Arteks, a major Russian wallcovering manufacturer, has installed a Colorsat Compact High ink dispensing system from GSE Dispensing, in order to ensure repeatable quality, instant availability of water-based gravure colours in high volumes, and minimised waste at its new, rapidly expanding St. Petersburg plant. The installation is GSE’s 100th in Russia.
Originally a distributor of wallcovering since 2004, Arteks decided to begin manufacturing, to meet growing demand in Russia and former Soviet Union states, in a market with relatively few large suppliers. The company’s purpose-built 14000m2 factory will have a combined annual output of approximately 28 million rolls of wallcovering by 2019, when the last of six Olbrich printing presses will be installed.
Supplied by four 1000-litre base containers for binders and eight 200-litre pigment barrels, the GSE Colorsat Compact dispensing system has the speed and capacity to manage the colour requirements of all six presses once they are fully operational. This is expected to be 1.8 tonnes of water-based colorants and binders, and up to 120 dispensing cycles of 50 kg batches, per day.
Aleksandr Komirenko, automation engineer at Arteks, comments: “As Arteks enters a phase of sharp output growth, we recognised that a high-performance ink logistics system is critical for ensuring process efficiency, productivity and for meeting the quality demands of our customers across the region. To become a market leader in Russia, you need the best tools and the best people. It was clear that GSE, with 100 installations across our country, offered a proven solution. We were delighted with the company’s customer-oriented approach in providing both a tailored, comprehensive solution to meet expectations of colour accuracy, dispensing time, return ink reuse, safety and user-friendliness, as well as a reliable support programme.”
The Colorsat Compact High dispensing system’s capability for high-speed dispensing keeps setup times at a minimum. A four-component recipe of 175kg is ready within ten minutes; GSE’s intuitive Ink Management Software enables fast, automated calculation of batch sizes and storage of recipes, for instant recall without data entry, when repeat orders are requested. Dispensing accuracy of 1g not only reduces ink waste but also ensures colour targets are met. Waste is significantly reduced as the dispenser allows inks returned from previous production runs to be reused in new jobs.
Fast flow of high-viscosity binder material, which can comprise up to 99 per cent of a wallcovering ink recipe, is achieved because some containers supplying the Compact at Arteks feature valves with a maximum 32mm diameter, instead of the standard 18mm. All valves are cleaned automatically and have a proven two-stage valve design, for coarse flows and fine flows and drops.
The installation includes an integrated semi-automatic Colormix blender to mix the ink batch after dispensing. The Compact is extendible and can accommodate up to 34 components. Also installed is a stand-alone IBC blender, to mix inks in the containers and prevent heavier particles from sinking to the bottom of the mixture.
GSE’s Ink Management Software will eventually connect with Arteks’s ERP system, to facilitate efficient ordering of ink stocks.
Since the installation, the Colorsat Compact has been supplying the ink requirements of two Olbrich printing lines, which has a daily water-based ink consumption of 700kg water-based colorants and binders. The five operators who are currently trained to use the dispenser and software report a fast learning curve.
Mr. Komirenko adds: “By investing in a long-term ink logistics solution as early as possible, our operators will have the necessary training and experience to deal with a succession of productivity level increases as the new manufacturing lines enter operation in the coming months. Already, based on our experience with just one operational press, we have significantly reduced colour preparation times and waste levels thanks to the Colorsat Compact. We have high expectations for the future.”