GERMANY - Heidelberg has unveiled its new digital press for the self adhesive label market. This represents the next milestone in the company's strategic realignment, particularly in terms of significantly expanding sales in the digital sector over the medium term.
Heidelberg and Gallus – which was recently taken over by the former - jointly developed the digital production system for industrial label printing in less than one year. Fujifilm partnered in this development and provided support with its inkjet technology.
The Gallus DCS 340 (Digital Converting System) digital inline label printing system features a printing module with next-generation inkjet printing heads. The special print head design allows several heads to be joined together for a greater print width, without visible transitions. A native resolution of 1200 dpi delivers print quality that Gallus claims is unmatched in UV inkjet printing today.
By combining the strengths of digital printing (variable data, short-runs, etc) with an inline finishing process that has been specially optimised for digital printing, the Gallus DCS 340 gives users the chance to varnish, embellish and further process labels inline – from the roll to the finished die-cut label in a single production operation.
The system is supported by a standardised, user-friendly interface that helps label printers benefit from the speed, quality, consistency they need in digital printing. The Heidelberg Prinect Digital Front End is used to automate the prepress workflow and thus ensure data is prepared efficiently, complete with comprehensive color management. The printer also benefits from functions such as spot color matching, the PDF Toolbox and Prepress Manager.
Digital printing drives change in the growth segment
According to Heidelberg, the global print volume for these labels is growing by around 4% per annum. Although only around 5% of this volume is printed digitally, this figure is rising rapidly.
“Due to continuing growth in short-run label production and personalised, versioned labels, we are seeing investment on the market steadily shift towards printing presses that utilise digital printing,” said Stefan Heiniger, COO Label Business at Gallus Ferd. Ruesch AG.
“The growth potential for this printing is considerable and we expect to see high growth rates over the next ten years.”
Heidelberg is to manufacture the inkjet unit at its Wiesloch-Walldorf site, while the flexo and converting units for the new press will be produced at the Gallus plant in St. Gallen, Switzerland. The system is slated to enter series production in the coming year and will meet growing demand for the cost-effective production of short, medium, and versioned runs in label printing.
Gerold Linzbach, Heidelberg’s CEO, said, “Heidelberg has reached another milestone in its realignment in the digital sector. The next steps to develop additional digital printing systems as part of the collaboration with Fujifilm are already being taken.”