High-speed operation requires die-cutting machines that maintain smoothness and reduce torque spikes. This is particularly true for Mark Andy Inc.'s LP 3000, a high-speed printer that produces labels at 750 ft/min., prints two sides in a single pass, die cuts, punches, perforates, sheets, and folds labels.

Smooth operation of the machine's die cutting stations is critical, as spikes in torque generated during the die-cutting cycle can throw off the registry to the print stations. Maintaining stiffness during such torque spikes is critical.

Rather than use bellows, solid, or spiral cut couplings, Mark Andy uses a re-engineered version of Zero-Max's 6P30C CD coupling, which designers customized to meet the small-size needs of the LP 3000's die-cutting stations.

The original version is a double-flex model with two center-disc packs and clamp-style connecting hubs. Zero-Max redesigned it to reverse the outside hubs so they face inward rather than outward. In addition, the disc packs are located on the outside of the coupling rather than the center. The width was reduced more than 50% from 3.92 to 1.6 in.

Made from high-tech composite material in an open-arm design, the CD coupling not only controls torque spike, it offers zero positioning downstream in the system so all modules stay in synch. Print register and quality is guaranteed without any operator intervention or alteration of the system while operating at top speeds.

The CD coupling keeps intermittent motion under control while turning at 727 rpm with web-label material feeding through the system at 750 ft/min. It also provides necessary torque rigidity, absorbs torque spikes, and maintains required positioning accuracy.