Short-run Gluing and Folding

German manufacturer ROPI is looking to gain a presence in the Ireland with its Roto-Press pressing station and Hand-Gluing system.

The two machines, which are suitable for bespoke and short-run gluing, folding and pressing, are well established in Germany but the five-staff company said it has seen little UK success to date as it does not have the resources to set up a worldwide distributor network.

The Roto-Press features two synchronous steel double-cylinders with variable pressure adjustment. The step-less speed adjustment allows for different material requirements and operation cycles.

The 'ball-point' design of the Hand-Gluing system pencil is said to guarantee clean and accurate glue dots or lines and the manufacturer said complicated and reproducible glue patterns can be achieved with the kit.

A 4mm nozzle is the standard option but replaceable nozzles with 3mm and 6mm diameters are also available. The machine is supplied with either one or two glue pencils, the latter option enabling two people to simultaneously work on one system.

The device uses commercially available cold glue with a viscosity of up to 2,000 mPa/s (millipascal/second). The manufacturer said this is more cost-effective than using hotmelt glue or adhesive tape.

ROPI head of content Harald Viering said the cold gluing of cartons or paper products is usually carried out manually, with glue precisely applied with a brush, which requires workers to be more skilled.

“Gluing and folding volumes are becoming smaller and smaller and we are getting enquiries from more companies who currently use large Bobst machines.

“For plain paper this is the fastest and most economic way to glue and even companies that use Bobst machines have very small orders, for example of around 3,000 boxes, that they can’t process with a machine like that.”

Viering added the Roto-Press also removes some of the physical aspects of finishing jobs as it automatically applies the pressure needed to stabalise the cold glue.

“Most guys that work by hand maybe use a piece of metal or wood to do this but the weight could be one kilo, so if you make 200 boxes per hour and put one kilo on it each time then over the course of a day you’ve moved more than a tonne. This is very inconvenient for the operator who will get aches in the shoulders and hands."

The Roto-Press and the Hand-Gluing system are available separately — although the Roto-Press is supplied with a Hand-Gluing system with one glue pencil as standard — but Viering said it would be useful for companies constantly processing short-run orders to invest in the Roto-Press as well as the standalone gluing kit.

He added ROPI can sell the equipment direct to UK customers. The standalone Hand-Gluing system costs €275 (£247) with one glue pencil and a single workstation while the option with two glue pencils, which features a dual workstation, is available for €370. The Roto-Press costs €6,200.

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