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SIG on a roll


Machinery specialist SIG Alfa has launched a new roll-fed machine to meet the ever-increasing demands of the bottling industry. Given the market demand for increasingly high-performing user-friendly machines with reduced maintenance and lower prices, the company has extended the range of its Rollquasar family by launching the Alfa Rollquasar HS.

This new model can reach speeds of up to 36,000 bottles per hour (bph) and, says the company, offers better performances for its category thanks to materials and technologies borrowed from a quicker model, the Alfa Rollquattro. The cost of the new machine, however, remains within the price bracket for the Rollquasar line of products.

SIG says that the new machine has several innovative features compared to the existing Alfa Rollquasar 540 and the Alfa Rollquasar 720. Firstly, a new device - the glue roller - is used to spread the glue on the label. Another legacy of the Alfa Rollquattro is greater cleanliness, simpler adjustments with the possibility of installing the optional devices required for higher speeds, such as the extractor for fumes released when the glue is heated.


Another new feature is the inclusion in this model of a modular-design reel support, conceived to hold two reels (with an average of 25,000 labels per reel). Each individual reel has an independent precise position adjustment, indispensable for the optimal application of labels. An automatic jointer can also be installed on the support to make joints "on the fly" between the end of one reel and the beginning of the next one, even in the absence of the operator, thus minimizing production downtime.


As regards the control system, this machine features a Siemens industrial PC plus a latest generation ELAU axis control. The touch-screen type control panel makes it easy for the operator to effect adjustments and format changeovers. Lastly, the control platform based on Windows CE and Copadata zenOn software enables remote control of the machine's activity using the Web or local ethernet, while text messages about any malfunctions can also be sent automatically to mobile phones (SMS).


The Alfa Rollquasar HS can be fitted with any kind of inkjet or laser coding machine.


SIG is confident that the new machine is an innovative addition to this sector of label printing. In roll-fed technology. the labels are supplied on a plastic film (for example, OPP) wound up in rolls, also called reels. The film is then unwound and cut into individual labels while held taut. The labels are printed and cut in such a way as to avoid any waste of film.


The individual label is then covered in glue at the two ends and applied to the container. The most commonly labeled containers with this technology are PET and glass bottles. Today the largest field of application - where paper labels are in decline - is the sector of soft drinks in PET bottles.


Materials such as OPP have two main advantages compared to paper. Firstly, the graphics are rendered much more vividly (brighter colors, also with transparent backgrounds, which are not possible on paper). And, secondly, they are more resistant to humidity and mold when in stock, before or after application.


SIG Alfa, part of the SIG Beverages Division, has for years been a leading manufacturer of labeling machines. The firm's products range from hot melt labeling to self adhesive applications, and the company is involved in cold glue technology.