GERMANY • GEWA Etiketten, a privately owned label converter, has installed a Pantec Rhino flatbed hot foil and embossing unit on its Gallus RCS 330 narrow web press to provide high speed print enhancement. The company has both wet glue label capacity with a variety of sheet fed offset presses, and self-adhesive capability with narrow web flexo, offset, screen and digital lines.
Main growth in self-adhesive
While wet glue still represents 65% of its output by volume, the main growth is coming from its self-adhesive sector, where SMAG, HP, ABG, and Gallus lines fitted with Martin Automatic roll changers provide 60% of the company’s sales by value. It is here that GEWA looked for ways to increase the value of the labels being printed on its RCS 330 combi line – and foiling and embossing provided an opportunity.
These techniques are typically performed on slow semi-rotary machines, which have flatbed actions that provide the quality required, and are ideal for short run work up to around 5,000 metres (16,400 ft). Longer runs require the speed of a full rotary press, but this poses problems with tool cost and the fact that rotary foiling and embossing cannot offer the dwell time required for the best quality.
Integrating flatbed operations
The Pantec Rhino has been specially developed for the narrow web market as an inline flatbed hot foil and embossing unit that can be integrated with any make of narrow web press, and already numbers Gallus, Nilpeter, MPS, and Rotatek users among its customers. It can be integrated on presses with web widths from 330 mm to 510 mm (13” to 20”), and has a platen length of 406 mm (16”) on which there are six individually controlled heating zones that can each perform a different function.
The unit has a rotating head to save foil, and can handle any number from 20 mm (0.79”) width upwards, in both directions. The platen has a maximum capability of seven stokes/second, which equates to 25,000/hour, and matches a press speed of 120 m/min (934 fpm). The Rhino uses flatbed tools, which are cheaper to buy and easy to mount, and allows for the use of cheaper foils and rougher paper stocks.
Bringing smaller customers into the mix
Because it’s a single pass process, GEWA can now present customers with the finished product for approval prior to committing to commercial production. This falls in line with the company’s use of the Rhino as a creative tool for graphic designers, and brings smaller customers into the mix because they can now afford complex designs, which are easy and cheaper to produce.
As GEWA has found, the more that can be done in one pass inline the better, as it saves time, space, energy, material, labour, and money, and in the case of the Rhino provides a top quality finished product too.
(A full report will be published in NWT 4-2016)