True to its reputation of being a formidable innovator focused on creating value to satisfy the different requirements of converters in today’s global marketplace, BOBST put on a great show combining innovative process applications and machine performance. The Open Door event took place in the Competence Center of Bobst Italia, in San Giorgio Monferrato, Italy, on 30 and 31 May 2018, welcoming an array of customers from 23 different countries. The machines in demonstration were the RS 6003S gravure press in shafted configuration and two multi-technology laminating machines; the compact CL 750D and the CL 850D.
In gravure, the Twin-Flow drying technology that was unveiled in 2017 on the RS 6003C HS high speed press configuration – now a standard feature of the machines in the RS 6003 platform - greatly impressed visitors with its drying efficiency and very low level of noise. The test job was a pet food-type application, printing 7 colours on a 12 µm PET substrate with latest generation sterilizable polyurethane inks diluted with ethyl acetate only. The performance results were excellent in terms of low solvent residue on the web at a production speed of 500 m/min, top quality print and finished web. All of this was possible with only the shorter single and double dryers and without the need for the extended 6.6 m dryer on the final unit.
“The uniqueness of the BOBST Twin Flow technology in this respect owes to the air flowing on both sides of the dryer. This avoids the formation of a skin layer that builds on the top of the ink in conventional systems trapping the solvent within, thus impairing its evaporation” explained Davide Rossello, Process Manager for Gravure and Head of Bobst Italia’s Competence Center.
The screen-displayed production data shown live at various stages of the demonstration, alongside 3D animation images allowing visitors to travel virtually inside the different technologies, highlighted the remarkable benefits delivered on the machine: the low consumption of energy, the fast and fully automatic TAPS pre-register system which works at the push of a button and takes about 4 minutes to complete, and the workings of the onboard pre-washing system. Other unique and much appreciated features of the RS 6003 platform are the ease of access to the machine sections and the press components directly from the upper deck, for cleaning, maintenance, addition/removal of converting accessories like web turn bars; and the solutions aimed at guaranteeing the safety of the operator which are evident throughout the press layout and sequence of operations.
For the first ever demonstration of the CL 750D compact multi-technology laminator in the Competence Center of San Giorgio, BOBST chose a complex job type for chocolate bar packaging; a duplex construction composed of 15 µm metallized BOPP and 20 µm printed BOPP, where the adhesive was coated directly on to the metallized surface at high speeds. Further interest of the demonstration was provided by the use of a new, state-of-the-art monomer-free solventless adhesive technology from Sun Chemical. An adhesive that is not only safe for the operator during handling but also offers food safety compliance to the recent and more stringent regulatory migration standards.
“Visitors were clearly impressed by our demo on the compact CL 750D laminator in the light of the output quality achieved at the speed of 500 m/min” said Corrado Periti, Process Manager for Laminating, Bobst Italia, who operated the machine for the event. “The 2.4 gsm adhesive metering was uniform and constant at speed variations and the machine easily reached high production speeds without effecting the final product quality”.
Also concurring to the superior quality of the laminated structure is the CL 750D tunnel. Although the Open Door solventless demonstration did not require drying, the technicians, supported by 3D animations, illustrated how the straight flat tunnel enables smooth transportation of all kinds of substrates, preventing the formation of scratches on the very delicate surface of metallized films or alu-foil webs. They also presented the accessibility to the nozzles, the ease of removal, and motorized rollers, again all part of the BOBST design to simplify the operator’s cleaning and maintenance activities.
The demonstration on the CL 850D laminator focused on a trending application of design enhancement aimed at increasing the packaging’s visual appeal at point of sales. Some selected areas of the design of the pre-printed and pre-laminated reels of the chocolate bar mock packaging were coated in register with a matt lacquer from Flint. The CL 850D lived up to its reputation in terms of register control capability, showing the exceptional performance of the BOBST Registron® system both at speed variations and after the splice on the rewinder at the production speed of 400 m/min. The entire process generated very little waste, returning back to register within a matter of seconds.
“We focused the laminating demonstrations on value-added packaging-enhancing applications that reflect current market trends” explained Juan Cano, Head of the Product Line Lamination, Bobst Italia “The converting industry knows that BOBST machines are innovative and efficient. To us events like the Open Doors are important not only for presenting the latest technical updates, but to show through the quality and functionality of the applications, how profound and unique our knowledge is of the evolving world of packaging and its requirements. A process guarantee that converting clients can rely on”.
This is one of the reasons behind the success of BOBST printing and converting solutions for the flexible packaging industry. So sizable are BOBST activities in this respect, through the intense work carried out in Bobst Italia’s Competence Center, both internally and together with customers and industry suppliers, that the Center is undergoing huge extension work to more than double this dedicated area in size.
“We have organized for visitors to the Open Door event a “Think lean, create room for the future” experience, to take them on a journey and illustrate the progression of the 3-phase renovation that began in 2016, a project to make Bobst Italia an ultra-modern facility” explained Michele Vitiello, Managing Director of Bobst Italia and Head of Product Line Gravure “This year will see the completion of a new 1.500 sqm dedicated building to extend the existing 1.000 sqm Competence Center. The new complex will house a fully equipped laboratory as well as a pilot coating line, alongside gravure and laminating machines. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to our Competence Center and offering with future open houses a truly memorable experience” he concluded.
The new site of Bobst Italia, BOBST Center of Excellence for the gravure, lamination and coating technologies, will be officially inaugurated in 2019.