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Innovia invests in a new top coating line for graphic arts films

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Innovia Films is investing in a new coating line to develop a new range of PVC free films for the graphics sector at its site in Wigton. The new line has been specified with enhanced capabilities to allow the application of highly specialised coatings onto its BOPP (Polypropylene) substrates.


‘Graphics materials are used for wide format high resolution images, and this requires high precision, defect free coatings,’ said Bron Hekkema, market development manager graphics and linerless at Innovia Films. ‘This coater will give us the flexibility to produce at customer specific widths with rapid changeover times to minimise waste and increase efficiency. PVC free graphic films are the future – because they are made from polypropylene that can be recycled and also has a significant lower carbon footprint which benefits the environment.’


The company decided to partner with Bobst on this project. ‘Over the past two years Innovia’s technical team has worked closely with Bobst at its competence centre in San Giorgio, Italy to specify the design of the new coating line,’ explained Steven Maude, who is leading the project at Innovia in Wigton. ‘Extensive trials on the Bobst pilot line have confirmed the capability of the equipment to deliver the highest quality coatings required for graphic arts applications.’


‘This project is a very important milestone for Bobst in its rapid growth on the market of coating lines,’ said Alexandre David, technical sales manager at Bobst Italy, ‘and Bobst is very proud to have been able to provide Innovia with the state of the art technical solution that will enable the company to continue its development in the field of graphic arts products.’


The groundworks are due to start in Q3, 2023, the full production start is expected in Q1, 2025. Although primarily designed for a new range of graphics products, the new coating line will also give Wigton new and enhanced capabilities for the existing flexible packaging and labels markets it serves.


Pictured left to right: Alexandre David, technical sales manager coating, and Kristiina Muurman, customer sales manager, both from Bobst, with Steve Maude, surface engineering manager, Mike Hill, lead mechanical project engineer, and Sarah Lightfoot, coating trial coordinator at Innovia Films.


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