Bison Bag Adds 10 color MIRAFLEX II Press First Investment in W&H Technology

Bison Bag, a full-service flexible packaging converter with 10c printing capabilities based in Lockport, NY, has placed an order for a 10 color MIRAFLEX II M. This will be Bison Bag’s fourth flexographic press and its first from W&H. The press is scheduled for start-up in fourth quarter 2019.

“We’ve been growing steadily since my father started the company in his basement 50 years ago,” said Jim Streicher, Bison Bag’s COO and Co-owner with the Zgoda family. “We’re still getting bigger as a company and believe the MIRAFLEX II will take us where we need to go”.

The 52” MIRAFLEX II M is equipped with W&H’s fully-integrated Viscosity Control system and VISION web inspection system with Defect Check. An additional feature on the new press is the award-winning TURBOCLEAN ADVANCED E inking and wash-up system with electric pulsation-free pumps, which significantly reduce both ink and energy consumption.

“The integrated inspection and viscosity control systems were a big factor in our decision to go with W&H. You always hope things won’t go wrong, but there are hiccups. We like to know that when and if problems arise, we’ll only need to call one supplier to take care of it,” added Streicher.

The MIRAFLEX II is part of a larger expansion plan for the company. An addition to an existing building is currently underway and when finished in 2020 will bring the total plant size to approximately 140,000 ft2. Other recently acquired machinery includes one pouch machine from Modern Manufacturing, two  Nordmeccanica solventless laminators , an auto-mounter by J. M. Heaford and an Inno-Lok machine for converting zipper into vertical form/fill/seal rollstock from Hudson-Sharp.


Windmoeller & Hoelscher Partners with TC Transcontinental Packaging for New Barrier and PE Extrusion Lines

Windmoeller & Hoelscher is proud to announce its partnership with TC Transcontinental Packaging on two VAREX II blown film lines, including one barrier line for the Whitby Ontario, Canada plant. These new lines will support TC Transcontinental Packaging’s growth in multilayer barrier films in North America and are scheduled to start up in the fall of 2019.

“W&H is privileged to be working closely with TC Transcontinental Packaging on strengthening their position in the flexible packaging market,” said Andrew Wheeler, President of Windmoeller & Hoelscher North America. He added, “Many of the companies TC Transcontinental acquired were longstanding W&H customers and we are delighted to continue servicing and supporting them with our technologies.”

The first line is an 87” 9-layer VAREX II and is the first barrier line from W&H that will be running at Transcontinental Whitby. The second line is a 102” 3-layer VAREX II with a Filmatic II S surface winder and will join existing 3 and 5-layer lines for running PE films.

“We are proud to partner with an innovative industrial company such as W&H to help us achieve new heights in our product and service offering,” said Dustin Dyer, Senior Vice President, Shrink & Extrusion at TC  Transcontinental Packaging. “The new lines will allow us to increase our productivity and be more flexible while keeping in mind our environmental impact.”

TC Transcontinental entered the flexible packaging market in 2014 with the acquisition of Capri Packaging located in Clinton, Missouri, followed by a series of strategic acquisitions in both Canada and the United States. Today, the company positions itself as a leader in flexible packaging in North America, and also has operations in Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador, United Kingdom, New Zealand and China. TC Transcontinental Packaging has over 4,000 employees, the majority of which are based in the United States. Its platform is comprised of one pre-media studio and 28 production plants specializing in extrusion, lamination, printing and converting.


W&H’s 24/7/365 Remote Diagnostics Service Celebrates 25 Years

W&H is celebrating 25 years of its Information & Diagnostics Center (IDC) remote diagnostics service.   IDC started as around-the-clock support connecting machine operators with experienced W&H engineers for troubleshooting advice.

Today, using an internet connection, IDC successfully resolves approximately 80% of machine problems remotely, eliminating the time and expense that accompany a technician's visit.

The majority of first and second shift calls from North American customers land directly with our IDC team based in Rhode Island, USA. In addition to performing remote diagnostics, the team has access to an on-site test center for recreating and analysing machine problems, programming computers and drives remotely and also for programming spare parts for overnight delivery.

Other IDC offices are located in Germany and India.

Kiliper Corporation Teams up with Windmoeller & Hoelscher

Orders MIRAFLEX II Flexographic Press

Kiliper Corporation, a manufacturer of stretch sleeves and polyethylene bags, has ordered a MIRAFLEX II flexographic press from Windmoeller & Hoelscher. The press will support the company’s stretch sleeve, polybag and toll printing production and is scheduled for start-up in Quarter 4 2019.

The 25-year-old family company based in Ames, Iowa is run by second generation siblings, Tom Kiliper and Lindsay Kiliper-Maysent. Kiliper Corporation’s 32,000 ft2 facility houses 12 – 48” 8c printing capabilities, an in-house graphic design department, laminating equipment as well as stretch and polybag converting machinery.

"We are excited to have partnered with Windmoeller & Hoelscher.  As we continue to invest in the growth of our company, it is critical to partner with the right companies and the right people.  The W&H Miraflex II will allow us to remain a leading printer and converter of stretch sleeves and other flexible packaging," said Tom Kiliper, Co-Owner.

The 41” 8c MIRAFLEX II press is equipped with W&H’s fully-integrated VISION web inspection system with Defect Check and Barcode Check, which provide the machine operator with real-time oversight and control of the job on press.  For quick changeovers, the press will have EASY SET HD and S for fully-automatic impression setting and EASY REG M for automatic registration setting as well as the TURBOCLEAN inking and wash-up system.



This is How Fast Modern Flexo Printing Can be

More than 500 guests experienced the latest developments in
package printing at “Experience the Future of Flexo”
On 27. and 28. March, machine manufacturer Windmöller &
Hölscher (W&H) hosted visitors to the open house "Experience the
Future of Flexo". More than 500 visitors from around the globe
attended demonstrations showing how fast an optimized printing
processes can be today: Just 3 hours after a group photo was
taken, the image was produced on the new NOVOFLEX II at
speeds of 600m/min. Job changes every 5 minutes demonstrated
the efficiency of the W&H machines and intelligent automation
systems for short runs.

The highlight of the Open House was the premiere of the NOVOFLEX II
high-performance flexographic printing press, which can print the most
challenging jobs at maximum speeds. W&H demonstrated the
performance of the new system by switching between two images at a
speed of 600 m/min. Both jobs were high line count graphics with
particularly hard leading edges of plates. The first image was the group
picture taken in the morning.

Speed in the overall process
The conversion from image to finished print in 3 hours was made
possible by an optimized overall process. Partner KODAK FLEXCEL
used the FLEXCEL NX Ultra solution to produce ready-to-print Ultra
plates in less than one hour. The NOVOFLEX II with its clearly
structured printing unit as well as automatic storage and sleeve ejection
system enables a sleeve change in just a few minutes. The EASY
automation modules ensure fast setting as well as impression setting
and register setting in less than 90 seconds. "We wanted to
demonstrate that flexo printing, with its high quality and proven process
reliability with modern W&H machines and an optimized overall
process, enables enormous flexibility and speed. The reactions of the
guests showed: We were successful," summarizes Hermann Veismann,
Head of the Printing Division at W&H.

Performance across the entire portfolio
The MIRAFLEX from W&H is the market’s best-selling press with more
than 650 machines worldwide. At the Open House, W&H showed the
MIRAFLEX II in two versions: The proven dual-port and a new compact
single-port that requires less floor space. Thanks to the face-to-face
winder configuration on the single-port, there is a central loading and
unloading area for the winder, which shortens web and operator
distances. In addition to a pure 4C process job, the single-port showed
further developments in the fully-integrated VISION print monitoring
system designed in-house by W&H. The audience was particularly
interested in the unique Head-Up Display and the intelligent print defect
classification. "The developments presented are part of our focus on
PACKAGING 4.0: intelligent machines, intuitive operation and
integrated processes," says Veismann.

CMYK color separation to multicolor separation
W&H also used the demonstration of the two MIRAFLEX II versions for
a direct comparison of CMYK color separation with multicolor
separation. While the single port printed in 4C, the dual port worked
with a fixed 7C color palette. This direct system comparison showed the
advantages and possibilities offered by the consistent use of an
extended color gamut. In this context, the technical highlights in the
areas of inking, inking unit design and drive technology of the W&H
presses were clearly demonstrated.

Maximizing machine benefits through digital services
New digital technologies will facilitate customer support in the future.
The Information and Diagnostics Center (IDC) demonstrated the use of
digital data glasses during live troubleshooting: A customer who needs
technical support puts on the headset with integrated camera and
connects to an expert from the IDC. The expert sees everything the
customer sees in real time and can help him quickly and easily. In the
medium term, the digital services will be used in both service support
and training. "With digital data glasses, we are bringing our experts
even closer to our customers. This enables us to make our service
even simpler, faster and more convenient for our customers," says
Christian Brönstrup, head of the IDC.

W&H appoints Dr. Falco Paepenmüller as Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Falco Paepenmüller will assume the position of Chief Technology Officer at Windmöller & Hölscher as of 01.04.2019. His successor as Head of the Extrusion Business Unit will be Dr. Torsten Schmitz.

Changes at W&H, the specialist for the flexible packaging market: Effective April 1, 2019, Dr. Falco Paepenmüller will become Chief Technology Officer (CTO), a newly-created position, of the machinery manufacturer’s Management Board. Paepenmüller assumes responsibility for the three business units: Extrusion, Printing and Converting. Chief Financial Officer, Theodor Determann, transferred from W&H to Germany-based E-Mobility specialist e.GO <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Mobile</st1:place></st1:city> at the beginning of the year. The position of Chief Financial Officer will be filled in the course of this calendar year. As of April 2019, members of the W&H Management Board will include Dr. Jürgen Vutz, Chairman of the Management Board, Peter Steinbeck, Chief Sales and Service Officer, and Dr. Falco Paepenmüller, Chief Technology Officer.

Paepenmüller has held various management positions at W&H since 2007. Currently he is the head of the Extrusion business unit, which under his leadership has grown above the market average in recent years. "The addition of a Chief Technology Officer emphasizes our focus on innovation. With faster innovation cycles and more connected processes, a separate Management Board position has become more important for the expansion of technology leadership," explains Dr. Jürgen Vutz. Dr. Torsten Schmitz will succeed Paepenmüller as head of the Extrusion business unit. Schmitz has also been working for W&H since 2008 and is currently responsible for the cast film division.

In addition to technical expertise, the family-owned company also places emphasis on cultural fit. "With Dr. Paepenmüller and Dr. Schmitz, we have been able to recruit outstanding technical experts for the positions that are also known and valued as leaders in the company. Both are very important to us as a family business," explains Vutz.

NOVOFLEX II Flexographic Press to Premiere at W&H Open House

Machinery manufacturer Windmöller & Hölscher is hosting “Experience the Future of Flexo” featuring the newest technological developments in flexographic printing at its renovated Printing Technology Center in Lengerich, Germany on March 27th & 28th. Highlighting the Open House will be the world premiere of the NOVOFLEX II flexographic press, which will demonstrate challenging jobs at top speeds.The MIRAFLEX II product range, the market’s top selling flexographic press with more than 600 machines running worldwide, is being expanded with the introduction of a compact single port machine. Additional topics include: a new technology that delivers high performance press-ready plates in less than an hour presented by KODAK Flexcel Solutions as well as a direct comparison of the classic CMYK color separation to multi-color separation. Rounding out the event, the Information and Diagnostics Center will introduce visitors to new services using data glasses.

“Shorter job lengths, demanding images, and consistently high-quality print done profitably – demands such as these from flexo printers are increasing. At ‘Experience the Future of Flexo’, W&H will present solutions for these challenges with new machinery, time saving processes and new technology,” explained Markus Bauschulte, Technical Sales Director of the Printing and Finishing Unit at W&H.

Visitors to the Open House will experience the premiere of the NOVOFLEX II, the newest flexographic press from W&H. “The NOVOVLEX II should prove especially interesting for the premium printer. It provides maximum profitably supported by efficient performance, quick job changes and consistently exceptional print quality. The heart of the advancement made on the printing decks is the new doctor blade chamber technology. We believe that these and several other developments on the press will be attractive to our visitors,” added Bauschulte.

Live demonstrations of the two versions of the MIRAFLEX II will be given, one on the new compact single port version and the other on the established and easy-to-operate dual port version. “We’ll show how quickly jobs on such a high-tech press can be changed. Then we will compare the technical and economical aspects of classic CMYK color separation to multicolor separation,” said Bauschulte.

The Information and Diagnostic Center (IDZ) from W&H will introduce new remote services. “Today, more than 80% of all machine problems can be successfully resolved remotely. Using data glasses, we are able to create even closer interaction between IDZ, the machine operator and the machine itself. At the Open House, we’ll cover exactly how that works,” said Christian Brönstrup, Head of the IDZ Department.

Identical programs will be held on March 27th and 28th. For more information or to register, visit

W&H Announces it's Developing Digital Press for Flexible Packaging

While digital printing is already firmly established in the label and commercial printing sector, flexible packaging continues to be a challenge: An economical and stable digital printing process has yet to be developed. W&H, machine builder and specialist for flexible packaging, has reached a first milestone in its development project with a machine concept for a new digital printing machine. Now the technology leader starts onboarding partners, including leading inkjet printhead manufacturer Xaar. The digital printing machine from W&H is based on piezo inkjet technology.

"We see a need in the flexible packaging market to use digital printing in addition to the established processes. This is driven by the need for faster time-to-market and very short order lengths," explains Dr. Jürgen Vutz, CEO of W&H. "However, the application of flexible packaging has very special requirements, for example regarding the adhesion of the ink to the film. As specialists in this market, we bring expert knowledge to offer answers to these challenges. First, by continuously advancing the established processes such as flexo and gravure printing. Second, by opening up the possibilities of digital printing for flexible packaging."

W&H has been conducting research in the field of digital printing for several years. Since 2016, the digital printing team drives forward the implementation with a development project involving investments in the millions. "We first collected practical requirements, evaluated technologies and tested new approaches. This has resulted in a machine concept that stands out from all existing approaches and provides our customers with added value. We are now implementing this with suitable partners. The new digital machine concept from W&H is characterized by higher quality and higher speeds," explains Sven Michael, head of the digital team at W&H. "High availability and usability in daily use are our top priorities. Our goal is to go to market with a functioning and mature digital printing machine that delivers on the promises of digital printing for flexible packaging as well," summarizes Vutz.



W&H joins CEFLEX ‒ promoting circular economy as a common goal

W&H has joined the CEFLEX European recycling initiative

The European initiative CEFLEX aims to improve the contribution of flexible packaging to the circular economy. The aim is to find better system design solutions by 2025 through cooperation between the many players along the entire value chain. In May this year, German machine builder Windmöller&Hölscher joined CEFLEX.

CEFLEX is a collaboration project carried out by European companies that represent the entire flexible packaging value chain. The initiative looks at the entire life cycle of flexible packaging from production, consumption and collection to waste management and secondary raw materials. An important goal is to develop guidelines for flexible packaging that are recognized throughout Europe by 2020. Other working groups deal with new technologies, infrastructure and business models as well as end markets for recycled material.


Transforming flexible packaging into a closed material system will represent a major challenge for the flexible packaging industry in the future, explains W&H CEO Dr. Jürgen Vutz. “CEFLEX is an important step towards combining expertise in this area and working together to find circular economy solutions for flexible packaging. As the world market leader for machines for manufacturing flexible packaging, we can make an important contribution to the technological advancement, in particular,” states Vutz when explaining the involvement of W&H in the collaborative initiative.


In addition to Windmöller&Hölscher, more than 70 other companies and organizations are involved in the CEFLEX project – these range from raw material suppliers to packaging processers and brand owners. These stakeholders all hold important positions in the flexible packaging value chain.

AVENTUS ‒ the new specialist for solutions for packing of free-flowing loose goods up to finished pallets

Dr. Jürgen Vutz (CEO Windmöller & Hölscher), Kai Lammers (Managing Director Aventus) and Florian Festge (Managing Partner Haver & Boecker) announced the foundation of AVENTUS at the press conference during ACHEMA.

HAVER & BOECKER and WINDMÖLLER & HÖLSCHER introduce their new joint company at Achema

HAVER & BOECKER and WINDMÖLLER & HÖLSCHER present their new joint venture AVENTUS at the Achema trade fair today. AVENTUS is specialized on solutions for the packing of free-flowing loose goods up to finished pallets. The joint company was officially founded in June with each party holding a 50%share. NEWTEC, the HAVER & BOECKER subsidiary specialized in palletizing, is now a 100% subsidiary of AVENTUS. Once under full operation, AVENTUS will employ over 300 employees and reach sales of approximately 80 million Euros. With the joint company, the market leaders bundle their strengths to shape the future of filling and palletizing together.

“Today’s megatrends of globalization and digitalization are impacting the filling and palletizing markets,” Florian Festge, Managing Partner at HAVER & BOECKER, explains the motives behind the joint venture at the press conference. “Rapidly increasing innovation cycles, linked production processes worldwide along with higher demands for flexibility are only some of the challenges the market faces. In order to optimally fulfill the customer needs of today and tomorrow, we need a strong and focused team. With AVENTUS this is precisely what we will create,” says Festge.

The name AVENTUS is derived from the names of both parent companies. “Avena means Hafer (the German word for oats), and ventus means wind. The new name symbolizes the unification of the best of both companies,” saysDr. Jürgen Vutz, CEO at W&H. Appointed as Managing Director of AVENTUS is Kai Lammers. The graduate engineer worked at W&H for the last 16 years, most recently as Division Manager Service-Sales. “With Kai Lammers we have an experienced manager who possesses technical expertise as well as production and international experience,” says Vutz.

The portfolio of AVENTUS will include filling technology for open bags, FFS bags and big bags as well as palletizing and load securing technology. “With access to products of both HAVER & BOECKER and WINDMÖLLER &HÖLSCHER, AVENTUS covers the entire value-creation chain. With this broad product range, we are able to very specifically fulfil customer requirements: from standard to special applications, from low-speed to high-speed systems. The customer has one contact person and receives everything from a single source. ”The AVENTUS portfolio is especially interesting for customers from chemicals, food and animal feed markets.

For service AVENTUS will benefit from the structures of both parent companies. “AVENTUS will offer service on all 5 continents, with access to 52 service centers, and over 500 service technicians,” says Lammers. “Like its mother companies AVENTUS promises long-term service and guarantees service for existing machines from both companies as well as for new machines,” says Lammers.

Although the exact location is not yet decided, it is certain that AVENTUS will have its headquarters in Münsterland in Germany. By 2020 it will have its own production, R&D and other functions there. With NEWTEC a second production site is located in Alsace in France.

Lammers also offered a view of the future direction of innovation: “Based on the product portfolio of both companies, AVENTUS will keep developing the product range in the future. Topics such as the integration of the entire value-creation chain and increasing digitalization with respect to Industry 4.0 have already been worked on in both parent companies over the past years. At AVENTUS we will continue to drive these developments with bundled strengths and expertise. This will result in innovations that will be of great benefit to our customers."



Windmöller & Hölscher Remains Leader in Press Sales to the Flexible Packaging Market in 2017

Windmöller & Hölscher, a world-leading manufacturer of machinery for the production of flexible packaging, has announced record sales of above 840 million EUR for 2017. “We grew across all business units: Extrusion, printing and converting,” said CEO Dr. Jürgen Vutz. The printing division, consisting of flexographic and gravure presses, achieved 270 million EUR worldwide worldwide. With this result, W&H remains the clear market leader for printing machines in the field of flexible packaging.

North American subsidiary Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corporation, based in Lincoln, Rhode Island, was very satisfied with 2017 and imported more presses into North America than any other supplier. “Due to ground-breaking technologies launched at Drupa 2016 in Düsseldorf, our business has boomed and we are very optimistic that the new economic incentives in the modified tax law will pay great dividends,” stated Klaus Kleemann, VP of Sales at W&H North America.

The new technologies cited by Kleemann include the award winning and virtually maintenance-free TURBOCLEAN ADVANCED E inking and wash-up system and W&H’s own fully-integrated VISION assistance system. TURBOCLEAN ADVANCED E runs electric, pulsation-free pumps, which significantly reduce ink and energy consumption at low noise levels. The VISION package combines systems for web monitoring, bar code check, printing impression, register setting in one single operator interface and is the only system of its type currently available on the market. "The deep integration of the modules in the press means less data entry when starting a job, faster machine changeovers, and reliable, faultless print production – essentially, greater quality and efficiency," added Kleemann.

W&H and Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful Come Together for a Community Litter Clean-up Day


Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful and Lincoln-based Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corporation (W&H) teamed up for a community litter pick-up along New England Way and its intersection with the heavily littered Albion Road this past Wednesday.

In under two hours, the group of 10 collected more than 20 bags of garbage, including cans, bottles and wrappers, along with several tires and vinyl siding, calling attention to the severity of the litter problem our community faces.

“It feels good, as a citizen, to be out there contributing to the community in a positive way, but picking up someone else’s garbage certainly adds a dose of frustration to the mix,” said Catherine Mattson, Marketing Communications Manager at W&H.

As a supplier of machinery for the production of flexible packaging, such as plastic films that package the food you buy at the supermarket or paper sacks that contain cement powder, W&H is concerned about what happens to that packaging at the end of its initial life cycle.

Andrew Wheeler, President of W&H, said, “We as a company went out to support the clean up activities that are desperately needed in our immediate community. Today the area looks great, but we’re well aware that within the coming weeks and months, litter will be strewn about again.”

“Legislators are threatening bans as a solution. But a huge part of the overall problem is the atrocious behavior of individuals disposing of their garbage on the roads,” added Wheeler.

Much of the litter that was picked up was made of easily recyclable and already recycled items such as aluminum, glass and plastic.



Sigma Plastics Group Places Large Blown Film Line Order with Windmoeller & Hoelscher

The Sigma Plastics Group has placed an order for blown film lines from W&H for Republic Bags of Houston, TX, and McNeeley Plastics of Clinton, MS, and completed an installation at ISOFlex Packaging in Washington, IN.

“Sigma Plastics Group and W&H have been business partners for roughly 15 years,” said Alfred Teo, CEO of Sigma Plastics Group.  “We value the first-class film quality and reliable machinery, as well as the excellent and dependable after-sales service and spare parts.”

Six OPTIMEX FFS lines will be up and running at Republic Bags by the end of summer 2018. This significant investment marks Sigma Plastic Group’s first foray into the FFS sack film market. The lines will help keep up with the growing resin export demands brought on by new crackers being built in the area. The OPTIMEX FFS lines produce multicolor printed, gusseted PE film ready for FFS (Form-Fill-Seal) packing. Sigma estimates approximately 45 million pounds of annual capacity from these lines.

 Meanwhile, McNeeley Plastics has ordered two additional VAREX II blown film extrusion lines, for a total of six in that plant. The 63” 3-layer line has a dual FILMATIC S winder with reverse wind capability. The second line has five layers and is equipped with the TURBOCLEAN resin purging and quick-changeover system along with a FILMATIC S winder with reverse-wind capability. This investment will support McNeely’s expanding business in converter-grade films.

Last week, a 5-layer VAREX II line started at Sigma’s ISOFlex plant in Washington, IN. President David McKinney, CO-COO of ISOFlex, said the installation went extremely well and the line was producing high-quality product within only a few hours of powering the line. This is ISOFlex’s third VAREX in that facility.

To date, over 40 W&H lines are running at various Sigma Plastics Group plants.

The Sigma Plastics Group

The Sigma Plastics Group was founded in 1978 by Alfred Teo and is the largest privately owned film extrusion group in North America. Based in Pompano Beach, Florida, the company has 42 manufacturing facilities producing an annual throughput of over 2 billion pounds of resin and employs over 4,700 people. Sigma manufactures a variety of flexible packaging products servicing the industrial, agricultural, food, medical, retail, and converter film markets.