Greek converter Synmetal expands alu-foil capacity with BOBST MASTER CO 5000 lacquer-coating line

Aluminium-foil rolling and converting company Symetal is reportedly pleased with the BOBST MASTER CO 5000 coating machine which was put into service in Q1 2022 in its production facility in Mandra, Greece. The coater not only fulfills Symetal’s process-quality expectations but also will deliver the converting-capacity increase the company anticipates from its existing capacity of 24,000 tonnes/yr.

PHOTO: The Symetal and BOBST technical team (from left to right): Yannis Katsanakis, Project Manager and Electrical Maintenance Engineer, Symetal; Marco Girotto, Electrical Engineer, and Omar Houdaibi, Mechanical Engineer, Bobst Italia; Michalis Michalakis, Production Engineer, Symetal.

Aluminium foil is a delicate substrate, and its conversion requires combined and complex processes, hence coating equipment is usually highly customized, requiring a close collaboration between the equipment manufacturer and the converter. So, how have BOBST and Symetal taken the company’s coating operations to the next level of technological and process efficiency and output quality?

Symetal S.A. operates two state-of-the-art production facilities in Greece: The Oinofyta plant manufactures aluminium-foil rolls and the Mandra plant specializes in foil coating and/or paper lamination producing a wide variety of plain and converted aluminium foil products from 6 to 100 microns. With more than 40 years’ experience and expertise in aluminium foil rolling and converting processing, the company is a strategic partner to major food, pharmaceutical, and cigarette packaging manufacturers. Symetal is an aluminium segment subsidiary of ElvalHalcor S.A., a leading global industrial producer of aluminium and copper products for dynamically growing markets.

“We operate in a highly competitive market and must continue investing and looking for the next innovations, focusing on production process optimisation and manufacturing of high value-added sustainable foil solutions” explains Konstantinos Kontos, gm-Symetal. “We have collaborated closely with BOBST on a previous project, a highly customized tri-lacquering machine installed in 2015 which has been delivering the excellent output quality and process optimization we were looking for. This is why we turned to BOBST again for our latest investment."

Symetal’s new CO 5000 is a bi-lacquering machine, equipped with different coating systems to best match the specific requirements of the company’s custom applications. It is configured to coat both sides of the aluminium-foil web to apply water-based or solvent-based protection primers and heat-sealings. 

Commenting on the future, Kontos adds, “We needed to invest to add capacity following the significant increase of demand for aluminium-foil packaging products, with focus on optimized coating weight, automatic inspection, and minimization of surface defects.

“BOBST designs state-of-the-art equipment and understands the specific needs of our company. We appreciate the way we are able to collaborate on such customized projects. Together, we have developed solutions that enable us to create added value for our customers."