• Digital Printing

    Digital large-format printers for almost all roll and plate materials – versatile and luminous.

  • Digital Printing

    Digital large-format printers for almost all roll and plate materials – versatile and luminous.

“Celebration of Colors 2015” at //polytype … a complete success.

01.11.2015 - For nearly a week from September 22-25, 2015, our customers and prospects active in the segments plastic cups, plastic tubes as well as aluminum tubes and cans took the opportunity to find out about the latest decoration technologies from //polytype.

The //polytype products found a great deal of interest: nearly 200 visitors made it to Fribourg, Switzerland where the latest technological advances were presented first-hand.


The focus during the Open-house event was clearly on digital advances in the decoration of round packages. In other words, both //polytype and mall//herlan offer digital solutions for the decoration of round packages, not only for plastic cups and tubes but now also for aluminum tubes and cans. 


A definite crowd-puller during the individual presentations was DigiRound, which can operate at a production speed up to 200 cups a minute. It prints with the four basic colors plus white, so that transparent and also products with a dark background can be printed. Furthermore, the printed image width goes up to 140 mm, which sets new standards in the digital decoration of plastic cups. 


For tube or can applications, the RDA 24 Hybrid convinced the visitors with its two decoration processes ink-jet and offset, offering the possibility to use either process alone or both combined. This decoration approach has proved very popular with manufacturers of aluminum cans, plastic tubes and sleeves, as combining the two printing processes opens the way to all conceivable possibilities for decorating a product quickly, efficiently and with the highest possible printing quality. Further, what makes this hybrid solution so compelling for customers is that the use of offset technology means they get an immediate return on their investment. 


Along with these highlights, other machines utilizing a wide variety of decoration methods were also on display. In cup decoration, the new Polyflex printing process was explained and demonstrated. The entire range of well proven //polytype offset printing machines for cups and lids was shown.


In a world premiere, //polytype unveiled the new RSP80 screen-printing machine for the decoration of tubes and sleeves. It is the ideal entry-level flat-screen solution for the decoration of tubes, as it prints up to seven colors and offers a fantastic value for the money. 


Visitors looking at the Linearis had an chance to admire the complete range of decoration in one pass,with metallic effects for tubes, i.e. 361° hot-stamping over the entire length of the tubes, overprinted with flexo, screen-printing and a relief effect followed by over varnishing. Running at a production speed unmatched in the extruded tube industry, it showed its capabilities to take-on and beat labels, laminate or IML applications.


A big contribution to the overall success of the event was the active participation of renowned partners and suppliers, allowing visitors to discuss not just our novelties but also the important consumables side of the decorating business. These companies were:

  • //polytype OMV
  • mall//herlan
  • //polytype Mechatronica
  • Peyer
  • Schekolin
  • Uviterno
  • Lüscher
  • Ruco
  • Zeller+Gmelin
  • Gallus
  • DeCoSystem
  • Mühlbauer/Tema

The participation of these companies definitely made the event even more interesting.


In closing, we have just one thing left to say: “The 2015 Open-Days were a complete success!”


This article as pdf document in English.

Dieser Artikel als pdf-Dokument in Deutsch. 

Michael Steggemann named new Head of Sales Digital Printing

20.03.2015 - Fribourg/CH and Hamburg/D - WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG (Fribourg, Switzerland) is strengthening its sales team once again: Michael Steggemann (42) has been Head of Sales Digital Printing since March 1, 2015. As such, he is in charge of marketing innovative digital printing solutions made by the Swiss manufacturer.

Steggemann's regular place of work is at the German subsidiary WIFAG-Polytype GmbH (Hamburg). From there, he attends mostly to the needs of customers in the flexible packaging segment of the market. Steggemann was a much-sought-after discussion partner already at the wifag//polytype stand at the ICE Europe in Munich. That is because the solutions of this Swiss manufacturer precisely meet the needs of packaging printing.


Many producers are just waiting for intelligent solutions that allow them to respond economically to the trend toward smaller runs for flexible packaging. Two major pluses of WIFAG-Polytype are the food compatibility it offers for its water-based inkjet digital printing solutions and the extensive expertise it has in developing individual, cost-effective paint and primer solutions.


Michael Steggemann has more than 13 years of experience in selling machines and semi-consumables for flexography. He worked for the Flint Group and for more than seven years for Bobst, among others.


Ernst Meier, Head of Sales at WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG:

"Michael Steggemann brings with him the ideal combination of a technical background and market expertise. That means he can draw on the unique possibilities at wifag//polytype to implement successful applications in collaboration with the customers and with the development teams in Fribourg, Switzerland and Hamburg, Germany."

Swiss converting solutions now provided by WIFAG-Polytype Technologies

06.01.2015 - High-tech coating and laminating technology in Switzerland now has a new name: Polytype Converting AG – the globally renowned solutions provider based in Fribourg (Switzerland) – was incorporated into WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG on January 1, 2015. With this step, the wifag//polytype corporate group has completed the integration of its Coating & Laminating and Printing & Drying/Moisturizing divisions. For customers, this now means unique process expertise is available from a single source.

Fribourg/CH, 05.01.2015 - The sales team at WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG also welcomed a new addition at the start of 2015. With many years of experience in sales management and converting, 47-year-old Pablo Bagiella made the switch from Kroenert BMB to wifag//polytype in Fribourg.

Pablo Bagiella now has a unique portfolio of development expertise at his disposal. WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG not only represents high-quality Swiss mechanical engineering, but also offers virtually unlimited possibilities thanks to in-house digital and control technology and development skills for all common substrates (inks, lacquers, primers and functional layers). The in-depth process knowledge of the integrated technology company allows for tailored solutions to be realized from the outset.

The next step
Since WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG was established on July 1, 2014 through the renaming of the renowned printing press manufacturer WIFAG Maschinenfabrik AG and the integration of the dryer specialist Pagendarm (Hamburg), additional focal points have been added to the portfolio. Thanks to the cross-divisional Digital and Automation Competence Centers, wifag//polytype customers can already benefit from trendsetting possibilities.

The development team comprised of around a dozen chemists and process engineers who switched from Ilford to wifag//polytype plays an increasingly important role in the new wifag//polytype portfolio, as does the greatly expanded in-house technical center at wifag//Polytype.
Customers can now incorporate four highly flexible test systems in their R&D process here. The Techma-3 or FlexCo (flexible coating) line allows for the finest possible grading when applying the coating and during speed and dryer control, for example. With the Techma-4, wifag//polytype has also been able to implement digital inkjet printing on foils or aluminum surfaces. This technological breakthroughfrom the Swiss printing and converting specialists has generated a lot of interest, particularly in the flexible packaging branch.

In recent months, WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG has also undergone a restructuring process and now focuses increasingly on customers and projects. More than ever before, a network of carefully selected partners is helping to offer technology “made in Switzerland” and “made in Europe” at competitive prices.

Ernst Meier, Head of Sales Coating Solutions, on the reorganization: “We at wifag//polytype offer our customers real added value through close cooperation between our machine developers and the control and digital printing specialists, not to mention chemists and process engineers. The customers expect technological concepts that guarantee a stable industrial process. Anyone who is able to offer all of the required solution expertise from a single source will reach this goal with much greater speed and reliability.”

Visit us at ICE USA and ICE Europe
The new converter options will also be the focal point at the WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG stand at ICE USA in Orlando, Florida and ICE Europe in Munich, Germany.

From February 10 to 12, 2015, the company will be presenting its latest innovations at stand 1000 at the OCCC in Orlando. Exactly one month later from March 10 to 12, 2015, wifag//polytype will also be on hand at stand 412 in hall A6 of the Munich Trade Fair Centre.



Text in Deutsch

WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG is readying an important technology for the market: water-based ink-jet printing on plastics, aluminum and paper substrates

17.06.2014 - WIFAG Maschinenfabrik AG renamed / Now with its own comprehensive in ink-jet inks and functional layers

WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG -- an internationally renowned maker of newspaper and book printing presses with a venerable history of more than 100 years -- has renamed itself. The new name WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG (based in Fribourg, Switzerland) means the company is now synonymous with customer-specific total solutions in the areas of printing, coating and converting. WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG is providing yet another forward-looking technology that promises to appeal to many sectors, namely, water-based industrial ink-jet digital printing on plastics, aluminum and paper substrates.

The new name WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG expresses the enormous breadth of the portfolio of this company, which is part of the Swiss-based wifag//polytype Group. At WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG, software and automation expertise are now together under a single roof with mechanical engineering and materials know-how.

Here is what "total solutions from WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG" means:
– Mechanical engineering for printing, coating and converting machines geared exactly to what customers want;
– Conventional and digital process solutions developed in partnership with customers;
– own automation and control station technology;
– own software and ink-jet inks and primers developed in-house.

All this was made possible by the strategic purchasing of specialized companies begun in 2007 and the ongoing expansion of our existing team of experts. Polytype Converting AG will initially remain a subsidiary but is expected to be merged with WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG in early 2015. The previous WIFAG and Polytype Converting subsidiaries located in Germany, China, the United States, and elsewhere will stay unchanged.

Ink-jet printing demonstrated at open house
Jörgen Karlsson, CEO of WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG, presented his company's comprehensive range of capabilities for the first time at an open house held in Fribourg, Switzerland in early June 2014. It was attended by about 50 representatives of big, well-known companies from the international newspaper, packaging and coating industries.

The new pilot version of the Techma-4 printing press was shown in operation at this open house. It can print with water-based industrial ink-jet inks on plastic films, aluminum and paper-based substrates, e.g. food packaging. Other focal points of the open house for customers were the digital printing advances developed in-house and the new Competence Center Fluid Technologies. This center came about when WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG took on a complete R&D team from Ilford.

Broad portfolio and comprehensive expertise
A wealth of additional expertise has been accumulated in recent years at the two famous companies WIFAG and Polytype Converting. Both can look back on a long tradition, the former in newspaper printing, the latter in coating and converting technology. Both stand for unsurpassed Swiss quality in mechanical engineering.

The corporate group added drying technology, inter alia, to its portfolio on acquiring a majority stake in Pagendarm (Hamburg, Germany) in 2007 and digital printing on purchasing Spühl in 2008. Sales of the Virtu line of link-fault pass-through (LFP) machines had been largely discontinued. Nonetheless, the experts from Spühl formed the core for the new Digital Competence Center of the wifag//polytype Group, which opened up whole new possibilities to the entire corporate group. The Automation Competence Center has a similar story. There, the expertise of WIFAG and Solna (taken over in 2011) was recently supplemented by the addition of a team that had previously worked for EAE in Ahrensburg.

Other technology innovators emphasize PR and announcements whereas WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG does not. Jörgen Karlsson: "We have no song-and-dance shows at WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG." WIFAG and Polytype Converting have made great strides in advancing industrial digital printing. The Swiss printing and coating experts are probably the first to have gotten water-based ink-jet digital printing ready for the market, a technology that is also suitable for food packaging. WPT is currently working jointly with two different customers on solutions for printing on aluminum foil and on a total solution for printing on paper-based substrates. The latter is intended to replace a conventional intaglio printing process in this product segment soon.

In early 2014, WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG took a final crucial step for guiding these projects to a successful close. It was at that time it took over the ten-person R&D team from Ilford Imaging, a Swiss company that had become insolvent. Lars Sommerhäuser and his team brought expertise in ink-jet inks, primer solutions and functional layers to WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG. The Swiss technology company can now offer precisely matched solutions without having to rely on outside ink experts, for example.

Customer projects and OEM partnerships
Besides these key developmental partnerships in coating and printing, WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG is of course already a successful supplier of OEM technology in its own right. For instance WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG provides the "digital engine" for the dmax digital off-line varnishing system from the Swiss manufacturer Steinemann.

In addition, WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG makes available digital printing technology for the other companies in the wifag//polytype Group. As a result, Polytype AG has already been able to provide customers with the first digital printing machines for printing on plastic cups.


wifag//polytype Group now with four business areas
With newspaper printing and coating technology under a single roof at WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG, the wifag//polytype Group now comprises four business areas:
– WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG
– Polytype AG (machinery for printing on cups and tubes)
– Mall Herlan GmbH (machinery for producing printed metal bottles and cans)

WIFAG-Polytype Holding AG (Fribourg, Switzerland) is the holding company and is fully owned by the Ursula-Wirz-Stiftung.


Artikel in Deutsch

Competence in Research and Development will be strengthened

28.11.2013 - //polytype Converting AG (Fribourg, Switzerland), the leading manufacturer of high-end coating and laminating systems, has now set the direction within the Group for the market offensive it launched in September 2013: It intends to set up production to be more flexible so the multifaceted portfolio of solutions can be implemented worldwide. And production has to move closer to the markets.

Strategic alliances and cooperation arrangements will be given a different priority in the future and competence in research and development will be strengthened at the core facilities in Fribourg, Switzerland and Hamburg, Germany.

The two inter-group Digital Competence Center and Automation Competence Center are already operating with great success and have allowed developmental engineers in Fribourg to provide forward-looking and innovative printing and coating solutions to all business areas of the wifag//polytype Group. //polytype also runs a large test center in Fribourg for coating and lamination, which naturally has a digital production line as well. The quality and excellent reputation of the //polytype systems are based not least on this intensive R&D activity.

In addition, more priority than ever is being given to sales, customer-based development and project management plus service and after-sales activities in Fribourg and Hamburg. With the restructuring of tasks within the internationally operating //polytype Converting AG, production steps will be shifted away from the facility in western Switzerland. That might result in personnel cuts in the months ahead in Fribourg. The extent of these cuts is expected to be in the low double-digit range but will depend on the markets in which //polytype is successful with its expanded portfolio.

However, there is no credence at all to the announcement by the Swiss union Employés Suisse that the entire Fribourg facility of //polytype Converting AG is endangered. The union has since explicitly apologized for misinforming the public with this story, which was also picked up by several media.

In an interview with a trade journal in late November, the CEO of //polytype Converting AG, Jörgen Karlsson, clarified that the company would stand by the facilities in Fribourg and in Hamburg: "Our most important assets are our employees and we have a very good and experienced team in Fribourg and in Hamburg."




//wifag at WPE 2013 in Berlin

26.09.2013 - Be Competitive - Stay Competitive //wifag will be meeting with the key partners from the newspaper print industry on their stand in hall 2.2, stand 510 at the World Publishing Expo 2013 from 7 to 9 October in Berlin.

Under the motto “Be Competitive - Stay Competitive” customers can learn more about our innovative range of press and automation products as well as customized service solutions to enhance productivity and profitability in their print process.
Discover why automation is important today and will remain so in the future
The //wifag automation solutions form the focal point of //wifag's market initiative
"Be Competitive - Stay Competitive". The Swiss machinery manufacturer has developed a consistent modular approach to automation, both for new machines and for retrofit packages. It makes machines more efficient and easier to maintain while also enabling them to be more productive automatically. 
Digital Competence
The wifag//polytype Group is one of the broadest and most flexible technology companies today in the printing, packaging and converting and coating industry. Digital Printing was expanded from a group business area to the new Digital Competence Center (the DCC) at the start of 2013. Ever since, it has been pushing for research and development of future technologies and has also ensured equal access to these technologies for all product lines and markets. Today the DCC offers nearly all components for digital printing from its own development work.

In addition to printing presses for producing newspapers and books, wifag//polytype also serves the markets for metal packaging (production technology for manufacturing steel and aluminum aerosol cans, aluminum bottles and tubes), plastic containers (printing presses for printing on plastic cups and lids as well as plastic tubes), as well as for coating and lamination (production lines for producing multi-layered films and papers). 
The new //wifag S-Line is a highly automated and modular press to meet the current operational and financial constraints in the global markets. At the WPE, the competitive
S-Line press models will be a focus of discussion for customers with new press projects. 

Welcome to our booth 510 in hall 2.2 at the WPE in Berlin.

//wifag shows its colors when it comes to automation and retrofitting

17.09.2013 - Why automation is important today and will remain so in the future

Fribourg, Switzerland – September 2013 - People continue investing with intelligence and sound judgment in newspaper printing technology in Central and Northern Europe precisely because it is highly advanced technically and is in part a saturated market. Customers do not always want completely new machines.  Companies who want to keep the operating and maintenance costs of their printing consoles under control are focusing on //wifag, a business unit of the wifag//polytype Group (Fribourg, Switzerland), with its automation solutions "Platform" and "Platform plus".

The //wifag automation solutions form the focal point of //wifag's market initiative "Be Competitive – Stay Competitive". The Swiss machinery manufacturer has developed a consistent modular approach to automation, both for new machines and for retrofit packages. It makes machines more efficient and easier to maintain while also enabling them to deliver top quality automatically.

It is only recently that the Rheinisch-Bergische Printing Center (Wuppertal, Germany) and Theiler Druck AG (Wollerau, Switzerland) have issued orders to //wifag that focus on the automation of existing systems.

A decade of practical experience has been incorporated in the "Platform" in the meantime. The automation platform was used in a customer project for the first time in 2003. Since then all //wifag machines across the entire product range have been equipped with this solution.

Reducing costs
Why is automation becoming increasingly important? Companies interested in lowering the operating and maintenance costs of their printing technology are well advised to start with one of the largest cost categories of all – personnel costs. The personnel needed on web printing presses decreases as the degree of automation in these machines increases, such as with the installation of closed-loop systems for color register, color density and sidelay register control. The same can be said, for instance, of automatic roll loading.

A higher level of automation can help to lower the raw material costs  thanks to a lower rate of waste. And modern drive systems need less energy, which is increasingly becoming a reason for investments, given the drastic rise in energy prices. Optimum processes, intelligent remote control and a timely upgrade of control technology therefore help to keep maintenance costs under control. This means secure production, fewer interventions by building services staff plus a reliable and favorably priced supply of spare parts for the long term.

What does the automation platform encompass?
The names "Platform" and "Platform plus" stand for a standardized, modular framework that combines a host of automation tasks.
These include a consistent switching cabinet design for all machine components such as  reelstand, printing unit bridges and folders. Innovative cooling concepts enable switching cabinets to be self-contained. This means that they do not exchange air with their surroundings, which reduces maintenance and keeps the electrical and electronic components in the switching cabinets clean and dust-free for several years. Electrical engineering is standardized thanks to the use of identical components throughout the machine. This approach makes solutions easy to understand and minimizes the diversity of equipment in the spare parts package.

Standard hardware engineering enables standardized modules to be manufactured in software development. Following testing, they can be used repeatedly. This aspect is essential to ensuring a high level of reliability and technical availability for a printing press.

Continuous further development
The "Platform" has undergone continuous further development ever since its first use in a customer project. Its range of functions has been expanded but even more importantly, new technology has been incorporated, including real-time Ethernet, efficient and reliable VPN-based remote control concepts, and modern touch-based controls. //wifag was one of the first companies worldwide to make use of SERCOS III in a machine in daily operation.

Another crucial milestone was the integration of the //wifag systems for color register and cut position control in the automation platform. In addition, mark-based color density control has been added to the product portfolio in the meantime. Functioning systems for this purpose do exist on the market, but //wifag wants to offer a simple, low-maintenance product. This custom development is to be installed for the first time at J.C.C. Bruns in Minden, Germany, in 2014.

//wifag is now in a position to offer customers a consistent solution from a single source and thereby eliminate the need for elaborate and often quite expensive interfaces. The 3-D controller is a functionality that controls cut position, mark-based color registers and color density. It is also installed as a standard item in the new S-Line systems. The use of this controller is not confined to //wifag printing presses. It can be used on nearly every other printing machine.

Facts and figures
A closer look at the installed printing machines equipped with the "Platform" yields impressive figures. For example, over 300 reelstands, 2350 printing units and more than 90 folders have been delivered to and put into operation at customers sites around the globe since 2003. To continue with these statistics, more than 70 //wifag cut-off control systems are installed and there are 190 printing towers in which the color register is monitored by a color register control unit from //wifag. These figures demonstrate that the majority of all shaftless printing machines manufactured by //wifag are fitted with the //wifag automation solution.

Current developments
The further development of the "Platform" has been in full swing for almost ten years. A new single-width roll changer called the //wifag Autopaster A1 has been available since the start of 2013. It is completely based on the //wifag automation platform. Eighteen A1 Autopasters have been delivered since then. The majority are used in daily production operations.

Another key development concerns the control console and planning level. //wifag delivers its latest machines with its own control console technology. The company used the latest technologies to develop these control consoles, which excel in ergonomics and user friendliness. Intelligent visualization of the production process, coupled with intuitive, touch-based controls make it easier for the printing press to monitor newspaper production. As an option, the control consoles can be fitted with a //wifag soft-proof screen.
For production planning and machine presetting, //wifag provides a comprehensive and easy-to-use tool called the Press Manager. Supplementary functions such as reporting  and production statistics are provided as required.

This same platform can be found in the DigiCube, the single-pass digital printing solution.

Complete solution from a single source and according to plan
The entire product portfolio of //wifag automation is not just used in new S-Line systems. Printing machines both from //wifag and from other manufacturers can also be retrofitted with these products.

However, refurbishing and machine retrofits do not necessarily have to be performed in one step. A company that is aware of the planned service life of its existing system can plan investments on a long-term basis. No-one would order an extensive retrofit if the machine was scheduled to be replaced a few years down the road. However, a company that invests at the right time can reasonably extend the life of the steel and iron in its web printing press at a fraction of what a new machine would cost.



For further information contact:
Rolf Mani  rolf.mani@remove-this.wifag.com
Noel McEvoy  noel.mcevoy@remove-this.wifag.com

One Stop Shop for Coating and Converting Technologies –Tailored for the Market

10.09.2013 - //polytype Converting and Pagendarm reposition themselves with a broader product portfolio and more innovation

wifag//polytype, the Swiss specialist for printing, coating and converting technologies with headquarters in Fribourg (Switzerland), has established from 1 September 2013 a new future and market oriented company structure as the basis for a broad and customized product offering. The renowned brands „Polytype“ and „Pagendarm“ stand also in the future for Swiss quality in the top level as well as the advanced level market segments.

Jörgen Karlsson has been named CEO of Polytype Converting AG, in addition to his role at //wifag. The market can expect many new things from Fribourg. Karlsson replaces Detlef Merklinger, who is leaving Polytype Converting due to differing opinions on the future business development of the division. In sales, Jörgen Karlsson will be supported by Ernst Meier, Head of Sales Polytype Converting AG, and Esa-Matti Aalto, Managing Director of Pagendarm BTT GmbH.

wifag//polytype will merge the processing of material know-how: coating, converting, drying/curing and printing This world leading company for print, coating and converting has an outstanding market position in the whole range of web based processing.

Positive synergies have already been achieved since Pagendarm in 2007 and newspaper printing machine specialist //wifag in 2011 brought their special know-how into the wifag//polytype group. With the proactive support of the „Digital Competence Center“ as well as the „Automation Competence Center“, Polytype Converting - with both brands Polytype and Pagendarm - has, worldwide, the largest product offering in the field.

With production plants in Europe – (Fribourg, Schweiz, und Hamburg, Deutschland) as well as in Asia, the product portfolio of the converting specialists will be optimized to satisfy market requirements. The group has its own sales and service network in the major world markets, for example, USA, India and China. Thereby, the converting competence is close to our customers.

Jörgen Karlsson: „In contrast to many of our competitors, wifag//polytype has, in house, the complete competence for web based printing, coating, converting and drying of all types of flexible materials. Also, as one of the most innovative companies in the development of ink jet technology, we can provide precise and cost-effective web processing applications for paper, foil, laminates, tubes and cups.“

Digital competence for all product areas of wifag//polytype

10.09.2013 - Fribourg, Switzerland - September 2013 - The wifag//polytype Group is one of the broadest and most flexible technology companies today in the printing, packaging and converting and coating industry. Digital Printing was expanded from a group business area to the new Digital Competence Center (the DCC) at the start of 2013. Ever since, it has been pushing for research and development of future technologies and has also ensured equal access to these technologies for all product lines and markets. Today the DCC offers nearly all components for digital printing from its own development work.

In addition to printing presses for producing newspapers and books, wifag//polytype also serves the markets for metal packaging (production technology for manufacturing steel and aluminum aerosol cans, aluminum bottles and tubes), plastic containers (printing presses for printing on plastic cups and lids as well as plastic tubes), as well as for coating and lamination (production lines for producing multi-layered films and papers).

The future: Digital printing as a stand-alone or supplementary process
In 2010 the wifag//polytype Group acquired the Digital Printing Division of Spühl AG and with it, extensive additional expertise on the use of digital printing processes in the industrial environment. At the beginning of 2013, the expertise on digital printing technology was then made accessible to the entire wifag//polytype Group including all of its business areas and product lines. The Digital Competence Center (DCC) was created from the technology team in the Digital Printing business area, which will continue to exist as such solely with its multi-pass LFP machines in the American market of wifag//polytype America.
The DCC functions as an additional, interdisciplinary R&D entity and views itself as an engine for innovation for the entire wifag//polytype Group.

The large-format printing presses will continue to be produced by the DCC. They will be offered in projects entailing a high degree of industrialization and automation and further developed for specific projects in the decor and packaging industry.

Digital printing for everyone: The DCC
Twelve specialists are currently working at the DCC focusing exclusively on digital printing technology. They cover their own area of expertise while also coordinating group-wide research and development efforts. "No machines are built at the DCC. That task is performed in the respective business areas such as Converting or Newspaper Printing Presses", says Roger Ineichen, Head of DCC. We concentrate solely on the print head unit, its control system, integration and direct environment".

With this constellation, the DCC is also open to joint projects involving other machine manufacturers interested in integrating wifag//polytype digital printing technology in their existing systems or in systems yet to be developed (OEM customers).

The DCC is active in three main areas:
Software and electronics (development of application-specific digital workflow, electronics for print head control, software for the integration of digital printing applications in the given plant/machine)

- Process technology/process engineering (adherence of the inks to substrates, pre-treatment and post-treatment of the substrates, ink jet inks and ink formulations, raster image processor (RIP) profiling, color management)

- Mechanics (construction of print head mounts and frames, substrate guidance under the print head, cleaning systems and maintenance for the print head, ink supply, all other design measures for integrating the print heads in legacy systems).

The team includes printing technicians as well as staff who are strictly software engineers and mechatronics specialists. "We can effectively evaluate the hurdles we need to take for the individual printing processes," Ineichen said to emphasize his team's practical approach and experience. Within the Group, development teams can be established from the entire workforce of some 1,000 employees to develop optimum application-specific solutions.

Internally, the DCC created from the business area Digital Printing has since been integrated into the business area Printing Presses (known amongst other things for its brands //wifag and Solna). This fits in very well with the newspaper press manufacturer's changing philosophy: formally a typical machinery maker, //wifag has long viewed itself as a development and automation firm with a portfolio consisting just as much of retrofits, modifications and upgrades as of new machinery sales.

Focal points of development of the DCC
The DCC and wifag//polytype Group focuses on the use of its own digital printing technology, particularly when printing on demanding surfaces such as foils, plastic (PP, PE, etc.), painted aluminum and laminated papers. Ineichen: "We have mastered the handling of these special substrates, winding and unwinding, control of web tension and of web edge, and particularly drying, and these skills exist as established expertise in the Group with //polytype Converting and pagendarm. Our goal is to expand the Group's product portfolio by adding a digital printing unit that allows one to print 'easily' on the given substrate."

Ink and print heads
For ink formulation itself, the DCC relies on collaboration with several smaller specialists in the market. The DCC even provides them with a test printer it has developed especially for their development work, the X printer. This printing system incorporates both Kyocera print heads (2656 nozzles) and Konica Minolta print heads (1024 nozzles). The substrates are kept on a vacuum table with a continuous pre-heat function and a print speed of up to 200 m/min. can be simulated. The wifag//polytype Group supports its development partners with laboratory equipment, substrates and information. In doing so, the Swiss technology company also helps to ensure quality and industrialize ink production.

Classic mechanical engineering tends to think in longer product cycles whereas many aspects of digital printing technology are subject to a rhythm typical of IT. In other words, the performance rates can definitely double every 18 months. The Digital Competence Center can keep up with the pace at which the manufacturers of digital print heads develop, be they Kyocera, Xaar, Dimatix, Ricoh or Konica Minolta, better than many a larger competitor.

This is why wifag//polytype has also developed CALMAR, its own technology for print head control. CALMAR has a fully modular design, which means the same technology platform can be used for different print heads. This technology platform is scalable, allowing it to control more than 100 print heads with maximum possible data rates in real time. CALMAR is unique. There is no comparable product on the market. The potential of this technology will enable the wifag//polytype Group to continue developing print head technology in the future (controlling jet frequencies > 40 kHz, resolution of 1200 dpi etc.) and to connect to new workflow, RIP, color management and other quality systems.

What does this mean in actual practice? A conventional print head can print 75 meters/minute at 30 kHz and 600 dpi in single-pass mode. With two rows of print heads, the output is 150 meters/minute. The speed can be increased to 200 meters/minute with 40 kHz heads and to 300 meters/minute with 60 kHz heads. This is a crucial factor, particularly in the packaging market.
One upcoming goal of the DCC is therefore to develop the inks for the various substrates and applications.

Printing couples
The DCC has various digital printing couple concepts on offer for element printing. This means that any type of individual solution ("print engine") can be put together from the components print head, print head control (CALMAR), workflow, software integration, ink, ink supply and pre-treatment and post-treatment of the impression element.

A single-pass printing unit has been developed for flexible substrates (roll to roll, roll to sheet) with what is called the DigiCube. This can be used in packaging printing, decorative printing and for printing books and newspapers. The DigiCube can be designed for different color systems (UV or water-based inks). The experience from the two business areas Printing Presses and Converting is incorporated in the design of the unwinding and winding systems for web threading and particularly in substrate-specific drying.

The market and the first wifag//polytype digital printing presses
The DCC has already gained a foothold in several markets in close cooperation with the individual business areas. In spring 2013, //polytype Converting delivered its first five digital printing presses for printing on plastic cups.

Talks are also underway between wifag//polytype and a number of customers to cover additional markets completely different from the above to give the DCC the opportunity to show the capabilities of this technology on a broad range of substrates. Amongst other things, there is a demand for rotogravure packaging and decorative printers, where digital technology can be used in sampling or in the production of small orders. An OEM partnership in the decorating business area has already been wrapped up.

"The whole package"
The biggest advantage for customers who work together with the wifag//polytype Group – they get "the whole package". This can range from 'brainware' (i.e. when the DCC receives an assignment for development work) to software and electronics, integrated digital printing presses or even entire single-pass installations.

But even when the customers incorporate their own inks or machine hardware, the DCC is superbly equipped to adapt solutions. Screen printing? Flexo printing? Offset? Rotogravure? R&D in Fribourg has several in-house testing applications, as well as a print head/mini-robot combination available for the further development of printing on elements and flexible material fed from rolls.

Polytype America installs first swissQprint Nyala in North America at TKM Print Solutions in Akron, OH

16.07.2013 - July 16, 2013, Mahwah, NJ – Polytype America Corporation is proud to announce the installation of the first swissQprint Nyala in the United States at TKM Print Solutions, Inc. in Akron, OH. TKM is a privately owned digital print provider that specializes in high-end wide format graphics.

“TKM is very happy to have the swissQprint UV Flatbed printer as the centerpiece of our equipment portfolio,“ states TKM’s President Tom Messner. “We are extremely impressed by the Nyala and its very impressive capabilities. It adds significant firepower to what we offer clients and has made an immediate impact in our production.“ “Polytype America is proud to be a partner with TKM Print Solutions“ states Jim Cain, Director of Sales-Digital at Polytype America, “We could not be happier for TKM that they have installed a UV Flatbed that gives their business an entirely new dimension of product offerings to their current and future client base. We wish TKM nothing but future success!“

About TKM Print Solutions
TKM Print Solutions, Inc. is a premier provider of specialized print solutions designed to take client business to a new dimension. TKM offers high-end printed product for a wide range of industries and customers including restaurant and retail, POP Display houses, churches, colleges and other nonprofits, print brokers, ad agencies, distribution houses and more.

About Polytype America
Polytype America Corp. (PAC) is the Polytype Group company that sells and services Polytype UV digital printers in North America. In addition, PAC exclusively sells and services swissQprint’s flatbed/roll-to-roll UV printers throughout North America. PAC also provides service and support on all Polytype printers including the Abacus 25 and the Abacus 35.

About swissQprint
SwissQprint AG offers first class performance through innovative technical solutions and outstanding services. Their stellar equipment reflects state of the art technology. swissQprint specializes in the developing and manufacturing the highest quality of mechanical and electronic solutions for Inkjet digital printing. They focus on specific customer problems, and the right modular and market-oriented solutions. This ensures that the customer benefits from reliable and economic solutions. International sales and support are handled by a global network of handpicked dealers.

//wifag drive and controls package for Theiler Druck AG, Switzerland

13.06.2013 - Fribourg, Switzerland – 13 June 2013 - To meet stringent quality and performance requirements, Theiler Druck AG (Wollerau, Switzerland) has invested in a pre-owned Wifag OF7 shafted press supplied by GAMAG. This press will be reconfigured, refurbished and reinstalled as a shaftless press with //wifag automation drive and controls. The new printing line will replace the existing Solna single width press.

This new order underlines the competiveness of the two Swiss companies in terms of modernization, modification and retrofitting of web printing presses in the global printing machine market and the ongoing confidence of publishers and printers in //wifag and GAMAG as print solution providers.

The reconfigured press will be able to produce up to a total of 32 pages broadsheet or 64 pages tabloid in full color. Full production is scheduled for September 2013.

Founded in 1895, Theiler Druck AG is an important regional print and publishing company.

//wifag (Fribourg, Switzerland) is a renowned press supplier in the graphic industry with experience in development, engineering, automation, manufacturing and retrofit of printing presses, as well as in international project management and customer service.

GAMAG (Bern, Switzerland) is an important partner in the graphic industry with experience in dismantling, moving and reinstallation, as well as retrofitting of web printing machines of all types and brand names. With innovation and entrepreneurial spirit GAMAG broadened their product and service range. Today, they provide matured, reliable, attractive and cost-effective solutions to small and midsize newspaper printing companies.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact:

Rolf Mani
Head of Automation // Printing Presses
WIFAG Maschinenfabrik AG
Phone +41 26 426 18 88
Direct +41 26 426 16 88

Noel McEvoy
Director of Sales & Marketing // Printing Presses
WIFAG Maschinenfabrik AG
Phone +41 26 426 18 88
Direct +41 26 426 18 11
Mobile +41 79 300 74 26



Herenco AB, Sweden, chooses //wifag to extend press

06.06.2013 - Freiburg, Switzerland – 6 June 2013 - Following an intensive evaluation phase, Herenco AB in Jonkoping, Sweden, placed a reconfiguration and extension order at //wifag and GAMAG

This new order reinforces the cooperation of the two Swiss companies in terms of the modernization, modification and retrofitting of web printing presses in the global printing machine market.

Herenco AB purchased KBA satellite units from Trykkompagniet AS in Hvidovre, Denmark. These units will be dismantled, refurbished and reinstalled on the existing KBA Express machine located in Jonkoping, Sweden. With this extension of the press 80 tabloid pages can be printed in full colour in straight production (160 pages collect), using two folders. Controls retrofit will be executed by the local DCOS company. The overall project is being coordinated by GCON. The reconfigured press will be in full production at the end of 2013.

Hallpressen, the newspaper division of Herenco AB Group, is one of Sweden’s leading regional newspaper groups and has over 330, 000 readers across southern Sweden on a daily basis, which represents seven out of ten inhabitants in the region.

The order by Herenco AB is already the second one for //wifag and GAMAG that calls for a refurbishment of a KBA press in the Nordic Region. Last year, Finnish Esa Lehtipaino Oy placed a reconfiguration and retrofit order for a KBA Express that will be completely reconfigured and installed in Lahti following a retrofit by GAMAG and //wifag. This printing press is also scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2013.

//wifag (Fribourg, Switzerland) is a renowned press supplier in the graphic industry with experience in development, engineering, automation, manufacturing and retrofit of printing presses, as well as in international project management and customer service.

GAMAG (Bern, Switzerland) is an important partner in the graphic industry with experience in dismantling, moving and reinstallation, as well as retrofitting of web printing machines of all types and brand names. With innovation and entrepreneurial spirit GAMAG broadened their product and service range. Today, they provide matured, reliable, attractive and cost-effective solutions to small and midsize newspaper printing companies.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact:

Noel McEvoy
Director of Sales & Marketing // Printing Presses
WIFAG-Maschinenfabrik AG
Phone +41 26 426 18 88
Direct +41 26 426 18 11
Mobile +41 79 300 74 26



//wifag User Meeting 2013 in Rüsselsheim

23.05.2013 - Fribourg, Switzerland – Two companies, which have been highly successful in mastering extensive change processes, recently co-hosted the //wifag German speaking user meeting 2013: the Swiss printing press manufacturer and one of its biggest customers, Druckzentrum Rhein Main (DRM) in Rüsselsheim, Germany.

//wifag is a business division of the WIFAG-Polytype Holding AG based in Fribourg, Switzerland and is successfully active in the market with a new self-image. The premium supplier of printing technology has transformed itself into a development and automation expert.

About 40 senior employees from German //wifag user plants as well as from Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway and Finland obtained an exclusive insight at the user meeting into new developments from Fribourg and //wifag newspaper technology of tomorrow as well as retrofit possibilities and press repurposing solutions.

Participants welcomed the words of //wifag CEO Jörgen Karlsson in particular. His main message to customers and users had to do with certainty, the certainty that an economically successful supplier has potential in the newly restructured WIFAG-Polytype Holding AG for intensive research and development.

Jörgen Karlsson: "Today //wifag is very, very stable, not just when you look at its financial statements but also because our business model works." This model also features contracts involving retrofits and upgrades. Within this group of companies, //wifag is the frontrunner, especially in automation. The developers for newspaper printing machine technology derive the financial base they need from the fact that other business areas profit from innovations in web monitoring, for example.

A substantial part of the German speaking user meeting 2013 was devoted to insights into the Rhein Main printing center. For two and a half years, this facility has been operating a //wifag evolution 473/6, a six-plate wide web printing press in nine cylinder satellite design with a total of eight printing towers, eight reel stands and five folders. Every day, the four 48-page machine sections print about 300,000 daily newspapers of Verlagsgruppe Rhein Main (VRM) and Medienhaus Südhessen (MHS) in 31 different editions. In addition, this press handles numerous weeklies and church newspapers with runs amounting to about 1.5 million copies per week. The 160 employees in the new printing center use a grand total of about 25,000 tons of paper every year.

Polytype America Corporation Clarifies Status of the Virtu Business Unit in North America

19.03.2013 - Mahwah, New Jersey – Over the past few weeks, there have been several misleading and false reports in the press and other outlets that our Swiss parent, Wifag‐Polytype Group (WPG), has closed the Virtu Digital Printing Business Unit.

The Corporation would like to clarify to the North American and World markets that contrary to those reports, the Virtu Digital Printing Unit has not been closed. In a statement made to customers from the Swiss parent, Wifag‐Polytype Group (WPG), keenly aware that the European market has succumed to the current financial crisis, has restructured and refocused its European wide‐format printer division, ceasing direct sales efforts in Europe, while handing all European sales responsibility in Display Graphics to their regional sales partners. It has focused its R&D and innovation efforts on packaging and industrial applications rather than display graphics.


While the firm is reducing its focus on wide‐format graphics in European Market, the United States business has shown substantial growth in a recovering economy with the industrial Display Graphic products, as well as enjoying continued growth in the Canadian and Mexican markets. The North American team continues to grow to keep pace with their sales and marketing efforts, in addition to adding key partners to increase their market exposure and presence as well as their overall North American market share.


Polytype is and will continue to build its World Class Industrial Digital Printing systems to order for those customers who are able to appreciate the value of world‐class Swiss Engineered Industrial Printing and Display Graphic systems.

Polytype America Announces Additions to the Digital Imaging Sales Team

21.05.2012 - May 21, 2012, Mahwah, New Jersey - Polytype America Corporation (PAC) is pleased to welcome Mr. Michael Frawley and Mr. Mark Packman to their Digital Imaging Sales Team. In their roles, Frawley and Packman will be managing end-user client accounts in the Mid-West and Western sales regions.

Mike Frawley, the Mid-West Territory Sales Manager, entered the printing industry in 1990 as a go to service technician and rapidly moved up the ladder. After selling a 7 year old service repair and refurbishment business which he started from scratch for prepress lithography systems, Michael entered into the Super Wide Format world in 2006 most notably, working for Hewlett Packard/Scitex.

Mark Packman, the Western Territory Sales Manager, comes to Polytype after successful careers at Presstek, Scitex, NUR America, and Matan. This grand format experience, and his 15 years in offset printing, allows Mark to understand the needs of today's customer and will serve him well in the Western U.S., Western Canada and Mexico.

“The addition of these two new resources to our world Class Digital Imaging Sales Team, will enable PAC to execute our sales strategy of gaining marketplace exposure and sharing leading edge Swiss engineered Large Format Printer technology with the North American market” states Jim Cain, Director of Sales - Digital of Polytype America Corporation. “Mike and Mark bring years of valuable experience and successful sales achievement. We look forward to their future contributions by making new and differentiating printing solutions accessible to clients wanting to have a new edge in this market”.

About Polytype America

Polytype America Corp. (PAC) sells and services Polytype's Virtu UV flatbed/roll and roll-to-roll UV printers throughout North America. The Virtu printers are Swiss designed and manufactured in Polytype's Fribourg, Switzerland factory. Virtu RS25 and RS35 UV printers offer a unique 3-in-1 combination design: True flatbed, hybrid belt and heavy duty roll-to-roll. The award winning Virtu RR50 prints 5 meters wide, and like the RS series, provides a heavyweight, stable print platform, producing superior print quality and handing features.