Panther Print sets a world record in flexo preprint with technology from BOBST

This has never happened before in flexo preprint: Panther Print GmbH, a Panther Group company headquartered in Wustermark, Germany, used a BOBST 96S central cylinder, CI flexo printing press to print more than a million square meters of liner board (preprinted corrugated board) in 24 hours — thus setting a new world record. Mastering the various printing processes requires a lot of expertise, and the Panther Print team’s world class performance proves they have it.

With its BOBST 96S central cylinder flexo printing press, Panther Print GmbH in Wustermark (a division of the Panther Group) produced more than a million square meters of liner board in 24 hours to set a new world record. The perfect combination of a high-performance machine with the experienced Panther Print team, premium materials and an optimized logistics process enabled one-of-a-kind production averaging 489 m/min., or 48,917 m² per hour.

Specifically, the BOBST 96S — the newest generation of this machine is called the BOBST MASTER CI 90 SIX — printed 1,174,000 m² of liner board in one day. That’s an average of 489 m/min., or 48,917 m² an hour meaning the machine was almost continuously running close to its maximum output of 600 m/min., including roll and job changes. One of many challenges was the internal logistics.

Tension was in the air and the scent of printing ink filled the hall in Wustermark as the new world record approached. In general, the technology and solid construction of the BOBST 96S gives the user everything needed to achieve the highest quality and productivity in four shift flexo preprinting. But anyone who wants to fully probe the limits of such a high-performance machine, with its impressive extra-large print width of 2,800 mm, needs ambitious, well-trained employees — and Panther Print is proud to have them. Printing is the entire team’s passion, which the world record impressively underlines.

The experienced printers perfectly execute their craft and do everything possible for Panther Print to meet the highest quality demands. The highly automated BOBST flexo printing press was installed in 2010 and has always been popular with the team. In this shop, the machine’s unique performance specification combines perfectly with very high-quality printing plates and outstanding printing tools. All this allows the printers to keep pushing the limits of flexo preprint quality higher and higher.

The BOBST 96S installed at Panther Print is equipped with eight inking units on the central cylinder and a separate varnishing unit. Its high level of automation in the setup process and tool handling, fully automatic print cylinder storage, and automatic splicing at speeds up to 450 m/min., allow the fastest possible job changes. A special highlight of the machine is the BOBST smartGPS system. This innovative offline system for registration and impression setting uses the latest RFID technology and significantly reduces both machine setup times and waste. The resulting reduction in ink, material and energy consumption makes packaging production more sustainable and improves the ecological balance of the products made in Wustermark.

By commissioning the world’s first BOBST 96S with a 2,800 mm printing width, Panther Print sets the standard as the market’s largest privately owned packaging manufacturer. This high-performance press poses special challenges for machine design. All of its technology, including drying performance and ink supply, is designed to allow continuous maximum performance. From the Panther Group’s perspective, flexo preprint’s strength can be seen in its especially high screen widths on weight-independent coated linings. The company also uses the BOBST 96S to print on the thinnest Kraftliner and Testliner papers with a weight of only 35 g/m² and observes sustainability principles by being suitable for even thinner papers. Thanks to this capability, Panther Print can produce between 150 million and 200 million square meters of optimal quality liner board and has received many awards for its performance with the BOBST 96S, including the DFTA Award, Germany’s highest honor for print quality.