PS PrintService invests in metal decorating

The German printer PS PrintService, based in Neuhaus-Schierschnitz, has invested in another conventional metal decorating press from Koenig and Bauer with a new six-colour MetalStar 4 to be used alongside its existing six-colour MetalStar 2 line that was installed back in 2012.

From left: Marian Krüger, project manager; Christel Rauh; managing director PS PrintService; Thomas Meusel, project manager for PS PrintService; and Manfred Vennebuch, regional sales manager.

PS PrintService is a mid-sized company that mainly offers decoration and finishing of metal sheets for use in the production of crown corks and aluminium screw caps. It also prints different designs for food packaging of all kinds, as well as fancy cans and tins for cosmetics products. With the new press the company hopes to expand its capacity to meet growing market demand. 

PS PrintService opted for the MetalStar 4 because of the automation that it offered. The MetalStar 4 includes a fully automatic plate changing system that’s able to change all six plates in just 2.5 minutes. The plates are changed in three cycles, irrespective of the number of printing units involved. The process is controlled from the ErgoTronic console. The CleanTronic Synchro washing system, together with DriveTronic Simultaneous Roller Washing, allows fully automatic and parallel washing of all inking units, blankets and impression cylinders. 

The MetalStar 4 also boasts pneumatic ink ducts, which are a brand new feature for metal decorating. This stops the ink keys from ‘sticking’ which adds to the reliability and service life of the setting elements. The intervals between time-consuming cleaning and recalibration of the ink keys have also been extended. In production processes with highly reactive UV and UV LED inks in particular, this represents a significant improvement.  

The MetalStar 4 comes with the DriveTronic SIS sidelay-free infeed system, whereby the metal sheets are allowed more time to settle and align themselves at the infeed. This system can handle a variety  of substrates, whether thick or thin metal sheets, scroll sheets or aluminium.

PS PrintService opted for a triple-box stacker with dynamic overhead vacuum sheet brake. With this system, makeready sheets are ejected into the first box, while the full pallets are removed to the side by way of a chain conveyor. The second stacker box can be used for either the ejection of flawed sheets detected by the camera inspection systems or the collection of good sheets, as required. The third box collects good sheets and can be used in conjunction with the second stacker box to realise the non-stop stacking of good sheets. All three stacker boxes feature automatic format adjustment.

It includes the ErgoTronic console, where all functions can be controlled from a 23ins touchscreen monitor, together with a 75-inch wall screen that displays the results from the measuring systems. The LogoTronic job and master data management system provides for continuous documentation and the automatic communication of job data from pre-press by using a CIP link to the press, with the data saved for repeat jobs.

Christel Rauh, managing director of PS PrintService, stated: “I am delighted! It prints according to the same principles as our ‘old’ press, namely in offset, and I hope that is something that will remain with us for many years to come. Offset is after all a process where you can still ‘feel’ what printing really means. Even so, the latest technologies also represent the next step in terms of Digitalisation 4.0. They have enabled full integration between job management, pre-press, production and controlling.”

The press was customised to suit PS PrintService, with the operator console shifted to the drive side so that the consoles of the new line and the existing MetalStar 2 could be installed on the same side for maximum convenience. In addition, the DensiTronic colour measurement and control system, which can automatically correct the colour during the production run, was configured for use with both lines. Also, an ink mist extraction system was added to the inking unit of the MetalStar 4.

Daniel Suffner, printshop manager for PS PrintService, noted: “The MetalStar 4 makes work easier for the printers! Plate changes, roller washing, adjustments and reaction times – everything is so much faster. It takes less time to prepare the upcoming jobs with LogoTronic and they are then ready to be called up immediately. I can control and monitor everything absolutely intuitively using the new console. The new system is a huge leap forward compared to the older line.”

You can find more details about PS PrintService here and on the MetalStar presses from koenig-bauer.com.


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