In-vacuum selective metallisation with the new SelectMet from BOBST

BOBST SelectMetThe new BOBST SelectMet system incorporates BOBST F&K heritage flexo printing technology into a BOBST vacuum metalliser and is a simpler and more cost-effective alternative to the traditional de-metallisation process without the complexity of special lacquers and chemical baths.

The SelectMet process runs at speeds of up to 400m/min on the BOBST K4000 platform. This provides greater flexibility as one machine can be used for two processes, both standard aluminium metallisation and selective metallisation without compromise. SelectMet is only available in the most commonly used metalliser widths in the converting industry: 1,250mm & 1,650mm.

The flexo printing unit is located inside of the vacuum chamber and the print head position can be moved accordingly depending on which process is to be run; for selective metallisation the print head moves towards the coating drum and then retracts back to a home position (away from the film webpath) for standard metallisation.

Minimum oil consumption

This inline process consists of a special printing oil which is applied at room temperature to the web in a very thin layer to produce the desired pattern. The low volume anilox cells ensure minimum oil consumption (down to less than 0.5g/m2).

Unlike the traditional and rather messy oil boilers, in the SelectMet system the oil is loaded at room temperature through an external oil bath. This results in a much cleaner selective metallisation process. The location of the oil bath outside the vacuum chamber means that additional oil can be added during production to save time and to enable longer runs.

Another key feature of the new BOBST SelectMet is the quick and easy change of the printing sleeve. The printing unit retracts and aligns itself with the viewing port located on the side of the machine that gives easy access to the printing roller though the porthole window. The printing sleeve itself is a one-piece cylindrical polymer sleeve that can be easily loaded with the aid of an air flotation bed.

Faster, more accurate printing for a variety of applications

BOBST SelectMet provides faster, more accurate printing with metal onto film substrates and allows for the production of creative, high-resolution patterns and greyscale images. A flexible and versatile oil printing process system; it provides a wide range of added-value applications for specialist converters such as: decorative packaging films, stripe metallisation, in-register selective metallisation onto pre-printed webs, and anti-counterfeiting applications.

To find out more about SelectMet, BOBST has created a video.