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Feiplastic: Brazilian printing, inspection market pushes into higher technology

São Paulo—The Brazilian printing and inspection market is growing in size and technological clout, with local suppliers offering increasingly high-tech equipment. Altec, which began 30 years ago in the paper market, now sells web tension controllers, film inspection, and vision systems into a variety of spaces, including plastics.

São Paulo—The Brazilian printing and inspection market is growing in size and technological clout, with local suppliers offering increasingly high-tech equipment. Altec, which began 30 years ago in the paper market, now sells web tension controllers, film inspection, and vision systems into a variety of spaces, including plastics. Flexographic printer manufacturer Flexo Tech, meanwhile, began in the market with a 4-color system in 2003, displayed an 8-color printer at Feiplastic 2013.

Altec's Pedro Bocchini offered an example of his company's continuous technology advancement with a new fully automated version of its Zeus line of print inspection equipment. The first version, which was manual and launched in 2005, is now fully computerized.

Altec Pedro Bocchini and Geraldo Constantino
Flexo Tech flexographic printing
At top, Geraldo Constantino (left) and Pedro Bocchino find a Brazilian market with growing interest in high technology. Flexo Tech pushed its 8-color flexographic printing technology at Feiplastic.

"In flexographic printing, with a 6-8 color cylinder, you have to be perfectly aligned," Bocchini said. "This new machine allows perfect alignment so you can almost guarantee the registration."

Altec also displayed a new LED strobe light for visual inspection, upgrading from the previously used xenon lamp, for a more efficient technology. The technology works by synchronizing the flash of LED lights to freeze the inspected image.

Flexo Tech offered attendees live displays of its new 8-color printer. During the demonstration, a worker sped the printer up to speeds of 400 m/min, then stopped the line for a print-run change, with that changeover was completed in only four minutes. Romário Luiz Zonneveld said the system applies direct-drive servomotors in a gearless set up. Originally launched 3 years ago, Zonneveld said the Access Premium line has 450 units installed around the globe.

At this point in time, Flexo Tech is undertaking research work studying the washing process for the printer rollers to further speed color and product changes. The company has 93 employees occupying a 4000 sq m plant in Campo Magro in the Brazilian state of Paraná. There is some export business at this time, including to Turkey and Mexico, and the company is actively investigating sales into the U.S.

For Altec, which has 45 employees, exports make up 50% of sales, with most deliveries within Latin America. Bocchini said there have been some exports to South Africa and U.S., with his company currently targeting Canada and Eastern Europe. In part, Bocchini said the success of companies like his and Flexo Tech depends on the outreach efforts of groups like the Brazilian machinery manufacturers' association (ABIMAQ).

"ABIMAQ is trying to promote Brazil; change the view of Brazil," Bocchini said. "I think it's good that people come to Brazil. It's good for people to come to see some of the cities of Brazil and see there is progress here." Bocchini did express one concern regarding the plans to have the World Cup and the Olympic games in the famously gridlocked country in coming years. "I hope they can do something with the traffic," Bocchini added with a smile.

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