Latest Roland sheet-fed press prints high quality folding cartons at Leunisman plant
“With the Roland 700 Ultima we can offer our customers high performance enhancement at very competitive prices.” That’s how general manager Hans-Christian Bestehorn sums up the benefits of Hannover based Leunisman’s investment in a sheet-fed press with 15 printing, coating and drying units.
A custom built configuration was ordered for the production of high quality folding boxes for cosmetics and confectionery packaging. Leunisman, part of the Rob Leunis & Chapman Group, processes mainly virgin fibre cartonboard between 200 and 550g/m2, which is especially suitable for high quality products due to its superior dimensional stability. PET with a thickness of 0.225mm is also processed in the same manner as cartons.
The Roland 700 Ultima starts with a coating module with chambered doctor blade technology followed by two drying units. Then come eight printing units for 8/0 or 2/6 production. Next is a double coating module followed by a double dryer, then end-of-press drying in the Airglide delivery. One of the final two coating modules can be used additionally for in-line embossing. There is also a Roland InlineSorter for waste-free delivery piles. The multiple function process is rounded off by a non stop delivery linked to the AUPASYS materials logistics system.
The coating module upstream of the printing units can apply metallic pigment or pearlescent inks prior to offset printing. As Hans-Christian Bestehorn explains: “This can replace hotfoil stamping for certain products.” In the past, such coatings could only be applied after offset printing or off-line.
Opaque white is often applied in the first coating module upstream of the offset printing units, especially with non absorbent substrates. The 700 Ultima has two dryer modules after the first coating unit for either IR/hot air or UV drying. This is to ensure the preprinted coatings and inks are completely dry before more are applied.
UV inks provide many advantages here. They harden immediately, which permits a wide variety of graphic design ideas to be realised. Areas printed with opaque white dry immediately and vignettes can be merged much more sharply. Printing department head Hasan Esen confirms: “The dot is much sharper than when I print eight colours conventionally”.
All Leunisman’s presses are now equipped for UV production. A six colour Roland 700 with coating module is used exclusively as a UV press. Another 700 with coating module and combination dryers is equipped for both UV and conventional printing, and can be changed over as required. Eventually this press will run UV exclusively, as the intention is for all jobs with conventional inks to be run solely on the Ultima.
At present the proportion of folding cartons produced with UV inks in the plant is 60-65 per cent. UV jobs run on the new Roland press are about 35-40 per cent. This is because it prints a large amount of blister packaging, which requires conventional inks and dispersion coatings. However, the combination of UV coating and UV ink is also to be used for the reverse side of these products.
Many technically complex applications can be combined and produced in-line on the press. And change-over to different types of coating is said to be simple, with minimal material waste.
Applications include razor packaging, for which an inexpensive GD-2 carton is given a high quality finish The RLC Group produces this packaging in very long runs for the entire European market, combining many metallic effects and using UV inks. Another example of the combination of numerous effects is folding boxes for cosmetics. These, along with packaging for top-of-the-range hair colorants, often have printed and coated interiors. The 700 Ultima can print pearlescent coating plus a spot colour and text on the reverse side of the sheet (interior of the finished package), which is then turned and printed in six colours on the front. The colours in this example are printed on metallized materials, then coatings are applied in-line for matt/gloss effects.
The embossing unit integrated in the last two coating modules is said to offer significantly better registration than off-line embossing combined with die cutting. There are no positioning constraints with combined embossing/printing in-line, which is ideal for the two-dimensional structure embossing often used for chocolate packaging.
Hans-Christian Bestehorn sums up: “The Ultima brings our customers quality advantages because it performs complex finishing operations in one gripper bite. The press enables us to offer high quality products at extremely competitive prices.”
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