Air2 puts extra bounce into Conti-Air blankets

Jul 20, 2008 at 02:44 am by Staff

➤ With developments in high-speed press technology continuing apace, ContiTech has responded with not one, but three new blankets for perfect results in newspaper and heatset web applications. Unveiled at DRUPA in May, the new Entropia-TR 2 newspaper blanket with Air2 draws on proven Conti-Air® technology and an innovative design principle. The successor to the established Entropia-TR, it has an additional compressible layer under the top stock. The Air2 technology reduces paper feed in demanding web applications – including shaftless drives and satellite towers – and in critical rubber/rubber configurations. Stephan Peters, sales and technical manager of Conti-Air Asia-Pacific says the unique design means the TR 2 is also exceptionally stable in classical, shaft-driven machines: “This is achieved through the reduced sinking which is typical of all Conti-Air® newspaper blankets,” he says. Another advantage is greatly-reduced temperature build-up, which helps minimise swelling, linting, ink build-up and other problems. The logical next step in the evolution of the Conti-Air® coldset printing blanket line, the innovative and stable Entropia-TR 2 ideally suits the needs of newspaper presses. ContiTech’s innovative Air2 technology – based on the concept of two compressible layers of differing thickness – is also used for the new Conti-Air® Neon-TR blanket for heatset printing. Stephan Peters says the Neon-TR is designed for use in all size classes and has shown itself to be a real pro in large-formats: “Its extremely precise print-off is outstanding, with even ink rendition on both the top and bottom side,” he says. “And the dirt-resistant surface – preventing dust and ink build-up, even on the underside – means long runs are possible between washing intervals.” With the blanket surfaces perfectly suited for long run-times, it also counteracts typical heatset problems such as ghosting and dot vanishing. With the Neon-TR limiting the ‘dot dwindle’ effect, the impression is more exact even on long runs ... and productivity is boosted. ContiTech is achieving great success with its metal-backed blankets – in use on 4/1 newspaper press installations as well as by commercial web printers in Australia – and has introduced two new products. Designed specifically for coldset printing, the new Steel CE 11 delivers excellent colour rendition and neutral paper-transport behaviour. A new feature is that the thermofoil is melded to the backside of the printing blanket, rather than glued on. The foil provides high stability throughout the printing process. Stephan Peters says that benefits from the extremely smooth paper travel include fewer crease marks, while the build-up of paper dust is also reduced to a minimum. “The blanket is ideal for both four-high units and satellite designs,” he says. Field experience suggests the blanket also overcomes the problems with delamination. Conti-Air® blankets are in use at APN Print in Yandina and at Fairfax’s Border Mail Printing site in Wodonga, where Frank O’Grady says a trial looks “very promising”. For heatset printers, a new patented curved printing blanket, the Conti-Air Steel HF 10 allows higher printing speeds. The world’s only curved blanket, it has a residual gap on the plate cylinder of only 0.5 mm, further reducing vibration. It also means almost the full printing length can be used, reducing paper waste considerably. “At the same time, the narrower clamping groove almost completely eliminates gear marks due to the design of the cylinder gap,” says Peters, “so higher printing speeds are possible.” Metal blankets have a correspondingly larger, compressible rubber layer which guarantees optimum printing results. The rubber layer itself is permanently vulcanised onto the metal. “Having only one fabric layer, Conti-Air® metal blankets exhibit only minimal sinking,” says Peters, “and a printer can count on consistent thickness and good impression behaviour throughout its service life.” The new products complement a range which sets new standards in terms of flexibility, efficiency and precision. Based in Northeim, ContiTech is one the three largest blanket manufacturers in the world, and the only one producing entirely in Germany. A focus on environmentally-responsible production throughout the manufacturing process has been carried through to the development of some of the eco-friendliest printing blankets in the world. “Environmentally-friendly products are more in demand than ever before – and that applies to printing blankets as well,” says Peters. “We’re proud to set standards in this respect and it was one of the focal points of our DRUPA presentation.” Conti-Air Asia Pacific 32/211 Soi Nuan-chan 12 Nuan-chan Road, Bueng-kum, Bangkok 10230 Phone: +66 2 9460698 Fax: +66 2 9460699 Email:


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