Swiss Flexible Packaging Specialist Wipf AG Improves Quality and Business with AVT’s Apollo 20K
"With the installation of the Apollo 20K from AVT on our HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press, we have increased our customer base by about 20%. We have been able work with new customers we could not serve before,” says Daniel Nikolic, Head of Digital Printing at Wipf AG.
Zürich, Switzerland & Hod-Hasharon, Israel – Swiss flexible packaging specialist Wipf AG has improved quality control, broadened its digital offering and increased its customer base by around 20% after installing the Apollo 20K from AVT.
AVT’s Apollo 20K is a superior process control and quality management solution. Designed to suit the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press, it integrates into the press rewind section, inspecting any material, surface or reverse printed. The system inspects 100% of the material 100% of time, alerting the operator at an early stage on any deviation to ensure perfect print quality and minimum waste. Apollo 20K automatically detects print and substrate defects, including color variations, streaks, misprints, low contrast defects, mis-registration, spots, splashes and more.
Leading the flexible packaging field
Wipf AG not only prints foils and flexible composite materials, it also processes them in-house. For flexible packaging, the structure consists of several layers of material laminated together, with each layer providing specific performance characteristics, such as oxygen, moisture, or light resistance, heat sealability, chemical resistance, print receptivity… It must also comply with Switzerland’s strict regulations regarding food compliant packaging.
At Wipf AG, for example, PET-foils are bonded with aluminum foils, then concealed with a sealing film. Similar composite materials are traditionally printed in high print runs by large rotogravure systems. The printed material rolls or bags are then delivered to the respective packers, which produce the finished packaging together with the contents from the raw material.
Customers in the food sector rely on Wipf AG’s high-quality production, particularly in Switzerland, where strict processes are in place to ensure compliance with food legislation. These processes apply to digital printing, as well as conventional printing.
Digital complements conventional production
"We invest a lot of time in our digital printing department to measure and control the content of composite materials and inks for each order," explains Daniel Nikolic, Head of Digital Printing at Wipf AG.
A trained offset printer, Nikolic has been responsible for building the digital printing department at Wipf AG, which began in 2012. Today, three employees run the department, and the company invests in new technologies every year to service growing demand and meet customers’ evolving quality requirements.
“A passion for quality, reliability and the pursuit of excellence represent our core company values and are reflected in our products and services as well as the attitude towards our daily work. We were looking for a solution that would meet our standards so we decided to install an inspection control solution on our HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press and opted for AVT," explains Nikolic. "AVT’s Apollo 20K is very compact and integrating it with the HP press was very straight-forward. We were able to select our desired configuration and complete the set-up in less than no time."
Wipf AG’s digital team received comprehensive support and training with the installation: "AVT is an HP Indigo partner, and together they offered us a very fast, easy-to-use solution,” adds Nikolic. “We tested the system and within a few weeks everything was in operation.”
Small-run flexible packaging
Wipf AG’s HP Indigo 20000 produces an average of 2,000 sheets of flexible packaging sheets per hour. The printed material is then rolled up, like conventional material rolls, and sent to the fillers. With AVT’s process control and quality management solution, orders can now be processed profitably in a way that wasn’t achievable before, and the company’s customer base has increased by around 20%.
Nikolic notes that, it’s the small runs with special designs and seasonal promotional packaging which are mostly implemented.
And when it comes to the inspection system, Nikolic is completely satisfied: "We can immediately detect any defects – such as streaks, spots, ink splatters or fuzzy fonts – and react quickly, so we avoid customer complaints. We have also been able to reduce waste considerably."
For certain orders, it’s particularly advantageous that the AVT Apollo 20K can be adjusted to a specific color, and, in particular, control it. For example, deviations in corporate brand colors are detected and fixed quickly. Wipf AG’s Apollo 20K is a semi-automatic solution. However, this could be expanded to an even more user-friendly, fully automated version as the digital printing department grows. "This is our goal for the coming years," says Nikolic, who is looking forward to enhancing the already well-equipped department.
AVT is the global leader in print process control, quality assurance and press control for the packaging, labels, and commercial print industries. Backed by state-of-the-art technology and field-proven solutions, more than 7,000 AVT systems are installed at customer sites worldwide. AVT is headquartered in Hod-Hasharon, Israel with sales, marketing, and support offices in the United States, Europe and China. For more information, visit www.avt-inc.com.
About Wipf AG
Headquartered in Zurich, Wipf AG’s origins lie in paper and carrier bag production. Today, its main focus is developing and producing high-density, printed packaging films and bags for the pharmaceutical, food and non-food industries. The 200-strong company provides offset and digital print services, as well all as flexographic jobs.
Wipf AG is part of the Wipf Group, which in addition to operating in the flexible packaging sector, also produces envelopes and stationery. The second division, which includes the subsidiary Elco AG and the Elco brand, specializes in producing envelopes, papers and cards, writing pads and notepads, notebooks and folders. It also offers direct advertising services. Wipf Group also recently acquired the online printing company, flyerline.ch and the Christiner Partner AG, which is in the business of outdoor advertising, promotion, inscriptions and interieur. More info, visit www.wipf.ch