Contiweb Variable Coater

Realize the full potential of web inkjet printing

Contiweb’s new Variable Coater brings excellent print quality to high-volume web inkjet printing – without expensive treated paper. Untreated, standard offset paper absorbs ink that increases dot size, reduces print resolution, and pushes up ink costs. The coater improves print quality from standard paper with ink savings of around 20%, and without spending an extra 30% on expensive inkjet treated paper from paper mills. Payback time for the machine is usually between one and two years.

A versatile cost-saving paper coater

The Variable Coater applies a coating layer to a roll of standard paper, suiting personalized documents and small-print-run items like catalogues, magazines and direct mails. The coater can prime the paper before printing, or post coat after printing. Both priming and post-coating can be done near-line or in-line.

Unrivalled versatility lets you take full advantage of digital web inkjet printing. Unlike other coaters on the market, you can queue and print small jobs and personalized documents without print interruptions. There is no anilox to cause a standstill during a web width change or when changing the coating layer thickness.

Compatible with leading high-end web inkjet presses, the Variable Coater elevates the quality of digital print to match offset, whilst providing access to a virtually unlimited range of paper and also reducing costs.


  • The Variable Coater’s priming improves the quality of the printed product (and opens up new markets)
  • Post-coating adds matt or gloss varnish as a protective layer to improve the durability and appearance of the printed product
  • Save up to 30% on paper costs by using standard offset paper instead of paper mill treated inkjet paper
  • Significantly reduce ink usage with the same or even increased colour density
  • 15% cost savings on post coatings due to precise volume tuning
  • Precise coating allows a virtually unlimited range of papers rather than today’s limited range and fluctuating availability of treated inkjet papers
  • No costs for sleeves and anilox rollers
  • Quick web width and coating volume change with no machine re-configuration, to realize the full potential of web inkjet printing


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Product Information

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    Uniquely flexible

    The Variable Coater is uniquely flexible, and the coating thickness can be adjusted very precisely on both sides of the paper. This can be done independently of each other and on the fly, without machine reconfiguration or downtime. The Variable Coater can process paper with different web widths from 10 to 42” (25.4 to 106.68 cm), again without having to reconfigure the machine.

    Most existing coaters use flexo technology with a range of aniloxes and sleeves to vary web width and coating weight as required. That limits the adjustability and causes unwanted interruptions, though. It also means additional investment in anilox rollers, along with higher operating costs due to cleaning and storage.

    Priming improves quality and resolution

    Producing products with a lot of ink coverage on a web inkjet press needs paper that does not absorb much ink. Paper mills do offer treated paper for inkjet printing, but this is expensive. There are relatively few variants on the market and their availability fluctuates. The paper mills will normally add a coating that gives the best average result with different kinds of inks, meaning that the coating is not optimized for each job.

    The Variable Coater lets you prime low-cost offset paper in-house. This improves adhesion while significantly improving printability. It can be optimized for the specific ink that you are using, improving print quality and reducing ink consumption. Dot gain and ink absorbency are lower. That means using less ink, or the same amount of ink but higher density and so more attractive printing. The Variable Coater can be set very precisely, so you can use a virtually unlimited range of paper types.

    On the image you see non primed (left) and primed paper (right), printed with the same ink coverage.

    Post coating for improved durability

    Post coating can boost quality by adding a gloss or matt coating to the printed items. It also protects items like postcard mailers that could otherwise be damaged during mail handling. For self-mailers, the addresses are printed on the items themselves, so post coating prevents them from becoming unreadable.

    The coating thickness can be adjusted very precisely, and varnish consumption can be reduced by around 15% compared to conventional coaters. In this way, the coating coverage can be tuned to a minimum per production, preventing overspending on varnish.

    Increase your market share

    The increased print quality and durability achievable with a Variable Coater allows web inkjet companies to win print jobs from offset printers. The resulting growth in print volume can further reduce production costs per run…and so increase profits.

    The coater will work with any aqueous based primer and fluid (but no UV based coatings should be used due to environmental concerns). Customers can choose whichever coating works best for them and is the most economic.

    Payback time less than 2 years

    Case studies show a payback period of less than two years. Depending on the customer, savings can include:

    • paper (affordable offset paper instead of expensive paper-mill treated inkjet paper)
    • ink (reduced consumption)
    • post-coating (reduced consumption)
    • handling (no cleaning costs of anilox and doctor blade, no additional personnel to exchange sleeves and anilox) and consumables (no replacements needed for sleeves or anilox).

    Please contact us for a payback period calculation for your specific situation.

    Paragon's experiences with the VC

    Paragon Customer Communications supports brands in connecting with their customers at every stage of their journey together. Delivering brilliant, multichannel customer communications across the globe, print is one vehicle the company uses to deliver engaging, personalised campaigns that stand out from the crowd.

    Here, Bernd Wein, Director Operations DM Germany for Paragon, tells us how the Contiweb Variable Coater provides the flexible solution Paragon needs to achieve the finest quality for its customers. Working with a Kodak Prosper 6000 web inkjet press, the Contiweb VC can adjust to different paper web widths without any reconfiguration to the coater.

    The VC also uses profiles so Paragon can switch between papers with different coating coverage requirements without pausing production; all whilst maintaining superb quality standards and using less expensive classic offset papers. So Paragon can continue to empower its customers with the most effective communication tools.

    Watch this video and learn more about Paragon's experiences with the Variable Coater.

    Whitepaper VC

    If you would like to learn more about the technology applied in the Contiweb Variable Coater then fill out the form below and we will send you the Whitepaper by email.