Contiweb completes 50 CFA installations in four Years

Printing, advanced drying and web-handling specialists, Contiweb, has announced that the global installations of its silicone-saving fluid applicator (CFA) have crossed the fifty mark, since its commercial launch in 2015. 

22 May 2019 | By Abhishek Muralidharan

(l to r) Jens Klingebiel (head of technology department at Mohn Media), Oliver Böhm (head of web offset printing department at Mohn Media), Rutger Jansen (CEO at Contiweb)

Rutger Jansen, CEO, Contiweb, said, “The CFA is developed to overcome the high prices associated with ready-made silicone mixtures. This fiftieth installation is a testament to Contiweb’s ethos of providing customers with business-enhancing solutions.”

A fluid applicator is used in heatset web offset presses as it prevents ink marking on parts with mechanical friction, for instance in the folder or inline finishing, through its silicone emulsion. “The headset printing industry cannot operate without silicone,” said Jansen.

He explained that because oil and water are immiscible, a third fluid is necessary to create a stable emulsion. “This non-ionic surfactant (or emulsifier) has elongated molecules which are on one side water-loving (hydrophilic), and on the other side oil-loving (lipophilic). In an emulsion, the surfactant molecules attach to oil droplets in such a way that from the outside they look like water droplets.”

The 50th CFA unit was purchased by Mohn Media Mohndruck, a print and media service provider, who specialises in premium books, magazines, brochures and direct mail applications. This inclusion accounted for the company’s 14th CFA system in totality.

According to Jens Klingebiel, head of technology department, Mohn Media, the company originally invested in the CFA to reduce its soaring silicone costs.

The CFA uses a cost-effective pure silicone oil mixture, comprising large drops of oil, which are slowly absorbed by the paper, and this solution remains on the surface for longer as compared to the fine droplets produced by a pre-mixed silicone emulsion. “This means that less oil is required to achieve good lubrication, reducing operational costs,” added Jamsen.

Klingebiel said, “Since installing the CFA we have slashed our silicone costs by 60 per cent. From a business perspective, its quick and seamless integration into our existing workflow ensures that we can maintain our uptime and importantly, maximise the productivity of consistently high-quality projects.”

“Originally designed as an upgrade for the Ecocool and Ecoset dryers, the CFA is now also available as a standalone system for customers with other dryers. It combines both the silicone application and remoistening of the substrate in one,” added Jamsen. When printers talk about “silicone” they mean an emulsion made of silicone oil and water. Silicone oil is a colourless transparent fluid used in different applications such as heat transfer fluids, water repellent treatment and release agents.