All technologies take aim at packaging applications

Packaging , Prepress, Printing, Converting, Proofing and Testing

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The inkjet solutions for packaging went beyond the usual specialty marking systems to actually demonstrate the full scale colour production of large size board and corrugated cartons on machines such as the very fast and the SunJet that was demonstrated at a customer site near Dusseldorf. Many of the newer flatbed UV inkjet printers such as the HP Scitex XP5300 and XP 2700 can also be used for some of these POP applications. Both of these are near the dozen mark as far as Indian installs.
Drupa provided an opportunity to look at some of the new digital samplemaking tables used for packaing samples and POP cutouts such as Kongsberg, Zund and MultiCam. Notably, Apsom Infotex signed a distribution deal with MultiCam for the Indian market.

There were innumerable numerous industrial inkjet label presses at drupa08 – perhaps as many as fifty according to one expert. These included label presses and prototypes from Epson, Screen, EFI Jetrion, Nilpeter, Founder and Xennia and many others. A comprehenseive report on digital narrow web presses by Simon Eccles appears in this issue on page 30.

The more conventional toner and HP’s electroink digital presses also demonstrated packaging applications with inline coating and die-cutting. HP’s web fed Indigo WS 4500 and the new WS6000 label press met with considerable response from Indian buyers as did the sheetfed Indigo 5500 running with an in-line UV coater. In fact Indigo WS6000 lable press to be made available in 2009, has already notched up an Indian customer.

Xerox showed its iGen three with a Hunkeler bridge that transported printed sheets to the new Kama Procut 53 die-cutting and stamping machines in Stora Enso’s Gallop integrated packaging line. Shown at the Xerox stand this line produced mainly pharmaceutical cartons on 300 gsm Ensocoat renewable fibre-based board with full colour printing on the iGen3 and stamping, embossing, creasing and die-cutting on the inline Kama. Apart from barcodes some of the packaging was demonstrated with Braille embossing done simultaneously with the creasing and die-cutting on the Procut 53.

Inkjet corrugated press
Sun Chemical’s FastJet
We do ask ink manufacturers about their perspective on digital printing, since in that realm, the manufacturers of presses are also the main suppliers of the ink. Surprisingly, some of the major ink manufacturers deny interest in digital printing inks saying that digital inks are a small part of overall ink consumption and that the core technologies are not the same. We are not entirely convinced by this argument, especially when we see the very active development work of companies such as Eckart, Fuji Sericol and Sun Chemical in digital inks and equipment.

At drupa 2008, every ink manufacturer had a customer centric theme and Sun Chemical’s was ‘Working for You.’ Sun Chemical, which is an associate of DIC Limited and the Coates brand in India, produces a range of innovative printing inks, pigments and coatings solutions for the whole market including the packaging market. These include flexo, gravure, and energy curable, digital and offset inks as well as broader industry workflow solutions including SmartColour colour management solutions, brand protection, FastJet digital presses, and new functional barrier-coating technologies.

FastJet is Sun’s single-pass inkjet printing press for corrugated packaging. It runs at a speed of one square metre a second on corrugated sheets and has been built in collaboration with Inca Digital. The press uses 500 heads and inkjet UV inks that have been designed specifically for the FastJet.

The inks, produced by SunJet, are extremely stable, produce vibrant, glossy colours and are virtually odour free. Developed for the fast growing market for multicolour, shelf ready packaging and display applications the FastJet is aimed at short and medium run orders. SunJet is Sun Chemical’s division based in England that does the research and development for inkjet and digital toner inks. Our understanding is that many of the inks are developed jointly or in collaboration with inkjet head and OEM machine and press manufacturers. Visitors to drupa had an opportunity to attend a full demonstration of the FastJet at the site of its first beta partner IMG Digipack GmbH, based in Remscheid, Germany.

Metallics for inkjets
Eckart’s Jetfluid
At drupa08, Eckart showed JETFLUID, claimed to be the world’s first metallic digital ink for industrial digital printing. Starting with a solvent-based silver inkjet ink the product portfolio will soon be expanded to UV and water borne systems. These inks were demonstrated running on a Mimaki inkjet printer at the Eckart stand. Eckart also showed its PRISMASTAR rainbow effect inks based on the latest generation of PVD metallic effect pigments offering a spectral colour shift normally associated with holographic foils and substrates. Primastar inks are meant to economically replace holographic foils in some applications with their rainbow effect. They are also available as solvent-based screen, gravure and flexo inks for reverse applications on film. In addition to design and cost-saving opportunities in the labelling and packaging area, Primastar inks can be used to create hologram-like security effects.

Eckart showed its Pearlstar Litho silver ink with pearlescent effects in offset printing and Metalstar silver, an oil-based offset ink based on the established varnish technology of the Topstar 06 series. Unlike most metallics that become dull when varnished, the Metalstar silver inks retain their metallic effect when varnished. In addition to becoming scratchproof, this ink shows good adhesion with UV varnishes, laminates and hot foils.

Eckart’s sister company Actega Terra showed samples using innovative coatings at the show. Apart from their Terra Wet water based coatings, Terra Gloss UV coatings and Terra Effekt effect coatings Actega showed a new coating called Terra Green based on renewable resources to address issues of sustainability. An analysis by the accredited analysis institute Wessling has shown that the first Terra Green product, Gloss Coating G 5/200, is more than 75 per cent biodegradable. The implication is that subject to local water authority and environment regulations, printers could possibly dispose of coating residues and wash water directly to an industrial water treatment plant. This may have similar implications for printed waste as well.

Track and trace barcoding
Mabeg, Kodak Versamark, Axod, Lake
Mabeg known as a sheet feeder manufacturer demonstrated entire transport systems at drupa with Atlantic Zeiser inkjet heads for track and trace barcoding and Axod on-line inspection systems. Subsequently Kodak has tied with Mabeg to supply these systems with Kodak Versamark D Series heads to print barcodes. Online inspection is done by configuring either Axod or Lake video systems. Printing packaging is coded using the D Series heads from one to nine-inch widths and sheets with defects are diverted from the delivery stream.

Creed Engineers who also sold high-speed Versamark systems to three different Indian customers at drupa08, will sell the new barcoding system in South Asia (except Pakistan). Creed has also become the Kodak distributor for its Thermoflex digital flexo platesetter and for the Kodak range of Flexcel photopolymer plates. There are hybrid models of the Thermoflex that can also expose letterpress polymer plates and offset plates in addition to the Flexcel plates.
Kodak’s new technology product with very fine dot capability in this area was the Kodak NX imager which first exposes an imaging layer at very high speed (9.5 square meters an hour) that is laminated on to a Flexcel NX plate for exposure and processing. We believe that this technology may take some time before it comes to South Asia.

Inkjet adapted for digital spot varnishing
MGI JetVarnish, Fujifilm Emblaze
Two B2 format digital UV varnishing systems were announced at drupa. Both print variable-pattern UV cured clear varnish onto pre-printed sheets. FujiFilm showed Emblaze, which was developed in partnership with UK-based FFEI. Emblaze uses Xaar 1001 heads. French digital press maker MGI showed JetVarnish, its first inkjet machine.

Emblaze is distributed exclusively by FujiFilm in Europe, though FFEI MD Andy Cook says that other distribution arrangements may be reached in other regions. Speed is quoted as 2,400 A4 sheets an hour. The system uses a new UV coating fluid developed by FujiHunt, the specialist print chemicals company in the FujiFilm group. “The challenge was in developing the fluid, which has very high viscosity,” said Andy Cook. Emblaze has eight Xaar 1001 greyscale heads, allowing it to print the coating in gloss, silk or matt finishes as well as patterns.

JetVarnish uses Konica Minolta heads in its initial format shown at drupa, though MGI has designed it to accept heads such as Dimatix or Xaar. Maximum speed is likely to be from 4,000 to 6,000 sheets an hour on substrates from180 to 600 gsm. The varnish has been formulated by MGI and will be available in gloss or matt, with a third type intended for security applications, that becomes visible under ‘black light’ UV inspection. Production of JetVarnish will start at the end of this year for initial deliveries in Q1of 2009, the company said.

New die-cutters and folder gluers
Heidelberg challenges Bobst
With the full integration of the its 2002 acquisition of Jagenberg, and its special hall for packaging solutions, Heidelberg has taken on Bobst in the board packaging segment with its Dymatrix and Varimatrix die-cutters and it’s Diana folder-gluers. The Dymatrix die-cutters at drupa08 matched the makeready times of Bobst’s SPanthera range.

The new feeder for its Dymatrix 106/113 Pro CSB die-cutter, incorporates the Preset Plus Feeder of the Speedmaster XL 105 and the DySet Pro automatic feed system for aligning sheets laterally to sheet edge, print image or printing marks before they are transferred to the grippers, reducing the number of misregistered sheets and jams.

Heidelberg also unveiled the Dymatrix 145 CSB for the 106.01 x 145 cm (41.74 x 57.09-inches) format. The145 CSB die cutter is built to match the finishing needs of the new Speedmaster XL 145 as Heidelberg becomes a one stop manufacturer for paper and board packaging. With a high-performance feeder, a patented register system, and moving upper table and electronically controlled sheet brake, the Dymatrix 145 is capable of 8000 sheets an hour and can convert materials from 80 to 2,000 gsm and corrugated board to  4mm (0.16 inches) thick. Options include software for web-based Remote Service and workflow integration via Prinect Postpress Manager for Finishing.

The new Diana X 115 folder gluer shown at drupa can be flexibly configured to produce many types and sizes of folding cartons. Heidelberg claims that customers can “virtually design their own machine”. High performance finishing and converting equipments is key to the success of the new Speedmaster XL 145 and 162, extra large format presses shown at Heidelberg’s drupa stand.

Heidelberg’s domain knowledge in package printing was appreciated by show visitors, and by dedicating an entire hall to packaging solutions, the company demonstrated and positioned its diverse offerings in this segment. “We have put a great deal of effort into showcasing this particular area, and this work will pay dividends in the future,” said Dr. Jürgen Rautert, member of the Heidelberg Management Board. Dr. Rautert also said that meetings held with customers and prospects validated the focus on packaging. “We have been able to use drupa to lay solid foundations for success in the years ahead. That is why our meetings with customers were so important for everyone involved”.

As far as the Indian market, Heidelberg still has not been able to sell its die-cutters partly because the prices of the Dymatrix series are higher even than Bobst. The entry level Varimatrix that was exhibited in Mumbai in end 2006 is a more competitive product but also doesn’t seem to have found its niche yet. However, Heidelberg made a breakthrough sale to an Indian printer of a press with an in-line cold foiling unit.

New die-cutters and presses
Bobst continues to grow
Bobst, which has hitherto dominated the Indian converting market, came to drupa with its next generation of equipment and solutions, aiming to make further inroads into the market with differentiated products at several price levels. In die-cutting these included the VISIONCUT 106 LE flatbed diecutter; the MASTERCUT 145 mid-range diecutter for large-format work; and the high-end EXPERTCUT 106 for diecutting specialists. In addition, Bobst also showed its large range of flexible packaging laminators and gravure and flexo printing machines.

Multifunction compact die-cutters
KAMA’s new Procut 53
For us Kama was the new revelation among die-cutter suppliers at drupa. The relatively modest company based near Dresden provides compact die cutters with a variety of multifunctional features. New at drupa was the Procut 53 with 120 tons of cutting force and output of 6,000 sheets an hour. Applications range from cutting, creasing, perforating and kiss-cutting to finishing with cold embossing and Braille. A hot foil stamping module and a device for hot stamping plastic, both retrofittable, are in the pipeline. As we have written above, the Procut 53 was also shown inline with the iGen 3 at the Xerox stand.

At Kama’s own stand, the ProCut 74 die-cutter’s improvements included motorized pressure setting and a new quick-change system for the hot foil module.

At drupa08 there were15 to 20 serious queries for the 105 pro-cutter which can simultaneously die-cut and hot foil stamp. Moreover there was a huge response for the Kama 53 Procut with at least fifty serious enquiries. The smaller format Kama is a very competitive offering for packaging printers and even commercial printers who need to die-cut and foil stamp in the same pass.

Chinese converting equipment
Yoco die-cutters and Paktek folder gluers
At drupa04 there were more than ten Chinese die-cutter manufacturers and in the ensuing years they have improved their machines and have become interested in the Indian market. The Yoco die-cutters (some with foil stamping) sold by Suba Solutions have now gained considerable traction in the Indian market with 15 installations including many of the big names in board packaging. Yoco die-cutters are not based on reverse engineering but on collaborations with Mabeg for the feeder and Nikko Engineering for the die-cutting technology. V. Vaidy of Suba Solutions says that five more Yoco die-cutters are on the way with drupa accounting for at least three sales so far.

Suba Solutions has also tied up with another Chinese manufacturer, Paktek for their folder-gluers. The first Paktek folder gluer installation in the country is expected in the immediate aftermath of drupa around the first half of August. We first met Suba Solutions at China Print 2005 in Beijing and the company now has eighteen service engineers on its rolls.

Converting accessories and inline systems
Cito’s matrices and RSP finishing
Die making, setting up, and die-cutting techniques occupy an increasing space in the printing and converting realm. This is an area not unlike coatings, finishing, metallic inks, or even wrapping that require considerable domain knowledge and experience since the solution is generally unique but requires a combination of techniques and tools for each end-product.

The default supplier of creasing matrices, and for perforation and cutting rules for on-press systems, Cito had its own stand in Hall 10 where it attracted about 4,000 visitors and signed many contracts. However it was best shown in action at Heidelberg’s Hall 1 where its inline RSP finishing system was demonstrated. The RSP system mounted on a print or coating unit can be used for finishing folders or postcard perforations in brochures and magazines, and for cutting, perforation and creasing. CITO also made a contribution to industrial safety by offering its customers a removal aid for safe and comfortable removal of the protective impression cylinder jackets.

In India the Cito inline RSP system has about 50 users including some of the leading book exporters who use the cutting rules to half-cut pop-ups and pop-outs in children’s activity books. Although Cito’s inline finishing systems are in the main developed for Heidelberg presses they are used in India with other manufacturer’s presses as well.

Modern diemaking technologies
SEI Laser and ServiForm
Sei Laser who make laser cutting and marking machines showed a paper blaster at drupa rather than their laser die maker which cuts the die board on structural lines for the insertion of cutting and creasing rules. Used in conjunction with machines that automatically measure, bend, nick and cut the rules for insertion into the die-boards these machines have become essential for high quality and long lasting dies for autoplaten die-cutting machines.
SEI’s die-board machine and paper cutting blaster have been recently installed in the newly commissioned EIH plant in Manesar near Delhi. With the high influx of brand new 6-colour plus coater presses and autoplaten diecutters we expect to see more diemaking trade shops modernize with laser die making equipment as well as automated rule cutting and bending machines such as those from ServiForm.

Heavy metal and board packaging
Many of the Indian board packaging companies at drupa were impressed with the sheetfed offset presses shown at drupa. Significant innovations included the simultaneous plate changers shown by several major manufacturers and the networking of press consoles to production and management servers using JDF and JMF. In fact both commercial and packaging printers were looking for solutions that could connect prepress, press, and postpress from a variety of manufacturers.

The ability to scan the whole printed sheet for closed loop colour registration was also looked at not simply as an unaffordable accessory but as a tool for ISO level colour quality printing standardisation. In addition printers looked seriously at the in-line options such as embossing units and foiling towers. Although the embossing units seemed too expensive the cold foiling towers were a part of deals signed by Indian printers at the show. Also important at drupa were the advent of larger more packaging friendly format presses from Ryobi and Sakurai.

However, from our discussion with Indian visitors, both the perfecting capabilities and formats beyond 102-106 cm shown at drupa are not likely to be purchased in more than ones and twos for a while. We do not believe that any deals for either long perfectors or very large format presses were indicated at drupa although the one or two press deals that have been cooking since IPEX06 may in fact see installs in this financial year. The emphasis of Indian packaging printers continues to be 6-colour plus coater presses, often either UV-equipped right from the install or UV-enabled for retrofitting.

Automation, new formats and inline foiling
manroland 500 with Prindor InlineFoiler
manroland demonstrated its latest large-format press, the Roland 900 XXL, with the first public appearance of its APL fully automatic plate loading system and the InlineColorPilot system for measuring and controlling ink density. It showed the Roland 500 fitted with the InlineFoiler Prindor that can process up to three rolls of foil simultaneously. manroland asserts that the machine is well-suited to packaging and labelling applications. Readers will recall that the Prindor inline foiling tower was first shown at IPEX 06 in Birmingham on the Roland 700 press.

Several 6-colours plus coaters bought at drupa08
York Print buys KBA Rapida 105 UV press
South Asian paperboard converters continue to buy 6-colour plus coater presses as workhorses. These are purchased either with full interstage and end of press UV curing or “UV enabled” for retrofitting the UV curing systems later. This is seen as a critical technology for the latest UV effects as well as for printing on plastics for luxury packaging including cosmetics. Although many of these presses were signed for at drupa only a few such deals were made public at the show.

KBA did announce the purchase by York Print of Kolkata of a fully UV equipped 6-colour Rapida 105 plus coater press and extended delivery for carton board and plastic printing. The medium-format Rapida at York will be the first UV press for printing plastic in the whole of the eastern subcontinent. York Print is a repeat customer having bought a succession of Planeta presses and a Rapida 104 in 1993. York Print’s management team visited the major press manufacturers at the show and were impressed by the Rapida 105’s ability to accommodate the company’s specific production requirements, and KBA’s acknowledged competence in UV and plastic printing.

KBA’s dealer Indo-Polygraph machinery also met with considerable success with its binding equipment from Wohlenburg and expects that by the end of the financial year it will sell several more KBA Rapida presses in our market. We also expect public announcements of other deals that were made but are waiting for installation before being made public.

Larger formats and LED UV curing
Ryobi shows 1050
Ryobi demonstrated its 1050 a 16,000 sph press to be offered for delivery a year after drupa in the 105 x 71 cm format and a larger XL model in 105 x 77 cm format with double diameter transfer cylinders and in-line quality inspection and closed loop video colour controls. Also presented were an inline foiling and casting unit, which fits above the final flexo chamber coater on the Ryobi B2 format 750 press. It prints a glue pattern to which it impresses a foiler roll to print foiled patterns at press speeds as high as 15,000 sheets an hour. The foil is flashed fused to the substrate by UV radiation penetrating slightly translucent foil material from Kurz. The unit can also be used to impress a cast pattern on coated substrates for creating holographic effects.

Ryobi also demonstrated its LED based UV curing unit on its smaller 525GX press. The LED UV curing lamps are claimed to reduce power consumption by 70 per cent but require a special ink that was provided at the show by Toyo. This system based on LED-UV lamps from Matsushita will be delivered in 2009 and is also planned for the larger 750 press in the future. Ryobi says the new LED-UV lamps lasts 12 times as long as conventional UV lamp systems.

Variable cutoff UV press
Omet’s Varyflex F-1 hybrid
Omet came to drupa with a Varyflex F-1 press. The press was used for demos switching continously between foil and folding cartons.  The 530 mm web width press was fitted with six UV-flexo printing units, a sliding cold foil unit on an overhead rail system and a fly cut variable sheeter. The modular design of the press allows for complete interchange of variable formats and of rotogravure, rotary screen, hot and cold foil units, and in the near future, offset units. (One of the newly designed offset units was placed on the stand behind the demonstration press.)

The design concept also permits the application of holograms in tight register. This is useful for decorative and anti-counterfeiting purposes. The Vary Flex prints all substrates from plastic film to paper and carton, for the production of labels, flexible packaging, folding carton, shrink labels, wrap-around labels, in-mould labels, blister, and tickets. The demo jobs at drupa were printed on 200 gsm board (0.290mm), with a width of 500mm, in 5-colours plus cold foiling, fly cut sheeting and delivery on a shingling table, directly followed by a job printed on 0.050 mm PVC shrink film in 6-colours and delivery to a roll rewinder.

The Fly Cut facility is a synchronized cutting unit that allows different sized sheets to be cut without changing machine set up. It works by allowing printed material to be sheeted from 6 to 33 inches through a single unit. But unlike traditional sheeting systems, there is no need to change the set up to suit the format. The Fly Cut system is particularly interesting for printers wanting to take full advantage of webfed printing while using an offline flatbed die cutting system instead of the more expensive inline solid or magnetic rotary dies.

The new UV-offset printing unit features an extremely slow setting speed (10 metres a minute) and integrated pre-register, which guarantee very low waste during start-up. In addition, the offset unit fully integrates Omet’s Vision 1 system, which allows total automatic print register, using a single key for the entire operation. Both longitudinal and transverse register are monitored, which is an Omet patent. The unit has servo drive for the print cylinder, inking rolls, inker and dampening system. This means independent speed adjustment for each motorised axis and automatic setting of the inker-tracking and dampening curves.

Designed to be integrated into the Vary Flex platform (VF F1 & VF C), thanks to shaftless technology, the offset unit has interchangeable cassettes and format magazines. Supplied complete with UV curing, the offset unit is also available with a motorised cooling drum, and is suitable for a wide range of applications using paper, self-adhesive stock, unsupported films and light carton board.

The inking system uses an inker with speed and frequency remote adjustment and motorised temperature controlled inking rolls, which ensure ink flow stability during the run. The inking parameter calibration is adjusted through central software and a special control unit automatically balances water temperature, Ph and conductivity. Next to the Varyflex, Omet manufactures the Flexy and Flexy-S narrow web flexo presses, of which it has sold four to India, and the X-Flex, Omet’s new benchmark press for the production of self adhesive labels, flexible packaging and light carton products. The company also manufactures tissue converting machines. According to Paolo Grasso, AreaManager Asia-Pacific, whom we spoke to at the company’s drupa stand, Omet will be exhibiting at the India Label Show in December in New Delhi — possibly a full UV Flexy in the 13-inch range with 6 to 8 units.

Narrow webs for food packaging
Gidue Xpannd hybrid and Athena
Gidue showed two presses at drupa 2008. On a 370 mm-wide Xpannd press the company demonstrated its latest Hi-Offset technology combined with Gidue’s Flower flexo units. The Xpannd is a hybrid flexo/offset/silkscreen machine featuring converting capabilities such as hot stamping, cold foil, embossing and diecutting, geared at all-in-one-pass, in-line printing and maximum efficiency in short runs using a fully standardised offset job flow. Gidue speaks of colour consistency from start-up at 12 metres a minute to the maximum achievable speed of 150 metres a minute.
The second machine shown was the Athena UV flexo sleeve press printing food packaging and shrink sleeves for the beverage and cosmetics sector at a width of 630 mm. Its high productivity in short and medium runs corresponds to the changing requirements of flexible packaging printers traditionally using solvent rotogravure and central impression flexo presses.

Both machines were shown with inspection systems for monitoring register, image and web behaviour through a set of cameras located on each print station. Gidue also said that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States approved a Food Contact Notification (FCN 772) to allow direct food contact with UV or electronic beam formulations used as coatings or components of coatings (both including inks) printed on polymeric substrates, paper and paperboard, metal substrates, or as a component in adhesives. The Food Contact Notification Alliance includes Gidue as a labels and flexible packaging press manufacturer in association with Alcan, Alcoa, Bayer Polymers, Fujifilm Hunt, MeadWestvaco, Rohm and Haas, Siegwerk and other suppliers.

New variable sleeve offset press
Rotatek Brava and Universal
At its stand at drupa, Spanish company Rotatek showcased next to its proven Brava label press, a new variable sleeve offset and flexo press, the Universal. Printing at speeds of up to 350 metres a minute at a maximum width of 500 mm on reel widths of up to 520mm, this press is fully automatic with regards to inking, register and tension control. The main printing units are equipped with interchangeable lightweight sleeves. Variable repeat is obtained by changing plates and blanket sleeves only. A simple mechanical locking device allows for quick sleeve changes. With servo motor technology, the modular concept of the Universal allows multiple configurations and the combination of different printing technologies such as flexo for varnishes and spot colours, screen for Braille applications, or gravure for applications such as gold or silver inks, and processing and finishing applications such as variable data inkjet, cold seal laminations, hot and cold foil stamping, die cutting and sheeting.

Creed Engineers the Rotatek dealers for most of South Asia and for the Middle East are showing the Bravo combination label press at the India Packaging Show in Delhi from August 7 to 10. Ranesh Bajaj of Creed says, there were many serious enquiries at drupa for the new Universal press and for which he hopes to close one or two sales by the end of the financial year.

Xaar shows Nilpeter inkjet press
Caslon sold to South American printer
The Nilpeter Caslon label press demonstrated in Xaar’s stand at drupa08 led to a sale to an undisclosed printer from South America. Nilpeter’s Soren Ringbo said the South American customer was so impressed with the quality of the narrow-web label and packaging machine that, “they want to remain secret so they can take the market by storm when they start production later this year”.This drupa sale was the first for Nilpeter’s 4-colour UV inkjet machine, which incorporates Xaar 1001 printheads and data-streaming technology from FFEI. The Caslon runs at speeds to 50 metres a minute using FFEI’s flash drying technology while the printing is performed by an array of twenty-four Xaar-1001 print heads.

UV and electron beam curing with nitrogen
Drent Goebel VSOP at drupa
Among the more impressive live demonstrations at drupa was that of the Drent Goebel VSOP press. Six times a day the 33-inch wide 6-colour press with variable sleeves for changing print lengths and fast job changeovers was shown printing on film for wrap-around labels, shrink-sleeves, flexible packaging, and folding cartons on web fed paper board. Both UV and electron beam (EB) curing using nitrogen to create an inert chamber for instant drying of well saturated print at high speeds were shown on the VSOP.

The UV curing was performed by IST Metz’ BLK-5 UV lamps, while the electron beam curing system used Energy Sciences Inc’s EZCure EB unit, and the nitrogen delivery system was from Air Liquide. Aimed at flexible packaging, folding carton and food packaging industries, the live demonstrations showcased the VSOP’s high throughput and quality while being solvent and VOC free.

We sat through the demonstration, were impressed, and went away thinking that this is the future but perhaps too far away (read expensive) for the Indian converters. Afterwards we learned that actually ten to fifteen converters from South Asia saw the VSOP demonstrations and were interested. It seems that these kinds of investments are no longer totally out of reach, and while it may take time to actually digest all the new technologies in this kind of innovative and flexible solution, there are some organised packaging converters who have to examine this kind of opportunity. Our feedback from manroland India, the distributors in this market is that this could happen sooner rather than later.

Wide converting range
Acme Machinery
Acme Machinery of Mumbai celebrated its 50-year anniversary with a presentation of their full range of paper and board printing, packaging and converting equipment. A family enterprise represented by the complete Board of Directors at drupa, Acme’s portfolio includes carton folders-gluers, guillotines, offset and flexo presses, perfect binding, sewing, creasing, perforation, gumming, ruling, bagging, lamination, varnishing, paper counting and folding machines, book and box stitching machines, sheeters, pasters, slitters and paper and corrugated board manufacturing lines. Together with OEM products