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  • 06 Jan 2011

Universal benefits

Universal Sleeve (Barcelona), which is a leading supplier of high quality printed packaging to many of Europe’s leading FMCG brands, has launched a major investment in printing and converting equipment with French supplier DCM USIMECA, based around an 8-color, 680mm wide DCM BIVA rotogravure press. The machine runs at 400 m/min with non-stop unwind and rewind, giving it a print capacity of shrinkable film of more than 200,000 sqm/day.
The press is specified with a Fife web guide and Eltromat DGC 700 series automatic register control, keeping register accurate to +/-12 microns. A turner bar between units 7 and 8 is used mostly to apply a ‘slip’ varnish on wraparound labels, and the eighth unit has an extended dryer for varnishes and other specialist coatings.
Solvent is distributed automatically to each print group by means of automatic viscosimeters, and exhaust air with solvent is recycled up to 60 percent. A closed-loop chill system is incorporated for the cooling cylinder after each printing unit.
Related equipment includes:

  • A DCM Sleeve Auto seaming/inspection system with non-stop turret rewinder.
  • A Panthere high speed slitter rewinder designed to slit rolls up to 800mm diameter to feed the dual unwinder of the seamer. The machine is fitted with circular shear knives to guarantee maximum edge slit quality for seaming.

The press has two full-time operators working on a 12-hour shift pattern, and the converting operation as a whole is run by a staff of seven.
Although Spain is primarily a PVC shrink sleeve market, Universal Sleeve offers the full range of shrink material types, including PET, OPS and PLA . BOPP is standard for lamination and wraparound labels.
The company operates in niche sectors of the market not occupied by the big flexible packaging players, and is particularly strong in the area of promotional sleeves, placing a high premium on innovation and ongoing research into new systems and materials such as UV protection, special varnishes and adhesives, security seals with identity codes, and sleeves incorporating promotions and prizes.
The new DCM BIVA press is profitably on print runs down to 150,000 labels. The press is cantilevered and does not require a trolley system to load the lightweight cylinders, which weigh only 16kg. This means a cylinder change on all printing units can be achieved in just 30 minutes - two hours if all inks have also to be changed.