Folding Carton Converters Showcase the Latest Heidelberg Technology
On the second day of Heidelberg's Packaging Days, journalists traveled to the Netherlands and Belgium to visit two customers using Heidelberg Speedmaster technology in their package printing operations.
The first stop was to take a guided tour through Oss, Netherlands-based Acket drukkerij kartonnage, a company specializing in folding carton production primarily for the food industry. Tom Acket, managing director of Acket, began the tour with a short presentation about Acket's history, its capabilities and a brief look at the packaging industry as a whole.
Acket said that the company has noticed that its customers are requiring less stock and demanding faster delivery times on orders. To meet the evolving demands of customers, Acket explained that the company knew it needed fast and stable machinery. It was determined that Heidelberg had the lowest downtime and the fastest setup for what the company needed to do. Earlier this year, Acket installed a Speedmaster XL 106-6 with double coater and Push to Stop technology. According to a presentation on the future of packaging led by Stephan Plenz, member of the board digital technology, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, on the first day of Heidelberg's annual packaging event, after the implementation of Push to Stop capabilities, Acket increased its productivity by 20% when compared to a competitive device.
Another trend Acket pointed to is the need for the company's customers to differentiate from their competition. He said the solution is to offer more printing and finishing techniques, including foiling and embossing. The double varnish capabilities of the Speedmaster XL 106-6 has enabled Acket to provide different types of varnish that weren't previously available or as easily produced.
Acket explained that the company is focused on other investments as well, including a more comprehensive waste system and sustainability solutions, such as solar.
The second stop of the day was Smart Packaging Solutions in Meer, Belgium. Smart Packaging Solutions specializes in printing on solid board (up to 1.6mm, 1200gsm) for the food packaging industry. Martijn Fluyt, after sales and product development manager at Smart Packaging Solutions, explained that the company works with solid board because it is suitable for transportation and can withstand moisture better than corrugated substrates.
The facility's new device, a Speedmaster 162 XL-5+L, was the highlight of the visit, boasting 17 million sheets since February 2017. Fluyt described Smart Packaging Solutions' decision process to add a Speedmaster 162, which began about two years ago when the company decided it needed a machine that was strong, durable and could produce high quality prints. However, since a lot of the packaging that Smart Packaging Solutions processes is transportation materials, high quality isn't as important as the industrial strength of the product, Fluyt explained. Therefore, the company needed a solution that could handle heavy substrates in a stable production environment.
Smart Packaging Solutions decided on the Heidelberg press not only because of its ability to process solid board, but its ability to produce high quality designs. Fluyt explained to attendees that the company's new Speedmaster is easy to work with and can run anywhere from 9,000 sheets per hour to more than double that, versus the company's previous device, which could only run 6,000 to 8,000 sheets per hour.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Smart Packaging Solutions has run 70 million sheets on its Speedmaster 162 XL-5+L since February 2017. The company has in fact run 17 million.