K&B’s first postprint corrugated CorruFLEX press goes to Romania

THIMM Group installs first K&B CorruFLEX

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CorruFLEX
Inline rotary die-cutting option CorrCut

The THIMM Group has successfully installed its first CorruFLEX from Koenig & Bauer. The new press started operating at the works in Sibiu in Romania at the end of last year, marking the fulfillment of a contract signed in December 2019. “By installing this HQPP flexo press, we are catering to the demand for high-quality packaging products on the East European market, and broadening our portfolio of customer-oriented solutions,” says Michael Weber, head of corporate strategy and marketing for the THIMM Group. The first tests to evaluate the quality and register accuracy were conducted on-site by an external service provider. “We are more than satisfied with the results,” adds Weber. The new press will primarily be used for 4-color production on coated board.

The basis of trust and professionalism that characterizes the partnership between Koenig & Bauer and the THIMM Group allowed any delays to commissioning caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic to be kept to a minimum. Christoph Müller, member of the executive board of Koenig & Bauer, said, “We remain dedicated to pursuing our strategic path. All three of our new presses, the CorruJET, the CorruCUT and the CorruFLEX, have now been successfully placed on the market, and we will be stepping up our efforts to set the standard in this segment, too.”

The CorruFLEX can handle corrugated sheets of up to a thickness of 9 mm (0.354 in). It runs at speeds of up to 12,000 sheets per hour. Its vacuum belt feeder is designed specifically for absolute infeed accuracy. The sheets are transported via a continuous overhead vacuum transport system that guarantees stable sheet travel through the equipment and exact register for the printing process. Optional hot air, IR, and
UV dryers can also be integrated into the transport system and its optional sheet cleaning device aids in dust-free quality printing. The press has shaftless drives for the impression
cylinder, vacuum transport, the form or plate cylinder, and the anilox roll. There are several automated systems for ink supply and washing and an optional anilox roll changeover system.

Inline rotary die-cutting option CorrCut

The CorruFLEX was designed and developed together with the high board line rotary die-cutter CorruCUT for inline printing and cutting and creasing. It stands out as a unique turnkey solution that combines the latest technologies and functions with straightforward and intuitive operation. The CorruFLEX boasts many unique features, such as a vacuum-belt feeder that operates without feed rollers and the innovative anilox roller changing system. It can be utilized either as a stand-alone solution or be integrated into a production line together with conventional flatbed die-cutters.

Our view

Corrugation quality and demand have seen significant improvement in the past several years in India. Since the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown in India, eCommerce has boomed together with packaging as a whole. Thus the demand for better quality corrugated packaging has increased dramatically, and as a consequence, more flexo printer slotter machines were imported into India in 2020 than ever before. A high number of these came from leading European suppliers. This indicates that K&B CorruFlex and even the inline CorruCut could find a market in India and South Asia.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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