Eminence Business Media

Eminence Business Media

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Constantia Patz Ges.M.B.H. installs Tresu sealed chamber doctor blade system

Kolding, Denmark - Constantia Patz, the Austrian converter of pharmaceutical packaging, has reduced maintenance time and consumable costs after installing Tresu’s FlexiPrint IMW E-Line sealed chamber doctor blade systems on two inline-flexo printing presses at its Loipersbach (Austria) plant.

The plant, which exclusively produces aluminium foil for blister packs, sachets and container seals, installed the Tresu system on all stations of the nine-colour and eight-colour 800mm-wide BHS presses during two retrofitting operations, in August 2013 and January 2014.

The new Tresu doctor blade systems eliminate the problem of leakage that occurred on the original chambers, which were installed when the presses were built 14 and 17 years ago.

The FlexiPrint IMW E-Line features rubber seals that form an airtight closure, preventing ink and solvent fumes escaping. Thanks to precise positioning, the Tresu doctor blades offer longer working life, and, with the ‘E-Line’ clamp system, fast blade-changeover.

Wolfgang Elian, head of printing department at Constantia Patz, comments: “We are achieving blade production lifespans of 24 production hours - three times longer than those used by the original system. We are exchanging blades in just two minutes, compared with 15 minutes needed to replace each of the previous system's screw-fastened blades. Because we have 17 printing stations in total, this quick exchange substantially reduces downtime and enables our operators to focus on higher-value quality control processes in a cleaner, solvent-free environment.”

Furthermore, the closure created by the chamber and the blades prevents contamination of the ink with the atmosphere, allowing long-term storage of leftover ink.  “We are able to interrupt production of a job over the weekend, for example, and continue at the beginning of the next week, without needing to drain and refill the chambers. And we can do this with the reassurance of high quality print results,” says Mr. Elian.

The precise positioning of the doctor blade and the constant pressure within the closed chamber eliminates foaming. This ensures a direct, controlledtransfer of the ink and coating agent to the anilox roll cells without bubbles. This results in a uniform printed layer that dries more efficiently, with higher reflective and gloss values on paper and film.  The chamber system ensures controlled ink flow when the BHS presses reach their top speeds of 200m/min (656ft/min).

Setup time reduction is of great importance to Constantia Patz because of a growing demand for shorter runs. Typical printing runs at the plant vary from about 700 linear metres to 150,000 linear metres.  Pharmaceutical customers, like the suppliers to the retail sectors, are saving stockholding costs by placing regular orders at shorter notice, instead of bulk-buying. For many packaging suppliers, retrofitting existing presses with modern ancillary products is the key to maintaining productivity when faced with the resulting increase in jobs.

Mr. Elian comments:  "From the professionalism of the first sales presentation, it was clear that in Tresu we had a team we could trust. The Tresu Ancillary technology has demonstrably improved production efficiencies, strengthened our ability to offer a flexible service and contributed to a cleaner, safer, and more productive operation.”