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Pauline Covell reports on some of the latest developments seen at Corrugated, Paris

Corrugated ’02 closed its doors on 15 June acclaimed by both exhibitors and visitors. With some of the most senior ceos and chairmen of the world’s top corrugating companies spotted purposefully treading its Parisian aisles, the show welcomed 8,414 visitors over six days. They came from a record 107 countries.

“The overwhelming message from exhibitors was that Corrugated 2002 delivered the key global buyers, and more business was placed at the event than ever before,” reports organizer Reed Exhibition.

Bobst’s impressive stand demonstrated the company’s latest innovation in automatic die cutting of corrugated, in the shape of the SPO 160-APR Matic Autoplaten Automatic. Sheets are fed in register whether they are of uneven length or laminated with an uneven overlap, says the company. The correction range is length plus or minus 4mm (0.160in), and skew plus or minus 2mm (0.080in). Excellent edge to cut register of within 0.3mm (0.010in) is claimed, providing consistent box quality.

Rated at up to 6,500 sheets/hour, it can convert stock ranging from solid from 1mm to corrugated up to 9mm. Maximum sheet size is 1,600 x 1,100mm (minimum is 600 x 520mm ). During the show the Dynaload prefeeder and SPO 160-APR Matic was running an ice cream pack in G flute with 180g/m2 coated liner, six up on an 800 x 1,200mm sheet. The flexo four colour plus UV varnish post print was produced on a Masterflex 160-A Matic.

The second job run on the die cutter was a CD box of F flute offset litho laminated on the Asitrade MPC IV also launched on the stand. With a speed of 180m/min, the machine laminates up to 10,000 litho printed sheets/hour to a web of single face board. The output for longer sheets is claimed to be 20 per cent higher than the previous model – the MPC-111. Two orders have been confirmed and a third is expected, reports the company.

“Profitable”

Introduced by Esko-Graphics, the Kongsberg DCM22 for digital converting can automatically load and cut board directly from CAM software.

“It is ideal for cutting and creasing pre-printed sheets from different sources in close register, such as silk screen prints, digital prints and flexo prints,” says Tom Naess, Esko-Graphics product manager of sample making and SRP. “By eliminating the costs and time associated with cutting dies and going directly to production once the CAD design is ready, short run orders of up to 300 pieces can be really profitable.” he continues. The DCM22 offers automated sheet cycling, featuring a load frame that instantly and simultaneously loads a fresh sheet and moves away the completed sheet.

Corrugated protective inserts, corner pieces and edge protectors can now be made automatically using the innovative Cushion Folder Gluer system (CFG). Causing plenty of interest on the haf-Holland stand, the Tokan, Japan developed system takes blanks of corrugated board conventionally cut on flat bed equipment and folds, glues and compresses them automatically. Twenty corners can be formed per sheet for example. Complex inserts for protecting white goods and other consumer durables, automotive parts and electronic equipment are quick and far more economic than conventional hand assembly, it is reported. “Reaction has been really great,” Hans Herman Doude van Troostwijk told Converting Today. “Ideal for converters and sheet plants, it enables them to supply much more than a box. Currently it can convert single and double wall, but we are doing trials on triple wall material.”

An unconventional transverse box maker – the Rapidbox was launched by Rapidex. In what is described as a “technological revolution”, rather than the sheet being positioned and stopped under the tool, the tool comes to the correct position over the sheet, which is travelling at constant working speed.

The result is that it “allows small or medium size box orders of large dimensions and all types, with a production speed close to that offered by longitudinal slotters/die cutters, but without the high investment”. Using advanced electronics and servos, the three-in-one operation (slitter-scorer/slotter/rotary die cutter) runs at up to 1,000 sheets/hour. It has multiple box capability (multiple outs across and multiple ups through) of all box styles from of any corrugated board type, with virtually unlimited dimensions, up to 2 800 x 10 000mm (110 x 400in), claims the company. The infeed module of the compact machine comprises pull rolls, creasers and slitters; the first rotary tool provides slotting, tranverse creasing and lap cutting; the second rotary tool carries up to four different die tools and the discharge consists of pull rolls, creasers and slitters.

Causing plenty of interest on the Aprion stand was the Shaldag SP, Aprion Digital’s ink jet press for packaging. Sheets up to 10m thick and 160 x 260cm in size are automatically fed into the printing section where they are printed by the MAGIC drop on demand piezo electric engine. Cyan, yellow, magenta and black inks are used with the option of light cyan and light magenta for detail. Following print the sheets are dried and automatically unloaded.

Gluing launches

True 600dpi is achieved, says the company, and inks can be replaced on the run and print heads automatically maintained. Tremendous quality was being achieved at speeds of 40 sheets per hour.

Valco Cincinnati demonstrated a series of innovative glueing and glue line inspection systems. The 900 Combi station, for example, launched at the show, is a completely reversible all-electric valve system. Interchangeable, it can glue both outside and inside (top down and bottom up) and on both the tab and the fourth panel. The company’s glue inspection system was also demonstrated on a Martin 61 E on the Bobst stand. The CGS 40 gate sensor checks adhesive volume to ensure the proper amount of adhesive is present. It verifies adhesive integrity for positioning and length.

Says European sales director Bob Taylor: “Combined with the control, once the parameters are set it checks that what you are getting is truly a good box.” As well as marking out of parameter sections – for example with a UV mark – audio and visual warnings may be built into the system.