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Doubling productivity in packaging production: Heidelberg unveils new Boardmaster

Packaging Solutions

Heidelberg is unveiling a world premiere for the growth segment of high volume folding carton printing with the completely new Boardmaster. This flexographic web printing system with a machine availability of up to 90% and a maximum printing speed of 600 metres per minute delivers double the productivity and thus dramatically reduces the total cost of ownership in industrial packaging production. As the global demand for packaged goods continues to grow, packaging and label printing is experiencing structural growth, making it an important core segment for Heidelberg.

‘With the world premiere of our Heidelberg Boardmaster, we are responding to key customer challenges in the packaging market – cost pressure, the skills shortage, and the need to optimise productivity and sustainability,’ said CEO Dr Ludwin Monz.

Flexographic printing is the leading technology in the packaging market and is continuing to benefit from the globally stable and significant growth of packaging and labels. It is already being used to produce some 15% of the total folding carton volume and this proportion is continuing to increase, with flexo folding carton printing volume exhibiting above average growth of 2.4% in packaging printing.

International brand corporations in particular are looking to combine printing quality with ever greater sustainability and recyclability across their entire packaging portfolio, and they are increasingly moving away from plastic. In the food sector, plastic is still the dominant packaging material by some margin.

According to a recent study by Smithers, however, the proportion of fibre based packaging made from materials such as board and paper will overtake plastic in the medium term and assume the top spot with a proportion of over


The new Boardmaster is especially suited to the food and beverage sector’s folding carton applications, which are becoming increasingly popular worldwide due to a growing global demand for packaged products.

‘The Heidelberg Boardmaster enables industrial packaging producers to significantly reduce their operating costs. With its numerous benefits for customers, the Boardmaster also provides an attractive alternative for many users who have so far opted for VLF – very large format – sheetfed offset printing,’ said Christian Steinmassl, who is in charge of the packaging segment.

The Boardmaster was developed completely from scratch at the company’s competence centre for high volume flexo folding carton printing at the company’s Weiden site in Bavaria. Development work was carried out in close collaboration with international packaging customers and factored in their key challenges – cost pressure, the skills shortage, and the need to optimise productivity and sustainability. The first systems have already been installed.

The solution is designed to dramatically reduce industrial packaging customers’ total cost of ownership.

Each print deck has two print units. While one unit is busy with production, the second one is being readied for the next print job. Depending on the configuration, a machine availability of up to 90% is possible in production.

The printing speed is up to 600 metres per minute, which corresponds to around 38,000 print sheets in format 6 (sheet width 148 centimetres) per hour. Substrates with grammages of between 70 and 800 g/m2 can be processed.

The Heidelberg Intellimatch pre-press scanner safeguards printing quality, also ensuring the print decks are adjusted correctly and fully automatically.


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