A&R Carton is putting into operation a completely new-style gravure printing machine from Gallus. The ICS 670 represents the ultimate efficiency in flexible folding carton processing and is equipped with 11 printing mechanisms, reverse-side printing, cold and hot foiling technology, screen printing, multiple embossing and a panel separation unit.
A&R Carton can look back on a history of many successful years in the manufacturing of folding carton, for example for tobacco products, confectionery and FMCG. Throughout the 50-year existence of its Augsburg factory, the company has played its role as an innovative pioneer, which it is now reinforcing with an investment of 9 million Euros in gravure printing.
An investment of this magnitude is unique in the company’s history. Harald Schulz, CEO & President of AR Packaging Group, acknowledges the bold step as the starting point in a new era:
“We will revolutionise in particular the premium folding carton market. All current finishing stages, including stamping, are to be processed inline in only one working step. In the future, all users of premium finished folding carton will come to appreciate the unique advantages of this exclusive technology.”
The potential of the machine, the idea and implementation is almost unmeasurable and will more than fulfil the extremely high demands and complex requirements of this greatly changing market. Peter Misof, Works Manager at the Augsburg factory, says of the already hard-working machine:
“We have the opportunity to reduce tool costs that have previously been very high. The new technology will make the brilliant gravure printing unimaginably competitive against competing printing processes and will be of significantly higher quality. The process also shows the red line through all working steps that up to now have been separate, including all the necessary processes and machinery.”
With this advance in technology, gravure printing, previously considered to be more suited to larger print circulations, will remain and become attractive even for print circulations that are becoming demonstrably and significantly smaller.
“As a company with a specialist and innovative orientation, Gallus has proven itself to be the ideal partner to make a reality of our complex performance targets,” continues Markus Eberl, Production Manager at the Augsburg factory.
Combining modular platforms
The highlight of the machine is the inline-coupled multi processing by rollers, which reduce various processing and finishing steps to one single working process. So-called Easy Value Add (EVA) platforms use variable combinations together to enable unlimited flexibility with minimal personnel requirements. An EVA platform can be equipped with screen printing, flexographic printing, hologram applications, inkjet coding, laminating, cold foiling, hot foiling, gloss, matt, barrier and special effects finishes, security printing as well as structure, micro and multiple embossing. The EVAs can therefore process perfectly each commission to meet its individual requirements.
Individual products optimum prices
Besides the platform principle, another advantage is the enabling of exceptionally efficient gravure printing on theGallus in the A&R Carton factory at Augsburg. Usually the cost factor of printing plate manufacturing lies at factor five between offset and gravure. Profound optimisations of the new hollow cylinders, such as a small roller diameter, thin steel plates on the cylinders and other benefits, have significantly reduced the manufacturing costs and have more than halved the current delivery times from the engraver.