• Group

    New Lorem Ipsum sit dolor sit amet

  • Metal Packaging

    Equipment for the production of monobloc containers made of aluminium or steel – customized and future-proofed.

  • Plastic Containers

    Decoration systems for plastic containers in (almost) all shapes and sizes – flexible and innovative.

  • Plastic Tubes

    Printing systems for plastic tubes in all variations and up to nine colours – extremely fast and versatile.

  • Printing Presses

    Rotation printing presses for newspapers and books – fast, very accurate and economical.

  • Digital Printing

    One focal point of the Digital Competence Center is the digital print head, its control and its integration in its immediate surroundings.

  • Coating Solutions

    Coating and laminating machines for paper, plastic and aluminium films and foils – high quality and efficient. 

Download polytopics CUPS 04 / 2016

23.08.2016 - Please download our polytopics CUPS 04 / 2016 in English and German. //polytopics CUPS 04 / 2016, english//polytopics CUPS 04 / 2016, german

Please download our polytopics CUPS 04 / 2016 in English and German.

//polytopics CUPS 04 / 2016, english
//polytopics CUPS 04 / 2016, german


Intensive discussion on maintenance topics

13.05.2016 - Retrofit, service and maintenance are currently among the special challenges facing managers at newspaper printing companies. It therefore comes as no surprise that this subject in particular was intensively discussed also at the 2016 //wifag User Meeting in Fribourg, Switzerland.

The //wifag customers were especially interested this year since so much had taken place since 2014, the year of the last user meeting in Lucerne. They came to Fribourg from across Europe to share experiences and to network.

It was the first time newly designated Delegate of the Board of Directors and CEO Martin Tschumi was able to welcome the //wifag customers from the newspaper sector. Tschumi provided an overview of the corporate group, noting that besides printing presses/services, it mainly conducted business in packaging. The subsidiaries Polytype and Mall-Herlan produce printing presses for decorating cups and tubes as well as complete production lines for printing metal cans and bottles.

CEO Martin Tschumi emphasized the major significance of //wifag newspaper customers for the overall wifag//polytype Group and the willingness of the corporate management to safeguard maintenance and retrofit services for newspaper rotary printing presses. After //wifag Services Manager Hugo Haymoz had introduced the new structures in his area, several very detailed presentations were given. Head of Automation Thomas Zehnder took on the task of introducing a series of automation possibilities and retrofit products while Sales and Project Manager Martin Santschi gave a summary of recent //wifag projects.

Hugo Haymoz

Hugo Haymoz

Even when newspaper printing presses can be assigned to a given series, they are actually always one of a kind. These custom solutions then continue each time a press is reconfigured and retrofitted, thereby reinforcing its uniqueness. That is why the attending experts in newspaper printing were so fascinated to see what had already been reconfigured and further developed in other //wifag machines and what //wifag has to offer beyond that.

Newspaper printing plants have long service lives, sometimes in excess of 20 years. Suppliers constantly discontinue individual parts. It is not always so easy for the //wifag service team to come up with substitute solutions, which if possible, are also expected to improve performance and/or operation. The pace of technical progress is especially fast in the segment of control systems. The user meeting therefore had the task of updating interested users on the latest state of the art.

Pascal Clemençon from the Scandinavian representative office of //wifag provided myriad topics for discussion when he analyzed the changes in service and maintenance philosophy within the printing industry at the end of the presentations. The challenges are growing ever larger for everyone keen about the technical availability of the means of production – be it at newspaper companies, at local service providers or within the Fribourg service team of //wifag. The reason is the diminishing financial leeway in many quarters, which makes the decision of undertaking new investments but also retrofits more difficult and arduous.

Regular inspections and preventive maintenance are steadily more important, as is close collaboration between users and machine manufacturers. Another key objective of the //wifag User Meeting in 2016 was to strengthen the basis of trust for this collaboration even further.


WIFAG-Polytype Holding SA sold Lüscher Technologies AG

04.11.2015 - WIFAG-Polytype Holding SA has sold its 50 % equity stake in Lüscher Technologies AG to Heliograph Holding GmbH.

The transaction was closed on August 18, 2015 and the parties agreed not to disclose details of the purchase price.


Digital drucken auf Kunststoffbechern und Alugebinden

13.10.2015 - Der Digitaldruck hält verstärkt Einzug bei Kunststoff- und Aluminiumgebinden. Zu den Vorreitern dieser Entwicklung gehört Wifag-Polytype in Freiburg. An einem Open House am 22. und 23. September zeigten die Division Plastic Container und die Gruppenfirma Mall + Herlan ihre Einwicklungen in diesem Bereich.

Die Technologiegruppe Polytype-Wifag Holding AG setzt verstärkt und erfolgreich auf Innovationen. Das gilt insbesondere für ihre Division Plastic Container, die Maschinen zur Herstellung und Bedruckung von Kunststoffgebinden und -tuben produziert. Vor fünf Jahren lag der Umsatz der Division mit neuen Produkten noch unter einem Prozent, im vergangenen Jahr bereits bei 49 Prozent. So soll es weitergehen, verdeutlichte Alain Berset, CEO der Division, bei der Begrüssung am Open House in Freiburg. Die Division produzierte ursprünglich Druckmaschinen für Tuben und Becher aus Kunststoff.

Mit der Übernahme der italienischen OMV im Sommer 2013 sind Extrusion- und Tiefziehmaschinen zur Produktion von Kunststoffverpackungen dazugekommen. Die Division Plastic Container ist damit zum Komplettanbieter geworden und will diese Kompetenz in Zukunft noch ausbauen, sagt Berset. Das Hauptthema am Open House waren jedoch Neuheiten für den Verpackungsdruck. Hier zeigte die Firma mit der Digitaldruckmaschine Digiround eine neue Lösung für das Bedrucken konischer Becher.

Die in Freiburg gezeigte Maschine war die zweite, die erste steht bei einem Anwender in der Praxiserprobung. Die Druckmaschine verfügt über fünf Inkjet-Druckwerke für Weiss und die CMYK-Farben. Hersteller der Druckköpfe ist die Firma Konica Minolta. Die Farben werden mit UV-Licht getrocknet. Die Leistung liegt je nach Bildlänge bei maximal 250 Bechern je Minute. Bei der demonstrierten Anwendung wurden 137 Becher/Minute erreicht. Dabei wurden rund 14 cm hohe Becher mit rund 6,5 cm Durchmesser vollflächig und qualitativ hochwertig bedruckt. In die Entwicklung der Digiround sind die Erfahrungen eingeflossen, die Wifag-Polytype bei der Entwicklung und Herstellung der Digitaldruckmaschine Digicup 40 für rechteckige Becher gewonnen hat. Von dieser Maschine stehen mittlerweile vier bei Verpackungsfirmen im Einsatz. 

Als weitere Neuheit war die Hybriddruckmaschine RDA 24-165 für Aluminiumgebinde zu sehen. Sie hat bis zu acht Trockenoffset- und sechs Ink-Jet Digitaldruckwerke. Die Maschine wurde bisher in einer Ausführung zur Tubenbedruckung angeboten. Die Gruppenfirma Mall + Herlan, die Herstellungsmaschinen für Aluminiumverpackungen anbietet, konstruierte neue Zuführungs-und Transporteinrichtungen für die Hybridmaschine, sodass diese neu auch runde Alugebinde bedrucken kann.

Je nach Anzahl der Druckköpfe kann die Maschine Digitaldrucke in 72, 140 oder 210 mm Höhe aufbringen. Anwendungsmöglichkeiten für diese Hybriddruckmaschine sieht Wifag- Polytype zum Beispiel bei Kosmetikverpackungen. Das Basimotiv für eine Kosmetiklinie kann zum Beispiel im Trockenoffset aufgedruckt werden, die sortenspezifischen Angaben im Digitaldruck. So sind Sortenwechsel ohne grosse Umrüstzeiten möglich.

Das Open House verdeutlichte: Die nähere Druckzukunft gehört der intelligenten Kombination konventioneller und digitaler Druckverfahren. Wifag-Polytype zeigte, dass die Firma dafür die passenden Angebote bereithält.

Artikel als PDF

Article is written by Mr. Joachim Kreuter for PACK AKTUELL (edition 15 – 2015).


poly//topics 03 / 2015

14.08.2015 - Please download the latest edition of the //polytype customer magazine “polytopics 03 / 2015”.

Do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

polytopics english

polytopics deutsch


Polytopics 14 / 2015

23.06.2015 - Please download of latest edition of the //polytype customer magazine “polytopics 14 / 2015”.

Do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

polytopics english

polytopics deutsch

polytopics français


International Can, Luxembourg, commissions mall//herlan aerosol can line, the most modern of its kind in the world

21.05.2015 - Dr. Rolf Giesen, president and main shareholder of International Can and the Maxim Group, initiated the start of production of a new aerosol can production at the site of Echternach, Luxembourg.

The first step was to install Mall + Herlan`s (Germany) production line „Canmatic“, which manufactures aluminium monoblock cans for aerosol products with an output of more than 12.000 cans per hour and therefore manages to produce an annual capacity of more than 60 millions of cans.


The line, which is equipped with a 9-colour printing unit, is able to manufacture embossed moulded cans and is considered one of the most advanced lines in the world of metal packaging.


As a special feature, the 100-meter turnkey line of mall//herlan includes the most advanced ironing machine MHI+, which reduces the weight of a can by decreasing its wall thickness. In 2016, a second aerosol can line will be installed. The annual output of the first line is to the greatest possible extent planned for the aerosol production of the Maxim Group.

 

International Can S.A. is a production company for aluminium cans and a subsidiary of the Maxim Holding. The production is based in Luxembourg at the site of Cosmolux S.A. The Maxim Group, which was founded about 24 years ago, produces and distributes its own brands, such as e.g. „Miro“, „Kaloderma“, „Soiree“, as trademarks for long-standing partners in the discount and drugstore market, such as Aldi-Germany, Aldi-International, dm, Carrefour, Leclerc and much more. The Maxim Group’s website also refers to companies such as Berlin Cosmetics, Cosmolux Germany and International S.A., Elysée Cosmétiques and Pharma Aldenhoven.


The world first one-piece piston steel-can

27.01.2015 - Inventor seeks manufacturer

 

Great interest was aroused at the first worldwide presentation of the  one-piece steel piston-can that Zima Systems GmbH and mall//herlan presented at the “Innovationsmesse” on Friday, January 23, 2015,  under the auspices of the Steinbeis-Stiftung and IHK Stuttgart.

 

Lean management and quick transfer-technology  -  the process of innovation which accelerates and therefore, instigates and effects positive movement and further development in this production-area  -  was the targeted goal of PsP “Products seeks manufacturer”, aimed at seeking and finding the appropriate manufacturers.  The exhibitors consisted of established companies, universities, research facilities and inventors.

 

In his welcoming speech, the deputy Minister-President and Minister of Treasury and Economics in Baden Württemberg, Dr. Nils Schmidt MdL, stressed the importance of establishing new innovations for existing corporations as well as for our country.

 

Dr. Wilhelm Peters from Steinbeis Transferzentrum explained the advantages of the one-piece piston steel-can to Claus Paal MdL and Speaker for Industry and Trade in the CDU Party and Prof. Dr. Michael Auer, Chairman of the Board, Steinbeis-Foundation, and Dr. Bertram Kandziora, President, IHK Stuttgart.


FFS60 – a highly efficient “turn-key” machine

15.10.2013 - Mechatronica SC, part of the wifag//polytype Group, has developed a new compact packaging machine called the FFS60.

The FFS60 is designed for small and middle size clients. The FFS60 machine produces laminated tubes and fills them ready for dispatch and retail. FFS60 utilizes raw materials such as ABL or PBL printed laminate, injected plastic shoulders and caps, and the paste product for filling. The machine incorporates the industry’s most highly sought after features reflecting future trends in packaging machines.

 

FFS60 utilizes a vertical body maker, which simplifies the whole construction and eliminates the need to transfer from a horizontal to a vertical position of the tube body which is ready for filling. This approach allows for the use of very thin foil and the reduction of machine dimensions. The footprint of the machine requires less space than is currently necessary for a single tube filling machine. This design concept provides for a space saving solution in addition to a very reliable machine. The footprint is 3812 mm x 3535 mm.

 

FFS60 technology eliminates several operations which save not only production space, but saves time, storage space, and transportation of empty tubes. This technology greatly lessens the risk of product contamination and waste. All these savings result in cost effective expenditures for the tube making and filling.

 

Oval shapes are no longer a problem for filling as the tube body is formed on a mandrel and supported by it until the filling process starts. Thus, very thin tubes can be made and filled, the tube body is oriented only once. The modular principle that is utilized in all the FFS machines’ designs allows for simple and quick changeovers of tube sizes and post product. The first four KOMBIS FFS60 machines have been bought by a European cosmetics manufacturer. The new versions with higher speed of 120/min are planned for 2014.

 

  • Better quality of the side seem as the side welding is done at immovable web
  • The web is not pushed, but drawn and due to this technology, there is an opportunity to make tubes from very thin web (for example <120µm)
  • Using of very different types of caps (stand-up, push-on, screw-on) that need orientation with a simple technological solution for their orientation
  • Optional packer for the ready-made tubes

//polytype DigiCup – The revolution in cup decorating

15.10.2013 - Marketing demands on decoration are being challenged by trends to smaller batch sizes and extraordinary cup shapes while expectations for high quality print and lower costs continue.

While various decorating possibilities exists each with its own advantages and disadvantages, until now no single solution could meet all these demands. //polytype has now developed a solution that meets all of these demands: Digital printing is a revolutionary direct printing process now available for cups. During the last 3 to 4 years //polytype has leveraged and enhanced digital printing via ink jet technology, developing the best solution for their customers challenges.

 

Digital printing is not only increasing flexibility but also raises print quality to the levels of labels and shrink sleeves. A digitally printed surface also offers a glossy appearance just like an over-print varnish. With digital printing it is possible to decorate various cup shapes as well as small and medium order quantities.

 

“Each cup with a different decoration! //polytype’s digital decorating process offers new marketing possibilities for pre-formed products”.

 

The modular concept for the //polytype DigiCup has three main components: First the well established cup infeed and pre-treating stations. Secondly: The cup is decorated with “low migration” process inks, including the possibility for a 4 colour bottom decoration. Finally the cup is conveyed through a UV-dryer to obtain a scratch resistant surface and then restacked on a restacker.

Various shapes can be handled and decorated on the //polytype DigiCup. Round, oval cups and multi-sided cups at speeds of 40 to 120 cups/min.

The first machines have already been delivered and are in production. It is certainly not an overstatement to say that //polytype has heralded the digital revolution in cup decorating.


//polytype OMV at K2013

03.10.2013 - At K2013 Show //polytype OMV will exhibit its F88 thermoformer, an in-mould-trimming pressure-forming machine, conceived to produce a choice of plates, trays, bowls and other shallow containers, both in Polypropylene and in Polystyrene.

F88 features a very large forming area and a special in-mould-trimming system, to couple amazing product outputs with excellent cutting precision.


During the Show //polytype OMV will also announce  its latest-born F37 thermoformer,  a  medium-capacity machine which combines extreme versatility with top accuracy in the process. Among the machine’s features, excellent product stacking and handling facility are to be noted.


Reaching up to 80.000 pieces of hourly output, F37 positions itself as the direct challenger to the competition’s “work-horses”.    


//wifag drive and controls retrofit step for Rheinisch-Bergische-Druckerei GmbH, Wuppertal, Germany

20.06.2013 - Freiburg, Switzerland – 20 June 2013 - Rheinisch-Bergische-Druckerei GmbH, Wuppertal, Germany has chosen //wifag to retrofit the drives and controls on one printing tower and one reelstand on their large //wifag press line in Wuppertal.

In 2010 //wifag introduced its extensive retrofit offer for the partial or complete replacement of the ageing WPOS 2 control on //wifag shaftless machines. The retrofit, which can be carried out either in stages or implemented in a single step, is based on the //wifag automation platform tried-and-tested automation functions, installed in over 2,000 printing units worldwide.

The WPOS retrofit represents just one aspect of the complete //wifag retrofit product portfolio. In subsequent stages the entire printing press from the planning system to the autopaster can be transformed into a consistent, coherent and highly efficient overall system featuring all the latest automation functions. Each stage of the retrofit can be combined with optimized mechanical and/or printing technology measures to cut down on waste or reduce the setup times.

The Rheinisch-Bergische-Druckerei GmbH [RBD] is a subsidiary of the Rheinische Post Mediengruppe with production facilities in Düsseldorf-Heerdt and Wuppertal-Varresbeck. RBD is specialized in the technical processing of full color newspapers and newspaper-similar products in the “Rheinische” format as well as in the Berliner format. RBD also realizes printing and processing of small and medium sized editions for company magazines, employee newsletters as well as for off-prints for fairs, major events and events of any kind.

 


For further information, please contact:

Rolf Mani
Head of Automation // Printing Presses
WIFAG-Maschinenfabrik AG
Phone +41 26 426 18 88
Direct +41 26 426 16 88
rolf.mani@remove-this.wifag.com

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
Noel.McEvoy@remove-this.wifag.com

 

 


Mall + Herlan: Upgrades, modernization and extensions

03.04.2013 - Technically well engineered innovations facilitate your processes and are an important tool to save competitive advantages. Benefit with upgrades from further development of our technologies and solutions. So there is the possibility of the modification of your old press CP 85/75/65/55/35 from hydraulic to new pneumatic compact drive.

Upgrade to pneumatic compact drive

The unit which is ready to be installed consists of a single-stage high performance planetary gear, a high-speed flywheel for power accumulation as well as a pneumatically actuated clutch/brake combination.

Technical advantages compared to the hydraulically controlled clutch-brake unit:

  • Compact prefinished unit, ready for installation
  • High effectiveness
  • Extremely low mass moment which effects in:
    short break times, higher safety, reduced wear and lower energy costs
  • Easy pneumatic installation, less liable to breakdown
  • High durability, great wear reserve as the friction lining is much thicker
  • Fast and easy wear control
  • Easy to service - low service costs
  • Eco-friendly! Low noise level

More information for the upgrade of your press you can find here.


We will be happy to answer your questions about this upgrade or about any other product via email
or phone +49 721 946 01 11.

 

Competitive advantages of upgrades:

We continuously develop our products, reduce changeover time, make our machines and lines more efficient, more flexible, user and eco-friendly.

Your benefits:

  • More competitive advantages
  • Higher productivity and flexibility
  • Better system integration
  • Secured system availability
  • Extended life cycle

More information concerning upgrades you will find here .


Ernst Meier, new Head of Sales of Polytype Converting

21.01.2013 - Polytype Converting Group, a leading manufacturer of coating, drying and moisturizing technology to the paper, film and foil converting industry, has appointed a new Head of Sales

On January 7, 2013, Mr. Ernst Meier took over the Sales management of the Polytype Converting Group, located in Fribourg Switzerland and also in Hamburg Germany.


He has a degree in mechanical engineering from the Federal Tech of Zürich (ETH) and started his career as sales engineer for the Textile Machinery Division of Sulzer AG. 1987 he started working for Bachofen + Meier AG, Bülach  (BMB).  Before his appointment as Managing Director in 2001, he held several positions within the BMB organization. Meanwhile he has more than 20 years of experience in the coating& laminating industry. i.e. with  renowned companies such as BMB as well as Andritz-BMB.


In Mr. Ernst Meier, we managed to recruit a manager with strategic thinking skills for our company. Due to his sales and technical expertise, combined with his management experience, he meets all the necessary criteria to further develop Polytype Converting Group as a member of the wifag//polytype Group. His vast experience, not only in technical aspects but also in the fields of market positioning and strategic partnerships with customers and suppliers is extremely valuable.

More information available at www.wifag-polytype.com and www.pagendarm.com.


Direct line - The Mall Herlan Customer Service becomes more effective

09.01.2013 - Any technical questions? You intend to optimize your production? In that case you should talk to us, your equipment manufacturer. This is now rather easy with the new Customer Service from Mall Herlan.

Competence in Service

Your technical equipment is only as good as the service, which guarantees the quality of the equipment over the years and maximises productivity. For Mall Herlan, Customer Service is not just a fact, but the clear focus of Ulrike Koch, Head of Customer Service and her team.

Ulrike Koch is the partner of choice for all customers, looking for special technical solutions, with interest in service contracts or service offers, wanting to achieve improvements or needing technical assistance. Either the growing team of Ulrike Koch is able to help right away or she will coordinate and charge the most competent specialist from Mall Herlan or from our international establishments of the Wifag-Polytype Group with this matter.

Many topics – one contact, that is easy!

To make our Customer Service work, we have set up the possibility for our customers to get in touch directly with our Customer Service over our Service Hotline +49 721 9460111 (Mo-Fr 7 a.m. -17 p.m. CET) for all issues concerning presses, printing units, washers and all other technical equipment.

The Mall Herlan Customer Service starts early, before the first problems arise. Our Customer Service Team takes care of you and your equipment directly after your decision for one of our products and from there on for all common Service questions during the complete lifecycle of your equipment or machine.

Our Customer Service offers you:

  • Installation and start up
  • Spares and supplies
  • Remote Service and Support
  • Upgrades and toolings
  • Maintenance and repair
  • Applikations Service
  • Monitoring, Training und Processoptimization
  • Pilot Plants

It is a platitude: Service is as good as it reacts to the customer. To make sure we act and react according to your wishes, we kindly ask for your feedback. From now on, you will get a short questionnaire after each dedication of one of our technicans. Please help us to understand your needs better und get better continuously.


New smart //wifag S-Line Presses Enhance Competitiveness

30.10.2012 - At the World Publishing Expo 2012 in Frankfurt, //wifag launched their new S-Line, a range of smart presses. Designed for operational excellence, they unite low investment and cost-effective operation with high functionality. Mechanically, the S-Line presses are well equipped and optimally automated for industrial printing with //wifag state-of-the-art machine controls and press consoles.

The four-high tower press is based on a single modular printing unit design. Thereby, the number of different components is reduced to a minimum. This lowers the number of spare parts and makes maintenance straightforward.

Less than 5m high, the new S-Line press can neatly fit into a standard industrial building. The S-Line design is a fine balance between size and optimal ergonomic conditions.

Other benefits include quick make-ready time, fast webbing up, low start-up waste, short washing cycles, quick changeover times and optimised user friendliness with easy-to-read displays.

Optional extras include semi-commercial package, the ability to handle webs of different widths and a choice of semi-automatic and fully automatic plate changing.

Configurations 2/2, 4/1 and 4/2

The new S-Line has a maximum rated output of up to 80’000 copies per hour, depending on the format. Cut-off range is from 470 to 578mm. Web widths according to customer specifications.

Print Quality

The new S-Line is designed to meet the highest print quality criteria.

Automatic functions

The //wifag machine controls “Platform” stands for a standardized and modular framework which controls the many automatic functions. With over 10 years of industrial printing experience the “Platform” solution has been implemented on all //wifag presses since 2003. Since its launch, “Platform” has been continuously further developed. New functions have been added and new technologies such as real time Ethernet, powerful and safe VPN based remote support concepts as well as touch-based user interfaces adopted.

The new, state-of-the-art and ergonomic press consoles enable easy planning and efficient presetting. Automatic start-up, changeover and production end sequences mean good copy is rapidly reached and waste is kept to a minimum.

The S-Line is equipped with the following automatic functions:

  • Web lead presetting

  • Web tension control

  • Ink key presetting

  • Colour, cut-off and density controls

  • Quick start, stop and changeover sequences

Depending on the production needs and the press configuration, an optional motorised or fully automated reel-handling system can be supplied


“Platform” for automation functions

30.10.2012 - The //wifag automation solutions “Platform” and “Platform plus” are at the heart of //wifag’s new “Competitive Printing Solutions”. The “Platform” can now look back on almost a decade of practical experience. The automation “Platform” was used in a customer's project for the first time in 2003. Since then, all machines throughout the entire range of products from //wifag have been equipped with this solution.

What does the automation “Platform” include?

The names “Platform” and “Platform plus” stand for standardized, modular frameworks that combine a number of automation tasks.

These include, for example, a universal control cabinet concept for all machine components, such as autopasters, printing units and folders. Innovative cooling concepts allow closed control cabinets with no exchange of air with the surroundings; this results in less maintenance and keeps the electrical and electronic components installed in the control cabinets clean and free from dust for many years. Standardized electrical engineering that uses identical components throughout the machine leads to simple, easy-to-understand solutions and minimizes the diversity of components in the spare parts package.


Uniform hardware engineering also permits the production of standardized modules in software development which – once tested – can be used repeatedly. This is an important aspect for the high reliability and technical availability of a printing machine.

Continuous development

The “Platform” has been continuously further developed since its first use in a customer's project. Not only has the scope of its functions been constantly expanded, but even more importantly new technologies have found their way into the solution – for example real-time Ethernet, powerful and safe VPN-based remote maintenance concepts as well as modern touch-based controls. //wifag was one of the first companies in the world to use SERCOS III in a machine on a daily basis.

A further important milestone was the integration of the //wifag control systems for colour register and cutting position in the automation “Platform”. This is why //wifag is able to offer customers a one-stop, universal solution. Complicated and often expensive interfaces are not needed.

Facts and figures

A glance at the installed printing machines equipped with “Platform” provides some impressive figures. Since 2003, for example, more than 300 autopasters, 2,350 printing couples and over 90 folders have been delivered to customers around the world and put into operation. These statistics are supplemented by over 70 installed //wifag cut-off controls as well as 190 printing towers, in which the colour register is monitored by a //wifag colour register control system.

These figures prove that the majority of all shaftless printing machines ever made by //wifag are equipped with the //wifag automation solution.

Current developments

The further development of the “Platform” has been in full swing for almost 10 years now. At the beginning of the year a new, single-width autopaster – the //wifag Autopaster A1 – was developed, manufactured and delivered that is based completely on the //wifag automation “Platform”. Since then, 18 units have been delivered, the majority of which are already being used in daily production.

A further decisive development took place on the control console and planning level. //wifag delivers the latest machines with its own control console technology. The control consoles have been developed with the aid of the latest technologies and offer optimal ergonomics and operator convenience. Intelligent visualizations of the production processes paired with intuitive, touch-based controls make it easier for the printer to monitor newspaper production. Optionally, the control consoles can also be equipped with a //wifag softproof monitor.

The //wifag press manager provides a comprehensive and easy-to-use tool for production planning and machine configuration. Additional functions such as reporting and production statistics can be supplied as necessary.

In the field of closed-loop systems, the mark-based ink density control was the latest development to be added to our product portfolio. The 3D-controller function, consisting of cut-off, colour register and ink density controllers, is a standard feature in the new S-Line press ranges. However, use of these controllers is not restricted to //wifag printing machines – they can be installed on almost any printing machine.

The “Platform” is also used within the wifag//polytype group. The latest Virtu Quantum large format digital printer from the Virtu Business Unit is based on this “Platform”. What is remarkable here is the link to digital printing that has been realized for the first time with this machine. The forthcoming DigiCube digital single-pass print solution is also equipped with the same “Platform”. The //wifag automation “Platform” is a safe investment with respect to new technologies since it is ready and open for later technology upgrades.

Complete one-stop solution, also for third-party printing machines

The entire product portfolio from //wifag automation is used in the new S-Line and to retrofit existing //wifag printing machines as well as machines from other manufacturers. One excellent example of this is the recently placed order for the complete conversion of a KBA Express and its equipment with //wifag automation solutions in Lahti (Finland).


Esa Lehtipaino Oy in Lahti (Finland) decides on a comprehensive retrofit project with new //wifag automation technology

30.10.2012 - Following an intensive evaluation phase accompanied by GAMAG and nps (nordic printing solutions plc Finland, //wifag's agent), Esa Lehtipaino Oy in Lahti placed a comprehensive reconfiguration and retrofit order with the two Swiss companies GAMAG and //wifag.

Since GAMAG and WIFAG Maschinenfabrik AG only recently signed a cooperation contract to work the global printing machine market together in terms of the modernization, modification and retrofitting of web printing presses, this order from Lahti in effect launches the partnership cooperation.

Esa Lehtipaino Oy will purchase a KBA Express that is currently located at Kaleva Oy in Oulu. This machine will be completely reconfigured and then installed in Lahti following a comprehensive retrofit by GAMAG and //wifag that will include new automation and press controls. It is expected to go into operation at the end of 2013. The overall project is being managed by GAMAG.

For Finland, Esa Lehtipaino Oy is a medium-sized newspaper printer and publisher headquartered in Lahti. The annual turnover this year will be eight million euros, with the publisher's own newspaper products accounting for around 85% of this.

The reconfigured newspaper printing press consists of four reelstands, three printing towers in a satellite design, two angle-bar modules for three webs each, and two jaw folders 2:5:5 with balloon formers, skip slitter and a quarter folder. These allow the production of a broadsheet paper with a maximum of 48 pages or a tabloid paper with a maximum of 96 pages in full colour.

The use of the //wifag Platform drive and press control system requires the upgrading of the printing towers, the drive rollers in the angle-bar module, folder superstructure and the folders to the latest direct drive technology. The electromechanical sidelay register drives as well as the mechanical auxiliary registers and their electromechanical servo drives will also be renewed. Furthermore, the newspaper printing press will be operated from two //wifag control consoles and equipped with a new softproof system from //wifag. A //wifag production planning and machine presetting system rounds off the scope of delivery.

The availability of spare parts will be ensured for many years to come through the retrofit. In addition, the renewed newspaper printing press will have a number of innovative functions to improve the quality and reduce waste. These functions correspond to those of a new machine. The renewed printing press can be equipped with the latest generation of //wifag color and cut-off register controls.

Plans are already being made for the conversion of the building scheduled to begin in February so that the newspaper printing press can be installed in Lahti starting in May 2013. The scope of delivery includes dismantling the machine in Oulu, all transports, the retrofit, which will be split between Lahti and Petäjävesi, the reconfiguration and integration of the //wifag automation solutions, as well as the start-up of the press. In other words, the order is for a turnkey project.

The newspaper printing press has been provisionally scheduled to go into operation on 6 December 2013 (Finland's Independence Day).


Polytype and Mechatronica collaborating on the packaging market

20.04.2012 - April 20, 2012, - Polytype AG in Switzerland (a company of the wifag//polytype group) and Mechatronica Co in Bulgaria have entered into a close partnership to mutually develop and market packaging machinery for the oral care, cosmetic and beverage market.

Polytype AG in Switzerland (a company of the Wifag//Polytype group) and Mechatronica Co in Bulgaria have entered into a close partnership to mutually develop and market packaging machinery for the oral care, cosmetic and beverage market. For this purpose Polytype has acquired 49% of Mechatronica shares.

Mechatronica, located in Gabrovo (Bulgaria) has developed best price-performance packaging machinery for laminated plastic tubes, form-fill-and-seal equipment for semi-liquid and liquid cosmetics and beverages as well as specialty forming equipment for metal containers over the last 15 years.

Polytype is a leader in the decoration and finishing of extruded plastic tubes for the cosmetic market. With this partnership Polytype will get access to the growing market of laminated tubes and is complementing its portfolio for the oral care and cosmetic market. The form-fill-and seal concept for plastic tubes allows new production approaches for latest stage customization and reduced inventory and logistic cost for the oral care and cosmetic packaging market for semi-liquid goods. The sales and service organization in USA, China, Thailand, Brazil and India of Polytype can improve the market coverage for the Mechatronica products and increase the sales channel efficiency of Polytype. With the low cost basis of Mechatronica and the Polytype reputation both companies can leverage their respective strengths to participate better in the fast growing market for extruded as well as laminated tubes.

A similar form-fill-and-seal concept has been introduced by Mechatronica to the beverage market for non carbonated juices packaged in cylindrical pouches and is complementing the Polytype packaging solutions for the beverage market. Polytype offers decoration concepts for low cost plastic drinking cups as well as highly sophisticated metal bottles in aluminum or steel under the brand of Mall&Herlan.

Untapped potentials exist in a special forming technology of Mechatronica, which allows new kinds of shaping of metal containers, typically recognized as “cola bottle ripples type shapes”. This technology could enlarge the leading position for the metal container offering to existing and new Mall&Herlan customers in the beverage industry.

Polytype and Mechatronica will remain active under their respective company and product brands and continue to act as separate companies but jointly on the market. An exclusive dealer agreement for India has been already signed before closing this partnership between Mechatronica and wifag//polytype Marketing India Ptv, other distribution agreements between the Polytype Group companies and Mechatronica will be implemented in the near future.

Mr. Alain Berset, Business Unit Leader of the Plastic Packaging Division in the wifag//polytype Group (www.wifag-polytype.com) and Mr. Miroslav Hinkov, founder and owner of Mechatronica (www.kombis.net) will be the main contacts for any kind of questions regarding this strategic cooperation.