• 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. 

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.

“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. 

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).

Swiss precision for Chinese special paper

09.10.2015 - One of China's leading specialty paper manufacturers, the Guangdong Guan Hao Hi-tech Co Ltd has purchased a combined coating and laminating line with maximum web width of 1,670 mm from WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG, Switzerland for installation in their new production centre in Pinghu, Zhejiang Province, PRC. The machine will start production in 2016.

Since the company's inception in 1993 Guangdong Guan Hao High-tech relies on European machinery. Both the paper used there as well as the coating machines were ordered from the outset from Germany and Switzerland. But now you have the first time chosen a machine of the WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG (Fribourg / Switzerland) is supplied.

Specialist for special papers

Guangdong Guan Hao produces in Zhanjiang Economic and Technical Development Zone, a special economic zone in the vicinity of a Largest Chinese ports north of Hainan Island. The integrated operation manufactures the raw paper on two paper machines. For the processing and further processing are available ten coating lines.

Together with its subsidiaries Zhanjiang Guanhao Paper, Zhejiang Guanhao New material Guangdong Guanhao Xingang Printing and Zhuhai Guanhao Barcode Technology covers the listed since 2003 Company group from many stages of production and is one of the most powerful production centers for special paper in the PRC. Since 1999, the quality management system of the site is certified to ISO 9001 standards. In November 2011 they received the certification of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for the use of raw materials from responsible forestry.

The product portfolio of the company and its subsidiaries includes specialty papers, such as Non-Carbon Required Papers, Thermal Papers, Carbonless Papers or security papers against piracy. Since 1996, Guangdong Guan Hao high-tech sole supplier of special, required for VAT invoice forms, Carbonless Papers. The thermal papers are used inter alia for air or train tickets, and various kinds of lottery tickets.

New machine, new opportunities

The approximately 75-meter-long new coating and laminating line is approximately 8.2 meters wide, 6.7 meters high and consists of proven machine components from wifag // polytype. The precision complex comprises some 50 meters drying sections and is designed for a production speed of up to 600 meters per minute. The maximum web width of 1,670 mm, the maximum coating width 1,650 mm.

The plant highly flexible and can be operated in its entirety as an integrated production line for self-adhesive labeling films. However, it can be shared thanks to a total of five up or unwinding in two parallel sections to be operated - as in a high-speed siliconizing machine one hand and a coating and laminating the other. This allows a large number of production steps that can run independently.

The shaftless winding stations can accept rolls up to 1,300 mm in diameter and 2.5 tons in weight.

Two trolley-based and therefore easily interchangeable coating modules are planned - a roll applicator and a chambered doctor blade system. In addition, a flexo for example, enables the printing of labels carrier papers with brand logos of manufacturers. Better adhesion by corona pretreatment and powerful cooling and remoistening systems of WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG allow production of label paper and coated specialty papers of the highest quality.

The start of installation of the new production line is scheduled in beginning 2016, the corresponding building is already under construction. In first half of 2016, Guangdong Guan Hao will then begin production on its new wifag//polytype High Tech High Speed Label Paper Coating and Lamination Line.

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

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is visiting mall//herlan

26.06.2015 - Dr. Thomas Herlan and students of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who specialise in forming, recently visited mall//herlan.

They gained insight into the industrial practise of the metal forming technology in the impact extrusion (IE) process and the draw and wall ironing (DWI) method for the production of one-piece cans, tubes and bottles from aluminium and steel.

mall//herlan offers positions to students who intend to do a Master-Thesis in the area of forming. One of the current research topics concerns the optimisation of deep drawing and ironing processes in theory and practice.

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

Thanks for visiting us at Cannex 2015, Guangzhou, China

12.06.2015 - A distinguished Canmaker Exhibition such as "Cannex" was precisely the right place for innovative approaches and ideas! It was a real pleasure meeting the decision-makers of our international customers.

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.

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."

Polyflex technology from //polytype makes its North American Debut in March at the NPE trade fair

16.02.2015 - This revolutionary printing technology is now available for decorating larger round cups up to 185 mm in diameter (BDM 682), together with square and oval cups (BDM 301R).

Polyflex technology is a ground breaking development made possible by combining two proven technologies into one cutting edge platform. By combining Indirect Flexographic Transfer technology into a short color-head dryoffset platform, Polyflex is a reality. This combination gives the advantages of both technologies in a single machine, providing a consistent ink transfer for the decoration of rigid plastic containers that is more stable, with predictability and repeatability that was not possible before. The technology begins with a laser engraved anilox roller; followed by the elimination of the traditional rubber rollers normally found in the colorhead which in turn minimizes the challenges of the rubber blanket when printing on tapered surfaces with varying surface speeds.

Above all, this printing unit is characterized by clear advantages in the following three areas:

  • Change-over times: As the system has an open ink fountain with just one anilox roller and one ink transfer cylinder, the ink change can be made in a matter of minutes on the entire printing unit. The ink flow is also realized rapidly, which means time is drastically reduced when starting up as well as a minimum amount of setup containers to achive a perfect color match.
  • Printing quality: The ink transfer can also be optimized as the ink flow via the anilox roller is very stable, which subsequently minimizes dot gain. As the inks used in this printing method have a slightly increased fluidity, the result is a glossy finish that almost appears as if lacquer has been applied.
  • Print stability: In addition to the stability of the ink flow from the anilox roller as previously mentioned, adjustment of the ink flow on the printing unit is no longer necessary making it possible to minimize operator influence by removing ink adjusting keys and dab rollers. The inking units are also driven by a separate servo motor and the temperature of each individual inking unit is controlled. This then offers the best conditions for a high level of print stability.

One of the important elements of this technology is that details surrounding settings from job specific areas are saved into the machine memory allowing for complete repeat with 100% accuracy. In addition to the benefits listed above, this also means that a high level of responsiveness in reproduction is also a significant advantage when using this technology.

Please also note the following: 
Printing plate material > same as in standard dry offset printing
Reproduction > adjusted to this ­process
Inking > independent ink System

Interested? We would be happy to provide you with more information on this outstanding printing technology personally.

Come and visit us at NPE 2015 in Orlando FL / USA, 23. -27.03.2015 - Booth 5173!

Polytype SA

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.

Tube of the year 2014 awarded to Polytype

16.01.2015 - Fribourg /Switzerland, January 14, 2015 - For the second year in a row, //polytype is the proud recipient of the North American Tube Council’s “Tube of the Year Award” in the category “Best innovative component or process”. While the Linearis machine won in 2013, the capabilities of the RDA 24-165 Hybrid were able to convince the 2014 panel of judges.

The innovation shown on this tube is the capability to combine the benefits of two printing methods. On one side there is dry offset printing with the benefits to create sharp lettering, to realize good and homogenous surfaces with low ink cost per tube (dry-offset ink is 4 times less expensive than ink-jet ink) and the possibility to use Pantone colours as required for brand logos. Shown on this tube, all text is printed in dry-offset and the colours of the //polytype and Pro6 logos are made with Pantone inks. Simple graphics on a large surface, like the fire pattern, are also made in dry-offset.


On the other side, there is the ink-jet printing with its own benefits: the easy realisation of colourful, photorealistic prints like the ice princess shown on the tube. There is also the possibility to make personalized tubes, each one with a different design.


Even to make something which was not conceivable until today now becomes possible: printing on tubes and closures in one run and thus increasing the product marketing surface.


The combination of these two printing methods brings also a benefit in change-over time, meaning that difficult sections will be made in digital, easy sections in dry-offset.


This entire decoration was created on the RDA 24-165 Hybrid machine from //polytype, with up to 6 ink-jet printing colours and up to 8 dry-offset colours. The decoration speed of this machine is typically 165 tubes/min, but depends on diameter and printing length of the ink-jet design.

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 Evolution

27.10.2014 - Latest edition of the WIFAG-Polytype magazine "evolution"

It was a logical and evolutionary step for wifag//polytype to merge its printing, coating and converting activities, together with digital printing, under the umbrella of WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG.

It is thus entirely appropriate that WIFAG's customer magazine has already borne the name "evolution" for several decades. We have also constantly updated "evolution" and the latest edition, hot off the press, reflects the full range of the portfolio of the new WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG.

Portraits of innovative users such as Constantia Patz show how investing in our company's technology enables extremely cost-efficient production and, at the same time, helps to open up new markets. Readers are also informed all about WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG and the expansion of our location in Hamburg.

This edition of "evolution" provides an insight into our Technology Center, where our single pass roll-to-roll machine "Techma-4" enables us to carry out pilot projects using water-based ink-jet printing on plastic and aluminum foils. We also introduce our new business area "Inks & Materials", which can make a decisive contribution to economic inkjet printing on an industrial scale, as well as an OEM project in which our digital technology enables individual coating of large-format printed sheets.

Interested? Then please request the printed version here: technologies@remove-this.wifag-polytype.com

or download as PDF:

Download -> evolution 2014 english

Download -> evolution 2014 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

Gannett Trusts in the Retrofit Expertise of wifag//polytype

10.06.2014 - Rotary printing press in Shreveport, Louisiana to be modernized

Fribourg, Switzerland – June 20, 2014 - Gannett, one of the leading US media companies, puts its trust in the retrofit expertise of the wifag//polytype Group. Gannett Publishing Services, a subsidiary of Gannett Co., Inc. , recently contracted //wifag to modernize a //wifag OF790 offset rotary press in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The machine upgrades under this contract will help significantly reduce waste quantities and setup times.

Along with the installation of four new //wifag control consoles, the retrofit contract covers the modernization of six autopasters, improvements in web threading and some new drives and control electronics. The new control consoles will feature the production planning system EAE Print, among other things.

The work is being carried out by automation experts from //wifag (Fribourg, Switzerland) and their US subsidiary Polytype America Corp. (Mahwah, New Jersey). It is slated to start in June and should be finished by the end of October 2014.

The line of printing presses was originally part of a larger production plant put into operation at Ringier in Switzerland in 1991. It was dismantled in 2008 by the Dutch company GWS and reconfigured for a new installation. The //wifag OF790 went back on line in Shreveport in 2010. It was only the third rotary press in Berliner format for the US market.

"The Times" printing plant in Shreveport is one of 43 printing and further processing facilities operated by Gannett Publishing Services. "The Times" has a circulation of about 35,000 (Mon – Sat) and 50,000 on Sunday (2012 figures).

Roger Schmidt (left) and Peter Ruth

Roger Schmidt is the new Managing Director of Mall+Herlan GmbH

28.05.2014 - Pfinztal, 27 May 2014 - Effective as of 1 July 2014, Mr. Roger Schmidt (46) will take over the management of the Business Unit Metal Packaging of the Swiss Wifag-Polytype group and, in this function, will also be Managing Director of Mall + Herlan GmbH. The Mall + Herlan Group, a subsidiary of Wifag-Polytype, is the leading solution provider of process technology and complete production lines for the manufacture of one-piece aerosol cans, tubes and bottles made of aluminium and steel for personal care, pharmaceuticals, food, beverages as well as home care + technology products.

"We are pleased that we have found in Roger Schmidt such an experienced and capable manager with process expertise", said Peter Ruth, CEO of the Wifag-Polytype group. "With his nomination, the Mall + Herlan group has become strengthened with a proven expert for process systems and surface treatment, to increase the lead of Mall + Herlan production systems through the further integration of lines and process expertise".

Mr. Roger Schmidt graduated in Precision Engineering/Mechatronics with a major in automation engineering from the University of Applied Sciences Esslingen. Through his career at various German plant manufacturers, he has accumulated a tremendous amount of expertise in the field of bending, stamping and forming technology. From his previous position as Division Head of a leading system supplier of surface and conveyor systems as well as material-flow-automation for the automotive industry and special applications, Mr. Schmidt brings many years of broad commercial and technical experience in project business for highly productive equipment with global customers.

The Mall + Herlan group, based in Pfinztal, Germany and with three other locations in Neuhausen, Germany, Pfyn, Switzerland and Seriate, Italy, employs 250 people. Mall + Herlan is a 100 percent subsidiary of the Swiss group of companies Wifag-Polytype. Wifag-Polytype group offers total system solutions (machinery and processes technology) for the manufacture of one-piece metal containers, such as aluminium cans/tubes and steel cans, plastic containers, such as extruded/laminated tubes and deep-drawn cups and bowls and digital printing/coating solutions for plastic, paper and aluminium foil. With approximately 1,200 employees, Wifag-Polytype is active worldwide with sales, service and production sites.



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//polytype and Avantium announce agreement on 100% biobased PEF for thermoforming

16.10.2013 - Dusseldorf – Today at the start of the K-show, wifag//polytype and Avantium announced their agreement to collaborate on thermoformed products from 100% biobased PEF.

This collaboration will be complementary to collaborations Avantium has in place with The Coca-Cola Company, Danone and ALPLA. Both parties are excited about the market opportunity of PEF in the novel application area of thermoforming of cups, containers and trays, which are used today for the packaging of food products like meats, nuts, or dairy products like cheese and yoghurt.


PEF (or polyethylene furanoate) is a novel polymer produced by Avantium’s proprietary YXY technology. The YXY technology is running in Avantium’s pilot plant in Geleen, and converts plant based feedstock into chemical building blocks. PEF is a next generation plastic. It has superior properties over existing materials, it can be produced cost competitively and is 100% biobased, resulting in a more than 50% reduction in carbon footprint and non-renewable energy usage.


“Thermoforming is an excellent application for PEF plastics”, commented Gert-Jan Gruter, Avantium CTO. “Since PEF has superior barrier, thermal and mechanical properties over PET, it offers exciting new growth opportunities. Due to its ten times higher oxygen barrier, PEF could extend the shelf life of perishable goods like meats or cheeses. The higher thermal stability of PEF compared to PET could enable packaging opportunities for microwaveable products.”


wifag//polytype is a leading manufacturer of thermoforming and printing equipment, and the sole company producing the entire range from sheet extrusion, to thermoforming, to coating and printing of thermoformed products. “The collaboration with Avantium on PEF in sheet extrusion, thermoforming and decoration of thermoformed products fits therefore well in our strategy of offering equipment enabling a total packaging solution comprising color, contour and convenience”, says Peter Ruth, wifag//polytype CEO. “With the recent integration of OMV into the wifag//polytype Group of companies we take a leadership position in providing innovative and sustainable packaging solutions to the thin wall packaging market. Today we are happy to announce this partnership with Avantium which will allow us to offer our customers thermoforming and decoration solutions for PEF, a biobased polymer with very attractive technical properties.”


Tom van Aken, CEO at Avantium, adds: “Thermoforming can be a potential outlet for recycled PEF, providing an additional end-of-life solution for our PEF bottles. wifag//polytype’s proven track record of innovation and paradigm shifts has resulted in its ability to address every step in the thermoforming process from sheet extrusion to decoration. This makes them the ideal partner for developing these new PEF applications. Avantium and wifag//polytype would welcome other parties interested in working with us on PEF thermoformed packaging.”


About wifag//polytype

The wifag//polytype Group is a global group of companies with 1200 employees active in the manufacturing of production lines and systems for aluminum/steel containers for aerosols, beverage bottles and tubes, extruded and laminated plastic tubes lines, as well as decorated plastic cups/containers systems, coating lines for flexible packaging and technical films/foils, newspaper/book printing machines and services. With its sales/service and manufacturing network in USA, Brazil, India, Thailand, China/Hongkong and Turkey our customers are supported globally.


OMV Machinery

Member of the wifag//polytype Group - is the direct heir of OMV Divisione Meccanica, a company founded in 1963 to design and build thermoforming machines. Since the early 70's, OMV exported its first thermoforming machine, very soon distinguishing itself being a pioneer in introducing new materials, like PP, in extrusion and thermoforming for high volume quality containers.


About Avantium

Avantium is a leading technology company specialized in the area of advanced high-throughput R&D. The company develops and commercializes YXY – the brand name for its technology platform to catalytically convert plant based carbohydrates into chemical building blocks like Furanics and Levulinics. These chemical building blocks can be applied for making green materials with superior product properties at competitive pricing. Currently the focus of the YXY technology platform is on a building block called FDCA, (2,5- furandicarboxylic acid). FDCA can be polymerized together with ethylene glycol (EG) to form PEF (Polyethylene Furanoate), which is Avantium's lead application. Combined with the significant reduction in carbon footprint, PEF fulfills key criteria to become the next generation biobased plastics for bottles, film and fibers. PEF gas barrier to oxygen, carbon dioxide and water is for example superior to PET, leading to longer product shelf life and offering the potential for lightweighting of packages. Avantium has demonstrated the value and commercial potential of its unique technology by collaborating with leading companies in the energy and chemical industries. Avantium offices and headquarters are based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Avantium is running an YXY pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands.


For more information about wifag//polytype, please contact Peter Ruth: Tel: +41 (0)26 4261400, Email: peter.ruth@remove-this.polytype.com

For more information about Avantium, please contact Nathan Kemeling: Tel: +31 (0)20 5860183, Email: nathan.kemeling@remove-this.avantium.com

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.

Tamedia and //wifag start benchmarking project in view of quality assurance and process optimisation in the technical services field

07.10.2013 - Fribourg: Swiss media group Tamedia and //wifag start a new cooperation in the field of newspaper printing plant benchmarking. The joint benchmarking, in which printing plants from Europe and the USA maybe also be involved in the future, is aimed at serving a cross-company quality assurance and process optimization.

Three (3) large printing sites in Zürich, Bern und Lausanne are owned by Tamedia. The goal of the cooperation is the development of standardized parameters in order to compare the quality levels and the total performance of the differently equipped manufacturing plants. In each plant, Tamedia and //wifag will investigate the workflow from platemaking, printing through to the mailroom. In particular, the performance and work processes of the technical services will be analyzed in view to improving the coordination of the future service and maintenance effort and adapting the organisation of the technical service teams.

Initially this benchmarking will lead to an appropriate „Best Practice“ for Tamedia. However, both companies wish to extend the benchmarking to other plants in the near future. Already other printing plants in Europa and the USA are interested.

For further information contact

Matthias Kobel

Noel McEvoy

//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 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.

Extension of //wifag press at Druckzentrum Südwest GmbH, Germany

05.09.2013 - Fribourg, Switzerland - September 2013 - In times of declining circulation and sinking advertising revenue, it is noteworthy when a printing plant, specialized in newspaper and semi-commercial production, decides to invest in the extension of its printing presses.

At the Druckzentrum Südwest GmbH in Villingen/Schwenningen, Germany, a company of the Südwestdeutschen Medienholding, the print job orders have been continually growing. This proof of a successful business activity focused on satisfying customer requirements was the reason for the decision to extend the existing //wifag OF 370 PCU press line with one additional full color tower.

This extension is also the sequel to a worldwide unique night production success story. Since 2003, part of the regional editions of the title Schwarzwälder Bote is produced without stopping the press. Printing units are engaged and disengaged on the fly allowing edition changes with the same number of pages. Also, when simultaneously synchronized with roll changes, even the number of pages in an edition can be changed without stopping the press. Without this crucial time saving, the timely delivery of the newspapers in the expansive distribution region would not be possible.

With the integration of the additional printing tower into the existing press line and the aforementioned PCU (Page Change Unit) functionality, from April 2014 all the regional editions will be produced without stopping the press and in full color.

In addition to the 130’000 copies of the Schwarzwälder Bote, one of the largest daily newspapers in Baden-Württemberg, another 400‘000 other newspaper type products are produced weekly. The additional printing tower will help to absorb some of the workload and open the door for more capacity.

For further information contact:

Matthias Kobel matthias.kobel@remove-this.wifag.com
Noel McEvoy  noel.mcevoy@remove-this.wifag.com

Visit us at the World Publishing Expo 2013
7-9 October 2013
HALL 2.2 Stand 510, Berlin



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.

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