UV and thermoplastic inks with heated metallic screens. The printer is capable of rendering any kind of effect, including metallic, relief, frost and lacquer.

The ServoBottle 8 offers overlap printing using precision UV LED curing for ink overlap when printing 360 degrees. Transversal printing is available with standard squeegee group. Neck printing is available with a simple screen adapter. Printing speeds run up to 90ppm, depending on container shape and size.

OMSO’s servo-technology uses multiple axis robots to handle objects with precision. A single station is used for loading and unloading with preset trajectory, which eliminates the need for operator programming. The print system allows for more print heads, parallel conveyors with no unused stations and a compact footprint of the machine.