Bobst Manchester’s Centre of Excellence for High Barrier which enables research and development work to be carried out on new barrier solutions for the packaging industry has further expanded its capabilities with the addition of a AlOx-optimized CO 750 coating line to its Competence Centre.

This enables BOBST to further leverage its know-how of vacuum and wet coatings to continue to develop solutions that respond to the industry’s requirements for sustainable packaging incorporating a combination of coatings. Having the CO 750, the most compact AlOx coater in the market and K5 EXPERT under one roof speeds up this process offering a rapid prototyping capability.

A major development which utilises the BOBST ability to offer end-to-end process solutions is the AlOx Integrated Conversion Solution which allows production of high barrier clear recyclable films which crucially are protected during the conversion process to preserve the barrier properties of the film. Firstly the AlOx coated film is produced on the vacuum metallizer and then a specially developed top coat is applied on the coating line; the film can then be converted as normal without any damage to the AlOx layer. The process know-how of both dry and wet coatings and top coat formulation from one single supplier results in a faster rate of production. The two-step process is extremely cost-effective and provides a wider window of operation with the vacuum metallization process followed by a topcoat applied in atmosphere. Unlike other in-vacuum topcoat solutions, the BOBST solution works at maximum operating speeds and results in maximum productivity without compromising performance and means that customers can be given End of Line guarantees for barrier levels.

The installation in Manchester of the C0 750 enables customers who visit Bobst Manchester for a metallizing trial to also conduct coating trials on the metallized material, testing of barrier and adhesion levels can then be performed in the on-site laboratory.