KAMA is further expanding the capabilities of its revolutionary folder-gluer, the FlexFold 52i. The world’s first folder-gluer for short runs can now also efficiently and cleanly glue sealed, smooth surfaces such as UV-coated, metalized or laminated cardboard through the use of plasma treatment.
“The use of UV coating in packaging is increasing, especially with digitally printed folding boxes and high-quality special editions”, notes KAMA CEO Marcus Tralau. The German based machine manufacturer developed the FlexFold 52i especially for such short run-lengths as the only folder-gluer with an almost fully automated setup to carry out the numerous job changeovers highly efficiently in a few short minutes. “To this advantage we are now adding the plasma treatment as an elegant and efficient solution when gluing UV-coated folding cartons”, says Tralau. The plasma treatment system consists of a plasma generator and a plasma nozzle with a transformer; crash-lock-bottom boxes with three-point gluing require three nozzles. The first FlexFold 52i featuring the new option has already been sold.
Solution for smooth surfaces
The challenge when using UV-coated material: the smooth surface offers no hold for the glue. This means that for UV and similar kinds of coating the glue flaps have to be left out. This, in turn, means an extra flexo plate for the coating process and extra set-up time. The corresponding costs can be quite significant when working with short runs. The savings potential when finishing on the FlexFold 52i with the plasma system is correspondingly large as the printed sheets can be flood coated – without any additional costs for flexo plates and setup.
An energizing solution
When using the plasma treatment, the coated surface is opened up by passing it over a plasma nozzle which gives off highly energised, ionised air to make the surface responsive. “The plasma is like an energy shower of air, it increases surface tension and activates molecules that the glue can hook on to”, explains Tralau. The glue line holds – permanently.
For straight-line and crash-lock boxes
A further advantage: the plasma treatment changes the surface only temporarily. Surfaces without glue applied to them return to their original state and look the same as they did before being treated. This makes the plasma solution optimal for straight-line boxes (often used for pharmaceuticals), but also for crash-lock bottom boxes that have several bonding surfaces and which are very popular for healthcare and beauty products. KAMA presented the FlexFold 52i with record speed changeovers at drupa and demonstrated the complete workflow for short-run folding carton production exemplarily with the HP Indigo 30000 digital press.