GSE Dispensing and Flint Group help Nordvalls Etikett achieve colour targets efficiently with the Perfect Proofer® and Colorsat Match® dispenser

Nordvalls Etikett achieves fast colour mixing with GSE Dispensing's Colorsat Match dispenserIn an age of short runs and lead-times, it’s vital to control your processes, to achieve fast changeover times on which productivity depends, and the quality on which reputations are made.

This applies especially to colour-matching which, without sufficient control, can be the most time-consuming part of the setup stage. However, as Swedish the label converter Nordvalls Etikett AB discovered, automating the ink logistics process provides the solution for achieving accurate, repeatable colour on demand. The company, based in Sjöbo in the south of the country, is enjoying accurate proofing, increased productivity and substantial waste reductions after investing in GSE Dispensing’s Colorsat® Match ink dispenser and a Perfect Proofer tabletop proofing system.

Established in 1907, Nordvalls Etikett operates three label production plants in southern Sweden. Its main 8,000m² facility, Nordvalls Print, has 15 self-adhesive label production lines, with flexo, offset, screen, letterpress and digital presses, supplying the food, beverages, wood, paper, chemical and general industrial sectors. A specialist pharmaceutical facility is nearby, and another label, ticket and tag plant lies near Gothenburg.

Nordvalls Print’s main obstacle to productivity was the make-ready times, due to a proofing process that occurred inline, taking up to 25 minutes to reach colour targets on a typical four-colour job.

Knut Nilsson, Nordvalls’ colour development manager, comments: “We had been mixing colours on the press which cuts into available press time and can waste substrates. We had been looking for a solution and our ink supplier suggested we have a look at the combination of a proofer and dispensing system.”

In order to help Nordvalls to optimise ink yields, the supplier Flint Group proposed the Colosat Match dispenser from GSE Dispensing, on account of the latter’s ability to offer a complete logistics solution based on mixing and software, and the Perfect Proofer from Print Proof Solutions. Both were installed in late 2012.


Reducing the risk

Offline proofing with the Perfect Proofer at Nordvalls EtikettThe Colorsat Match enables clean and waste-free recipe production, dispensing the exact amount of water-based or UV-curable inks needed in batches from 1kg (2lb) to 5kg (11lb). It is proven to improve yields by up to 30 percent. The dispenser’s user-friendly Ink Management Software (IMS) provides precise formulations.

When Nordvalls receives a colour specification from the customer, a small ink batch is mixed in the Colorsat Match system and checked with a spectrometer. If necessary, adjustments are made and when the correct colour is achieved it can be tested on the Perfect Proofer.

The Perfect Proofer is a fully gear-driven replica of a flexo printing unit, using the same anilox roll type and cell count, polymer plate, tape, drying system and substrate as the full job. Nip distances can be calibrated in increments of microns, allowing reproduction of half tones at precisely intended dot gain levels.

“By testing offline, we can get much closer to the colour sample than before and produce the samples faster, so there are time savings for the customer, too,” Nilsson explains. “These systems have been a cost-effective combination. It has cut the time spent on the press to a few minutes per colour and reduced the amounts of ink and substrate that were wasted.”

Jonas Rengbo, regional manager Nordic of Flint Group Narrow web, concludes: “We are fully aware that ink usage can influence operational cost to a large extent, and thus we invest heavily to ensure inks are delivered consistently, within the tightest tolerances from batch to batch. Other features such as improved mileage, and press-readiness and ease of operation are benefits that printers will see on their bottom line thanks to improved productivity and overall reduced cost to print.”