Film converters from around the world are meeting again at W&H for the company’s in-house EXPO, the "Oktoberfest" of the flexible packaging industry. The machine builder is getting ready to welcome crowds of visitors, who are coming to see a wide range of live demonstrations. At this event, visitors to the K will get a glimpse of the futur of flexible packaging. The modern extrusion and printing technology centre at the Lengerich headquarters highlights the developments in extrusion, printing and converting over the past three years since the last K. As many as fourteen exhibits are being presented live, including four blown film and two cast film systems, three flexographic printing machines and one rotogravure press, one tuber each for FFS film and woven fabric as well as one bottomer each for woven PP pinch and valve sacks – a comprehensive show. The uncontested star at the show is the new VAREX II. Another VAREX II can be seen at our K stand in Düsseldorf.
MIRAFLEX AM 8: 8-Color Flexo Sleeve Press
The successful model for package printers relying on state-of-the-art central impression flexo technology. The machine features a maximum printing speed of 400 m/min. It is demonstrated printing a 6-color process design on white pigmented 40-micron LDPE film at a speed of 400 m/min. using the automation modules EASY-SET HD for automatic impression setting, EASY-REG for automatic register set-up and EASY-COL for automatic color formulation. A special highlight is the new COREMATIC small roll handling system allowing small automation rolls to be produced up to 6-up at maximum speed and forwarded to the downstream logistics facilities.
MIRAFLEX CM 10: 10-Color Flexo Sleeve Press
This MIRAFLEX model, of which more than 250 machines have been delivered so far, demonstrates maximum print quality as well as productivity. Comprehensive automation features such as EASY-SET HD, EASY-REG, EASY-COL, EASY-VIEW and EASY-CHECK, in conjunction with the TURBOCLEAN automatic ink supply and cleaning system, permit very short job change times and notably reduced waste.
Both MIRAFLEX presses feature EASY-SET HD, which not only provides direct evaluation of the printed image through line camera based HD analysis, but in addition high-resolution 3D presentation of the image topography. In this way the press operator will reliably recognize, as early as the proofing stage, whether any corrections are required. EASY-SET HD not only leads to a marked reduction of set-up time and waste, but also gives unparalleled precision in regard to plate cylinder and anilox roll impression setting.
VISTAFLEX CL 8: C.I. Flexo Press with VISTA-PORT Sleeve Handling System
Featuring printing speeds of up to 800 m/min and job changovers of less than 5 minutes, the VISTAFLEX C is the most productive wide web CI flexo press currently available on the market. In addition to automation modules from the EASY range, the VISTA-PORT robotic sleeve handling system contributes to the machine's top-of-the-line position. It allows even very wide and heavy plate cylinders, anilox rolls and sleeves, as needed for wide web applications, to be changed quickly and safely. The VISTAFLEX continues to be the only printing press world-wide allowing sleeved plate cylinders to be combined with fixed shaft anilox rolls. At the EXPO, the press is demonstrated running at the maximum speed of 800 m/min.
HELIOSTAR SL/SE 8: 8-Color Rotogravure Press
In order to highlight the HELIOSTAR S capabilities, the press is equipped with seven HELIOSTAR SL print units and one HELIOSTAR SE unit. While the SL model uses slide-in carts that carry all inking components and the print cylinder and are completely changed, the HELIOSTAR SE unit features a motorised changeover system, which makes it specially suited for short runs. Furthermore, the demo press is equipped with the TUBOCLEAN ink supply and wash-up system for easy and fast ink changeover on the print units. The 8-color rotogravure press is demonstrated at maximum speed of 500 m/min, printing a multi-up design on 20-micron OPP film. To complete the program, a HELIOSTAR SH print unit is on show to demonstrate the use of hollow cylinders that are directly coupled to the print unit drives by means of chucks.
POLYTEX Tuber for Stepped-End Gusseted Tubes for Woven PP Pinch Bottom Sacks
Pet food is one of the main markets of pinch sacks. In this highly competitive segment, it is the print quality that decisively influences the sales success of the product. High quality process printing has, therefore, become standard, which in the growing market of woven PP pinch sacks cannot, however, be achieved without an additional production step. This means that a film web is printed and, subsequently, laminated to the woven fabric web. At the EXPO, it will demonstrate the processing of a 1,030 mm wide laminate made from 70 gsm woven fabric with a reverse side printed 20-micron BOPP film into gusseted tubing with tear-off perforation and a stepping pattern typical of pinch sacks. The tear-off perforation is made by a rotary die. The finished tubing is further processed on a converPinch bottomer and wound into rolls of 400 mm width and approx. 1,500 mm diameter.
POLYTEX Tuber for Film Tubing for Special FFS Applications
Products making special demands on the packaging material call for solutions that in the majority of cases cannot be achieved with one-ply standard FFS film tubing. Hygroscopic, corrosive or heavily aerated products can be perfectly bagged, however, using two-ply or specially structured one-ply tubes, which open new applications in the FFS sector. Similar to one-ply film tubing with vent hole perforation in the back seam, the required combinations of two film webs, one with a non-woven material or with an aluminium laminate, can only be achieved by forming the tube from the flat web.
The other POLYTEX on show produces 400 mm wide gusseted tubing for the bagging of cement based building materials from 120-micron 3-layer PE film with a 110 mm film overlap which is fixed by three longitudinal seams. Positioned on one side between the seams is an intermittently slit and embossed zone, which in conjunction with the outer ply forms a venting channel to allow for effective air escape, while at the same time avoiding the ingress of moisture.
converTEX SL 100 Valve Bottomer for Making Woven PP Valve Sacks
The latest generation of the proven valve bottomer, of which more than 250 machines have been delivered so far, convinces with an increase in output to 100 sack/min. The machine on show produces 50-kg cement sacks.
converPinch Pinch Bottomer for Making Woven PP Pinch Sacks
The converPinch is based on the heat-seal technology of the converTex and is designed to efficiently produce pinch sacks which, while being optically and functionally equivalent to paper pinch sacks, do offer superior mechanical strength. During the EXPO the machine converts tubing made on the POLYTEX into pinch bottom sacks with a width of 400 mm, 50 mm side gussets and 720 mm sack length.
Lengerich/Germany based Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) is an internationally leading provider of machinery and equipment for the flexible packaging industry. The manufacturing program encompasses blown and cast film lines, flexographic and gravure printing presses, machines for finishing and converting paper, film, foil and woven plastic material, as well as FFS (Form-Fill-Seal) packaging systems.