Enhanced graphics and damage protection
AB Graphic International’s new laminating machine, the Digilam 330, is said to be capable of laminating on a wide range of narrow web flexible packaging materials using aqueous adhesive.
“As the growth of flexible packaging in the narrow web industry continues, so does the demand for high quality graphics. This is particularly true in the food packaging market where the shelf appeal is essential,” says the company’s sales director, Tony Bell.
“Laminating the printed substrate with the Digilam system not only protects the packaging from scuff and damage to the print during transit, but it can also enhance the graphics,” he says.
The Digilam 330 is an off-line system that can be used for both digital and conventionally printed webs. A rotary gravure printing head is said to provide the required adhesive coating weight along with a four-stage hot air drying system that helps in achieving full cure. A second substrate is then introduced which is laminated, to the master web via a heated roller that activates the adhesive prior to the rewind section.
The substrate material thickness can range from 12-350 micron, with a maximum web width of 350mm and with process speeds of up to 60m/min. “The driven unwind and accurate tension control permit a wide range of flexible packaging materials to be processed,” says Tony Bell.
Mondi upgrades coating and release production facilities
Mondi Group is to invest more than €16M over the next 12 months on upgrading its global coating and release production facilities.
Targeting the geographical area of Western Europe, particularly Germany, Mondi will develop a new facility on a brown-field site next to its existing facility in Stetí, Czech Republic. The new 2.7m wide triple extruder with in-line printing will serve the reel wrapping industry and provide products for the building industry from 2009 onwards.
The group will also make capacity and quality enhancements at two of its existing 3.15m machines at the extrusion coating plant in Örebro, Sweden. Mondi plans to upgrade quality control systems and increase printing capacity in order to strengthen the product portfolio for the reel and ream wrapping industry in Scandinavia and in export markets. This investment is a part of a long term plan to further develop its coating and release business in the industrial papers industry.
The group is also investing more than €14M in its US based facility with the aim to produce polyethylene coated papers locally. The company has planned a new rewinder in its plant in Menasha, Wisconsin. This is in addition to the extrusion coater in Lancaster, Ohio, that has been operational sin
Trial labs to aid innovation
Extrusion Dies Industries (EDI) has purchased an extensive manufacturing facility close to its headquarters in order to open a new EDI Technology Center with laboratories for developing innovative die systems and for renting to processors and converters to use in product development and process testing.
The 19,600ft2 facility includes R&D labs and engineering labs for characterizing flow and other properties of resins to be run in dies ordered by customers. The trial labs are now available for rent and companies do not have to be EDI customers to rent them.
One of the three labs is an extrusion coating and laminating line. “This small but complete converting line makes it possible to experiment with various polymers, substrates and web structures, and test out EDI’s systems for fast width changes and edge bead control,” says the company. The line includes an extruder, coating die, brake unwind, corona pre-treater, nip roll, chill rolls, air knife, post-conditioning rolls, edge slitters, winder, and water recirculation system.
The other trial lab, a cast film extrusion facilit, for testing options in resins, multilayer structures, feedblock settings, and other variables, includes a coextrusion line with three extruders, feedblocks, and roll face. Also available is EDI’s ‘layer multiplier’ tooling that is said to yield dozens of layers in film of standard overall thickness.
The third lab, a slot die coating facility, will allow customers to test alternative fluid formulations, coating/substrate combinations, and other parameters. The lab includes adjustable and fixed-lip coating heads, four different fluid pumps, a polished chrome plated steel backing roll, and three hot air dryers.
“We already have plans for new extrusion and converting systems to be developed through use of this facility,” says John A Ulcej, EDI’s executive vice president of engineering and technology.
EDI expects all of the laboratories to be fully operational within three months.
New system for pilot plants
The 9th Coatema Conference, which will be held on October 8-9, 2008, in Dormagen, Germany, aims to bring together experts and opinion makers in the field of coating technology to discuss the latest developments in the industry.
The lectures will be held in English followed by various practical demonstrations that will be staged in the Coatema coating lab, which houses 10 pilot plants and one production plant in working widths of 250mm to 2,000mm and 38 possible application systems on a surface of 1,500m2.
Meanwhile, the company has also developed the Click&Coat concept for pilot plants. “Click&Coat not only facilitates the flexibility of the single coating heads but of the entire plant,” says Coatema. The plant components are movable, can be brought into the right position and be connected to the electronic control system simply by clicking.
The new system is now available for use at the company’s lab. “More than 20 different modules in various combinations can be integrated into the plant. Moreover, an extension of production processes such as the additional use of dryer components, can be realised much easier with the Click&Coat concept,” the company states.
Simultaneous multilayer curtain coating station
At ICE China, held last month at the Shanghai Expo Mart in Shanghai, Polytype and Pagendarm presented their latest innovations in coating technologies including simultaneous, multi-layer ‘Curtain Coating Systems’ and the latest in-line coating heads.
This was the first time since joining forces that the two firms were present on the same stand.
During the show, new winding systems that are said to offer “high precision, quality and reliability at top speeds” were also introduced.
Polytype has also recently launched the polyWind winding stand, which is said to produce rolls that are wrinkle-free with straight build-up and the correct hardness. Each stand can be combined with a range of splice arms and transfer units. The shaftless series offers the capability to load two full rolls at the same time.
The machine’s laser glue line position indication and ultrasonic diameter measurement make splice preparation simple and save time, says the company.
Adding matting effect to aqueous coatings
Two new wax dispersions that impart a matting effect to aqueous coatings and varnishes have been launched by Michelman.
The solvent-free Michem Guard 349 and Michem Guard 350 are designed to minimize unnecessary interaction from dispersing agents.
“The coatings give water based inks the performance properties of solvent based systems, without the environmental hazards,” says Michelman. The wax dispersions are also said to enhance properties such as blocking, abrasion, water repellency, and scratch and mar resistance.
Characterized by large particle size, Michem Guard 349 is a nonionic polyethylene wax dispersion, while Michem Guard 350 is a nonionic Fischer-Tropsch wax dispersion.
Michelman is also now claiming 24 hour turnaround on its range of colour coatings – the ColorCoat, a water based repulpable coating for use on corrugated packaging, boxes and displays. The company says the coating can be matched accurately to any colour swatch, including silver, gold and bronze.
Michelman aims to formulate and ship 98 per cent of orders within 24 hours. ColorCoat is also said to offer batch-to-batch colour consistency and is available in customizable batch sizes. Designed for processing on the corrugator, the coatings can be formulated to be fade resistant in direct sunlight, and have a bright, vivid finish or one that is muted and matte, says the company. Once coated, the final product – whether it is a box, display or packaging – is gluable and printable.
Latest solventless laminator
A new high production solventless laminating machine that is said to work at speeds of 400 m/min has been developed by Italian manufacturer Bielloni.
The new machine, Julia Superstar, is equipped with a modern tension control system and has an efficient coating unit, says the company.
The laminating machine is also equipped with shaftless unwinders and rewinders, and comes with facility to load and unload the reels from the pallet. The coating cylinder has a conical sleeve, which “can be changed in a few minutes and is suitable for different coating widths,” says Bielloni.
Made for metallized
Italian manufacturer, Interface has introduced a laminating machine for metalized materials with a web width of 2,050mm. Solaris FX is a compact machine offering “high efficiency drying application”, says the company. The unit comes with diathermic oil batteries and a turret type unwinder and rewinder.
Customizing coating options
UPM?Raflatac’s new special products coating line for self adhesive label materials at the Tampere factory in Finland is now operational. “In a large and diverse market like Europe there will always be a need for label solutions customized for special applications,” says Jan-Erik Forsström, senior vice president, Europe. The investment is part of UPM Raflatac’s long term investment programme aimed at strengthening the company’s position in the pressure sensitives market. UPM Raflatac has also reinforced its special products development organization and team of technical experts. “We collaborate closely with our customers when developing solutions for new or particularly demanding applications,” says Arto Tuomi, gm, special business, Europe. “Our technical experts play a vital role in this work.”
Drytac’s new industrial coatings division
Drytac Europe, UK based manufacturer of mounting adhesives and laminating films, has created a new industrial coatings division, with the aim to provide “complete coating solutions under one roof” from raw material supplies, through coating and converting to the finished products, in line with the Drytac ‘start to finish’ strategy. The company’s Bristol manufacturing site offers a wide range of R&D, coating, converting and slitting facilities such as hotmelt, aqueous and solvent based, pressure sensitive and heat reactive systems. The new division will be managed by Steve Wright.
‘Versatile’ converting machine at drupa
At drupa 2008, colour communication system and coating technology specialist RK Print Coat Instruments, will show a range of systems and equipment that the company says are aimed at providing consistency during production. On display will be the VCM or ‘Versatile Converting Machine’ that was unveiled at drupa 2004. “Users can select from more than 15 different coating and print head technologies and choose from a variety of drying/curing methods, including, hot air, infrared and UV curing,” says RK Print. The company will also display its FlexiProof 100 and FlexiProof UV systems.
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