2008 was a momentous year for DFTA (the German Flexo Technical Association) and BOBST, also marking the start of an ongoing mutually rewarding technical collaboration in flexo printing: DFTA took delivery of an 8-color F&K FlexPress 6S/8 in their technology Center located at Stuttgart Media University (HdM), while BOBST brought German printing press manufacturer Fischer & Krecke into its Group.

At the time of installation, fourteen years ago, the FlexPress was a CI flexo machine at the very leading edge of technology, however, huge advances have been made in term of flexo printing process since then, which have been further compounded by the industry’s digital-age transformation.
Commenting the decision to carry out the upgrading, Anke Frieser-Tausch, Deputy Manager DFTA Technology Centre said “We run a very advanced DFTA research and educational centre and take great pride on the quality of the services we can offer in terms of availability of up-to-date technologies. To continue working on the improvement of flexo printing also through our own technical developments and close collaboration with the Stuttgart Media University, we needed to take action”.
The activities and services offered by DFTA are multi-faceted and address the current and future needs of various stakeholders in the flexo printing industry. They range from training and further education for the printers of today and tomorrow in acquiring extensive theoretical and practical knowledge of how to use the machines and materials used, through to R&D and testing of DFTA application-related development, to making the Technology Center capabilities available to DFTA members to test their flexible packaging product developments in a scientifically controlled way.
The DFTA press, 1300 mm in web width, has undergone a complete overhaul of the mechanical, electric, and electronic systems to bring it up to today’s state of the art in flexo printing technology. This included the alignment of the rollers, the optimization of the web run and the updating of the inking units that have been measured, calibrated, and equipped with the latest bearing and spindle technology. The ink infeed peripherals have also been brought up to date, as well as the AutoClean system for the automatic process control for inking and wash-up.
But the most impactful action has been in terms of press connectivity thought the software update for integration of the BOBST Connect end-to-end open digital platform that integrates all key components to make packaging production more effective.
An integral part of the BOBST vision on the future of packaging based on connectivity, digitalization, automation, and sustainability BOBST Connect pioneers the transformation of the packaging value chain from isolated silos into a connected end-to-end overview.
“We have been committed to the flexo packaging printing for over 40 years and share with BOBST and our DFTA community a vison and unity of purpose about the future of flexography. said Nicola Kopp-Rostek, General Manager DFTA
“Our commitment to the packaging printing and converting industry is an all-encompassing endeavour” explained Hermann Koch Technical Sales Director, CI Flexo Preprint at BOBST. “BOBST has since long established a technical partnership with the academic world on projects that create a bridge between university and industry. This fosters the transfer of knowledge that generates technological innovation for all, which is vital for the sustainable growth of the packaging sector.”
The scope of BOBST commitment and the excellence of its packaging printing technology are the main reasons why BOBST machines can be found in educational institutions around the world. In Stuttgart, for instance, Stuttgart Media University – also houses a BOBST MW 60 gravure printing press.


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