HelioChrome NEO for ChromeVI free gravure cylinder production
von Ansgar Wessendorf,
The Austrian location of Graphic Packaging International (GPI) at Graz becomes another pioneer in Chromium(VI) free gravure cylinder production by using the new HelioChromeNeo process.
It completes the AutoCon lines and rounds up the technological competence of GPI Graz as a full-service packaging supplier. The list of the company’s success stories is long, starting with the investment into one of the first AutoCon Line using SlimLine technology for gravure cylinder production supplied by K. Walter and fully automated HelioKlischograph K500 engravers supplied by Hell Gravure Systems, a member of the Heliograph Holding.
It continued with the investment into direct laser engraving, using Digilas from Schepers for direct engraving of gravure and embossing cylinders as well as Cellaxy direct laser engraving system from Hell Gravure Systems. These systems are used by GPI Graz for embossing application in the field of tobacco and flexible packaging. Also in operation at GPI Graz is CyOn, the latest software from K. Walter. It has been developed to uncover hidden potentials in production using real time data of machines and automation.
To increase the sustainability of the gravure printing process in general and the cylinder preparation in special, there is a need for promising alternatives to the traditional Chromium(VI) trioxide coating, such as Chromium(III) chloride.
After more than 10 years of development by German company K Walter and co-partner Huhtamaki Ronsberg, the HelioChrome NEO electroplating technology is a Chromium(III) based alternative to the Chromium(VI) process. It reached industrial maturity in 2021 and is already in successful use. This gives gravure cylinders users the security of being able to continue producing gravure cylinders in Europe in the long term when the Chromium(VI) process is no longer permitted.
In addition, the gravure industry can also rely on a much more environmentally friendly process without hazardous chemicals, which also requires less energy. This development should be recognised all the more as it took a long time to develop, with a development period of 10 years, and was successfully implemented in a medium-sized company with limited resources.
About Graphic Packaging
Graphic Packaging International’s history extends more than 100 years and is one of the largest manufacturers of paperboard and paper-based packaging for some of the world’s most recognized brands of food, beverage, foodservice, household, personal care and pet care products. The Group has over 130 facilities worldwide that provide innovative packaging solutions. With a product portfolio that emphasizes renewable, recycled, and recyclable materials, GPI is committed to their customers and 24,000 employees also in view of protecting the environment.