W&H INTRODUCES SECOND GENERATION VISTAFLEX FULLY AUTOMATED CI PRINTING PRESS
Technical upgrades and new design on W&H’s flagship and fastest press - Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) has launched the VISTAFLEX II, a wide-web, CI flexographic press with upgrades for enhanced performance, improved print quality, and easy job changeovers.
W&H launched the original VISTAFLEX in 2008 for a small segment of high-end printers in the flexible packaging market who required a workhorse wide-web press that could run jobs 24/7 at speeds of up to 800 m/min (2,620 ft/min) with quick and easy job changeovers. Unique features of the press were the ability to prepare and store four additional jobs while the press was running and to execute fully- automated changeovers with two high-speed robots by pressing a button.
The VISTAFLEX II, available as of August 2022, provides all these same features along with technical upgrades and a fresh, modern look. “When we started conceptualizing how and what to update on the VISTAFLEX, we realized, what an exceptional press it still is well over a decade after its inception. To make the press even better for our customers, who run these machines extremely hard over prolonged periods of time, we started with improving the bearing system to increase stability and print quality,” said Hermann Veismann, General Manager for Printing and Finishing at Windmöller and Hölscher.
“Automation and assistance systems are making a dramatic difference in production efficiency, by shortening changeover times, minimizing waste, and making the process more straight-forward and easier for press operators. With this top of mind, we integrated W&H systems directly into the VISTAFLEX II,” added Dr. Holger Kreilkamp, Team Leader Product Management.
These include an improved CI drum cleaning system, which is particularly beneficial for paper and non-woven products, EASY-SET and EASY-REG for automated impression and register setting, the W&H VISION for web monitoring and defect detection, and the TURBOCLEAN ADVANCED E, which is W&H’s resource-efficient, award-winning washing and inking system.
Also available is the RUBY IoT platform. Coupled with Connect 4 Flow the system creates a direct link between a customer’s ERP system and the press, which allows jobs data to be sent remotely for automated smart job queueing and optimized workflow. The VISTA-PORT, where prepared cylinders and sleeves are stored, then organizes the integrated cylinder magazine automatically and prepares the necessary robotic changes. This concept is unique on the market and designed to bring the future of autonomous printing closer.
In addition, W&H has developed the FILMATIC II C winder to complement the press. The new non-stop, high-performance winder is available with an integrated slitting module. At maximum speeds, even extremely sensitive substrates that can be difficult to wind, such as breathable films and non-wovens, can be cut into very small ups and wound with straight edges.
Over 100 of the original VISTAFLEX presses are being used by customers in Europe, North America, and Asia to print on paper and film, as well as for special products from the hygiene sector such as non-wovens or back sheet films. While the press is typically used for long runs, especially in large-format printing applications such as for beverage packaging (up to 1,250mm / 49.2” repeat), it is also extremely efficient for short jobs with many changeovers due to the fast, fully-automated changeover robots.