Finishing & Screen Printing
Ultimet Films 25 year old metallizer given new lease of life with extensive upgrade
Friday 05. August 2022 - Ultimet Films Limited based in the UK have had a relationship with BOBST of over 25 years and have four BOBST vacuum metallizers. They recently wanted to upgrade one of the metallizers which was purchased back in 1998 to improve its performance.
The upgrade was completed earlier this year and has given the machine a new lease of life.
Hardware and Parts Update
As part of the upgrade, the machine has had an extensive hardware upgrade including removing the existing PC/PLC system and replacing it with a single Siemens system incorporating the latest software version. The existing HMI operator screen was also replaced with a touchscreen with a more user-friendly display.
In addition to the hardware update, various parts of the machine have been updated including the Thyristor Stacks, replacement of the obsolete modules has resulted in better efficiency and better and faster communication. New Stepper Drive Modules have made the machine more responsive and provides better control.
Safety of the machine has been improved with the implementation of an upgraded Safety Systems and the new ASI Master module, which is more user friendly, as well as increasing machine safety.
The machine was already fitted with an Eddy Current Monitor Beam but needed a new buffer box to be able to communicate with the new system. The monitor beam gives the operator better control of the film and quality during the metallizing process.
The existing Rotary Vacuum Pumps were replaced with Busch Pumps; the new pumps give a much improved performance and have dramatically improved the pump down times. Prior to the upgrade, pump down took around 35 minutes; with the new pumps, the time is reduced down to around 14 minutes.
The machine has also been fitted with BOBST Helpline Plus. Helpline Plus gives faster and more effective assistance and enables experts to instantly access the metallizer via a secure internet connection. Issues can be diagnosed and resolved remotely, reducing machine downtime, cutting costs and reducing the need to call in a BOBST technician to site by up to 80%, The service is available 8 hours per day, 5 days a week.
Along with the upgrade, the operators at Ultimet Films received two days training during the installation and commissioning of the machine. The training allowed the operators to become familiar with the new HMI touchscreen and machine operation.
Andrew Mitchell, Technical Director at Ultimet Films Limited commenting on the upgrade, said “We have been very happy with this metallizer and it has served us well over the years, but we wanted to bring it up to date and to improve the performance. The upgrade has transformed the machine and we are very pleased with how it is performing now; it is like having a new machine again. The addition of Helpline Plus is also very beneficial as it means any problems, we do encounter, can be solved in a more efficient manner”.
Ultimet Films Limited is a leading roll to roll vacuum metallizing company. Formed in 1995, they are a specialist in value added coated films combining exceptional manufacturing and process expertise with modern production capabilities. They are a leading manufacturer of aluminium metallized barrier films, aluminium oxide barrier films and microwave susceptor films.