SilvaForm, a Mexico-based printer of labels and intelligent forms, has installed UV curing systems from GEW on all its flexo and rotary offset presses at its 8,000 sqm plant just outside Mexico City, writes James Quirk. According to general director Jaime Silva, adding the GEW curing systems will increase the quality of the labels manufactured by the company – at a time when its label production is showing strong growth.
SilvaForm installed its first GEW systems in 1998. Two years ago, the company added GEW’s eBrick and film adaption technology. The low power, high intensity curing enabled the company to reduce the heat on the substrate, yet cure at high speeds. This, in combination with the integrated water-cooled roller, resulted in a substrate temperature rise of less than 1 deg C between unwind and rewind. Added to the higher print quality of UV, the GEW systems have helped SilvaForm launch new products and enter new markets. The success of the initial installations led the company to install an additional seven systems of the same specification earlier this year.
SilvaForm’s core expertise is in intelligent forms – which often use specialty inks, high security holograms, and integrated labels with variable data and envelopes with security features.
Seventy percent of SilvaForm’s production is dedicated to intelligent forms; 30 percent to labels. However, with the continuous forms sector in decline, Jaime Silva believes label production could reach 50 percent of the company’s output in the near future.
It is here that he expects the GEW UV curing systems to be beneficial. ‘The new systems will give us more flexibility in the substrates we use and will help us to expand our market share,’ he says. ‘The GEW units bring finer drying which better conserves the detail of the printing.’ The installations, spread across a battery of presses, now total some 50 individual curing units.
SilvaForm produces self-adhesive labels, electrostatic labels, shrink sleeves and hang tags among a wide product range, and serves sectors such as automotive, chemicals, aviation, clothing, and ticketing for events. Shrink sleeves, which make up 10 percent of label production, are mainly used in the beverage sector. As well as flexo and offset printing technology, SilvaForm employs digital and silkscreen; both traditional and laser die-cutting technology is used, while finishing can take place inline or offline.
Its intelligent forms production, meanwhile, is often dedicated to high security documents, such as government forms for vehicle control.
SilvaForm was founded in 1967 as a general printer of products such as envelopes and letterheads. Five years later it began to produce forms, while label production started in 1985 using offset technology. Flexo was added in 1992; digital in 2000.
The company has five plants spread throughout Mexico. All are run by members of the Silva family, though each operates independently.
Brian Wenger, president of GEW’s North American operation, said: ‘My first visit to SilvaForm was in 1997. Visiting each of their plants meant getting to know a wonderful, tight-knit, business-savvy family. We are pleased to have been providing their UV solutions since and look forward to our continued relationship.
‘We have a very large installation base in Latin America, counting market leaders in narrow web flexo among our customers. It is very exciting – and cost-effective given the low transition cost – to help a traditional web offset printer into other markets, including labels and flexible packaging.’
Pictured: SilvaForm’s general director, Jaime Silva