Vision Technology Creates Breakthrough In The Printing Industry

 

In just a few years, Danish REFINE Finishing has created a secure position among the world’s leading suppliers of machines that convert digitally printed labels. The machines are equipped with new automation technologies from Beckhoff Automation and deliver the highest speeds, highest precision, and minimal waste. Even the smallest batches of multilayer labels can now be produced on-demand.

REFINE’s first finishing machine with built-in vision technology is ready for shipment to an industrial company in the Netherlands. The machine is compact and made of aluminum, the design is simple and elegant, and there are almost no handles or buttons anywhere. The machine is primarily controlled via a touch screen.

The machine is designed and developed to handle all finishing processes of digitally printed multilayer labels. At the highest speeds, with the highest precision, and with the least possible waste through high degrees of automation.

“This machine is the Tesla of the printing industry. We have equipped it with all the best from the automation and software world, and it is proof that Industry 4.0 can now be achieved in the printing industry – and offers great benefits. It is especially considerations such as sustainability and environmental awareness, as well as reduction of waste costs, that drive the market for intelligent printing machines,” says Bjarke Gerdes-Nielsen, CTO and Founder of REFINE Finishing.

REFINE Finishing was established in 2013 and today, Nilpeter, which produces label printing presses, is its main shareholder. The two companies complement each other with machines that handle all processes related to digital printing and finishing. REFINE Finishing exports more than 95% of its machines outside Danish borders and is represented in Europe, the USA, and Asia. Primary target groups are the pharmaceutical, chemical, and food industries, where there is increasing growth primarily in short production series of labels as well as special solutions such as multi-layer labels.

Quick changeovers and quick start-up
The printing industry has gone through quite a revolution. More software in the machines and a higher degree of automation enables profitable small/short-run orders through tailored production adapted to suit the need for fast delivery and high quality. It reduces the need for storage capacity and month-long planning.

With the latest technology, highest speed, and precision, the fully automated finishing machine optimizes the workflow for customers. Where they once had to order series of for example 1 million labels for six months, they can now divide the series into several, smaller portions, and just plan a few weeks ahead. Delivery time can often be reduced to 24 hours. Fast changeovers, fast start-up, and small order sizes shorten the warehousing period and create great flexibility and less waste.

“Production start-up time can take just a few hours rather than several days, so there is a lot of time to save. The technologies make it possible to streamline the supply chain. In addition, the machine typically reduces paper waste by a factor of 100 – from approx. 100 meters to 1 meter. In small production series, it is crucial that the waste percentage remains low. The machine must be competitive on all parameters and make it significantly easier, faster, and cost-saving to complete and convert labels,” says Bjarke Gerdes-Nielsen.

Furthermore, all functions are controlled via a touch screen or tablet. All you have to do is specify the type of job you want to run. Then the machine automatically knows what it needs. The physical handles that used to be rotated and fine-tuned are now integrated into the control system.

“It eliminates user errors and creates a more uniform process. Handling of the machine is no longer dependent on the user. You cannot force anything that the machine has not been programmed to do, and you cannot overload the machine. Because everything is digitized, we can monitor and help with the control via remote access, online, and in real-time. It has created great value – especially in the COVID-19 era,” says Bjarke Gerdes-Nielsen.

The challenge with multi-layer labels is to get them placed exactly on top of each other. Dots on the paper rolls indicate how the layers should lie on top of each other, and with an integrated vision camera, the machine automatically corrects and verifies that all layers are placed correctly from the start.

All management takes place in a PC-based Windows environment, which makes it easier to program, link IoT data in Microsoft Azure, and connect all machines via the Internet so that REFINE Finishing can guide operators and remotely control the machines. With Object-Oriented Programming (OOP), REFINE Finishing has reduced the need for manual programming and control.

“We can tailor our machines completely to the needs of our customers, and that flexibility is crucial to our success,” he says.

Speed ​​and accuracy in the DNA
REFINE Finishing has always had Beckhoff Automation as a supplier. There is a special reason for this, according to Bjarke Gerdes-Nielsen.

“I started REFINE Finishing because I wanted to develop machines based on intelligent software and IoT. Beckhoff’s philosophy goes hand in hand with ours, and they have been able to help throughout it all. The timing of Beckhoff’s systems is incredibly accurate compared to others. For example, the tolerance threshold is very low when we make multilayer labels. We can tolerate a maximum of 1/10 millimeter in tolerance, and Beckhoff’s systems live up to that. Furthermore, speed is essential. Our machine can handle 200 meters of paper per minute, while conventional finishing machines can handle 50 meters per minute with similar applications. Accuracy and speed are deeply engrained in Beckhoff’s DNA – and in ours,” he says.

High expectations for the global market
With machines represented at Nilpeter’s demo centers around the world, REFINE Finishing has a large entrance to the global market. And expectations are high.

“We are an absolute market leader when it comes to software, technology, and automation, and we look forward to strengthening our business in the coming years. With an innovative total supplier like Beckhoff behind us, we are equipped for the future. We can quickly integrate various new products and protocols into our modular machines. That flexibility is a huge advantage,” says Bjarke Gerdes-Nielsen.

Photo courtesy of Automatik & Proces. From left to right: Erik Behrend Snerle, Machine Engineer, REFINE Finishing, Bjarke Gerdes Nielsen, CTO & Founder, REFINE Finishing, and Rasmus Jensen, Application and Support Engineer, Beckhoff Automation.

REFINE Finishing has moved to Værløse

REFINE Finishing has moved to Værløse. We look forward to welcoming you to our new offices and our new hometown.

Our new address: 
REFINE Finishing
Lejrvej 29, st. tv.
DK-3500 Værløse
Denmark

If you have any questions feel free to reach out at tel: +45 3410 1000 or email: mail@refinefinishing.com.

REFINE Compact 2 & Web Buffer Installed at SCREEN Europe HQ in the Netherlands

 

July 2020: SCREEN Europe has acquired a REFINE Compact 2 and a Web Buffer Module for their Solutions and Technology Centre at European headquarters in Amstelveen, Netherlands.

The Compact 2 will provide high-quality finishing – varnish, lamination, and die-cutting – both inline and offline in connection with SCREEN’s Truepress Jet L350 Series Press, displaying a real-life production environment with end-to-end label production to visitors and prospective customers.

Sales Director Packaging Solutions Carlo Sammarco says: “The new in-line finishing kit from Refine will enable us to showcase the whole setup in a live label-production for our demo activities. It also gives us capabilities for testing special applications within coatings, foiling, and lamination which we haven’t had before. We are really looking forward to getting started, working with the Refine unit!”

Superior Price-to-Performance Ratio
Compact 2 is a complete solution for finishing of digital and conventional printed labels, with the addition of a fully register controlled flexo station with cold foil and lamination capabilities. Completely servo-driven, Compact 2 is extremely user-friendly and offers a superior price-to-performance ratio.
The Compact 2 installed at SCREEN Europe HQ features a touch-screen operator panel, unwinder including web guide, flexo printing unit, full- and semi rotative die-cutting, waste rewind, oscillating razor slitter, and rewinder. Furthermore, it has been fitted with the optional Automatic Back Scoring that enables edge-trimming with no manual intervention.

Trouble-Free Production
The Web Buffer Module allows SCREEN to connect the Compact 2 to any web-based digital printing press, thus upgrading their stand-alone solutions with an in-line automated finishing line. The Buffer module features a precise web-guiding system, a servo-driven buffer section, and an integrated splicing table, all to ensure stable operating conditions, short setup times, and trouble-free production.

SCREEN Europe Solutions and Technology Centre
SCREEN Europe is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SCREEN Graphic Solutions Co., Ltd and is responsible for EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) business. At the Solutions & Technology Centre in Amstelveen, Netherlands, SCREEN Truepress Jet POD inkjet printers are available for demonstrations to potential users, and for test print sessions to evaluate quality, performance, and integration possibilities. Working with the customers’ own job files and media, SCREEN’s specialist applications team demonstrates the Screen inkjet presses and workflow, exploring the optimum paper and ink coverage settings to achieve the best solution for the customer’s application. The print sessions are, as they say, “as interactive and in-depth as you wish”.

Exciting New Options in the REFINE Compact Series

 

As many customers have already experienced on the production floor, the REFINE Compact series offers user-friendly, efficient, and productive converting, with a superior price-to-performance ratio, all while taking up less floor space than any other machine of its kind in the market. The Compact series also provides a handful of attractive add-on options, and in this story, REFINE goes a bit more into detail regarding these add-ons, sharing how the customers can achieve even better results from their Compact series machines.

Adjustable Anvil
The Compact Series can now be fitted with a fully automatic adjustable anvil.

High-Speed Options
The Compact 1 is available in semi-rotary with run speeds of 65 m/min (standard up to 45 m/min), and now up to 80 m/min. The Compact 2 is available in semi-rotary with speeds up to 80 m/min (standard up to 65 m/min).

Automatic Back Scoring
Automatic Back Scoring is available as an option on the Compact Series.

Workflow Data Integration
Workflow data integrations are easily available with all standard file-based or web-API data exchanges, such as XML and JSON. This requires some consultancy, a software integration package, but does not require additional hardware, which is often the case.

UV LED
Phoseon UV LED is now available.

Laser Alignment System
A laser alignment system is also available in the Compact Series Rewind Solution.

Workflow Data Integration
Workflow data integrations are easily available with all standard file-based or web-API data exchanges, such as XML and JSON. This requires some consultancy, a software integration package, but does not require additional hardware, which is often the case.

In addition, a couple of new upgrades are now default on Compact Series machines. REFINE has updated the User Interface with a more user-friendly layout, and furthermore, Power Consumption Measurement is now directly integrated into the Compact Series HMI.

For more information, please contact REFINE Finishing at tel: +45 3410 1000 or email: mail@refinefinishing.com

Ready for Labelexpo Europe 2019

We made it!

Months of hard work came to a conclusion at 9 AM this morning, as we loaded the truck with 4 x Compact machines headed for Labelexpo Europe 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. Now the fun begins!

We are extremely excited to show off our new and improved converting lines at the show, and we hope you’ll join us in Hall 7, Stand #7B42.

At this year’s Labelexpo Europe, we will display no less than 5 machines – a Compact 1 and 2 on our own stand #7B42, a Compact 1 and a Creative GEMINI Inkjet Printing solution on the Amica Systems Europe stand #9C60, and a Compact 2 with ESKO Integration on the Inglese srl stand #4B74.

There is, as you can see, no shortage of opportunities to experience our latest developments. We look forward to seeing you all in Brussels!

A Refined Premiere at Labelexpo Europe 2019



August 2019:
REFINE Finishing will make their official Labelexpo Europe debut in 2019. Following the company rebranding from Werosys to REFINE, the Danish machine manufacturer has introduced a new, streamlined product program with smart, software-based converting solutions, which they look forward to sharing with the many visitors at the 40th anniversary edition of Labelexpo Europe.

Five Converting Solutions on Display
On stand #7B42 , REFINE Finishing will display two converting machines from the user-friendly and efficient Compact product line; Compact 1 – a complete die-cut solution for finishing of digital and conventional printed labels, and Compact 2 – a die-cut and flexo solution with a fully automated flexo station, cold foil and lamination capabilities. Both machines excel in high-speed converting, up to 80 m/min in semi-rotary, with power consumption on the Compact 1 below 2,000 W at maximum output – typical usage around 1,000 W.

Additionally, a Compact 1 and a Creative GEMINI Inkjet Printing solution will be exhibited on the Amica Systems Europe stand #9C60, and a Compact 2 with ESKO Integration will be exhibited on the Inglese srl stand #4B74.

Industry 4.0 and IoT Focus
All REFINE machinery is designed with a clear focus on automation through Industry 4.0, cloud computing, and Internet of Things (IoT). This allows for real-time monitoring of the machines, full remote control through existing network infrastructures, and consolidation of machine and job data in the cloud. Data is used for problem-solving, preventive maintenance, efficiency reports, etc.

Join new and familiar faces on Stand #7B42, and learn more about The clever way to convert at Labelexpo Europe 2019, 24 – 27 September, Brussels Expo.

August 2019

Busy Summer in Product Assembly

Summer is upon us and temperatures have reached 20°C – 25°C here in Denmark. However, our production team is still hard at work building and shipping REFINE Compact 1 converting lines to their future homes.

We rounded up the team on the assembly line for a few pictures – see below.

REFINE in Focus at Nilpeter Event

On June 13, 2019, the Nilpeter USA Technology Center hosted the first co-sponsored Open House by Nilpeter and SCREEN Americas. The REFINE Compact 1 was featured at the event, and generated quite the buzz with the more than 80 guests and partners in attendance.

The following is an excerpt from the full event report, which can be found on the Nilpeter website.

“Finally, full demonstrations of the REFINE Compact unit took place. The Compact unit was an eye catcher for all involved. It offers as much if not more flexibility than many other competitive units at a fraction of the cost. Nilpeter USA is already seeing good activity with this technology.”

Open House in Italy

REFINE Finishing recently attended an Open House with our Italian sales partner, INGLESE, in Bologna, Italy. The Open House provided an exceptional opportunity for customers to discover new products, software, and machines, with presentations and live demonstrations from ourselves, TORAY and ESKO Graphics. We would like to thank INGLESE and all the visitors for a great day!

REFINE Compact on Display at SCREEN Americas in Chicago


Victor Perez of SCREEN Americas

The new REFINE Compact is now on display at SCREENs Demo Center in Chicago, IL, USA.

For questions or to book a demonstration, please contact the SCREEN Labels and Packaging sales expert specific to your location via this link: https://www.screenamericas.com/contact/.