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UPM Specialty Papers and partners developed new opportunities for UPM's packaging papers on standard flexo printing machines

Helsinki (News release) - UPM's barrier and barrier base papers can be enhanced with heat-seal properties while reproducing high-quality images in almost any flexographic print shop under normal production conditions. This was demonstrated in joint co-creation project carried out by UPM Specialty Papers, BOBST, and Siegwerk. The test results verified that it is possible to efficiently print packaging papers and at the same time achieve heat-sealability using flexographic printing techniques.

The project combined a number of UPM's barrier and barrier base papers with Siegwerk's water-based ink series UniNATURE, which are formulated with a high Bio Renewable Content (BRC), and two heat-sealing lacquers for paper and board applications from their CIRKIT coatings range. The papers were printed using BOBST MASTER CI, a 10-color wide-web printing press designed for water-based inks and 800 m/min speed.

"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 co-creation with BOBST and Siegwerk, we have successfully developed new opportunities for flexographic printers that can be achieved under normal production conditions," says Mika Uusikartano, Senior Manager, Product Portfolio Management, UPM Specialty Papers.

The collaboration included an investigation on how different parameters affect the print quality. The tested print resolutions and anilox configurations showed high-resolution results with all the four papers printed. The project also showed and delivered parameters on how flexible packaging papers can be enhanced with heat-sealing properties with flexographic printing.

"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," Mika Uusikartano highlights.

UPM Specialty Papers' versatile fiber-based packaging papers are ideal for food and non-food end-uses, ensuring protection and durability to meet future packaging ambitions. The tested papers included coated and uncoated packaging papers between 45 and 90 g/m2:

Barrier Base papers designed for further converting:
• UPM Solide™ Lucent
• UPM Prego™

Heat-sealable barrier papers
• UPM Confidio™
• UPM Confidio™ Pro

Samples of the final pack from this co-creation project are on display at BOBST stand at Drupa Hall 10/B30. Samples are also available on request from UPM Specialty Papers' website.

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