The SCYPRI project was funded by the European Union under the FP7 Research for the Benefit of SMEs call (FP7-SME-2012). The project proposes the design, implementation and validation of an innovative and smart plate cylinder to eliminate the Flexographic Printing Industry problems.

The European printing industry comprises 138.000 companies (>85% SMEs with less than 20 employees), 853.000 employees and 105 billion EUR turnover. The European market of flexography printing has been constantly growing over the last ten years, its value going up from 2009’s € 14.7 billion to € 18.3 billion in 2009, the second largest growth after digital printing (+24%). Flexography has been constantly conquering new market sectors by replacing other techniques, and this process is expected to continue over the next years.

Globally, the printing market used to be rather static and not really dynamic, but now significant providers from emerging countries (Eastern and Central Europe, China) are forcing printers to redefine their market position by integrating more advanced and efficient services and pursuing the optimization of existing ones.

The SCYPRI project objectives were:

  • Design and realization of a multifunctional sensor network with the aim of performing multi parameter and multipoint measurements enabling both static and dynamic detection.

  • Design and realization of a novel application oriented optoelectronic units able to demodulate complex sensors networks and to retrieve information by using data fusion and compensation procedures.

  • Improved performance and material saving through the development of a smart plate cylinder.

  • Innovative carbon fibre composite cylinder with an optimized structure.

  • Innovative and efficient connection between plate cylinder and adapters.

  • Autoclave system characterization

  • Experimental characterization and constitutive modelling of cure-temperature dependent resin behaviour

  • Smart interaction of optoelectronic sensor to monitor the effects over temperature and residual stresses of the manufacturing stages

The main SCYPRI objective was to create a smart cylinder which can communicate with the control system giving it the data needed to dynamically adjust in real time the driving parameters of the process obtaining in this way a higher print speed and a much better printing quality. To reach this goal the cylinder sensors were embedded to detect vibrations, deflection value and phase, material stress, unbalancing and so on.