K2016 in Dusseldorf attracted some 230,000 visitors, including almost 30,000 from Asia. While the total number of visitors was up from around 220,000 at previous shows, the Asian numbers were slightly down, mainly due to a steady decrease in visitors from India as reported by the organizers.
From the printing and converting machinery segment, Bobst, Cerutti, Comexi, Kampf, KBA-Flexotecnica, KBA-Kammann, Mimaki, Omso, Polytype, Soma, Tampoprint, Uteco, Van Dam
and Windmöller & Hölscher were the big runners, accompanied by around fifty smaller manufacturers from Asia, Italy and Turkey. Turkish manufacturers were particularly visible in the inmold labeling machinery section.
Extrusion lines for blown film, lamination and coating were shown by more than 80 exhibitors, from the likes of Bobst, KraussMaffei, Reifenhäuser, Windmöller & Hölscher, Baldwin, Bandera, Macchi and Oerlikon to players such as Rajoo Engineers from India and a majority of companies from China, Korea and Taiwan.
Comexi released a new printing unit for its gravure press R2 and showcased its latest offset press C18 launched at drupa earlier this year. It also had its L20000 water-based laminating machine on show, next to new coating solutions and its S1DT slitter/rewinder. Soma showcased its successful Optima 2 flexo press launched at drupa 2016. Gallus had a small stand together with Sun Chemical, showcasing the Gallus Screeny G-Line for screen printing on glass and containers.
Bobst vacuum metallizer at Manchester Open House
Bobst focused on excellence in substrate functionality and process performance by spotlighting the unique know-how of its dedicated team of process specialists, called Solution Masters. It also showcased the full range of flexible packaging samples printed on its range of gravure and flexo presses at the stand. Almost simultaneously, Bobst Competence Centers in Italy, Germany and the UK welcomed many customers with live demonstrations of the latest innovations. The open house at Bobst Manchester in the UK attracted over 80 visitors, including interested Indian packaging film producers. The event premiered the new Bobst K5 Expert, claimed to be the highest productivity metallizer in the world—at speeds up to 1200 m a minute. The new metallizer, available in widths from 2450 mm to 3650 mm, can house increased roll diameters of up to 1270 mm to increase productivity. The K5 uses a 700 mm drum, the largest coating drum in the industry to improve collection efficiency by 16% while decreasing aluminium consumption. A totally redesigned evaporation source provides a coating window up to 50% wider than some competitor machines, which translates in better coating uniformity and collection efficiency while minimizing aluminum wire waste. The new K5 Expert incorporates low-friction ferrofluidic seals for better tension control on the rewind producing a virtually wrinkle-free roll-to-roll vacuum metallization process. User modes can also configure the machine in Eco mode, reducing energy consumption by 50% while on stand-by; a film-save mode; and a high deposition mode.
Alubond breakthrough highlighted at K
At Bobst’s stand at K, samples of metallized films produced on the new K5 Expert metallizer were a highlight, especially those using the new alubond process—a breakthrough in metal adhesion technology wherein the aluminum oxide sprayed onto
the film in the vacuum metallizer turns into a thin, transparent ceramic layer. Likely to be of great interest to the Indian and South Asian flexible packaging industry, the alox metallizer
produces a printable film where transparent areas can show the product inside. Another feature is that the strongly bonded alox ceramic layer and the base film cannot be peeled apart.
Uflex finalizes Comexi Futura holographic laminator at K
Comexi closed a deal with India’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and solutions company Uflex at K. The Comexi Futura is a versatile machine with value-added finishing options designed to produce a holographic finish using the recognized Cast & Cure technology. The process creates a highly attractive visual register effect using a UV lacquer without the need for laminating and is completely free of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). In addition, the holographic effect offers a copy protection to guarantee the genuineness of the packaging. The Comexi Futura allows cold-foil application, UV laminating, and a variety of coatings to give an attractive finish to the product, and the possibility of solventless lamination.
This was the third Comexi Futura purchase by Uflex in the past year and the number is likely to increase considering the company’s growth plans in coming years. The relationship between the two organizations dates back to 2007, when the first Comexi Nexus laminator was installed at Uflex. In less than a decade, more than 20 Comexi machines have made their way into Uflex plants. Expressing pleasure over the latest signing, Comexi president, Manel Xifra said, “We are proud to have become a close supplier for Uflex and are working towards developing new ways to increase our collaboration.” Chairman and managing director of Uflex Ashok Chaturvedi said, “The trust between Uflex and Comexi has grown over the years and has contributed to our journey of being ahead of the competition.”