In-vacuum selective and standard metallization

Bobst's SelectMet with F&K heritage flexo printing technology

In-vacuum selective and standard metallization
Bobst’s SelectMet provides faster, more accurate printing with metal onto film substrates and allows for the production of creative, high resolution patterns and greyscale images.

The new Bobst SelectMet system incorporates Bobst F&K heritage flexo printing technology into a Bobst vacuum metallizer and is a simpler and more cost-effective alternative to the traditional de-metallization process without the complexity of special lacquers and chemical bath

Selective and standard metallization from one machine
The innovative Bobst SelectMet process runs at speeds of up to 400 metres a minute on the Bobst K4000 platform. This provides greater flexibility as one machine can be used for two processes, both standard aluminium metallization and selective metallization without compromise. SelectMet is only available in the most commonly used metallizer widths in the converting industry – 1,250 mm and 1,650 mm.

Flexo printing unit inside the vacuum chamber
The flexo printing unit is located inside the vacuum chamber and the printhead position can be moved accordingly depending on which process is to be run; for selective metallization the printhead moves towards the coating drum and then retracts back to a home position (away from the film web path) for standard metallization.

Minimum oil consumption
This in-line vacuum metallizing process consists of a special printing oil which is applied at room temperature to the web in a very thin layer to produce the desired pattern. The low volume anilox cells ensure minimum oil consumption (down to less than 0.5 grams a square metre). The polished anilox roller combined with a high precision doctor blade made out of carbon fibre allows  more efficient and accurate oil metering.

Unlike the traditional and rather messy oil boilers, in the unique Bobst SelectMet system the oil is loaded at room temperature through an external oil bath. This results in a much cleaner selective metallization process. The location of the oil bath outside the vacuum chamber means that additional oil can be added during production to save time and enable longer runs.

Quick and easy sleeve change
Another key feature of the new Bobst SelectMet is the quick and easy change of the printing sleeve. The printing unit retracts and aligns itself with the viewing port located on the side of the machine which gives easy access to the printing roller though the porthole window. The printing sleeve itself is a one piece cylindrical polymer sleeve which can be easily loaded with the aid of an air flotation bed. The quick release bearing house allows sleeve changeover in less than 10 minutes. SelectMet incorporates an interchangeable bridge adaptor which allows the use of different diameter printing sleeves. Click here to see the Bobst SelectMet video.

Faster, more accurate printing for a variety of applications
Bobst’s SelectMet provides faster, more accurate printing with metal onto film substrates and allows for the production of creative, high resolution patterns and greyscale images. A flexible and versatile oil printing process system; SelectMet provides a wide range of added-value applications for specialist converters such as:

Innovative decorative packaging films – production of cutting-edge decorative films which can be used for eye-catching packaging to attract consumers’ attention Stripe metallization – leaves a window of un-metallized film that allows product visibility and evokes desire towards impulse purchases In-Register selective metallization onto pre-printed webs – pre-printed film is used as a base resulting in complex patterns incorporating both colored and metallized areas Anti-counterfeiting applications – production of high resolution selective metallization used in security threads and holographic foils that offer protection against counterfeiting in banknotes and other security applications.

Also available is an optional ZnS source for production of decorative holographic films with enhanced brightness to reduce imitation and provide high brand recognition for security and protection applications.


Packaging South Asia is the cooperating media partner for drupa 2016 which is scheduled to be held from 31 May to 10 June at Dusseldorf, Germany.

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.

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