WIFAG-Polytype makes it possible to do water-based ink-jet digital printing on aluminum and plastic substrates
A successful open house in Fribourg, Switzerland in June 2014 set WIFAG and Polytype Converting off on their joint future together under the name WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG. About 50 experts from the fields of newspaper printing, coating and converting had a chance to find out about the newly named company and its strong orientation toward R&D and customer projects. The highlight came with the premiere performance of the pilot version of the Techma-4 printing press. On this roll-to-roll system, WIFAG-Polytype Technologies gave its first-ever demonstration of digital printing with water-based ink-jet inks on plastic and aluminum foils. The technology is also suitable for printing on food packaging.
The Techma-4 supplements the already extensive machinery at the technology center in Fribourg, which industrial customers often use for testing purposes. The digital printing line can print 680 mm wide foil and paper webs at a speed of up to 100 m/min in four colors wet-on-wet. Downstream of that is a 4.5-meter hybrid drying section (infrared with changeable wave length plus hot-air drying).
One focal point of the open house was CEO Jörgen Karlsson's presentation on WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG . Another was the lecture given by Roger Ineichen, Head of Digital Printing. In it, he explained in detail the expanded possibilities offered by WIFAG-Polytype's own ink-jet printing technology. Lars Sommerhäuser, Head of Ink-jet Inks and Materials, presented the additional expertise in ink-jet inks and in receiving and functional layers that was added when an entire development team was transferred from Ilford.
In a tour of the facility in Fribourg, Switzerland, the open house guests saw a demonstration of the Techma-4 as well as four-color printing on plastic cups and tubes with ink-jet systems. The latter optimally combine the expertise of Polytype AG with the technology of the Digital Competence Center of the corporate group.
The "still can" production line was also shown. It produces and fills this new type of composite-foil beverage packaging that is ultra-lightweight and that cuts down on the material used. It is based on a material developed by Huhtamaki and on mechanical engineering and process technology from Polytype.