Over 100 participants from Europe, Asia and the Middle East joined Bobst, and other leading experts from different facets of the silicone coating and barrier film industries, for a two day Coating Technology event organised by Bobst Italia, in San Giorgio Monferrato Italy, on 25 and 26 July 2018.
Planned as two half day sessions aimed at increasing participants’ knowledge of the industry outlook and leading technologies, the occasion also marked the presentation of two Bobst CO 8000 latest generation coating lines.
‘We are committed to deliver value in its broadest sense to our customers’ process, which is something that goes far beyond the engineering of high performance machines,’ explained Detlef Merklinger, head of the coating product line, Bobst Italia. ‘This is why the aim of this event was not only to present two of our CO 8000 machines, but also to bring together the strengths of leading companies in these two segments of the coating market, which are projected for continuous growth and fast paced technological evolution.’
The deep dive sessions took place at Villa Morneto, a stunning venue in the UNESCO World Heritage hills of the Monferrato. The event was opened by Detlef Merklinger who gave an overview of the impressive global growth of Bobst coating technology in a number of key specialty applications.
UV lamp manufacturer IST Metz highlighted the advantages of light curing and how inertisation with nitrogen enables better crosslinking and safety in terms of barrier to migration and its implementation on converting equipment for board and film.
Chemical company Dow Consumer Solutions gave an overview of the silicone related coating market in terms of application technologies, thermal silicone applications and processes, and tackled industry challenges such as reduction of platinum dependency, down gauging of materials and silicone migration.
Also attending as guest speaker was Olivier Lavaud, CEO of release paper and film manufacturing company Itasa, owner of the CO 8000 silicone liner machine on show. He gave an interesting perspective, from the point of view of a specialty converter, on the outlook for the future development of the global market. Headquartered in Spain, Itasa is a global player in its field with manufacturing facilities on three continents.
Gianni Zanatta, product manager coating, Bobst Italia, presented the company’s silicone coating technology and equipment, as well as the configuration of Itasa’s high performance CO 8000 silicone coating machine, specified for paper and film release liner applications, on show.
The exploration of new generation of barrier films and coatings, which are challenging more traditional barrier packaging structures, and the trends towards down gauging and development of highly functional monolayer and composite barrier materials, also drew great interest and questions from the audience.
BOPP film manufacturer Treofan shared information relating to the evolution of coated films to fulfil evolving market demands and developments, as well as the functionality of coated films in preventing mineral oil contamination of packaged products.
On a broader outlook the presentation by water based coating manufacturing company Michelman dwelled on the major market trends that the company has identified as driving the market in the next five years. The main focus was on a water based coating formulation that enables fragile AlOx coatings to undergo further printing and converting processes without damage, which very much intertwined with the two Bobst presentations on the subject. The development was as a result of collaboration between Bobst product lines and Michelman to bring to market an industrial solution for AlOx barrier products.
The technicalities of manufacturing, and the physical properties of materials such as AlOx or SiOx that can be produced on Bobst metallizers, as well as other process developments aimed at increasing metallization adhesion and defect prevention, were explained by Pedro Bartolus from Bobst Manchester. With the presentation of the CO 8000 for AlOx top coating on show at the event, Mirco Zisa, sales manager coating, Bobst Italia, closed the loop on the turnkey integrated solution that Bobst offers in the field of high barrier functional substrates. This market is also developing fast in light of major brand owners’ pledge to make their packaging material recyclable by 2025.
After lunch the action moved to Bobst Italia’s production plant. Different systems and solutions to process challenges were illustrated in the course of the sessions and experienced up close by the visitors. Although the two lines on show addressed different types of applications, market sectors and process technologies, both stem from the CO 8000 platform, reflecting the Bobst strategy to have a basic platform which can be customized by adding specifically developed units for each customer’s specific application requirements.
The CO 8000 silicone liner machine, 1700 mm web width, was configured for solventless thermal silicone coating on paper and film and featured Bobst solutions for perfect process integration and seamless workflow. These included, in this instance, an in line flexo printing unit with a print repeat up to 1200 mm, a sleeve system for fast job changes on both anilox and print cylinder, integrated ink viscosity control and dedicated floatation dryer suitable for both water based or solvent based inks.
However, the key benefits of the machine demonstrating Bobst capabilities lay with the process critical issues, such as the quality of coating and drying at high speed, paper re-moisturising and web handling capabilities, especially at the rewinding stage, which is quite complex with siliconised materials.