In a closely watched move, a new German greenfield packaging plant will install the world’s first manrolandGoss (MGWS) Varioman c:line web offset press, to print cardboard food packaging.
The as yet unnamed site, known only as Project Rosa, will use the press to print frozen food packaging, with the Varioman c:line able to print at up to 400 metres per minute, the equivalent of more than 2,500 pizza boxes every 60 seconds.
The frozen food market in Europe is booming, driven in part by Covid-19. A billion frozen pizzas were sold last year in Germany alone.
The press will compete head on in the big sheetfed offset carton presses market, with its output far higher than the 15,000 sheets an hour they can produce. MGWS says output will be double that of sheetfed presses.
MGWS says the press is not designed specifically for long runs, saying its ability for sleeves with a different repeat length and plates to be swapped over in less than four minutes makes it “economical production even with smaller batch sizes.”
Henning Diedrich, managing director of Rosa said, “The decisive factor for the purchase of Varioman was not only the print quality at optimised costs, in fact, manroland Goss have convinced us with an overall package that meets our high demands for efficiency and maximum automation.”
According to MGWS the Varioman c:line will print on board from 100-700mic thick. The configuration specified for the new site has a maximum web width of 1,300mm, and includes an automatic winder with web storage, and splicing with no overlap. It has a special infeed, five offset printing units, a flexo unit, electron beam curing and an inline rotary die-cutter.
“The project is a greenfield, new market for this customer. Of course, when getting with a web press of this large web width into folding cartons, many people will follow this with a lot of interest. It's exciting for manroland Goss to be part of this,” said Theo Buchmeyer, MGWS vice president for business development and product management.
“This press can really compete with big sheetfed carton presses. It could be a game-changer.”
The new plant will be up and running by the end of the year, and will be a fully networked production concept.