High-performance digital printing – quality assurance and productivity increase through paper conditioning

WEKO-DigiCon at Walter Digital

WEKO Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co. KG has many years of experience with the WEKO-RFDi for paper conditioning for toner-based printing systems. This is the basis for the newly developed WEKO DigiCon for inkjet printing. Walter Digital GmbH successfully uses the WEKO-DigiCon paper conditioning unit for remoistening on the Ricoh VC60000 for high-quality print products.

Many digital printers are familiar with wavy print products. Nowadays, however, print shops no longer have to accept these quality losses. After the printing process, the paper must lie flat and be able to be processed further without problems. The solution is to return the moisture content to the paper that it has lost through drying processes. WEKO offers a conditioning unit for remoistening the paper web for digital printing machines of all renowned manufacturers – the WEKO DigiCon.

Paper fibres shrunk through drying leads to wavy print products with an unattractive appearance. The WEKO-DigiCon supplies the paper with a precisely defined amount of water and thus relieves the paper fibres. This ensures flatness, avoids static charges, ensures high product quality and maximises the processing speed.

The heart of the WEKO-DigiCon are special spray discs (rotors). They rotate at a high speed generating a uniform stream of finest micro-droplets. Adjustable sliders create spray fans that are arranged seamlessly side by side and ensure uniform remoistening.

Walter Digital GmbH from Korntal-Münchingen is already permanently using a WEKO DigiCon validated by the manufacturer on its Ricoh VC60000 at the Sindelfingen site.Walter Digital belongs to the Heer Group and specialises in digital printing and finishing with an extensive machine park and also offers highly efficient logistics processes for its customers. “This is about efficiently producing high-quality print products through a high degree of process automation, offering customers low unit prices and personal service for changing jobs with short runs. WEKO DigiCon also contributes to achieving these goals,” explains Felix Walter, Managing Director of Walter Digital. Walter Digital mainly prints catalogues and operating instructions on the Ricoh VC60000, but also banners, flyers, posters, brochures, saddle stitching or adhesive binding (hardcover, softcover).

The production of short and very short runs in large quantities is a very relevant market for Walter Digital. Diverse jobs with different contents and scope but with the same design are bundled on the press. “Since we have remoistened the paper web with the WEKO-DigiCon, the quality has become much better, and wave formation is no longer an issue. In addition, remoistening has a positive influence on finishing, as the maximum speed can be achieved on the offline cutting line,” adds Thomas Freese, site manager for web-fed digital printing.

WEKO International Sales Meeting 2018

Participants WEKO Sales Meeting

On 27 and 28 June 2018, WEKO invited its international sales agencies and subsidiaries to the WEKO International Sales Meeting at its headquarters in Leinfelden-Echterdingen. The mix of topics of technical training, market analyses, user reports and future market orientation was very well received by the participants. “It was a highly informative meeting with interesting new application options, which we now also want to implement in our market,” said one of the enthusiastic participants from overseas.

WEKO gave its partners an insight into current development projects that will be launched on the market in the future and showed the continued positive sales development of the individual divisions. As a social programme matching the World Cup in a timely manner, a goal shooting competition took place, in which the ladies were clearly ahead of the men in goal scoring winning all prizes.

On the second day, a factory tour of the production plant in Rosenfeld-Heiligenzimmern was on the agenda. WEKO provided deep insights into its structured production and quality processes, which are ensured, for example, by ISO9001:2015, KANBAN and 5S. In addition, Product Management presented various product innovations directly to the interested participants at a current WEKO plant.

In addition, management and the partners present at the international sales meeting took the opportunity to bid farewell to sales manager Dietrich Zinn to his well-deserved retirement. Zinn worked successfully for WEKO for 18 years and officially handed over the “ball” to his successor Tobias Schurr, who is now responsible for sales, marketing, product management and the pilot line.

In the evening all participants and the entire staff were invited to the WEKO Summer Festival in the Fossil Forum in Dotternhausen.

Since the beginning of 2018, Stefan Käszmann is in charge of the sales area WEKO-Süd

Il sig. Stefan Käszmann accanto all’insegna di WEKO

Mr. Stefan Käszmann strengthens the WEKO sales team as Area Sales Manager for the region of Southern Germany and Austria and is available for customers and interested parties as first point of contact. Based on his many years of experience in customer-focused market support, amongst others, in the textile and chemical sector, he meets all the prerequisites for application-specific consulting.

10 Successful Years for WEKO in the South American Market

Filiale WEKO América Latina

The WEKO experts offer worldwide support with the choice and integration of non-contact minimum application systems in the production process. Now, the WEKO América Latina branch in Brazil has existed for ten years.

The South German machine manufacturer Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co. KG (WEKO) has reason to celebrate. As long as ten years ago, the managing directors Carlheiz Weitmann and Marcel Konrad acquired the company URBAN Equipamentos industriais and thus laid the foundations for entering the markets of Brazil and the rest of the South American continent.

Since 2010, Benjamin Ziel has been the managing director of the branch, which now has the name of WEKO América Latina. “We are happy that we have been able to build up the business relationships for WEKO in South America and make the non-contact application systems known in numerous industries”, says Ziel. At the beginning, WEKO América Latina was specialised in the textile industry. But meanwhile, Benjamin Ziel has managed to integrate the other WEKO target markets, e.g. tissue, film, non-woven, paper, wood and printing, into the branch's portfolio successfully. In 2018 again, WEKO América Latina will be represented at several trade fairs in Latin America such as the Colombiatex in Medellín, the Expoprint in São Paulo or the Febratex in Blumenau. WEKO believes in its South American distribution and production location in Indaial/Brazil. “We see its potential and would like to expand it further. Out applications are innovative and our customers can distinguish themselves from their competitors by using WEKO products. This is seen very positively in a growth market”, explains Benjamin Ziel.

New Staff Members Help WEKO Grow Further

Il sig. Tobias Schurr accanto all’insegna di WEKO
Sales Manager Tobias Schurr

From now on, new staff members of Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co. KG (WEKO), a South German manufacturer of non-contact liquid application systems, will support the company with the worldwide expansion of its sales network and of innovative fields of application.

Tobias Schurr joined the WEKO sales team as Sales Manager for the international market in June 2017 and is the main contact person for customers and interested parties. With his many years of experience as a technical sales and service manager, he also gives support to the Sales Management as part of his tasks. The goals of the 39 year-old are to drive the company's further expansion in the growth sectors of digital printing, packaging and technical textiles and to develop new fields of application for minimal and non-contact liquid application.

Mark Jones, became a Technical Sales Engineer at WEKO on 1 August 2017 and is responsible for building up and developing the on-trend sectors, e.g. technical textiles, nonwovens and plastic film, for the UK. He contributes his 25 years of experience in the sale of electrostatic control instruments and will also support the sales of HAUG GmbH & Co. KG in the UK.

Carolin Russ joined WEKO in 2016 to work on her master thesis and is in charge of various individual projects in the fields of textiles and nonwovens. Due to her high level of expertise, she was employed permanently as a Project Manager for textiles and nonwovens as of 1 October 2017 in order to initiate and accompany the continuous development of new applications in those areas. With her university degree in Textile Technology and many years of professional experience in the textile industry, she is perfectly qualified for offering successful product design and process consulting to our customers.

Adding functional properties to nonwovens with minimum application systems from WEKO

Sistema di ordine minimo in fase di funzionalizzazione

Manufacturers and finishers of high-quality nonwovens offer a large selection of different functionalisations, e.g. hydrophilic, hydrophobic, antimicrobial, perfuming, flame-retardant, dirt-repellent or smoothing finishings. Liquid, water-based dispersions applied to the nonwovens are usually used for these functionalisation.

An application system specifically developed by WEKO offers high production and cost benefits compared to conventional application methods. Using the slogan "Don't play - work with precision!" WEKO positions itself on the international market with a high-precision system that applies finishing chemicals on the nonwoven web in exactly metered quantities and absolutely clean – without gimmicks and wasting resources.

Finest micro-droplets are generated with the WEKO application system and then applied to the web by kinetic energy. Even smallest amounts of liquid can thus be applied to webs up to 7 m wide, uniformly and consistently.

Chemicals and energy – major cost factors

The liquid applied mostly consists of water and the actual ingredients that give the functional properties. Because water needs to be diverted again, the amount and cost of the chemicals are in direct relationship to the drier energy.

The WEKO system lets you adjust and control the application quantity so that the desired function of the finishing is reliably provided while reducing the amount of liquor required to a minimum. Enormous savings – due to minimising the applied liquor and, in addition, the marked reduction of the required drier energy – are the result.

Quality – even faster

WEKO application systems work contactless. The web remains dimensionally stable, both in length and width, and retains its original volume. Compared to touch and roller systems, the nonwoven web is not stretched by system-related tensile forces and does not require squeezing through rubber rollers either. This produces greater product quality.

In addition, thanks to the non-contact application extreme web speeds can be realised, especially with very thin nonwovens.

Variable – why not

Thanks to the flexible rotor application liquor can be applied either to one side only or to both sides. Liquid application can be freely selected depending on the configuration of the system. Hydrophobic applications can be applied to one side, for example, to facilitate lamination of the back side. Likewise, applications can be realised where each side is finished with a different function. Even wet-in-wet applications can be produced thanks to the non-contact application as well as exact and minimum application quantity.

Disposal – an expensive matter

WEKO application systems also score very well when it comes to sustainability. The capacity of the liquor tanks is variable and can be chosen according to the respective application conditions. Only a small amount of residual liquor is generated.

Non-contact application also prevents fibres, particles or pigments from being carried over into the downstream application liquors. The liquids remain largely clean and can therefore be reused for subsequent jobs, depending on the chemical stability. In addition to the positive environmental balance, disposal costs can be significantly reduced.

Comparison – at eye level

Due to the nature of the system, the investment costs for WEKO rotation systems are higher than those of simple roller systems. However, when considering that high-quality nonwovens necessarily require an additional measuring device to control the application volume; this is quickly put into perspective in favour of the exactly controlled WEKO system, according to Markus Klempin, product manager at WEKO.
In addition to product quality and variability, the systems particularly distinguish themselves through savings in the areas of chemicals and energy. Contact the manufacturer, WEKO, Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co. KG, directly to obtain more information about costs, sustainability and amortisation.


Don`t play – work with precision! – Functional coatings for plastic films with minimal application systems from WEKO

Sistema di ordine minimo in fase di funzionalizzazione

At the K fair 2016 in Düsseldorf, Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co. KG showcases a variety of applications giving films special properties – true to the motto "Don't play – work with precision!". The focus is on adding functional properties to films through non-contact spray application of anti-blocking, anti-fog or anti-static additives. Anti-curling uses and the application of primers supplement varied the application options.

The WEKO motto "Don't play - work with precision!" underscores the fact that the WEKO-Fluid-Application-System is no gadget but a high-precision system applying finishing chemicals exactly metered and clean onto the plastic film web. WEKO – on the market for more than 60 years – has specialised in precise and non-contact applications of minimal liquid or powder quantities on plastic film and other material webs.

Many flexible films are finished with special surface-active substances to optimise the physical properties. Many of the world’s renowned plastic film manufacturers already rely on the WEKO coating technology and achieve significant cost and quality advantages compared to the use of batch additives.

The extruded film webs are finished with a very thin liquid functional coat immediately following the extrusion process. Contrary to batch additives external coating neither affects the behaviour of the melt in the extruder nor the flow characteristics at the extrusion nozzle and not even the barrier effect, and thus the thickness of the different film coats.

The function is effective immediately after application and retains its effectiveness continuously even after very long storage periods. Another advantage is that the film retains its transparency, entirely without opaqueness.

Release agent application – the classic

WEKO application systems are most often found in the area of release agent coating of PET film. These thicker single or multilayer films are used for thermoforming trays. When manufacturing products by thermoforming, silicon emulsions make it easier to release the trays from the moulds and to destack the final products. Thanks to the minimal and very exact application of anti-blocking agents uniform and high-quality plastic trays are produced. At the same time, the thermoforming process represents cost benefits by increasing the cycle rates, reducing downtimes and minimising the release agents used.

Polyolefins – the divas

Naturally, in addition to PET films, polyolefin products can also be coated. Because of the surface energy water-based coating of polyolefins usually requires corona pre-treatment. From a surface energy of the film of 38-40 mN/m very thin, uniform coats can be produced with dry thicknesses in the nanometre range. Common applications in this area are anti-fogging, antistatic and antibacterial coats.

Another use is the reduction of curling effects of co-extruded blown and flat films. Due to different cooling characteristics of the individual film layers, tensions – and thus significant rolling tendency of the film – may occur after extrusion. Extremely uniform and controlled application of a minimal amount of moisture compensates the tension and results in considerable quality enhancement.

Primer – the young and the wild

The application of primers for extrusion coating represents the latest application area. For example, a bonding agent is required when a PE coat is co-extruded as sealing coat onto PET film. With the WEKO application system this primer can be applied exactly and uniformly onto the carrier film, even at variable speeds. Application of the primer takes place without contact and is merely pulled into a uniform film through a smoothing roller. Compared to the conventional method, using anilox rolls and chamber doctor blade systems, minimal and constant liquid application can be produced with the non-contact WEKO process. Thanks to the minimal application, the cost for the primer and also for the operation of the dryer can be significantly reduced. Lower investment costs and reduction of the process costs make the system particularly attractive for new facilities.

Rotor application systems – maximum precision

WEKO has specialized in applying finest surface films on material webs. Rotors arranged in a row within a rotor carrier and rotating at high speed ensure a non-contact application of liquids. The rotary movements of the rotors and the resulting centrifugal forces produce a uniform flow of finest micro-droplets. This special technology allows the application of even the smallest amounts of fluid precisely, reproducible and adapted to the speed. In addition to its wide dynamic range, these systems excel through outstanding service-friendliness. WEKO application systems represent both highest industrial requirements and also cost and ecology-minded production.

In line with the trend: Plastic film functionalisation using highly precise minimal application systems from WEKO

Sistema di ordine minimo in fase di funzionalizzazione

At this year's K fair in Düsseldorf, Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co. KG will showcase a variety of applications which give plastic films special properties – true to the motto "Don't play – work with precision!". The focus will be on the functionalisation of films by the non-contact spray application of anti-blocking, anti-fog or anti-static additives.

WEKO – on the market for more than 60 years – has specialised in precise and non-contact applications of minimal liquid or powder quantities on plastic films and other material webs. WEKO know-how and quality are provided all around the world. Many renowned film manufacturers already trust in WEKO when it comes to functional film coatings.

To deliberately differentiate from competitors, more and more packaging and film manufacturers rely on functionally finished films and offer their customers products with special properties. Apart from the option to add suitable additives to the batch, e.g. anti-blocking agents, cost-aware and eco-sensitive manufacturers use a surface-coating technology, such as the common anti-blocking coating of PET films. For the manufacturing of deep-drawing products, emulsions that often contain silicone make it easier to release the shells from their deep-drawing moulds and to remove the final products from piles. On the one hand, this precise application of minimal quantities of anti-blocking agents allows for the manufacturing of high-quality products and, on the other hand, cost advantages can be achieved by higher cycle rates, reduction of downtime and separating agent consumption.

Another interesting option to reduce sticking is the application of a very fine equally distributed powder film with WEKO's non-contact powder application systems.

In addition to PET films, many pretreated polyolefin products can also be coated. In this way, you can improve the sliding properties and apply anti-static, anti-fog and antibacterial coatings. Curling on coextruded films can be eliminated by the application of minimal liquid quantities.

Regardless of whether films with anti-block, anti-fog, anti-static or anti-microbial properties, WEKO systems enable a highly precise minimal application of liquid or powdery additives. This brings a high degree of flexibility in the production in combination with considerable cost savings for the granules.

Visitors of K Düsseldorf can find out first hand at the Stand 4E25 in Hall 4 about the WEKO solutions and meet with WEKO experts to discuss their specific application.

drupa: Much interest in WEKO's latest DigiCon remoistening system for digital printing

Stand fieristico di WEKO drupa 2016

WEKO – Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co. KG – presented current solutions to the trade fair visitors at the drupa in Düsseldorf that were met with great enthusiasm by machine manufacturers, print shops and further processing facilities alike.

Using the motto "Don`t play – work with precision" WEKO presented innovative solutions and concepts with great success at this year's drupa facilitating process optimisation for the user both in digital printing and sheet-fed offset.

The company from southern Germany is a specialist for remoistening paper webs dried by the fixing process with heat. The quality of the dry paper deteriorates. "The loss of quality becomes apparent through electrostatic charges, paper curl, waviness as well as fold breaks affecting especially downstream processing. Paper conditioning through remoistening is an extremely effective measure of restoring the paper's original properties" explains Thomas Laißle, Digital Printing product manager at WEKO. The visitors at the WEKO trade fair booth realised this as well and were excited by the non-contact remoistening system, the WEKO-DigiCon. Several systems could be sold right away at the trade fair to the delight of WEKO.

Powder spraying in offset printing is another topic presented at the WEKO exhibition. The WEKO engineers had been tinkering for month with very exact powder application cycled precisely to each sheet. They did succeed as the concept study "WEKO-STEP" demonstrates. The prototype of the new STEP spray bar that cycles the powder directly at the printed sheet was presented to the interested professional audience for the first time at the WEKO booth. WEKO has positioned itself deliberately compared to alternative technologies such as LED UV printing. High print quality, frictionless production processes and high processing speeds continue to make an extremely thin, precision-applied powder coat indispensable for further processing of the printing products. Markus Klempin, Offset Printing product manager at WEKO is optimistic: "We were able to convince the visitors that powder spraying will remain a viable topic in the future and that WEKO continues developing and fine-tuning its application systems to provide the maximum technological benefit to the user".

drupa 2016: WEKO DigiCon – Innovation from Tradition

Sistema di ordine minimo in fase di funzionalizzazione

Paper conditioning through remoistening in digital printing

No printing without WEKO! This textbook statement applies also to digital printing. Whether digital or conventional, many printing processes require drying processes. If the printing carrier is paper, it looses its original properties through drying. Electrostatic charges, waviness, paper curl or the break at the fold are effects that apparently belong to the daily work routine of a digital printer today.

Why does paper react so sensitively to physical impact? Are effective countermeasures available to maintain productivity and quality?

These are questions Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co. KG, in brief, WEKO, has asked themselves. The experts from the Stuttgart area have specialised in the development and production of minimum application systems for moistening and powder-spraying of surfaces for over 60 years. The owner-managed company positions its products between printing and further processing thus bridging the gap between these two processing operations.

The latest development – the WEKO DigiCon – will be presented at the drupa 2016; it was developed for high-performance inkjet printing systems and restores the moisture withdrawn in the drying process to the paper. But why does this have such a positive effect on the quality of the finished product?

Paper is a natural product

Paper is a "living" product that cannot be standardised and its behaviour during diverse processing operations can never be completely anticipated, because paper essentially consists of plant fibres. They expand up to 25 per cent when absorbing moisture. In the same way, fibres shrink under the effect of heat when loosing moisture. Depending on the composition and manufacturing process, each paper has a defined moisture. Paper reacts to climate changes during printing and processing with changes of its properties, with dimensional fluctuations and paper curl.

Challenges for digital printing

Digital printing presses today work primarily either with toner-based electro-photography or high-performance inkjet technology. With both methods the print web runs through a process – fixing the toner or drying of the ink – where high temperatures act on the paper. The original moisture is lost then. Only 15 to 20 per cent residual moisture remain in the paper. The fibres shrink and the generally known and undesirable effects occur: Paper curl (the paper curls), waviness and electrostatic charges are the effects that significantly affect any kind of further processing and cause a quality reduction of the end product. In addition, the paper becomes brittle and breaks at the fold.

The solution: paper conditioning through remoistening

Paper conditioning through remoistening is an extremely effective measure of restoring the paper's original properties. The latest development of the WEKO experts – the WEKO DigiCon – are based on the WEKO RFDi conditioning unit for high-performance printing systems working with toner, proven for quite some time. The WEKO DigiCon is designed for the needs of high-performance inkjet printing systems and has been developed in close cooperation with the renowned digital printing machine manufacturers.

Non-contact remoistening through proven WEKO technology

The special spray discs (rotors) are the core of these minimum application systems. They turn at a high speed generating a uniform stream of finest micro-droplets. Adjustable sliders regulate spray fans which border on each other seamlessly. In this manner, the WEKO DigiCon conditions the processed paper with an exactly metered liquid supply. It receives its original (positive) properties back and optimises running and stacking properties. The result are production runs free from malfunctions, less paper waste and markedly increased product quality.

"Paper conditioning through remoistening of the paper is an important step towards high-quality printing products", explains Thomas Laissle, product manager at WEKO. "Because of the printing process, this technology is especially appreciated for pages with high ink application and paperbacks", continues Laissle. The visitors or this year's drupa can see for themselves in detail. Numerous machine manufacturers will present printing lines at their booths equipped with the WEKO DigiCon conditioning unit. Furthermore, the WEKO experts provide consultation directly at their booth in hall 2 stand 2B54 under the motto "DON’T PLAY – WORK WITH PRECISION".

Integration in all common printing lines

 "The different installations also demonstrate how easily the unit can be integrated into all common printing lines and the advantages resulting from the application. The proven technology also requires very little maintenance and is highly energy-efficient. This makes it an economically and ecologically useful investment" emphasises Marcel Konrad, managing partner at WEKO.

New requirements through further development of printing presses

In addition to the development of the WEKO DigiCon the WEKO WebCon for the HP T-series was developed in parallel in close cooperation with the digital printing machine manufacturer HP. This conditioning unit specifically follows the evolution of the HP high-performance endless printing systems in regard to high speed, high colour resolution and a wide range of papers and grammages. These attributes demand maximum flexibility and quantity variability of the conditioning unit. Again, the WEKO experts have outperformed themselves and can now cover the entire requirements profile of HP with the WEKO WebCon through innovative developments and without adaptations of system configurations.


Sistema di riumidificazione senza contatto

Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co. KG, the technology leader for powder spraying systems for offset printing and non-contact remoistening systems for digital printing presents current developments in the area of process optimisation at drupa 2016.

Using the motto "Don`t play – work with precision" WEKO presents innovative solutions and concepts at this year's drupa facilitating process optimisation for the user both in digital printing and sheet-fed offset. The company, owner-managed for over 60 years, positions its products between printing and further finishing thus bridging the gap between these two processing operations.

 "We constantly continue to develop our products – especially in the area of powder spraying for offset printing. Alternative technologies, such as LED UV print – promising to manage without powder – meanwhile press into the market. However, high product quality, frictionless production processes and high processing speeds make an extremely thin, precision-applied powder coat indispensable for further processing of the printing products. Our passion is to improve good products even further," explains Marcel Konrad, managing partner of WEKO.... "and this always includes a touch of powder."

STEP Technology – precise powder application has a new name

The WEKO powder spraying technology is employed worldwide by all significant manufacturers of offset printing presses. The current AP series sets highest standards for application efficiency, repeat accuracy and cycling of the powder application precisely for each sheet. Can this quality still be topped? The WEKO engineers answered the question in the affirmative and developed the STEP application technology.

Exact cycling is the key

The objective consisted in designing a powder spraying system that cycles as exactly and precisely for each sheet as an electronic signal... and that at maximum printing speeds. To achieve this goal, powder cycling hat to be brought as closely as possible to the sheet. This has been accomplished with WEKO STEP. The powder is metered exactly to the milligram into an air flow. Cycling only takes place immediately before the sheet. Nearly digital individual sheet cycling is thus possible even at maximum speeds of up to 22,000 sheets/h. The new STEP technology will be presented to the interested technical audience for the first time at the drupa 2016 as developmental study.

Minimum and repeatable powder application guarantees the quick, process-optimised further processing for oil-based but also UV applications and reliably prevents offsetting of print sheets as well as glass plate effects. "Modern powder spraying systems combine economy and ecology in a unique manner", says Konrad.

drupa 2016: WEKO – Innovations for the printing and digital printing industry


"Don't play - work with precision!" – this is WEKO's appeal for its presentation at drupa 2016. With its sustainable and precise WEKO application systems for powder and liquids WEKO positions itself as advanced and innovative development partner.

The WEKO brand has been an important partner for end customers and OEMs in the printing industry for over 60 years. The long-term success of the customers is just as important as the WEKO quality and ongoing development of solutions for new print technologies. Innovation is constantly driven at WEKO.

Managing Director Marcel Konrad, Sales and Marketing, is therefore excited about drupa 2016. "Especially at this time, when the printing industry is undergoing major changes, WEKO is a committed partner for all printing and digital printing machine manufacturers as well as for printing companies and service providers. We are engaged, both in the area of classical powder sprayers and the development of state of the art conditioning units for digital printing. We are convinced that our new developments are cutting edge innovations. We offer renowned and globally active printing machine manufacturers and their customers WEKO system that make a significant contribution to increasing the print quality and productivity," delights Konrad.

The systems contribute to increasing the processing speed and decisively facilitate further processing. At this, WEKO always pursues ecologically sustained approaches offering benefits for the future compared to current alternative technologies.

Visitors of drupa 2016 can find out first hand at the Stand 2B54 in Hall 2 about the WEKO solutions and meet with WEKO experts. In addition, the new WEKO solutions in the digital printing area are integrated of nearly all OEMs at the drupa.

With the “Triple-C-Effect” WEKO launched an innovative denim finishing method at ITMA Milan

Matrice Denim con differenti possibilità di finitura
3 experts + 1 idea = Denim Finishing

WEKO Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co. KG convinced the denim manufacturers at the ITMA Show in Milan of a new finishing process. The process is based on the proven non-contact minimum application system WFA (WEKO-Fluid-Application-System), which – in addition to an important process speed-up – offers optimal quality results also standing up to the critical look and the hand feel analysis for softness of the international denim manufacturers. Particularly the benefits of WFA can be combined to the “WEKO-Triple-C-Effect”: contact-free, chemical savings, cost reduction.

Jointly with Lilienweiß GmbH and Textilchemie Dr. Petry GmbH, WEKO has been tinkering with a new denim finishing process over the past months with which to replace the padding methods, often requiring much energy, time and thereby cost, by a new process. They have now succeeded! Marcel Konrad, Managing Director of Sales and Marketing at WEKO reveals: "The feedback has exceeded our expectations. Queues sometimes lined up at our booth because the interested and curious parties were willing to wait for detailed consultation. We are very happy that saving chemicals (up to 60%) and energy (up to 70%) has been met with large interest also on the international level. After all, this is what drives us in the end to invest into new methods. And in addition, our sustainable approach provides our customers with cost effective and high-performance solutions to meet the challenges of their unique markets. Our trade fair team was engaged in technical discussions with interested parties from India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey, China and – amazing to us – even from Brazil."

The non-contact application system WFA offers the same bandwidth of denim finishing like padding, regardless whether resin or flat finish, fixation of indigo and sulphur dyes, tinting and over-dyeing, softness, lustre or brilliance. Even base coating for leather and glossy finishes is not only possible with the WEKO system but can be achieved more efficiently in term of economics.

WEKO Italia is the new PLEVA Representation in Italy

f. l. t. r.: Dr. Ralf Pleva (Managing Director, PLEVA), Roberto Santus (General Manager, WEKO Italia), Volker Müller (Sales and Service Director, PLEVA)

From November 2015 PLEVA GmbH is working together with WEKO Italia.

The company WEKO Italia a is well established since many years in the textile, carpet, nonwovens, film, composite, tissue and paper industries. They have experienced technical people to fulfill the demands of the PLEVA customers together on side.

The WEKO Italia team is looking forward for a successful partnership to work out the best solutions for PLEVA customers.





Rudolf-Diesel-Strasse 2
D - 72186 Empfingen

Tel.: +49 (0) 7485 -1004
Fax: +49 (0) 7485 -1009

Non-contact fluid application for better quality, higher productivity, and less material input

Abschluss auf der ICE Europe

At LIGNA 2015, Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co. KG (WEKO) as a recognised partner for the fibreboard industry introduces fluid application systems. These flexible and customisable systems help wood fibreboard manufacturers by a precisely metered application of the smallest amounts of water and separating agents. This application promises higher productivity, less material input, better product properties and less effort for the cleaning of expensive production plants.

The WEKO Fluid Application (WFA) system

This non-contact application system is based on spraying liquids by spinning plates, so-called rotors. Arranged in a row, these rotors rotate at high speed and generate a stream of the finest micro droplets. This helps in realising a uniform liquid application. The application quantity can be quickly and easily adjusted with an extreme accuracy to achieve reproducible results. Liquid is sprayed on the transport belt (bottom) and directly on the fibre mat (top).

Quality improvement

Thanks to the exact liquid application and the steam shock in the press, the board is hardened with an optimal density from the surface to the core.

"The top layer properties as well as the flexural and face strength are considerably improved," explains Marcel Konrad, managing partner with WEKO.

Higher productivity

By the steam shock, the heat of the downstream hot press penetrates the fibre mat more quickly, the adhesive is immediately activated, and the hardening process becomes significantly shorter.

"The plants can be operated with a distinctly higher speed and are thus more efficient," says Konrad.

Less material input and cleaning effort

An added separating agent prevents that the fibre mat adheres to the mould or to the pre-press and hot press and that the fibre board is damaged and the plant is soiled due to this (less grinding allowance and fewer rejects).

"The use of a precise application system can save resources such as material and energy while increasing the productivity," assures Konrad.

High flexibility

WEKO offers a variety of system concepts and options tailored for each plant typology. These systems can be flexibly configured specifically for the relevant requirements. 

"We paid special attention to the ease of operation and servicing. Many details of our system manifest this. With PLC system controllers, it is possible to realise connections to the machine control console, which considerably improves the operating convenience," says Konrad.

Worldwide service

The WEKO experts offer support worldwide with the choice of WEKO Application Systems and the integration into the production process. They help customers enjoy clear benefits with utilisation and costs. Comprehensive services, such as tests at the WEKO technical centre and high WEKO service standards, complete the WEKO offering.

In addition to the headquarters near Stuttgart, WEKO maintains two production sites in Germany and Brazil, company-owned sales and service offices in Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Brazil. Furthermore, WEKO collaborates worldwide with agencies marketing the products and offering the proven WEKO service standard in addition.

Successful trade fair appearance at the ICE Europe

Abschluss auf der ICE Europe
Deal at the ICE Europe First application system for Media IKONOS from Opole/Poland. It can be used to condition silicone backing paper for self-adhesive material.

Looking back on three successful fair days, WEKO, Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co KG, confirm the fair organiser's positive summary. More than 7,000 professional visitors, more than ever before, came to Munich to the ICE Europe, the worldwide leading trade show for the converting industry.

WEKO exhibited its innovative liquid and powder application systems, which attracted numerous prospects to their stand. All in all, the high quality of the discussions made and the number of specific project requests were perceived as positive. "We are fully satisfied in respect to both the number of visitors, which could be increased once more compared to 2013, and the quality of the contacts. Also this year, we were able to exactly meet our target group at the ICE," confirmed Thomas Laißle, Product Manager with WEKO.

WEKO fluid application systems are used to apply functional coatings on films. On the market, there is an increasing demand for high-quality films with a variety of functions. Conductive surfaces, anti-fog, anti-block, or antibacterial coatings are just a few examples. In addition to this, our fluid application system is used for paper conditioning in the paper industry. Drying processes that affect paper by high temperatures impose specific challenges on paper processing because the loss of moisture in the paper fibres causes paper curl, waviness, dimensional variation, and undesired static charges. WEKO fluid application systems can prevent such undesired effects.

On the ICE, specialists from WEKO demonstrated the function principle of non-contact liquid application systems by a working model that sprays by way of example on a moving belt simulating a material web. Therefore, visitors could see for themselves the uniform application and exactly definable application quantity at our stand.

Among others, WEKO powder application systems are used in the film industry. Powder as a release agent is applied in minimal quantities on film surfaces by means of highly precise nozzles. This reduces the tendency of adhesion and electrostatic influences. The result: better spool on/off speeds and an enhancement of many further process steps.

At the next ICE Europe, WEKO will appear again as an exhibitor. "Again and again, this trade fair is a highlight and a basis for new customer contacts and orders. That is why the ICE is a must for us. So, our appearance in 2017 is firmly booked," assures Marcel Konrad, Managing Director with WEKO.

WEKO pilot line

WEKO service car
WEKO pilot line

Providing good advice to our customers and giving them the opportunity to test the system under conditions that are oriented to his specific application is of great importance to us. Using leased systems and the system in our own Technical Centre, customers can test in advance whether the non-contact liquid application onto the material web by the WEKO system leads to the desired result.

On this wide system in our Technical Centre, we can process a variety of web materials up to a width of approximately 50 cm – film, non-woven, tissue, textile, and paper. Test liquid and the test material to be sprayed have to be provided by the customer.

In addition to the liquid application system, there are further options that can be used. This includes a hot air dryer, a smoothing unit and a corona equipment, all of them complementing our offer and the opportunities. It is recommended that the test operation occurs in the presence of the customer so that he can directly evaluate and optimise the results.

Please ask for our leaflet "Technical Testing", and we will inform you in detail on prerequisites and conditions.

Unique in the world – 3.8 m wide WEKO powder systems installed on film extrusion systems

release agent on foil

WEKO, Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co. KG, is a recognised partner for film manufacturers all over the world when it comes to innovative functional coatings on films. WEKO's non-contact application systems apply powders and liquids in smallest quantities – precisely and reproducibly.

Non-contact powder application now also for extra-large film sizes

Manufacturers of high-quality industrial and packaging films who have to meet strict hygiene requirements know the problem of the film's tendency to stick accompanied by a reduction of unwind capability and speed.

For a long time now, renowned film manufacturers rely on WEKO-Powder-Application (WPA) systems to apply powders precisely and in smallest quantities on the film surface when they have to achieve good and lasting separating effects. So far, this was only possible in good quality for production widths up to 2.6 m.

Now WEKO as world's number one proudly announces that one of its customers has successfully put into service already a second application system with a width of 3.8 m.

A single teaspoon of starch powder evenly distributed on a football pitch

"With our previous technology, we could not manage to fulfil our customers' requirements to apply powder on a 3.8 m wide film web with precise application uniformity and a clean machinery environment.

The behaviour of powders in air flows was an obstacle to this," explains Reiner Götz, head of R&D.

WEKO's R&D team has in-depth analysed the flow behaviour of powder/air mixtures. New highly precise nozzle systems have been developed for an efficient powder application. The whole spray chamber is enclosed and special technologies keep it free from powder deposits. Disturbing powder chunks resulting in quality impairment are efficiently eliminated. Specific extraction devices capture vagrant powder particles and feed them into an extraction cabinet. This ensures a clean environment.

Powder spraying systems of that kind have nothing in common with the roller systems from other manufacturers that have been known for many years.

"Imagine a single teaspoon filled with fine starch powder: We are able to spread this quantity uniformly on the whole area of a football pitch," tells Markus Klempin, Production Manager with WEKO.

Production speed surpassed and film quality requirements met

Shortly after a ramp-up time, the film manufacturer achieved outstanding coating results. The production speed in subsequent processing steps could be considerably increased thanks to the extremely fine powder application.

WEKO's PMS (Precision Metering System) technology automatically adjusts the application quantities to web speeds and sizes. A programmable logic controller (PLC) with integrated touch screen controls all functions and allows an easy operating – also with system interface to the central machine control if requested.

These results have convinced the customer. A second system was installed some weeks ago.

Size is no consideration for WEKO

With our precise powder application systems, WEKO provides a tailored solution for each task. Apart from usual widths for flat films, these systems can be used for widths up to 4.6 m for special applications such as agricultural, geotechnical and construction films. Many further applications include powder coating on the internal surface of blown film and bags and on high-speed flexo printing presses.

Application ranges:


0.2 m - 4.6 m

Application quantities

20 - 18,000 g/h

Powder brands

15 - 40 µm, flowable

Apart from powder systems, WEKO has also made its name in the film coating technology. With our non-contact WEKO-Liquid- Application (WFA) system, it is possible to apply the finest functional coatings – in smallest quantities, uniformly and reproducibly. In this way, films can be coated with anti-blocking, anti-static, non-stick and anti-fog agents or anti-bacterial surfaces.

About WEKO - Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co. KG

The WEKO experts offer support worldwide with the choice of WEKO Application Systems and the integration into the production process. They help customers enjoy clear benefits with utilisation and costs. Comprehensive services, such as tests at the WEKO technical centre and high WEKO service standards, complete the WEKO offering.

In addition to the headquarters near Stuttgart, WEKO maintains two production sites in Germany and Brazil, company-owned sales and service offices in Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Brazil. Furthermore, WEKO collaborates worldwide with agencies marketing the products and offering the proven WEKO service standard in addition.

index14: WEKO non-contact application systems preserve nonwovens and resources

Sistema di ordine minimo in fase di funzionalizzazione

WEKO, the technology leader for non-contact application systems of powdery or liquid substances exhibits at the index14.

Non-contact application – preserving resources

Leinfelden-Echterdingen/Geneva, (17/02/2014) – WEKO, Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co. KG, has been the acknowledged partner for achieving specific properties and functions on a wide variety of materials for over 60 years.

WEKO is known worldwide for its non-contact application systems for liquids. Originally developed for the printing and paper industry, this process is used today in the nonwoven, paper, film, tissue and textile industry as well as with the manufacturing of chipboards. In the framework of index14, WEKO provides practical information about economic and sustained solutions giving the nonwoven materials specific properties. "Only the amount necessary is applied with the non-contact, exactly metered liquid application with WEKO. This preserves resources, the environment and your budget. Because of the minimum amounts applied, not only the application chemicals but also drying energy is saved thus increasing your productivity" promises Thomas Laissle, product manager at WEKO.

Individual properties and functions for textiles and nonwovens

The exactly metered non-contact liquid application can be absolutely reproduced. Nonwovens are used in diverse sectors. For example, PP geotextiles that are basically water-repellent, become permeable for water, diapers become absorbent and automotive filters dirt-repellent by spraying the appropriate substances.

The following are some examples of finishing chemicals: Softeners, flame protection agents, antimicrobial or antibacterial, hydrophilic/hydrophobic and oleophilic/oleophobic liquids.

Metering exactly and economically with non-contact liquid application

Rapidly rotating spray disks, the WEKO Rotors, apply the liquid via non-contact application to the continuously transported product web. Adjustable sliders form defined spray fans, positioned seamlessly side-by-side, and providing a uniform flow of micro-droplets. The amount required for finishing a wide variety of nonwovens can be exactly specified. The liquid not sprayed by the WEKO SIGMA rotor carrier is returned to the storage tank of the WEKO FLOW supply. It therefore remains in the liquid cycle and nothing is lost therefore.

Non-contact application - gentle handling of nonwovens

With non-contact spray application the product web is handled with extreme care since the contactless application does not apply any mechanical stresses. The liquid remains clean at the same time and does not need to be replaced because of contamination. 

High flexibility and operator convenience through modular design

The core components of the WEKO Liquid Application Systems (WLA) are the WEKO liquid supply units with system control and the application units, the WEKO SIGMA Rotor Carriers.

The right unit can be chosen from a variety of supply units according to individual requirements, and the rotor carrier can be configured specifically for the application. For example, optional collecting troughs or manual or motor-powered format adjustments can accommodate variable product web formats. The application systems can also be adapted for single-sided or dual-sided application. Rotor carriers and collecting troughs can be moved pneumatically and the system control programmed to customer preferences. Complete customization becomes absolutely possible! 

"In addition, we have focused in particular on operator and service convenience. Operators prefer unsophisticated systems. Plug-in and removable rotors and supply systems facilitate cleaning of the rotor carrier. Another option, for example, allows automatic starting of pumping and rinsing programs while changing liquids" says product manager, Thomas Laissle.

About WEKO - Weitmann & Konrad GmbH & Co. KG

The WEKO experts offer support worldwide with the choice of WEKO Application Systems and the integration into the production process. They help customers enjoy clear benefits with utilisation and costs. Comprehensive services, such as tests at the WEKO technical centre and high WEKO service standards, complete the WEKO offering.

In addition to the headquarters near Stuttgart, WEKO maintains two production sites in Germany and Brazil, company-owned sales and service offices in Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Brazil. Furthermore, WEKO collaborates worldwide with agencies marketing the products and offering the proven WEKO service standard in addition.

Press release to ICE

Sistema di ordine minimo in fase di funzionalizzazione

With finishing, such as coating and lamination of web-type materials, solvent-based, aqueous or also UV-wetting substances are applied to the substrates. Each of these systems offers its own advantages, but also has its drawbacks. However, because of the positive health aspects, the aqueous systems are favoured today. Their drawback, however, is often required drying associated with high energy expenses and unfavourable effects on the materials employed. Curl, static charges and reduced breaking load are factors especially with papers and carton.

Equipment and systems for web moistening are used to counteract these effects. Different systems, such as steam, roller or spray moisteners, are known here, however, with specific advantages and drawbacks. With the contactless application system from WEKO a system has come to establish itself over the past years – with their increasing demands on top machine speeds as well as environmental awareness – which distinguishes itself by high precision and a reproducible remoistening result. The moisture is regulated consistently and uniformly even at speeds above 1500 m/min. The spray application occurs via fast turning rotors which are arranged side by side in a rotor carrier. They are monitored and controlled by a supply unit, supplied with water, and they spray the liquid uniformly over the product width onto the web. Zone regulations are also possible; however, because of the precise application characteristics they are normally not required, provided the substrate does not exhibit a varying moisture profile. The energy expenditure is therefore limited to the delivery output of the supply pump as well as the drive power for the rotors. With a consumption of less than 3 kVA this is quite minute compared to the total machine. In addition, no additional heat is introduced into the material. Quite the  opposite, the evaporation cold cools the material further and saves energy.

The WEKO rotor application system provides a system both for highest demands of web conditioning as well as for cost efficient and environmentally responsible companies.

To read the complete press release, please download the PDF-File.