The closeness of the Milan exhibition grounds where the Converflex exhibition recently took place, to Bobst Italia's production plant in San Giorgio Monferrato, always provides the opportunity for show visitors to make the short journey to see live demonstrations of BOBST gravure printing presses and laminators. This latest Converflex was no exception, and Bobst Italia had the pleasure of welcoming over 60 converters during the two days of the Open House.
On its Converflex stand, BOBST treated visitors to a first taste of things to come at the Open House by exhibiting a print unit from one of its most successful gravure press models ever - the Rotomec 4003MP gravure printing press for flexible materials, the same line in demonstration at the Open House.
Gravure printing was, however, just one of the processes visitors to the BOBST stand at Converflex could discuss with the specialists who were on hand, each ready to illustrate the many solutions developed by BOBST to meet the production requirements of packaging manufacturers in the folding carton, corrugated board and flexible materials industries. Also showcased at Converflex was the extensive BOBST range of services, designed to help users achieve optimum production levels, expand their capacity and succeed in their existing, or new, markets.
For converters who made the journey to Bobst Italia's production plant, the first technology to take center stage was gravure printing. The Rotomec 4003MP gravure press currently in Bobst Italia's Competence Center is configured for shaftless gravure cylinders. The printing demonstration was built around showing guests the efficiency, and the resulting output quality, of the systems and equipment the press is equipped with - most notably its integrated washing system and its Twin Trolley.
First the press was set in register using the TAPS system, through a sequence that was completed automatically in less than five minutes. Then the machine accelerated to a production speed of 450m/min before performing an automatic splice on the rewinder at maximum speed. The demo continued with a color change from a light to a dark color, before resuming printing at full speed for a few minutes. The press was then brought to a halt and the washing sequence carried out, followed by a change of color from dark back to light again. After another run of printing and another automatic splice, the machine was stopped. These operations were designed to show the efficiency of the Rotomec 4003MP in terms of performance of its register control and its rapidity of print unit set up and job changeover. The demonstration also gave visitors the opportunity to compare print samples taken from the machine at different stages of the run, that is, before and after the color changes. The samples were then compared using a spectrophotometer, which registered a low "Delta E", demonstrating the absence of contamination in the colors subsequent to wash-up.
The use of the Twin Trolley system highlighted the flexibility it provides in terms of fast job preparation and ink logistics, as well as the savings that can be made by a reduction in both ink use and solvent waste.
Lamination demonstration on BOBST CL 850D duplex laminator in Bobst Italia's Competence Center
After seeing the performance of the equipment dedicated to gravure printing, visitors moved to the CL 850D duplex laminator equipped with a flexo trolley. As the quality of BOBST flexo trolley is acknowledged, especially for its performance in coating solvent-based adhesives onto thin aluminium foil, visitors were able to check the perfect quality of the output: a two-layer composite material made up of 7 micron aluminium foil and 12 micron PET.
The two machines in demonstration represent the highly successful solutions BOBST brings to their respective fields of application. Over 200 Rotomec 4003MP gravure printing presses are installed world-wide, whilst the CL 850D laminator has a firmly consolidated position in the class of high performance equipment with advanced technology and automation, holding the largest market share in the two major markets of Italy and Germany.