The Power Savers

With the collaboration of Honle UV Technology and Rotapress (formerly known as Webtron Europe), Barthel GmbH, a label and flexible packaging manufacturer based in Essen, Germany, upgraded its three Webtron presses, boosting capacity and productivity.

Barthel has been in operation for 18 years, and the high cost of maintenance for its aging equipment meant it was time for an upgrade. “The decision had to be made: Should we buy a new press or would an upgrade be a better investment?” a Barthel spokesperson explains.

After deciding the upgrade would be more cost-effective, Barthel asked Honle UV Technology and Rotapress to step in and begin work on the three presses. Upgrades continued over a one-year period.

The challenge for both Honle UV and Rotapress was to upgrade three 14-year-old, five-, six-, and seven-color Webtron printing presses to permit the production of thinner films and to increase production outputs.

Stepping Up
The first step was for Rotapress to upgrade the tension control system with a fully automatic system. Each print station was thoroughly overhauled and equipped with new gears, rollers, and bearings. The electronic register control also was upgraded for easier setup, and all internal components were completely replaced.

Key to the upgrade was the replacement of the original water-cooled, two lamps-per-station ultraviolet curing systems on each press with Honle's single-lamp, air-cooled UV curing systems. According to Barthel, the UV system upgrade has provided significant savings in consumables and power consumption.

Typically, the original two-lamp UV systems supplied with these presses would have been rated at 2 × 120 W/cm. Based on this, significant cost savings are becoming apparent as a result of the change to the Honle equipment, says the Barthel spokesperson. The design of the Honle UV systems is said to permit easier web threading for fast setup.

The lamp replacements also eliminated the previous high maintenance needs and floor space requirements of the original water-cooled systems, greatly increasing available space in the plant. The UV upgrades eventually can be retrofitted to include Honle's new Advanced Cold Mirror Technology (ACM), designed to deliver higher peak intensity than direct radiation.

According to Barthel, the upgrades have caused an immediate 25% increase in production on each machine due to less downtime, faster setup, and increased press speeds. Better registration is another plus. The upgrade also allows the plant to run biaxially oriented polypropylene and similar films without heat issues and the need for water-chilled systems.

To date, the total power saved at maximum power rating is 32,720 W or 32.72 kW. If operating at 10 hr/day, 250 days/yr, the power saving can amount to 81, 800 kWH/year.

Barthel GmbH
Daniel Eckhardt Strasse 10 45356 Essen, Germany

Honle UV Technology, Munich, Germany; +49 89 856080;
Rotapress, Alsbach, Germany; +49 6257 61075

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