Packaging supplier UPM Specialty Papers has collaborated with BOBST and Siegwerk to create opportunities for UPM’s packaging papers on standard flexographic printing machines. 

During a joint project, the partners demonstrated that UPM’s packaging papers could be printed efficiently while achieving heat-sealability using flexographic techniques.  

The initiative combined UPM’s papers with Siegwerk’s UniNATURE water-based ink series, as well as two heat-sealing lacquers from the CIRKIT coatings range. 

The printing trials were conducted on the BOBST MASTER CI, a ten-colour wide-web press optimised for water-based inks, achieving speeds up to 800 metres per minute.  

UPM Product Portfolio Management senior manager Mika Uusikartano said: “Making the transition to fibre-based packaging requires collaboration between packaging value network members. We are eager to explore solutions with partners that support this transition, while taking advantage of existing production methods.  

“Through cocreation with BOBST and Siegwerk, we have successfully developed new opportunities for flexographic printers that can be achieved under normal production conditions.”  

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The collaboration also investigated how various parameters influence print quality, with the tested resolutions and anilox configurations delivering high-resolution results across all four papers printed.  

The project also delivered parameters on ways to improve flexible packaging papers with heat-sealing properties with flexographic printing. 

Uusikartano added: “One of the targets was to verify that production efficiency is maintained during processing. The results were excellent. UPM packaging papers showed that additional properties can be added, and papers can be further processed using existing methods and machinery.”  

UPM’s fibre-based packaging papers are designed for both food and non-food applications.  

Samples of the final pack from this cocreation project are on display at the BOBST stand at the ongoing Drupa 2024 event in Germany.

In March this year, UPM teamed up with Fazer Bakery to develop a new recyclable packaging solution for the baker’s Oat Rice Pies.