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Apart from being the economic powerhouse of Europe, Germany is also home to many of the leading suppliers of converting machinery and systems – including the world’s biggest manufacturers of printing presses. It is also the location for the industry’s two main exhibitions – drupa and ICE Europe. Here we review news and innovations from a selection of German companies

Leading supplier of RFID ccmponents and inlays KSW Microtec is collaborating with RFID converting equipment specialist Melzer to produce a multilayer UHF label for customized applications in access control and asset tracking. Drawing on the flexible engineering of KSW’s Windshield inlays and powered by Melzer’s new SL-600 processing machine for converting self-adhesive labelstock and dry inlaysto fully functional RFID tags, the new labels are claimed to offer the best and consistent read range for all applications.

Melzer’s SL-600 machine is designed for industrial production of small RFID labels, “100% quality and tested”. It identifies malfunctioning transponders during the converting process, avoiding wastage of expensive material. Multiple track production of up to six tracks is possible, each with a web speed of 30m/min to produce up to 60,000 labels/hour.

At Labelexpo Europe 2011, Heidelberg presented its digital print systems for labels and packaging, including the products of recently acquired manufacturer CSAT, now offered under the Heidelberg umbrella.

“Digital print is an important growth segment,” says Daniel Dreyer, head of digital packaging printing. “Drop-on-demand inkjet technology in particular has gained in significance for the packaging industry in recent years. The addition of CSAT systems strengthens our position in high quality print applications in the packaging and label sector.” CSAT’s iTS 6oo digital drop-on-demand system is said to be ideal for variable label printing, offering high print quality and productivity while ensuring low production costs.

The full-colour printing system uses UV inks to print paper, plastics, foils and composite materials in a native resolution of 600dpi with multiple greyscales. With a maximum printing width of 420mm and top speed of 48m/min, it is available as either a roll-to-roll print system or for integration directly into the packaging line.

Labelexpo Europe 2011 was also a “completely successful event” for BST International. “We saw a strong demand especially for web guiding and inspection systems,” states sales director Kristian Jünke, “but there was also great interest in colour measurement and register control systems. Customers came from all over the world, with a focus on Eastern Europe and Turkey.”

In addition to the company’s stand, many slitter rewinders and narrow web presses at the exhibition were equipped with BST components. MD Percy Dengler says: “We had an extraordinarily successful exhibition and we are working to close the single biggest order in BST’s history.”

KBA won the 2011 Printing Industries of America InterTech Technology Award for its Flying JobChange technology, which is said to allow offset printing’s quality, speed and wide substrates range within digital press technology changeover times. Plates for each new job can be changed on the fly at up to 10,000 sheets/hour; then the press can be accelerated back to its production speed of 18,000 sheets/hour (depending on the configuration). This eliminates makeready downtime and production can be completed without interruptions, the company states.

Flying JobChange technology includes automation modules such as for simultaneous plate change, in which the system mounts all plates at the same time in between jobs. It also has KBA Plate-Ident, a dot matrix code on the lead edge of the plate which identifies that the correct plate is in the correct unit, and also sends job data to the press for presetting functions.

Kroenert-BMB-Drytec has invested more than €1 million in an extensive extension and conversion programme at its Technology Centre. The area has been increased by 152m², to a total of 760m², and the LabCo facility has been positioned in separate cleanroom conditions to allow for thin film coating on the nano scale.

In the second phase of the project – due for completion by the end of this year – the PAK 610 for wax, hotmelt and LF coatings is being moved to the technology centre. All machines will then be available under one roof. The TC III plant is also being extended. With its working width of 1,300mm and variable speeds from 0.5-1,610m/min, this machine is said to offer “countless possibilities“.

Inometa’s wide range of rotating elements for the film, paper, printing and packaging industries includes web guide rolls made of carbon fibre and aluminium, for processing high quality papers and films. Their extremely hard and wear-resistant HighQ surfaces are said to be suitable for transporting highly sensitive membranes. Thermally sprayed Protek coatings provide defined wear protection, non-stick and/or traction characteristics. Hard anodizing, chrome or rubber surfaces are also available.

The company also offers application-specific developments from design through to serial production.

The new Senobond WB film laminating adhesive FP NDC 29-3536 375222 was developed by Weilburger Graphics especially for food packaging and odour-sensitive products. The water-based, 2-component adhesive is claimed to offer excellent adhesion values for lamination of all common film types to absorbent substrates.

Arno Dürr, sales director of Weilburger, states: “The use of film laminated packaging on the basis of the latest regulations was impossible until now, due to unavailability of low migration film laminating adhesives. Our new product gives completely new opportunities for producers and designers.”

Kama has launched the ProCut 74 SE automatic diecutter as a “cost-effective entry point” for label and packaging printing. It is said to perform diecutting, creasing and perforating operations, as well as blind embossing, to the highest quality standards.

“Not everybody wishes to take their first steps in the print finishing market with a high-end machine,” explains Kama CEO Marcus Tralau. “The new model has been tailored to meet the needs of basic applications encountered on a daily basis in printing shops, and offers tried-and-tested Kama technology at an attractive entry-level price.”

The new flat-bed diecutter can process up to 4,500 sheets/hour and, according to Kama, “out-performs cylinder cutters by a factor of two to three”.

Two cut-size lines are to be supplied to Indian paper manufacturer JK Paper by ECH Will and Pemco, both members of Germany’s Körber PaperLink group. The two 8-pocket lines, which are needed to increase JK’s A4 copy paper capacity, will include six unwind stands with automatic roll change and generator brakes, and a dual slitter from ECH Will, as well as a high speed packaging line from Pemco.

Saueressig Flexo’s HD Premium polymer plate is claimed to provide higher print densities, brighter images, and the finest details and vignettes. Increased dot stability also improves press runnability and durability of the plates, the company states. HD Premium combines existing CTP technology with the use of special software and a patented method of polymer plate manufacture.

CSAT digital from Heidelberg CSAT Rolling with Inometa Inometa Kama’s ProCut 74 SE diecutter Kama

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BST International
ECH Will/Pemco