Ink manufacturers are emphasizing the importance of collaborating with their customers, through formulating their inks and coatings and making sure these formulations work well on press. Siegwerk Canada and USA (CUSA) has taken an extra step for its customers with the opening of its new Center for Printing Excellence at its Des Moines, IA facility.
The Center, which opened in August 2013, features equipment for customers to try their inks on, ensuring the right fit between the ink and its projects, as well as testing substrates and other materials. The highlight of the Center is a pilot press with flexographic and rotogravure capabilities for use with solvent-based or water-based ink technology.
Dave Hiserodt, BU head Flexible Packaging, Siegwerk CUSA, said that the Center fits perfectly with Siegwerk’s approach for its customers.
“Siegwerk has had technology and innovation engrained in its company for more than 180 years,” Hiserodt said. “ The Center of Printing Excellence was just the next step at continuing this tradition, while exhibiting also foresight and dedication to the packaging industry for years to come.”
Dr. Lothar Schaeffeler, vice president technology CUSA, said that Siegwerk had four main reasons for building the Center.
“First, trialing of new technology can be quite costly to Siegwerk customers,” he reported. “The Center allows customers to save both press time and money to trial technologies. Second, the Center helps to further enhance Siegwerk’s co-supplier relationship initiatives. Co-suppliers within the industry can test new products and technology on Siegwerk’s pilot press in combination with Siegwerk ink, thus providing a true value package to the customer base. “
“Third, the Center assists in accelerating lab to market time for Siegwerk new technical developments,” Dr. Schaeffeler added. “Lastly, the Center will be used as a training tool – not only for Siegwerk chemists and service personnel, but also for customer or co-supplier engineers and other employees.”
Siegwerk’s Center houses its pilot press with flexographic and rotogravure capabilities, and there are plans to further upgrade the equipment.
“The Center will eventually house an extrusion laminating unit that will allow roll-to-roll extrusion laminating to be done in-house,” Schaeffeler said. “In addition, a valued co-supplier relationship has brought a Flexo Wash anilox cleaner to the Center. As co-supplier relationships continue to flourish, Siegwerk staff will work to bring the latest in industry innovation to the Center.”
Testing can save everyone in the supply chain time, money and effort, and Dr. Schaeffeler said that the response from customers has been good.
“Siegwerk has already hosted multiple industry-leading printers/converters at the Center for trialing purposes,” Dr. Schaeffeler said. “Also Siegwerk will be hosting educational forums – INKdays – along with industry co-suppliers for its customers with the first one at the end of this month. Both from a customer and co-supplier standpoint, support for the Center has been overwhelmingly positive, and reinforces Siegwerk as a dedicated and valued supplier to the industry.”