Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is expecting the global label printing market to continue growing at an annual rate of around four percent. Growth is even expected to be above average in the in-mould label segment, which has not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These labels are typically utilized in the food and cosmetics industries, and by companies producing chemicals for household and industrial use. The benefits of the in-mould process lie in its comparatively low manufacturing costs, good temperature and moisture resistance, and resource-friendly characteristics. For example, the polypropylene used for the labels and containers is 100 percent recyclable. Cutting-edge, increasingly efficient manufacturing processes are a further growth factor on the in-mould label market. With its state-of-the-art technology, Heidelberg is playing a key role in improving the efficiency of in-mould label production and is the technology leader in this segment by some margin. The company is looking to build on this strong position and is therefore stepping up its investment in the development of new technologies for IML production.
One of the major challenges for label printers is to reliably process very thin and light films at ever higher speeds. The latest advance from Heidelberg is a new IML Performance Package for the 2020 generation Speedmaster XL 106 with fully automatic presetting of all key print job parameters. Heidelberg is unveiling the system as part of IT’S SHOWTIME! – the company’s digital customer event. Special modifications to the feeder and delivery, modified sheet transfer, and anti-static devices make it possible to reliably process delicate plastic films just 50 microns thick at speeds of up to 14,000 sheets per hour. The high-performance model for conventional offset printing is equipped with three Y units (drying units) and a delivery with only one extension module. Even with extremely thin substrates, customers benefit from reliable sheet guidance and smooth travel through the press. The dryer modules are perfectly coordinated with the sheet travel and achieve outstanding drying results at maximum speeds. Distances for paper travel in the delivery remain short and, even at high speeds, sheets are completely stable when deposited on the delivery pile. The configuration with three Y units and highly efficient round-nozzle technology increases the drying capacity by 25 percent and also saves on energy costs, because the distance between the dryer modules and the substrate can be kept to a minimum.
The redesigned CutStar generation 4 is the basic prerequisite for processing thin substrates at consistently higher speeds. The sheeter is fully integrated into the Prinect workflow and the Intellistart system on the press for production based on the Push to Stop principle. The format and air values are adjusted fully automatically based on the job data. These settings can be saved and loaded with the print job for repeat orders. A further innovation is the special corona surface treatment integrated into the CutStar, which improves the wettability of plastic materials and makes them easier to print on than untreated materials. The enhanced ink adherence ensures long-lasting, consistently high quality.
more at: https://www.heidelberg.com/global/en/about_heidelberg/press_relations/press_release/press_release_details/press_release_161728.jsp