Zetacarton presents its new Hanway Glory 1606

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Last September Zetacarton organized an open house to present the potential of its single pass digital printing machine, the Hanway Glory 1606, the first installation in Europe, which uses water-based inks and reaches a speed of 150 m/min, expanding further Zetacarton’s offer, made up mostly of niche products, a true distinctive feature of the company. This new equipment is the heart of a high-productivity digital hub

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Zetacarton, based in Senna Comasco (CO), was founded in 1952 by Maria and Angelo Zanfrini, who, with very modest equipment, began their business as printers in Capiago Intimiano (CO) in a room of their home, then over the years in the 1960s was developed the production of commercial printed matter, accompanied by folding cartons and corrugated cardboard boxes for Christmas decorations and furniture. In 1968 they built a factory near their home to install the first machines for the mass production of corrugated cardboard packaging. An important change occurred in 1974, when the Zanfrini family moved all production activities to Senna Comasco and decided to concentrate on corrugated cardboard: Angelo Zanfrini, with his children, founded Zetacarton S.r.l., specialized in the production of corrugated cardboard boxes and packaging. Today the company is a joint-stock company and since 1992, with the installation of a corrugator, it has also started producing corrugated cardboard sheets, continuous corrugated cardboard (fanfold), boxes for separate waste collection, American and die-cut boxes for medical waste and special packaging.

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Under the leadership of Giuseppe and Cesare Zanfrini Zetacarton Group has grown over the years. Today it employs 110 people, exporting to more than 10 countries and recording a turnover of over 75 million euros, approximately 110 million sm of cardboard in a year, produced in a factory of 30.000 sm covered on a total surface area of 60.000 sm. Recently VPK Group, a private Belgian group that produces recycled paper and various types of packaging, entered into an agreement for the acquisition of a majority stake in Zetacarton, but Serena and Giuseppe Zanfrini will continue to lead the company, as they have done successfully in the last few years.

And this year Zetacarton’s commitment has been recognized: last December the company received a Gold award in the Printer on Corrugated category at the Printing Oscars, coveted awards for the excellence of the printing and converting industry in Italy. The initiative is organized by Stratego Group in partnership with the GCT Milan Union.

 A solid and active company

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Zetacarton is a company that has always been committed to guarantee a product with a high quality standard and always attentive to proposing innovative solutions, in line with market needs. It operates through its own commercial network on the main European markets and has a leadership position in the Italian market. But Zetacarton is not just cardboard, it is also Zetatransport, a 100% controlled company that deals with all logistics services. Engico, 60% controlled by Zetacarton, is also part of the Zetacarton Group. The history of Engico, located in Lissone (MB), was born in 1990 from the synergy between Rinaldo Benzoni, specialist in corrugated cardboard machines, and Zetacarton. The company mainly sells complete multi-functional casemaker lines in the United States, but also RDC printer slotters and multi-functional folder-gluers.

At Zetacarton headquarters there is a corrugating department (operating on three shifts), a digital department and the box factory where flexo printing is carried out. So the company is integrated, it buys the paper and produces the cardboard and then the boxes. The main product is the fanfold, which has been produced by Zetacarton for over 30 years: industrially produced material and essential for the production of boxes of various sizes, because it has a defined width but its length is defined by its use.

The future of corrugated cardboard is digital printing

Digital printing will play an increasingly important role in the world of packaging in 2024. With the increased demand for corrugated cardboard, favored over others because it is a recyclable and sustainable material, goods manufacturers and brands will choose materials that can be printed with an high quality, therefore we will see a higher level of customization of brands, certainly thanks to the higher quality of digital printing technologies compared to the past. Brands, with these technological developments, are willing to make higher customer loyalty and engagement and packaging is key to creating a memorable shopping experience to share across social media, whilst also attracting new customers. Furthermore, the explosion of e-commerce will require the application of fit-to-product (FtP) or box-on-demand systems, to produce customized packaging based on the exact dimensions of the product to be packaged, including irregular shapes. In this way, the end user will no longer have to keep large stocks of standard-sized boxes which often require large quantities of filling material. So, with the increased demand for FtP platforms, there will be more demand for fanfold cardboard.

E un’azienda come Zetacarton non poteva farsi di certo cogliere impreparata dalle mutate esigenze del mercato, quindi nel 2022 è entrata in azienda la Hanway Glory 1606, prodotta da Hanway, società cinese, e rappresentata in Italia da Hanway Italia, nata dalla forte esperienza nella stampa digitale in grande formato di Errelle srl. Si tratta di una single pass che stampa con qualità ottima fino alla velocità di 150 m/min con 4 colori e teste di stampa Kyocera, con inchiostri a base acqua che consentono una rapida essiccazione e sono sicuri per imballaggi alimentari e farmaceutici. Con questi numeri si tratta di una macchina che garantisce una produzione industriale, proprio quello che voleva Zetacarton: qualità e buoni livelli di produttività. E per quanto riguarda i supporti Hanway Glory 1604 può stampare su tutti i tipi di cartone ondulato da 1,5 fino a 11 mm di spessore, anche Kraft, bianco Kraft e patinato bianco; il formato massimo del supporto è di 1600 mm x 2800 mm. L’azienda crede nel digitale perché convinta che con la personalizzazione e la qualità garantita da questo tipo di stampa potranno soddisfare le esigenze dei clienti.

And a company like Zetacarton certainly could not be caught unprepared by the changing needs of the market, so in 2022 the Hanway Glory 1606 entered the company, produced by Hanway, a Chinese company, and represented in Italy by Hanway Italia, born from the strong experience in large format digital printing by Errelle srl. It is a single pass machine that prints with excellent quality up to a speed of 150 m/min with 4 colors and Kyocera print heads, with water-based inks that allow rapid drying and are safe for food and pharmaceutical packaging. With these numbers it is a machine that assures industrial production, exactly what Zetacarton wanted: quality and good levels of productivity. And as regards substrates, Hanway Glory 1604 can print on all types of corrugated cardboard from 1.5 to 11 mm thick, including Kraft, white Kraft and white coated; the maximum substrate format is 1600 mm x 2800 mm. The company believes in digital because it is convinced that with the customization and quality guaranteed by this type of printing they will be able to satisfy customer needs.

Hanway Glory 1606: quality, speed, wide color range

Among the product features that immediately convinced Zetacarton are the printing speed, typical of single pass technology, capable of reaching 150m/min and the high quality of the printing and Kyocera heads, already known to Zetacarton as very reliable because they are mounted on another company equipment. Furthermore, among the elements that are still highly appreciated is the collaborative relationship that has been created with the Chinese manufacturer Hanway, and Hanway Italia, which allows to use their technicians present in the area who are highly available to do research and implement the offer following requests. An effective and concrete example of availability is that relating to the printing width: initially set at 1600 mm x 2800 mm and then expanded to 1600 mm x 4000 mm upon request from Zetacarton.

You might think that the use of primer is always necessary with the Glory 1606, but it depends on the result you want to obtain and the material you ae using: in the case of uncoated paper it may be necessary to apply it, while it is not necessary in the case of already coated paper where can be added a coating.

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At the moment the company has decided to print only in four colors, because for now printing only with 4 colors is a solution capable of effectively responding to the needs of the market and gives the possibility of gaining experience with this new technology by mapping the Pantone range to the 55%. Furthermore, in the future there will be no problem if Zetacarton wants to add two more colors, green and orange, expanding the coverage of the Pantone range to reach a percentage of around 80%.

In the configuration of the new machine, approximately 35 meters long, the conditioning cabin built specifically around the printing and IR drying units is also very important, for optimal functioning of the Kyocera print heads, but also to keep under control the humidity of cardboard sheets to print. The machine will be part of an automated production line which will include an automatic loading module upstream and dedicated cutting and die-cutting systems downstream.