Omet – Open-House event to introduce new hybrid label press
An interview with Marco Calcagni, sales director for Omet.
The new hybrid XFlex X6 JetPlus combines flexo and inkjet printing capabilities. Is there a certain area of application for the analogue and digital components respectively? Is the printing mostly done with the inkjet unit and are the flexo units destined mostly for converting functions?
Marco Calcagni: With the hybrid flexo/digital solution XFlex X6 JetPlus, all the advantages merge in one single press. It widens the range of possibilities for printers, thanks to its IN-LINE multi-process configuration which enables to print only in digital, only in flexo or with a combination of the two, thus taking advantage of the strengths of each technology according to the final demand. Furthermore, many types of in-line finishing and converting modules can be added to both traditional and digital printing, in order to confer even more value to the final product.
What kind of substrates is this press capable of processing?
Marco Calcagni: The Domino digital print unit of the XFlex X6 JetPlus processes coated PE, PP, PET, paper pressure-sensitive label stocks, embossed paper, and coated paper. The flexo units are suitable for unsupported film (OPP,BOPP), shrink film (PET, PVC, OPS), paper (C1S,C2S, etc.), pressure-sensitive paper, PS film, annealed and raw Aluminium foil, SBS carton, PE coated and L-board
Which product sectors like labels, shrink sleeves, cartons, or in-mould labels is Omet targeting with the JetPlus?
Marco Calcagni: One of the main advantages provided by Jetplus is to have flexo and digital print in one press. This means having the opportunity to compete in different market segments and taking advantage of the most suitable print technology according to the targeted sector.
How large do you estimate the global market for hybrids in terms of total annual sales for all manufacturers?
Marco Calcagni: It is impossible to give a number, simply because the market is still trying to fully understand this process and its potential.
What distinguishes the Omet offering from hybrid solutions supplied by companies like Gallus, Mark Andy, Nilpeter, and MPS (which also uses Domino technology)?
Marco Calcagni: Omet does not offer a digital press with one or two flexo stations for finishing but a real hybrid press where flexo and digital technology can be combined together or can work independently. This is the competitive advantage we are offering to printers: to have three presses in one.
Does Omet believe it will sell mostly to flexo users wanting digital capability, or digital users wanting to add flexo – or start ups who don’t know exactly what processes they want to use?
Marco Calcagni: Hard to say. It can be useful to all of them. But obviously if a newcomer is looking for ease to use, immediate results and low need for technical expertise, the right solution is digital, since it works just like a home printer. On the other hand probably if someone has a technical background, he would prefer a flexo solution which guarantees high reliability in terms of productivity.
Maybe this press is the best solution for those who already have a background and know perfectly their daily production, figures and data. So that they can tell whether to use flexo or digital according to their requirements.
The hybrid concept is sometimes criticised for being neither fish nor fowl as it may result in a limitation of the analogue and digital technologies when combined in one machine. What is Omet’s view on this?
Marco Calcagni: As I mentioned before, the market is still processing the potentialities of the hybrid technology. But Omet’s view is that a real and complete integration of flexo and digital in one machine like XFlex X6 Jetplus is clearly the perfect tool to cope with new market requirements without losing productivity. So, in our opinion it is and will be both fish and fowl!
Where and when can we see the first JetPlus in commercial use – and can you arrange a visit for me to report on how it is working?
Marco Calcagni: Actually one JetPlus is already installed and in daily production. We sold the first X6 JetPlus in 2012 to an Italian customer, who managed to see its potentialities and now he is very satisfied with the press.
Sig. Calcagni, thank you very much for this interview