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September 17, 2007

Latest technology
for wine labels in Verona
Wet glue applied labels still dominate the European wine scene. Nevertheless, rollfed pressure sensitive labels are steadily increasing their share of the market, especially in Italy. This has led several converters to install fairly sophisticated webfed presses and finishing lines to either augment or replace sheetfed offset presses. The extra capacity invariably means these printers seek customers outside of wineries, with a new type of technology additionally providing an assist into producing film based products. A good example of this practice is Grafiche Seven, founded in 1969 and located in Verona. This is also Italy’s biggest province for the production of DOC (Denomination of Controlled Origin) wines.
The company moved into narrow web production in 2002 and a year later installed a Muller Martini A74. This move led to expansion into shrink sleeves, film and paper wraparounds and inmold labels for the soft drink, mineral water and motor oil sectors. The latest addition is a top-of-the-range Muller Martini Alprinter-V 74, fitted with six offset units and two UV flexo units. The maximum web width is 29" and top speed is around 1,000 feet/minute.
Adapted from commercial applications, the variable format V 74 uses lightweight, polymer-based sleeves for the plate and offset blanket cylinders, rather than heavy, conventional print cassettes. They allow quick job changeovers with varying repeat lengths, aided by automatic register control and a remote inking system. Turners bars allow front and reverse side printing of either paper or film substrates.
According to Luciano Venturi, founder and president, this level of technology accords with the company’s work patterns: “Years ago, runs were much longer, about 15 to 20 million labels for mineral water or milk cartons. Nowadays, due to the increasing number of promotional campaigns, the graphic variants have multiplied and consequently the production lots have been reduced. In this case, web offset technology offers interesting opportunities.”
Muller Martini now offers inline laminating and matrix removal capabilities for the Alprinta-V series. The laminating station is located on the redesigned UV flexo module and can apply a UV curable adhesive to the substrate during production. A film is then dispensed onto the web to pass under the UV lamps for curing. The matrix waste module utilizes a draw roller and doctor blades to cut labels in a rotary process using flexible plates on a magnetic cylinder.
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