Heidelberg in major labels developments

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Press manufacturing giant Heidelberg is launching a suite of new products to create a digitised end-to-end solution aimed at the production of wet-glue labels, cut-and-stack labels, and also in-mold labels.

End-to-end label printing: Heidelberg Cut Star
End-to-end label printing: Heidelberg Cut Star

The company has unveiled a new Speedmaster XL 106-D with just one die-cutting unit, a new Push to Stop Cut Star for in-mould labels, and a new Foil Star Cure for metallic finishes.

Markus Höfer, head of product management label at Heidelberg said: “Customers’ growing demands in terms of print speed, stable sheet travel, level of automation, and ease of handling when processing thinner substrates on the CutStar sheeter prompted us to develop a new generation of this system. The result is the new Push to Stop CutStar , which is based on a completely new platform with the latest drive technology, state-of-the-art control technology, a new blade geometry, and brand new peripherals.”

The market for in-mould labels is enjoying annual growth rates of around four to six per cent, and handling particularly thin materials is the key challenge during production. The IML Performance Package for the Speedmaster 106 is now also used in the new CutStar Gen. 4 for foils as thin as 50µ. The fourth-generation sheeter is fully integrated into the Prinect workflow and also the Intellistart system on the press for production based on the Push to Stop principle.

Air/format settings and format changes take place fully automatically, which means shorter setup times. The surface treatment integrated into the CutStar is another new feature, ensuring says Heidelberg high end-to-end quality by improving ink adhesion. Optimisation geared specifically to low grammages for both paper and IMLs increases the production speed by up to 2,000 sheets per hour.

Heidelberg says that with the new FoilStar Cure, label producers can meet even challenging finishing requirements. In conjunction with another Heidelberg innovation – the DryStar LED Pro dryer – high-gloss metallic effects can be produced. In the FoilStar Cure, drying for the first time takes place right through the foil, which enhances gloss levels. Cold foil is the solution for a wide range of effects, combining says the company an attractive price with an impressive processing speed. It also has environmental benefits over aluminium-coated material, because it saves on aluminium and makes labels easier to recycle. Thanks to customized indexing lengths during production, and because only the specified parts of the label are foiled, up to 80 per cent less material is used.

The new Speedmaster XL 106-D is a version of the successful Speedmaster XL 106-DD with magnetic cylinder and extraction system, and comes with just one die-cutting unit, which Heidelberg says, makes it easier for label printers to move into rotary die cutting.

The XL 106-D and DD process the thinnest of materials at a high speed of 12,000 sheets per hour. They punch what Heidelberg claims are the smallest injection holes, which are stripped and extracted straight away thanks to the high-precision magnetic cylinder with 1µ pressure adjustment. This high precision resulting from the cylinder design and uniform cutting die dispenses with the time-consuming makeready required when using the flat-bed process due to differences in level within the cutting die. This means far shorter setup times. Tooling costs are also up to 50 per cent lower than with a flat-bed die cutter, and the production speed is three times higher.

“With its digitised sheetfed offset printing solutions, Heidelberg will continue to play a leading role on the growing labels market in the future. We remain a reliable partner and supplier for our customers in this segment, working with them to overcome the challenges of this demanding market,” Höfer said.

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