GERMANY • As promised earlier in our drupa coverage, we go into more detail about the the Bobst press conference and its stand at this year’s drupa. Bobst announced and displayed two new rotogravure presses at drupa, the RS 6002 and RS 6003, each designed to address specific market segments. Bobst is also confirming the re-design of its entire gravure range for flexible packaging, a program which began with the 2015 announcement of the RS 5002 press.
The RS 6002 line has new, heavy-duty, gravure print units specifically designed for sleeve print cylinders and also features Bobst software and hardware automation systems, including Registron register control and the TAPS fully automatic pre-register function. The RS 6003 offers a wide range of printing and converting options so that users can create configurations to meet their production requirements. It is also the new press platform that the company will use to develop further innovations over the next few years.
Bobst said it sees the demand for the gravure printing of packaging growing, particularly in emerging countries. The two are available in 1,200 mm (47.2”) and 700–1,300 mm (27.6” to 51.1”) web widths respectively, and can run at a maximum speed of 350 m/min (1,148 fpm). The RS 6003 is available in 800-1,500 (31.5” to 59.1”) web widths and can run at 600 m/min (1,969 fpm). In addition to the presses, it announced and displayed an inking system, MPI, on its RS 6002 that aides the use of market-specific inks in gravure printing. A servo-driven rubber inking roller rotates inside the main ink tray and in direct contact with the print cylinder, which allows it to turn at adjustable speeds for each ink and to each specific production demand. It is available as an option on all press platforms and printing widths as well as for medium speeds up to 350 m/min and for high speeds up to 600 m/min.
The company also launched MW, a new CI flexo press range dedicated to minimizing waste, and 40SIX, a new, automated member of the Bobst SIX range. The two models of the new MW range were developed to help flexible packaging manufacturers efficiently produce short or long runs respectively. The 40SIX, available in several print widths, offers automated tool handling that speeds up makereadies and reduces the need for manual handling.
Every day at drupa an eight-colour MW 85 F CI flexographic press ran live on the Bobst stand, showing a complete changeover between two extended colour gamut jobs. Bobst Competence Center in Bielefeld, 90 minutes from Düsseldorf, demonstrated a ten-colour 40SIX press.
The MW press is available in 850 mm or 1,250 mm (33.5” or 49.2”) print widths. The MW lines are offered as a standard configuration with a limited number of options that correspond to the main requirements of users, the company said. It prints at speeds up to 500 m/min (1,640 fpm), and has a double upper/lower guide for the print and anilox shaft, and it has the largest diameter anilox roller in its category, the company said.
In the super-wide CI flexo format, the new 40SIX model, designed for print widths over 1,450 mm and up to 2,250mm (57.1” to 88.6”), is equipped with Smartchange, a front “portal” and four-axis automation system that relieves operators of the exchanging of anilox and print sleeve. It also features the first Smartlock automated locking and unlocking system, which allows for the front-loading and unloading of sleeves.
Bobst also presented its new CL 750D compact laminator, which is suited to work as an off-line laminator for the new MW 85 F, CI flexographic press, and new M6 UV flexo in-line press. The drying tunnel has driven rollers and a straight web path, which means better web transportation without scratches or tension inconsistencies on many kinds of substrates including metallized films, the company said. The transfer roller performs adhesive transfer curves that all but guarantee homogeneous thickness at any speed, and during speed changes.
The CL750D can adapt to some of the existing transfer rollers on the market, and the extraction and exchange of process trolleys for solventless and solvent-based lamination is on the operator side, which allows for a compact machine footprint and efficient handling operations when cleaning the process unit.