11 December 2023

Labelexpo Europe 2023 – press technology

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It was not only the presses themselves but also the surrounding eco‐system of more sustainable plate production, new anilox engravings and screening technologies, quick‐change rotary and semi‐rotary dies and extended color gamut inking systems, all of which continue to make the flexo process more efficient and sustainable.
The most easily visible trend was towards wider presses in the mid‐web sweet spot of 26in/670mm. This is wide enough to handle the larger formats required for shrink sleeves, flexible packaging and in‐mold labels.
Bobst demonstrated its Master M6 with a full automation package. These include on‐the‐fly exchange of printing cylinders and automated print pressure and registration setting and monitoring through the print run.
Combined with Bobst’s oneECG 7‐color extended color gamut system (more on ECG below), the press was shown changing between jobs in around one minute with a minimum of waste.
The press also incorporated GEW’s mUVm inline UV measurement system which measures lamp output close to the web surface continuously throughout the print run. Bobst calls this ‘UV track’, a feature for certifying UV as safe for food packaging. Bobst has been closely involved with the UVFoodSafe project run by Finat, whose initial results were presented by Sun Chemical’s Jonathan Sexton at the show.
Matteo Cardinotti, head of narrow mid‐web printing & converting and CEO of Bobst Firenze, believes these presses will make an impact, not only in the flexpack market but in the commodity label markets where automation is the key to profitable production, while more bespoke value‐added applications will increasingly migrate to hybrid digital/flexo press systems.
For the full Labels & Labeling article click here.

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