TECH TALK with Bo Meyer, European Technical Director
|Bo Meyer is a well-known figure in the narrow web converting industry. Having led technology development at Gerhardt, Bo is now RotoMetrics' European Technical Director. Bo is based in the company's Herlev, Denmark facility|
Q: What do you feel are the strengths in terms of technology and product development that the Gerhardt organization brings to the combined company?
Gerhardt is recognized as a leader in flexible die technology. We have a strong track record of delivering innovative features and improved performance of flexible dies, to include creating products like the Air-Flex, Texture Flex, High Blade flexible dies.
The combination with RotoMetrics strengthens our technology leadership position. Drawing from the best production processes and surface treatment technologies of both companies, we can now supply state of art performance across the industry's broadest portfolio of flexible dies. We have now a flexible die for almost any material or converting challenge.
Q: Can you tell us about any initial product developments that are products of the new team and the "best of both worlds" approach?
We are launching a new series of flexible dies at the Labelexpo Europe in September. Our new AccuStar™ laser hardened dies are optimized for high volume applications using the newest filmic materials and abrasive thermal transfer applications. These dies are result of our combined technology and research. Another area of focus for our team is new die station concepts for cutting, creasing or embossing. These stations have many features we know users will appreciate, to include a swing-over or "pivoting" pressure bridge for easier die changeovers.
Q: The Herlev, Denmark facility is the company's Center of Excellence for nonwoven applications. Can you provide some information on the history of that site and the capabilities today?
The Herlev factory grew out of cooperation between a Danish producer of solid dies for nonwoven applications and Gerhardt. With investments in modern EDM technology, we have improved existing product technology and lead times for the highly specialized medical and hygiene nonwoven markets. At Herlev, we are capable of making dies up to 1.4 meters long and up to 330 mm in diameter. Nonwoven dies are very different from label dies, typically with cutting heights up to 8 - 20 mm, and often made in special alloys or powder steel.
Q: Looking to Labelexpo in Brussels, what innovations will your customers be most interested in? What will RotoMetrics feature at the show?
I believe that two themes will be important in this show:
â–¡ Generating more value-added content to labels;
â–¡ Offering value-added performance using existing equipment;
We are working with customers to meet new requirements for label content and design, or to help them access new markets. For example, we see customer interest in our soft embossing, luxury texture, and new hot foil applications. New materials for "no look" labels and reduced consumption and waste are key technology challenges and we are introducing the AccuStar™ flexible dies to meet those needs.
Looking at trends in new press technology, we see a focus on ease of changeover and trouble-free production. Working with our press original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners we are introducing our AccuStrike™ anvil with dual adjustment technology. The AccuStrike allows press operators to adjust blade clearance on press with extreme precision. Controls enable the operator to adjust bearers independently or together for unparalleled control over die strike on various liner thicknesses – without interrupting production.