One of the major challenges for label printers today is to reliably print on very thin and light films at higher speeds. The latest advance from Heidelberg addresses this need. It’s a new IML Performance Package for its 2020-Generation Speedmaster XL 106 Offset Press with fully automatic pre-setting of all key print-job parameters. Heidelberg is unveiling the system as part of It’s Showtime – the German Press manufacturer’s special digital customer event. Specific 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 (sph). 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, users will benefit from reliable sheet guidance and smooth travel through the press. The dryer modules are coordinated with the sheet travel and achieve outstanding drying results at maximum speeds, said Heidelberg. Distances for paper travel in the delivery remain short. Plus, 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% and also saves on energy costs – because the distance between the dryer modules and the substrate can be kept to a minimum.
Prinect integrates new CutStar Generation 4 into Push to Stop concept
A re-designed CutStar Generation 4 is the basic prerequisite for processing thin substrates at consistently higher speeds. CutStar is an integrated roll-to-sheet feeder for the Heidelberg Speedmaster press lines in the 29”, 40” and 41” formats. The sheeter is fully integrated into the Prinect workflow and the Intellistart System on the press for production based on the OEM’s Push to Stop principle. The format and air values are adjusted 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 longer-lasting, consistently high quality.
Speedmaster XL 106-D with just one die-cutting unit makes it easier for users to move into IML production
Another part of the IML Performance Package is the Speedmaster XL 106-D Rotary Die Cutter, which now has only one die-cutting unit. Lower investment costs compared with the previous version means it’s easier for print shops to move into the growing in-mould label production segment. The new die cutter requires less space and has lower power consumption than the Speedmaster XL 106-DD. It’s also ideal for die cutting of large and nested label shapes. Due to its rotary die-cutting principle, the Speedmaster XL 106-D operates at two or three times the speed of flatbed die cutters, Heidelberg pointed out. The high precision resulting from the even cylinder surface and evenly cutting die eliminates the make-ready required due to differences in level when using the flatbed process. This time-consuming step is not necessary and minimizes set-up time. The printing pressure can be adjusted in increments of just one micron on the Speedmaster XL 106-D. Corrections are possible both parallel and diagonal to the cylinder axis. This fine adjustment makes Heidelberg rotary die cutters ideal for in-mould label production on materials just 50 microns thick.
New Mastermatrix 106 CSB die cutter for folding-cartonproduction
In collaboration with its partner Masterworks, Heidelberg is adding another helpful solution to its post-press equipment for the equally lucrative growth segment of folding-carton production. The Mastermatrix 106 CSB high-performance die cutter for folding carton production was unveiled in October 2020. Production of the series has now started following successful field testing. A speed of 9,000 sph makes the Mastermatrix 106 “the most productive die cutter in the Heidelberg portfolio.” It combines die cutting, stripping and blanking in a single system. Integration into automatic pallet logistics is also possible. A camshaft drive ensures the platen moves smoothly and gently right up to the highest output levels, which ensures reliable and smooth sheet travel. The MasterSet optical register system aligns sheets precisely before they enter the die-cutting station. The print image and cutting die “match perfectly” for each and every sheet. MasterSet technology was developed by Heidelberg and launched by Masterworks. The fully encapsulated servomotors are well protected against paper dust, which is a huge advantage in high-volume production environments. Heidelberg also integrated the Mastermatrix 106 into its Prinect workflow, which means that pre-settings can be transferred to the die cutter, and motorized components can be adjusted and moved into position automatically.