Bobst talks up inkjet corrugated printer

Bobst has previously disclosed that it was working with Kodak to develop an industrial inkjet machine for printing to corrugated, and has now revealed further details of the project.

The machine will be 50m long and print sheets up to 2.1 x 1.3m at a speed of up to 200 meters per minute. It uses Kodak inkjet arrays, based on its Stream continuous inkjet technology, which is also used in the Prosper presses, but this is likely to be the widest single Stream array. It’s a four-colour machine and lays down a primer before printing. The inks are water-based, presumably also supplied by Kodak.

Bobst has had to develop a new sheet transfer system and a new loader and pre-feeder for this new press. It’s designed to work in conjunction with the Bobst Mastercut 2.1 flat bed die-cutter, though Philippe Milliet, Head of Bobst’s Sheet-fed business unit, says that the machine is fast enough to need two of these die cutters.

There are currently two beta machines running, both in Europe, at Model and Schumacher. Milliet explained: “We knew that to get all the data and testing we needed, we had to put the first two development machines into full production environments, so we could see how the machines operated under pressure. Early on, we realized that developing in a closed lab, with controlled environments, would not do us any favours in the long run – we needed to be sure that the press could run in a broad range of production environments.”

A third machine is also about to be installed in Europe, with the company looking to install machines in North America soon. The first commercial deliveries will start in 2017.



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