manroland raids cupboard for packaging hybrid

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manroland pitches for packaging with new hybrid line

manroland web has dusted off its variable-sleeve offset technology for a new hybrid press to launch next year into the booming packaging print market.

The sophisticated Augsburg-built Varioman is designed for film and paper substrates using offset and gravure print units, and will be offered with system integration, service and maintenance packages.

Managing director Alexander Wassermann says a first customer is "already waiting in the wings", with delivery set for early 2018.

The first of a new generation will have offset and gravure printing units for flexible packaging printing and go to an for an international packing printer.

"With the Varioman, we want to provide a new production system to our customers, at the first configuration level for flexible packaging printing," Wassermann says. "The market asks for press systems that meet the demands for brand differentiation, enhanced comfort and additional packaging sizes. Therefore, we have developed the Varioman."

It promises latest technologies with high substrate and production flexibility and process integration for faster, more efficient packaging printing at reduced cost. The Varioman f:line - described as a "real all-rounder" for packaging printing - will shine on heavyweight films and paper, with variable sleeve offset printing units. "Individually designed" units for film will be combined with other components, such as corona treatment, EB and UV drying and gravure print.

manroland holds patents from a decade ago for spacer sleeves which use intermediate metal layers on the blanket cylinders of variable-format presses. The technology was also an element of its abandoned DICO-web "digital changeover" press.

The company says the name Varioman stands for substrate and production variety, with the new press handling film or paper substrates from 10-300 μm in various web widths, and at up to 400 metres/minute with quick job changes using established presetting and control systems.

Offset delivers high print quality and less cost than flexo, digital or gravure, with production costs as little as a quarter of those for gravure, it says, thanks to the lower cost of offset plates over gravure cylinders, and faster job changes.

A Varioman c:line will be offered for carton printing "at a later stage", optimised for substrates from 250-700 µm, plus inline finishing including optional punching and sheeting. Further system configurations for additional application fields are "possible", the maker says.

manroland also brings its PECOM-X workflow and networking to the table, supported by service infrastructure which includes remote telesupport on maintenance.

Pictured: manroland's SlidePad is part of a comprehensive control offering for its existing press range

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