Held at Milan’s exhibition centre, Fieramilano, in mid-May, Converflex underlined the leadership of Italian printing and converting technology, and was a magnet for a significant number of visitors: over 22 000 attended Converflex, 25% of whom came from outside Italy.
These figures are backed by exhibitor satisfaction. ‘Converflex definitely gave interesting results. We obtained excellent contacts both in Italy and in foreign countries,’ confirms Omet’s Marco Calcagni.
‘Converflex’s conjunction with Ipack-Ima created positive synergies and ensured a constant influx of visitors,’ adds Costanza Cerutti of Cerutti Packaging Equipment.
Monia Savoia of Robatech Italia also comments positively on the broadening of the exhibition’s scope: ‘We acquired many interesting contacts, with numbers exceeding our expectations. Many converters were interested in our Leary range but as expected we also had strong interest from the packaging sector.’
KBA-Flexotecnica’s Maria Costantino is another who remarks on the increase in business. ‘Participating in Converflex alongside KBA Italia strengthened our corporate image and underlined the excellence of our products on domestic and international markets,’ she says. ‘The co-location and synergy with other exhibitions brought a larger number of visitors, especially from outside of Italy. We started out with positive expectations and results probably exceeded them: we had a good number of visits from current and prospective customers, and even finalised negotiations on the sale of high-tech eight- and ten-colour presses.’
Bobst Italia highlights gravure, lamination technologies
The proximity of Fieramilano to Bobst Italia’s production plant in San Giorgio Monferrato always provides an opportunity for visitors to make the short journey to see live demonstrations of Bobst gravure presses and laminators. This latest Converflex was no exception, and Bobst Italia welcomed 60-plus converters during a two-day Open House.
On its Converflex stand, Bobst treated visitors to a taste of things to come by exhibiting a print unit from one of its most successful gravure press models ever, the Rotomec 4003MP gravure press for flexible materials – the same line demonstrated at the Open House.
But gravure printing was just one aspect. Bobst specialists on the Converflex stand were ready to discuss the many solutions offered to converters in the folding carton, corrugated and flexible packaging sectors.
Also showcased was the extensive Bobst range of services, designed to help users achieve optimum production levels, expand their capacity, and succeed in existing or new markets.
For those who visited Bobst Italia’s production plant, gravure printing took centre stage. Here, a Rotomec 4003MP press, configured for shaftless gravure cylinders, was demonstrated to show its efficiency and output quality. Among noteworthy equipment is an integrated washing system and a Twin Trolley system.
First the press was set in register using the TAPS system, through a sequence that was completed automatically in less than five minutes. Then the machine accelerated to a speed of 450m/min before performing an automatic splice on the rewinder at maximum speed. The demo continued with a colour change (from light to dark) before resuming printing at full speed. After a few minutes, the press was brought to a halt and the washing sequence carried out, followed by a change of colour from dark back to light. After another print run and another automatic splice, the machine was stopped. These operations were designed to show the efficiency of the Rotomec 4003MP in terms of performance of its register control and rapidity of set-up and job changeover. The demonstration also gave visitors an opportunity to compare print samples taken from the machine at different stages of the run – before and after the colour changes. The samples were compared using a spectrophotometer, which registered a low Delta E, demonstrating the absence of contamination in colours subsequent to wash-up.
The use of the Twin Trolley system highlighted the flexibility it provides in terms of fast job preparation and ink logistics, as well as savings that can be made by a reduction in ink use and solvent waste.
Visitors then moved to the CL 850D duplex laminator equipped with a flexo trolley. As the quality of Bobst flexo trolley is acknowledged for its performance in coating solvent-based adhesives on to thin aluminium foil, visitors were able to check the perfect quality of the output: a two-layer composite material made up of 7µm aluminium foil and 12µm PET.
These two demonstrations underlined the success of these machines – some 200 Rotomec 4003MP gravure presses are installed worldwide, while the CL 850D laminator has a firmly consolidated position in the class of high-performance equipment with advanced technology and automation, holding the largest market share in the two major markets of Italy and Germany.
FTA Europe gets going
The newly formed FTA Europe used Converflex to showcase its plan for coordinating the efforts of national organisations into a cohesive working partnership.
Membership of FTA Europe, established by five founding member associations – EFIA (UK), Atif (Italy), ATEF (Spain), EFTA (Benelux) and ATF (France) –is open to all national flexo associations and will be governed by a board, supported by Intergraf and Lejeune Association Management, which will create specialised working groups and negotiate European funding.
Plans are well advanced for the 2015-2016 period, with the creation of a new FTA Europe website, a launch project to develop a European flexo curriculum for professionals working in the industry, and a European Flexo Award, scheduled for next year. FTA Europe can also support member associations through joint advocacy and collaborate in promotional activities, like awards, and the development of a technical knowledge bank.
BST’s print monitoring and 100% inspection systems
Considerable interest in BST eltromat’s product portfolio was also evident, particularly the live demonstrations of print monitoring and 100% inspection systems.
This year, the BST eltromat group – with its BST ProControl and AccuWeb brands – presented a comprehensive range of quality assurance systems..
In the field of surface inspection, the iPQ-Spectral system used to check for 100% quality control during production created great interest.
Visitors also appreciated live demonstrations of print monitoring and 100% inspection systems from BST eltromat installed on two winders, while solutions from BST ProControl for surface inspection and layer thickness measurement also received positive feedback.