Between 50 and 100 people visited the factory on each of the three days and were impressed by the Thallo’s performances and productivity. They also enjoyed interaction with a number of co-suppliers who attended the event with table-top exhibits.
Among outstanding features of the press was its ability to run the web backwards to allow material already in the press to be used for set-up of the next job, considerably minimising expensive set-up waste. Also impressive was the fast and easy sleeve changeover using DG’s ‘pro-arm’ sleeve.
Comments DG Press director, Remko Koolbergen, ‘We were aware of the huge interest in our press, but were positively surprised by the excitement caused by our demonstrations.’
The use of the latest motion control and operator interfaces has made for ease of use and high efficiency, and according to Rekmo the press offers more uptime, generates less waste, and has a simple and cost-effective sleeve system that others cannot match.
The new press is available in three web widths, 1 050mm, 850mm and 520mm and is capable of printing at 400m/min on substrates from 12 to 200µm. The Thallo 850 is expected to be the best seller among flexible packaging converters, but a carton version, capable of handling 200 to 700µm board, will also be developed.
Aside from the impressive demonstrations, however, a highlight was the announcement of DG’s sale of a third Thallo press. This press will be shown at next year’s drupa exhibition in Düsseldorf before being delivered to a customer in Russia. In addition, a five-colour press, still under construction, was shown and its sale announced to a customer in The Netherlands.
Flexo vs web offset?
DG’s marketing campaign is centred on its slogan ‘Flexo or web offset’. The company maintains that web offset can be seen as an alternative to flexo – the process currently used by most converters for printing flexible materials.
DG Press co-director, Peter Kloppers, points out that offset has a number of advantages over flexo and gravure, including cheaper plates, a lack of solvents (along with UV or EB curing making it food-safe), high-quality printing on a diverse range of substrates, and fast make-ready.
He also defines changes in market demand that play into the hands of offset. ‘Ink migration is a hot topic,’ he says, ‘especially in the food industry; and with run lengths shortening and customers requiring just-in-time delivery, offset has the fast response times to meet deadlines. It’s also adaptable in meeting the demands of new substrates, especially flexible ones.’
According to Peter, the idea behind the campaign is to introduce the technique first, followed by promoting the new printing press.
A recently-launched video highlights the principles of offset printing, such as ink-water balance, ink-knives to determine correct ink volume and the way offset plates create the printed image. Further videos are to be released in the coming months.
QuadTech adds colour control
Another announcement at the open house was the installation of QuadTech’s colour control system with SpectralCam on the Thallo press sold to Vuye Flexible Packaging in Belgium – one of the first customers. The system provides closed-loop colour control for reduced waste and fast make-ready.
Using QuadTech technology, Vuye Flexible Packaging ensures accurate colour information for the entire web and throughout the print run. It also contributes to a streamlined workflow for improved job turnaround and production efficiencies.
Vuye Flexible Packaging’s Thallo press is being used to produce packaging such as labels, flow-wraps, sachets and shrink sleeves. It was chosen for its ability to provide fast, low-cost job changeovers, high-quality print and low waste.
According to Peter Kloppers, QuadTech technology perfectly complements the new press. ‘We’re always looking for technology that can make our customers’ lives easier, and their equipment more reliable and profitable,’ he says. ‘We’re pleased to further enhance our presses through the use of QuadTech’s technology.’
QuadTech’s smart SpectralCam technology enables the system to detect and analyse printed micro-colour bars at full press speed on paper or film. Coupled with QuadTech’s web stabilising system, spectral colour measurements of transparent and opaque web materials are possible on-the-fly without risk of substrate corrugation. Obtaining the right colour quickly and maintaining its quality throughout a print run provides new levels of colour accuracy and assurance to converters and brand managers.
‘We’re extremely confident in the capabilities of the Thallo press and in QuadTech’s technology – it was a delight to share this with so many customers and industry professionals during our open house event,’ Peter concludes. ‘We hope this marks the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership, and look forward to being able to bring the benefits of our combined expertise to future customers.’