The company points to the machine’s waste reducing capabilities as one its most attractive features, citing that with labels that have low finishing requirements in commodity applications such as food and pharmaceuticals, substrate costs can account for up to 50 percent of the label’s total cost. Gallus says its ECS 340 raises the bar in cutting waste in its machine class, with a web length of just over 11 meters for an 8-color press. Gallus also points to the press’ design which allows for optimal efficiency. The plate cylinders and anilox rollers are designed as sleeves, thus enabling fast job changeovers. This benefit is supplemented by the chambered doctor blade system, so that inks can also be changed rapidly. The press, which comes with full servo drive technology, is also equipped with cooled impression cylinders, leading to excellent substrate flexibility.
One of the first converters to acquire an ECS 340 is Stratus Group, West Chester, OH, USA. Stratus VP Curt Curran says that Gallus approached the company during development of the press for its input. “Last sprint we knew that we were going to need some new capacity, because in our label operation we were running seven days a week, 24 hours a day. In May or June we reconnected with Gallus and inquired about the new press. They told us that it would make its debut at Labelexpo Europe. So we made a deal, and bought one sight unseen.”
The press was delivered in October, and Stratus is now ready to take it to two shifts. “We are hoping that by the first quarter of 2010 we’ll be in production around the clock.”
Curran says that the granite base of the press does seem to make a difference with respect to vignettes, crisp print, and lack of bar marking. “We have only six weeks worth of data, but we love the short web path and the sleeve technology. I think the granite will have an impact in the short and long term on quality and the consistency of the quality.”
Stratus is running high-end health and beauty labels on the ECS 340. “It doesn’t have any of the extra deco options on it, like screen printing, but we have other Galluses for that,” Curran adds. “We are focusing on taking our straight UV flexo multi-color work and running it on that machine.” Stratus also has an EM 280 and an EM 410 press from Gallus.
Gallus develops and manufactures label printing machinery at its headquarters in St. Gallen, Switzerland, and its development and production facility in Langgöns, Germany.