The Eagle series of roller-coater line, an advanced range of offline coating solutions manufactured by Alpna, offers three different models — Eagle Basic, Eagle PentaCoat and Eagle
According to Alpna, as it stands, it is a simple offline coating solution for sheetfed presses. It is simple in design and construction; it is simple to use and simple to maintain.
The sheets pass through impression roller and coating roller. The impression roller is constantly wiped clean by the cleaning mechanism. The coating is transferred through three different options. The Eagle basic is a simple three-roller mechanism. The Eagle PentaCoat has advanced five-roller mechanism for controlling coating weight more precisely from three to five gsm. This system is especially good for precise control of coating weight and high volume production. The most advanced is Eagle AniPRO, where the coating is metered using chamber doctor blade anilox roller technology.
“Dryers are critical too for curing different types of coatings, especially at high speeds,” says Kapil Dev, general manager, sales and marketing, Alpna. “For UV, we have air-cooled high power low-heat lamps. For aqueous coating, we offer power-packed hot-air drier which offers hot air blast on the substrate. The heat is recycled and temperature is precisely controlled using PID controller. For high deposition coatings like HSL, etc we offer specialised jet-air drier lines to achieve hard drying and speeds,”
The coaters are offered in both hand-feed and auto-feed versions. Alpna offers high quality, high-performance feeders and delivery stackers for automatic lines with 10000 SPH speed.
Alpna has been at the forefront of innovation in the field of UV curing technologies and print enhancement solutions. Alpna has been successful in indigenising and mastering many cutting-edge critical technologies, but more importantly, it has been successful in launching products which are globally exclusive and truly innovative. It pioneered technologies and sub-systems and launched servo-synch smart retrofit anilox device, first UV conveyer with built-in auto-stacker, and offline drip-off coating technology, and many more products.
Options to choose from
Alpna launched its first roller-coater in 2003. This was a basic design but at that time, there was good acceptance for this solution. “We gained a lot of knowledge with these models and it was the foundation of today’s advanced versions,” Dev says. The roller-coaters are for sheetfed printers, be it packaging, commercial or book printers.
The Eagle AniPro is the latest iteration of Alpna’s Eagle series of offline coaters. The product has seen its ups and downs. It was in good demand until offset presses with inline coaters started coming in a big way and a lot of aqueous coating could be done in the single pass. Following this, the coaters started finding niche applications, like primer coatings, HSL coatings, and now silky-matte and as well as velvet-touch coatings.
Dev says the rollers-coaters are generally low-cost solutions to more comprehensive alternative, such as flexo coater. Also these offer very fast turnaround times with fast makeready and are easy to use and run, especially in comparison to flexo coaters.
Alpna has, over the years, installed more than 175 rollers coaters around India and a few overseas installations as well. Parksons Graphics, Param Packaging, Sai Packaging, Kumar Printer, Premier Packaging, HBD Packaging, Nutech Packaging, Khemka Container, to name a few.
“With our new Eagle AnilPRO, we now have a product which is technically the most advanced not just in India but globally. With this technical edge, we are now sure to find global acceptance even in developed countries. We do plan to target European and US markets,” he adds.
Typically these are offline coaters and well accomplished for aqueous, UV coating, primer, HSL coatings, etc. “Our advanced AniPRO model can also easily handle matte and velvet-touch finish coatings, as well as achieving the perfect finish in these coatings is more challenging and difficult than other coatings,” Dev explains.
He adds that in such sheetfed roller-coater lines customers want coating quality, coating consumption, speed and productivity, ruggedness and dependability, after-sales service and ease of maintenance.
According to Dev, the USPs of Alpna’s product line include PentaCoat technology, anilox tech, swivel doctored impression roll, high speed stability, low maintenance and running costs, high speed up to 10000 IPH, precise coating control, 100 gsm thin paper capability, many variations to suit different needs and applications, etc.
“We have three different versions, including pentaCoat five-roller version and now we are launching the most advanced roller-coater with anilox coating technology for the highest quality coating,” Dev adds.
The components of the roller-coaters include in-feed with de-curling roller, coater section with appropriate coating mechanism, impression roller, air-knife, appropriate dryer and cool-down area, delivery or sheet collection.
Better than the rest
According to Dev, there are alternatives to the product from companies like Steinemann, Tymi, Wen-Chyuan and others. “But now, with our AniPRO, we have a technical edge over these manufacturers as none of these offer advanced CDB anilox coating technology in their versions. Of course, there are lots of cheap and poor quality local options too,” he adds.
Using Alpna rollers-coaters
Dev says ease-of-use is the hallmark of the roller-coaters. “It offers easy and fast makeready, easy to clean, easy to operate and maintain and while also offering high speeds and great productivity,” he says.
He adds, “Group Alpna strongly believes in providing professional training to customers and operators and personnel involved in using the roller- coater. This is critical for the optimum use of this product with its bouquet of applications. Alpna with time has been able to build a pan-India sales and service support team which is committed to providing quality support to customers.”
We had ordered the Alpna's Eagle RC102 line to meet the requirement of HSL (heat seal lacquer) coating jobs. We decided to go with Alpna as it was the closest in meeting our technical selection parameters, plus the fact that we have had a long and dependable relationship for decade. It is also prompt in its service backup for the all the machines which we have from them.
-Rajeev Bhargav, HBD Packaging
We asked Alpna to adapt its roller-coaters to meet our HSL and primer-coating needs. Alpna not only customised the coater to meet the required coating parameters but also developed appropriate driers to meet drying need of HSL coating, which is more difficult to dry than normal over-print coatings, especially at high speeds. We are also satisfied with the prompt and quality after-sales support.
-Sandeep Bhargav, Kumar Printers