As part of a €1.5 million investment program, Label Art, a converter located on the outskirts of Dublin in Tallaght, Ireland, has installed a new Gallus EM 430 S hybrid flexo press at its plant. The new press weighs has the new wider web width of 17 inches (430mm, previously the press width was 410mm), and comes with a shorter web path of just over 7 feet (2.2 meters).
Aside from its vital statistics, one of the benefits of the Gallus EM S series of presses is its open-module platform design, which allows maximum production flexibility, with simple slide-out-slide-in interchangeable print and converting units. The new Gallus at Label Art is a UV-flexo, rotary screen, hot and cold foil and embossing combination line, fitted with two die stations. To maximize flexibility, the company has specified 10 flexo heads and four screen heads, even though the line cannot accommodate all of them at one time.
According to Label Art's Gerard Molloy: “We print tested the Gallus EM 430 S against a number of other presses. We liked the speed and comfort with which we can change from a flexo print head to a screen head, and back again without disturbing the web. The hybrid print head is in a class of its own, and since that facility is key to our type of work, the purchase decision was made easy,” he said, adding that the Gallus’ build quality was seen as significant too.
The Gallus EM 430 S replaced two older letterpress machines from the Swiss manufacturer, a Gallus R160B, which was scrapped, and a Gallus R200B, which was cannibalized for parts to keep two other eight-color Gallus R200B presses running. Molloy says the two Gallus R200B presses still produce top quality work with their screen and hot foil capabilities.
Previously focused on supplying the food and beverage markets, with a significant proportion of output for the chemical industry, Molloy was quick to spot market sectors that appreciated high quality work, and usefully offered better margins. Today, the company is well entrenched into supplying the pharmaceutical industry and believes its capabilities are now better suited to its portfolio of customers. Pharma now accounts for around 50% of turnover, chemicals around 20%, food and beverage 15%, and what Molloy describes as "brand protection" makes up the balance. This includes nano technology, holograms and the like.
“What the new Gallus gives us is flexibility. We’re currently running at around 90 meters/minute on combination flexo/screen jobs, and 150 to 180 meters/minute on eight color flexo work – the run speed is controlled by the ability of the base material to perform. The short web path means that even on a 10-color press, we’re using only 40-45 meters of substrate between jobs before we’re back into commercial production,” says Molloy. He estimates the Gallus has reduced costs by up to 30% in certain cases, if time, materials, and labor costs are all included, and with its fast change sleeve system and register control, has removed bottlenecks on the shop floor.