drupa 2012 was one of the best trade shows in the past few years for Windmöller & Hölscher, concur W&H chairman, Jürgen Vutz, and managing director, Peter Steinbeck. “We took in many orders at the show, proving to us that W&H equipment is properly positioned to meet the needs of our customers and also that the market for flexible packaging is not being directly affected by the structural changes in the overall printing industry.“
The German machine manufacturer's show motto was “the easy way,” playing into developments of its “easy” family of automation modules, which were demonstrated live daily on W&H's new Miraflex CL 10 flexographic press. The wide-web press is capable of speeds of up to 600 m/min. The new modules, the easy-set HD impression setting system, which analyzes high resolution printing plates and presents the plate topography in a 3D format, as well as the latest generation of the well established Turboclean inking and wash-up system were designed to improve and optimize machine up-time. In addition, W&H presented the new Heliostar SE gravure press, which incorporates a cylinder change system and auto wash-up for extremely fast changeovers, thus ideal for short runs.
A fascinating glimpse into the future of printing was also to be seen at the information booth with Prof. Dr. Arved Hübler, who is involved in the advancement of printed electronics. Along with students from the Institut für Print und Medientechnik at the TU Cheminz, Hübler presented exciting developments, including printing solar cells on paper. A tree with solar cells printed on paper leaves was displayed at the booth and a connected electricity meter allowed visitors to see the amount of energy generated at any given time. “Prof. Hübler's developments in printed electronics could open up new areas of business for press manufacturers,” says Vutz, underscoring that W&H has been following the technology since the very beginning.
Also very successful was the in-house expo in Lengerich that ran during drupa. Roughly 500 customers from 44 different countries used the opportunity to see W&H's press laboratory and the performance of the company's flexographic and gravure presses for themselves. The Vistaflex CL 8 for wide-web printing with its enormous productivity was a top attraction for visitors, primarily from overseas. Another hit was the demonstration of the Vistaport robot handling system and job changes at the push of a button.
Windmöller & Hölscher, based in Lengerich/Germany, is an internationally leading manufacturer of machinery and equipment for flexible packaging applications. The product line encompasses blown and cast film lines, flexographic and gravure printing presses, finishing and converting machines for paper, film, foil, and woven plastic materials, as well as FFS (form-fill-seal) packaging systems.