Heidelberg is back in web printing again… handling substrates as light as 70 gsm with flexo.
The German giant – which once claimed it would be the world’s biggest newspaper press maker before pulling out of the market - has already installed its first Boardmaster, a web-fed flexo carton printing press which targets the move by brands away from plastic to fibre-based packaging.
Food and beverage brands in particular want printing quality combined with greater sustainability and recyclability, it says.
A twin-unit deck design supports a claimed machine availability of up to 90 per cent with a top speed of 600 metres a minute.
According to market research analyst Smithers, while plastic is still dominant in the food sector “by some margin”, fibre-based packaging – made from materials such as board and paper – will overtake plastic in the medium term, and assume the top spot with a proportion of more than 40 per cent.
Heidelberg says flexo printing is now the number one technology in the packaging market, and is continuing to benefit from the globally stable and significant growth of packaging and labels. It is already being used to produce some 15 per cent of the total folding carton volume, and this proportion is continuing to increase.
Christian Steinmassl, who leads Heidelberg’s packaging segment, says the Boardmaster will enable industrial packaging producers to significantly reduce their operating costs. “With its numerous benefits for customers, the Boardmaster also provides an attractive alternative for many users who have so far opted for very large format sheetfed offset.”
Heidelberg says the Boardmaster was developed “completely from scratch” at its competence centre for high-volume flexo folding carton printing in Weiden, Bavaria.
With each print deck having two print units, one is being readied for the next print job while the other is busy in production. Waste between jobs is claimed to be as little as ten metres.
The 600 metres/minute printing speed equates to about 38,000 format six sheets per hour.