A survey of the die-cutting of labels: Part 4 with ETI Converting
In this interview series we discuss with a range of companies the current challenges of the die-cutting of labels, the role of digitization in this regard and how laser die-cutting fits into the label industry. Read in this part of our survey what Maxime Bayzelon from ETI Converting comments on the current trend of laser-die-cutting, about the onoging digitized (label) world and how label converters would describe a perfect label.
ETI Converting Equipment
- What are the current challenges for the die-cutting of labels?
Maxime Bayzelon: A principal challenge for label converters to obtain a perfect label relates to consistent, high-quality die-cutting at a competitive line speed, especially given the trend to incorporate thinner liners. Pressure, deflection and cylinder diameter variation due to heat represents operational issues poorly addressed by most station designs available on the market today. ETI recently patented its Pellicut die-cutting technology to resolve these issues. The design enables high speed die-cutting with absolutely no risk of die marks, even on extremely thin liner (down to 12 microns).
- We are living in a digitized production world, in your opinion, which system is the most suitable for the modern single-pass label printing (rotary/laser) process?
Maxime Bayzelon: Line speeds are limited when a laser die-cutting unit is integrated into a traditional printing press or digital printing station. “Going digital” means multiple, independent processes are required, which in turn adversely impacts production efficiency. Therefore, rotary die-cutting remains the most suitable solution for in-line printing. Many label converters update their flexo printing presses by adding state of the art rotary die-cutting modules which considerably improve performance.
- In general: what are your preferences for certain applications? (Semi) rotary die-cutting or laser die-cutting?
Maxime Bayzelon: We believe in robust, reliable rotary units with no compromise on set-up time. Laser die-cutting is a good emergency solution, but a rotary technology with quick changeover remains the best solution in real-life production settings, even for short run applications. Semi-rotary solutions save on tooling cost. The key is to have a large range of rotary die-cutting tools that are compatible on each printing machine. This avoids the need for multiple cylinders.
- Laser die-cutting is a rather new technology: where do you see the opportunities and limitations of this process?
Maxime Bayzelon: The main limitation with laser die-cutting is speed. Normally, this would not be a problem since digitally printed material usually runs at slower speeds compared to traditional printing. However, long run lengths and high volume production runs introduce challenges, both mechanical and economic. Another limitation with this technology is control of the die-cutting depth, especially when processing thin backing liners free of die marks. Rotary die-cutting units equipped with solidly fixed step anvils increase tooling life, eliminate die marks and allow the use of thinner liner materials.
This survey was first published in NarrowWebTech August issue 3-2018.
You want to read further opinions on this topic? The whole interview series please find in this post!
Or read the label die-cutting survey as layouted article as download for free in our shop!