Vacuum Metallising Company Upgrades BOBST Metalliser

Vacuum Metallising Company Upgrades BOBST Metalliser
Andrew Mitchell and Steve Maynard, Ultimet Films.

Ultimet Films Limited, a UK-based roll-to-roll vacuum metallising company, have had a relationship with BOBST of over 25 years and have four BOBST vacuum metallisers. They recently wanted to upgrade one of the metallisers to improve its performance.

The upgrade, which included BOBST Helpline Plus, was completed earlier this year and has given the machine a new lease of life. 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, and 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 metallising 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 downtimes. 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 metalliser 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 eight hours per day, five days a week.


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