Contiweb unveils new Variable Coater for enhanced digital print quality

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Contiweb has launched its Variable Coater (VC), a digital priming and over-print varnish applicator developed to boost product quality and reduce costs for paper in digital printing applications.


Compatible with leading high end web inkjet presses, the Variable Coater elevates the quality of digital print to match offset, whilst providing access to a virtually unlimited range of paper and also reducing costs.

‘We developed the Variable Coater to provide customers with the ability to use standard offset paper for all print jobs, even those with high ink coverage, which is much more cost effective. Uptime is also essential to profitability, and changing between the different grades of priming, even per side, can be a costly disruption, something that is now preventable. The Variable Coater delivers significant cost savings in numerous ways,’ explained Rutger Jansen, CEO at Contiweb.

‘The system’s expanded range of paper as a result of the precise amount of priming per side, combined with the improved print quality of primed paper also mean printers can move more jobs from offset to digital. Jobs requiring high ink coverage will not need to be printed offset. They can take advantage of digital’s personalisation capabilities, potentially opening up new markets, and achieve higher utilisation of the digital press, leading to improved return on investment and profits,’ added Rutger.


The Contiweb Variable Coater allows variable web coverage, so printers only need to use what is required, resulting in around 15% less priming or coating use. Also, variable in web width from 10 to 26 inches, the VC can work in line or near line with leading high end web inkjet presses. The web width of the VC can be changed with a just a quick production stop and without any requirement to exchange parts. Adjustable on the go with a user friendly HMI, the Variable Coater is easy to operate and allows ‘recipes’ to be stored and used again as needed. Furthermore, there are no additional costs for consumables such as sleeves or anilox rollers.

The Variable Coater solution was developed in conjunction with European printing group Paragon Customer Communications and Eastman Kodak Company. Paragon’s director of operations, Bernd Wein, says of the Variable Coater, ‘The flexibility was one of the main aspects of why we started this project with Contiweb. In order to achieve the best quality of printing, you must profile the paper. It absolutely makes sense to use different types of coating fluid depending on whether you’re using coated or uncoated stock, and the ability to specify only what coverage is necessary and record profiles, saves time and money.’

The potential of the Variable Coater is further illustrated by an endorsement from Kodak. Randy Vandagriff, senior vice president, Digital Print, Eastman Kodak Company, said: ‘The market is growing for digitally produced high ink coverage print products on glossy and coated papers, such as direct mail and catalogues. Contiweb’s Variable Coater, inline or near line with a Kodak Prosper press, is a great way for printers to lower their costs, increase their quality and improve their paper supply chain.’

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