CONTI-AIR® Symposium 2009: Improved waterless offset printing Quality and environmental protection

All components work in perfect harmony to ensure maximum quality / New CONTI-AIR® STEEL CE 51 metal printing blanket proven in environmentally friendly printing procedure / ContiTech joins European Waterless Printing Association (EWPA)

A small carbon footprint: Producing ContiTech’s printing blankets generates up to 70% fewer climatically detrimental CO2 emissions than manufacturing the global standard printing blankets
(PresseBox) ( Northeim, )
What possibilities does waterless offset printing offer? What are its advantages regarding quality and environmental protection? Is there still room for improvement? These questions were the focus of the CONTI-AIR® symposium on waterless offset printing in Northeim on September 4, 2009. ContiTech Elastomer Coatings invited experts from the printing sector to a day of wide-ranging discussion on the topic.

The speakers' contributions covered topics from the automatic printing blanket washing system through CtP exposure technology and the inks used to the printing plate and the printing blanket. "It was important for us to show the significance of the harmony between all the components in waterless offset printing and to encourage all the participants to exchange their thoughts and ideas," said Dr. Thomas Perkovic, segment manager for printing blankets at ContiTech. "After all, ContiTech is the market leader for printing blankets in waterless offset printing, and we are very committed to this sector."

ContiTech also demonstrated this by joining the European Waterless Printing Association (EWPA), which has set itself the task of promoting research and development in the field of waterless offset printing in order to avoid the use of fountain solutions and protect the environment.

At the symposium, ContiTech introduced its new metal printing blanket, the CONTI-AIR® STEEL CE 51, which has proven to be a well-engineered solution for waterless newspaper offset printing. The printing blanket provides convincing color rendition, maximum precision and high printing quality. This is ensured by two compressible layers - one below the fabric, one above. The advantage: uniform pressing which has a positive effect on the entire printing process. "This design guarantees a very high printing quality together with a long service life," explains Stefan Füllgraf, head of metal printing blankets at ContiTech Elastomer Coatings.

The new CONTI-AIR® metal printing blanket also stands out due to its uniform thickness (plane parallelism), which guarantees an even impression over the entire printing length and width. "Across the board, CONTI-AIR® metal printing blankets are fitted with relatively thick, compressible rubber layers which are permanently bonded to the metal by vulcanization. This guarantees optimum service life," says Füllgraf. Compared to the normal offset process, the waterless printing process allows greater rubber blanket durability, as it does not require fountain solutions. The CONTI-AIR® STEEL CE 51 meets these requirements with a special film attached to the rear side. ContiTech is the market leader in waterless offset. This is why Koenig & Bauer, one of the world's leading manufacturers of printing machines, uses the printing blanket in its original equipment.

Speakers' contributions

In addition to the introduction of the new metal printing blanket, the renowned specialists at the symposium tackled the possibility of further improving printing results in the waterless offset process. Wolfgang Dietrich of Baldwin Germany opened the presentations with his contribution on the technical characteristics of an automatic printing blanket washing system. Patrick Zürcher of Freiburger Druck provided an insight into the practical experience of a user in waterless newspaper printing; Holger Nußbeck and Thomas Richter, KRAUSE-Biagosh GmbH, presented developments in CtP exposure technology; and Falk Hübner from the SAUER roller factory spoke on the evolution of ink rollers in waterless offset printing, while Thomas Albert of SIEGWERK explained the differences between a conventional and a waterless newspaper offset printing ink. Tore Harms and Shohei Koshiba of TORAY International Europe GmbH spoke on the product development of the waterless offset printing plate. The symposium was rounded off with a tour of the ContiTech Northeim plant.

Climate protection with ContiTech printing blankets

Environmentally friendly and climate-compatible printing is one of the main challenges facing the printing industry. As the world's largest specialist for rubber and plastics technology, ContiTech stands for environmentally friendly solutions in a wide range of branches and fields - not least with its printing blankets. A recent study showed that production of ContiTech printing blankets generates up to 70% fewer climatically detrimental CO2 emissions than that of global standard printing blankets.
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