Parallel universe

Parallel universe

Cefla Live demonstrates how digital printing will join traditional approach to surfacing panels

Imola, Italy, in October for the 10th edition of Cefla Live, which showcased the industry’s most impressive operational finishing laboratory.

At the event, Cefla demonstrated definitively why it would be a misnomer to simply call the company a finishing technology provider. Cefla goes far beyond what we used to think about finishing. It is now a surfacing company—as much about creating décor as it is about coating, finishing and protecting material.

Consider what Cefla offers (and what was on display at Cefla Live) in the realm of digital printing. Cefla’s J-Print TD technology is at the heart of the production of digital décor. J-Print also produces tactile effects and textures in the printing process, creating realism you have to see and feel to believe. Cefla’s descriptive phrase “See It, Like It, Scan It, Print It” is absolutely true for any level of production, from one panel to 100. The flexibility is amazing.

So what did I find most impressive at Cefla Live? Simply this: I now believe two separate technologies used to produce decorative panels will coexist and complement each other in the world’s largest panel production facilities.

The classic and always relevant approach to producing both high pressure laminate (HPL) and thermally fused laminate (TFL)—high production of rotogravure printed décor papers, saturated and laminated under heat and pressure—will continue to thrive. For larger runs, it is most efficient.

However, digitally printed designs on solid color TFL or on base-coated composite panels allow for mass customization and a level of flexibility that the market demands and the industry needs. You want one panel, one design, no problem. It is not just an experiment.

I predict that both systems will run in tandem, providing fabricators what they need, when they need it. Cefla is at the forefront of this amazing frontier with its digital printing equipment.

Cefla has every base covered, no pun intended: reciprocating sprayers, curtain coaters, roll coaters, edge finishing, profile wrapping, robotic sprayers, 3D scanning, line and machine monitoring, virtual reality training and much more.

Cefla Live provided the perfect platform for displaying the company’s and the industry’s incredible new capabilities.

“Cefla Live is a worldwide event, created to draw interest from global customers and partners,” said Roberto Bolognini, Cefla’s sales manager. “Nothing can replace seeing the Cefla finishing systems in action in our expanded finishing lab. And the interaction with Cefla staff, our partners, suppliers and other fabricating professionals is of great value to all of us.

“I want to sincerely thank everyone who made the trip to Cefla Live.  Ultimately, the success of our customers will determine the success of Cefla Live.”

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