Stirring and dynamic were the words buzzing through the two days dedicated to the gravure innovation event “Extending the scope, new technologies for gravure” held on 11th and 12th May 2017 at Bobst Italia, in San Giorgio Monferrato, Italy.
Indeed the company put together an exciting and dramatic programme to demonstrate its advantage in leading innovation through constant evolution of its product range. “We had great information to share and created a spectacular show to tell our story” explains Michele Vitiello, Head of Gravure & Lamination Business Unit Web-fed and Managing Director of Bobst Italia “The event was a big success in two ways that make us proud: the success achieved from the point of view of the event content, showcasing the quality of the innovations presented and the success of the event format that we chose to convey the information to the participating audience”.
The technology part of the days started mid-morning at a location in the Monferrato hills, where Michele Vitiello greeted participants before the delivery of two presentations on equipment and services.
After a quick overview of the BOBST gravure product range, Giovanni Caprioglio, Sales & Marketing Director, Gravure and Lamination Product Line, Bobst Italia, pinpointed the two main areas of improvement in the latest configuration RS 6003C HS gravure press. These included a new dryer technology and revisited inking systems, which have been developed along four main requirements of performance, ergonomics & safety, environmental sustainability and energy savings.
Backed by data, which were then verified during the machine demonstration in the afternoon, Giovanni Caprioglio illustrated how the quantum efficiency of the new twin flow drying system not only enables the shortening of the length of the dryers and lowers the residual solvent on the web to unprecedented levels in the industry, but also how it impacts in a cascading way on the performance of other functions, improving the overall press performance.
The presentation of the latest High Speed Meter roller (HSM) and Multi-Purpose Inking (MPI) designs, alongside their technical specifications and respective advantages, more broadly illustrated the BOBST approach and proximity to its customers worldwide. “We believe that when the ‘know-how’ is supported by the ‘know-why’, technology can be truly effective. It succeeds in maintaining the focus on creating real value in each of the market we serve, taking account of the local needs for every new development we engineer, such as the inking system”, said Giovanni Caprioglio. He concluded his presentation with details of three machine demonstrations that were to take place in the afternoon.
A presentation of BOBST Services given by Julien Laran, Head of Supply Chain & Operations and Mathieu Robyr, Head of Technology Deployment, was also very focused on the pursuit of innovation and excellence. BOBST Services is enhancing its capabilities to serve web-fed machine customers more rapidly. As one part of a transformation program, the technical personnel workforce will be increased by over 50% over the next 3-4 years. At the core of the BOBST Services offer is provision of support to customers to keep productivity at an optimum level and during the Open House, new, innovative and connected services were demonstrated to the enthusiastic audience. New monitoring Apps will help customers to remotely monitor their production or machine downtime across all machines on the shop floor in real time. Production data can be accessed and analyzed at any time and from anywhere, using mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablets or computers.
After lunch, the participants moved to the production plant of Bobst Italia, where the action began with the doors opening on an engaging setup to showcase a 9-color RS 6003C HS gravure press, 1300 mm in print width.
The demonstration started with the press rapidly achieving a speed of 500 m/min printing in reverse with solvent-based inks on a 17 micron BOPP film to produce a typical high-end high volume confectionery pack, followed by an automatic splice on the rewinder at full speed. The audience noted the low level of noise that was experienced as the machine reached the higher demonstration speeds; a 5 dba reduction has been enabled by the incorporation of a new sound dampening technology in the dryers. The Twin Flow air circulation design of the semi-floatation dryers is a first for the industry. The dual impingement and floatation technology is not new for BOBST, which has made it one of the hallmarks of its laminators and coating machines. However, BOBST is the very first manufacturer to apply it on a gravure printing press, generating an increase of up to 15% in drying performance. The press then came to a stop for a sample to be cut out and taken to the lab to measure the level of solvent retention. A pre-washing sequence was performed on board and the flexibility in job preparation and ink logistics of the Twin Trolley was then demonstrated. The machine resumed printing after the TAPS sequence, BOBST renowned automatic pre-setting system, and speed quickly went up to 500 m/min. All the while, up-close images of the various on board operations and animation of working principles were shown live to the audience on a huge wall screen. In addition, dedicated screens on the machine were showing data relating to the extraordinary performance of the register accuracy and correction speed during the ramp / up down, as well as the press’ low level of energy consumption. After the press came to a stop, the presenter went up to the two upper decks, which now make it possible for the operator to access both the dryer and the ventilation systems from the catwalk, before reading the outcome of the lab analysis on the printed sample. The result showed a solvent-retention level below 6.6 mg/m2 on both days!
The action subsequently moved in to the Bobst Italia Competence Center for two more demonstrations. If the RS 6003C HS breakthrough developments earned it the first demo’s spotlight, the RS 6002C shaftless gravure press, presented last year at drupa and not before shown in demonstration at an open house, succeeded in creating great interest for its capabilities; particularly highlighted by the type of job application and the 18 micron LDPE substrate processed by the machine.
The demonstration started with the press make-ready, using the TAPS system, which is part of the RS 6002C standard supply. The press was then accelerated to 300 m/min printing speed, performed a splice on the rewinder and was brought to a halt. The audience was then shown a cylinder pre-washing sequence and a cylinder change. All throughout, the tenure of the register was extremely accurate, making the press ideal to print sensitive substrates at high speed, which are notably critical to process in gravure, and for handling thinner materials for the production of packaging, which are less costly to produce and also fully recyclable.
Finally, the demonstration of the CL 850D also focused on a value added packaging–enhancing application that reflects current market demands. From a technical point of view, the in-register coating of a matt lacquer on a pre-laminated composite substrate – 17 µm printed BOPP and 15 µm metallized BOPP film – highlighted the exceptional performance at speed variations of the BOBST Registron® system: after a splice at the speed of 400 m/min the register was back generating only 60 m of waste!
At the close of the day, satisfaction was high at Bobst Italia. “A customer who tells you that the event was great, and that he looks forward to the next one, puts the seal of success on the Open House” comments Michele Vitiello. “We are happy to have showed our customers how technological excellence continues to thrive at BOBST but also to see how our know-how, experience and commitment to our corporate values, are instrumental in sustaining their loyalty”, he concludes.
Bobst Italia’s gravure innovation forum and open house was attended by 180 guests, including 150 converters coming from numerous countries worldwide.