A more flexible and efficient gravure, that combines reliability and quality, facilitating the use of a series of unique improvements in the workchange, drying and inking stages. With what is more new heads for the digital printing of variable data in line with the press. Cerutti turns over a new leaf and relaunches, placing the onus on technology.
The company has ceaselessly continued with its investments in research and its signing of contracts: 24 machines for printing packaging across the world in the toughest period of the crisis, when the timehonored Meccaniche Giovanni Cerutti SpA has had to face the drop in the publishing market as supplier of market leaders. And now, after having restructured (see the opening shoulder), the Piedmontese gravure press builder can look ahead, bolstered by a new and solid industrial and financial organisation. And, aboveall, by a new integrated offer of printing and converting machines and equipment, that raises the processing standard and announces digital integration for the reproduction of variable data.
To communicate all this, it presents the new R98X and the latest frontiers in R&D, at the end of October 2014 Cerutti Packaging Equipment opened the gates of its super-equipped Vercelli R&D center. Here customers, journalists, end users (Lavazza, Danone, Barilla, Ferrero…) were able to witness the live demos, finishing off dining with their hosts in the hall on the upper floor of the building: over 60 companies came from all over the world – from Mexico to Indonesia, the USA and Turkey – to carefully examine the solutions proposed and swap observations and opinions
And indeed the new features were many: the innovatory workchange, the inking unit, the doctor blade, pressure roller and redesigned ventilation, the “autopreset” function and, lastly the Atlantic Zeiser heads for monochrome digital inkjet printing that as group president Giancarlo Cerutti stated in opening the proceedings « enabled us to tackle the growing demands with an ad hoc solution, devised along with the supplier during a lengthy procedure of optimisation and tests».
And now the commitment carries on, with further investments on new objectives – starting from the integration in line of digital printing for flexible materials – and with the cooperation of the entire supply chain. This at Cerutti’s is a consolidated practice: “go further with us” was the slogan of the open house.
Designing according to efficiency and cost-effectiveness
The R98X gravure press for printing packaging and specialties offers new levels of performance and reliability, enabling at the same time a considerable reduction in production costs and start-up waste. It is the result of a radical redesign, demanded by Cerutti themselves at the time the company was deepest into its crisis.
«It was a decision of strategic scope – the head of R&D, Ingegner Riccardo Montagini underlines – that today allows us to propose unique solutions and to be competitive on all markets. If we had not taken advantage of the forced stop over the last months, we would now be absorbed by the recovery of normal production rates, without the resources to dedicate to such ambitious objectives».
The “diabolical” start-up. The first objective focused and centered was the review of the procedures for automatic start-up, so important in this age of short runs. The new system presented on board the R98X guarantees start-up with a net waste equal to or less than half the length of the machine (we have seen the demo, Ed), depending on whether one opts for a completely, or almost completely automatic mode. In the first instance, the reference marks for the positioning of the cylinders are read automatically, directly on the printed material; in the latter case the operator intervenes activating a (simple) assisted procedure. «And when we repeat a job, as so often happens, the machine restarts by itself, and immediately at high speed (400 m)». As Arturo Bergamaschino, “speaker” of the print demo stated, this is a unique solution, «which required extensive refinement and long months of testing. Its special features perhaps are not obvious at first glance, but devilishness, as one knows, lies in the details … ».
Drying in three dimensions. Efficient ventilation is a strongpoint of Cerutti’s technology which, thanks to the new drying installation, is able to guarantee the customer precise and quantified results both in relation to the printing quality as well as the degree of residual solvent for any type of work, substrate, ink and speed.
«Our machines use shorter hoods, that reduce both the volume of air to be heated (and therefore the energy needed) as well as the material that “travels” in the machine and, therefore, also the start-up waste, with further economic advantages» Bergamaschino explains.
The drying process, developed and patented by Cerutti, is based on the use of “three-dimensional” nozzles that blow air on the side of the print side of the material and “two-dimensional” nozzles that blow air on the back of the web. In this way we obtain a better distribution of drying air turbulence, it evens the temperature and improves the efficiency and speed of drying, «and we know how much this counts, especially in the case of packaging for food contact».
Flexibility and lightness (even outside the machine). The new R98X is more flexible «The user can choose between the two models, with spindled or jacketed cylinders The operator selects, according to needs, how to make the workchange: replacing the cylinder and inking together, or only one or the other element, and always with a guided, set and elementary sequence of actions. A valuable aid (or devilish detail of you so want) is the new, very essential, trolley, redesigned to serve the different work sequences with max ease and the same gestures, easy and quick to clean out of the machine, all to the benefit of the operator . «Washed in a flash, having inserted the basin, the truck is ready for insertion into the machine that, in practice, takes it up automatically. Also thanks to elements like this, on an 8 color press a mere 2 operators can perform a complete workchange in 28 minutes, replacing only what they need to suit the specific case and avoiding bottlenecks that could also form off line with a succession of short runs».
Inking: rolls and rollers. A final significant element? The “different” inking system. Its most original feature is the ability to activate – when appropriate – a supplementary roller, significantly improving the ink laydown. «In practice – summarizes the engineer – by adjusting the speed of the print roll and according to the characteristics of the materials used, the solvent is prevented from evaporating too quickly, which would otherwise result in the accumulation of pigments that clog the cells and affect the quality of work. In addition other recurring problems are solved, such as the formation of foam generated by the use of two-component inks to be mixed in the bowl». Simple (to say), like a well written mathematical formula.
February 21, 2014. A watershed date, that of the «unanimous, final and irrevocable acceptance of the repayment plan» proposed by the ownership for restructuring Officine Meccaniche Giovanni Cerutti SpA. It ended a procedure under concerted agreement carried out with commitment and steadfastness, with the consent of all the parties involved – suppliers, banks, courts, experts and consultants, unions and local authorities.
Hence February 2014 marked the transition from the renovation to the relaunch of the company that has dominated the international magazine and newspaper printing machinery scene, «even if, in fact – both Giancarlo and Costanza Cerutti, respectively President and Communications Manager of the family business wished to stress – the Group has continued to look ahead, investing in products and accelerating innovation». They also owe their good business results of last year to this choice: the Piedmontese entrepreneurs have continued to preside over the market and are now returning bolstered by a solid structure, with new technologies and a cutting-edge offer for the packaging industry, including Cerutti Packaging Equipment – a subsidiary of the Group that builds presses for printing packaging and converting systems – that has always been one of the sector leaders.
More converting and very “special”. Cerutti Packaging Equipment SpA is based in Casale Monferrato (AL), with the Research Centre site in Vercelli. Its offer is focused on machines and equipment for gravure printing of packaging and more, while two subsidiaries, the Spanish company Iberica and the US company Zerand, build diecutting machines, respectively flat sheetfed and rollfed for paperboard (cartons for cigarettes, perfumes and luxury items …).
The expertise cultivated over decades of operating globally has also fuelled the vast and varied “specialty” market, meaning solutions for printing particular products: plastic banknotes, stamps, faux wood and faux marble, PVC for tiles, all types of paper banderolls (from yogurt and coffee capsules lids), the great world of transfer paper (typically for leather and fabrics), cigarettes filters… without forgetting the gravure machines for periodical and the flexographic, ones for newspapers, with relative accessories and spare parts, that are still in the catalogue and are produced by the Parent company, Officine Meccaniche G. Cerutti.
«As for converting in the strictest sense, significant field of activity for us – said Constanza Cerutti – even recently we have delivered several machines with interesting configurations: coating machines for aluminum blisters, duplex and triplex laminators, lid printing lines … We are doing particularly well in providing hi-tech and customized systems for different applications: although we have solutions for all market segments, the high range definitely remains one of our strongpoints».
Two prestigious and emblematic orders? The four-color transfer paper printing facility supplied to the Miroglio Group and the 13 unit machine sold to Innovia Security for the plastic banknotes of the Bank of England. Without forgetting the 10 color press for printing stamps of the British Crown, inaugurated by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the month of October.
Exports, but not only. In recent years, and applies for everyone, the most vibrant and receptive markets have aboveall been the foreign ones. «The Southeast Asia is experiencing a period of great dynamism – states Giancarlo Cerutti – but lately also the Italian industry is showing signs of vitality. We have several negotiations open and, ultimately, I expect a resumption of Italian growth».
Currently however it is the world’s eastern markets that provide the biggest draw: «Indonesia is growing exponentially, as well as Thailand, Vietnam, India and the surrounds. Sub-Saharan Africa is unfortunately suffering a setback due to the Ebola epidemic, and the Middle East suffers from the familiar political problems, while our sales in China continue to go very well, typically printing and metalization machines for cigarette packets, which are of course high range (the entry level is the prerogative of local producers). In the rest of the world, no new thing, the trend is cyclical: South America and Europe are slowing, while the United States is growing, despite the fact that it is a flexo oriented country».