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Heaford showcases automation for label printers

09.28.17

The new Heaford Label AutoMounter combines technologies to ensure first-time, consistent plate-mounting accuracy.

Focused on new solutions for streamlining print production, JM Heaford, a supplier of proofing and mounting solutions for the labels, flexible packaging, corrugated and decorative markets, is launching its latest innovation for narrow web printers at Labelexpo Europe.

The new Heaford Label AutoMounter has taken center stage, showcasing its combined technologies for ensuring first-time, consistent accuracy and dramatically reducing press downtime.

Based on the same technology platform as its AutoMounter for flexible packaging launched at drupa last year, Heaford’s new Label AutoMounter has been designed to eliminate the need for skilled operators in plate mounting by combining a series of fail-safe automatic procedures with its machine ergonomics. With a maximum cylinder width of 700 mm (27.5") and a repeat range of 150 – 610 mm (6 – 24"), it offers automatic plate mounting, within a five-micron tolerance, in less than one minute per plate.

The company has drawn on the success of its best-selling FTS mounter in designing the internal configuration of the Label AutoMounter unit. Two cameras are positioned below the cylinder and plate manipulators to ensure easy access while also keeping the footprint to a minimum. Operator intervention is limited to just simple loading of the cylinder into pneumatically operated headstocks and loose positioning of the plate over curved manipulators. The AutoMounter then takes over, precisely positioning the plate using dual-axis closed-loop controls, and then completing the process by means of an integrated lay-down roller.

Overall control is maintained via a simple, multi-lingual graphic interface, and setup can be by co-ordinates imported, manual programming or using teaching mode. The system can store and recall over 10,000 jobs, and the Label AutoMounter also allows manual override. A sleeve dedicated model is also available.

To complement the core operation of the Heaford Label AutoMounter, it can also be specified with additional options, such as a Precision Plate Cutter for enabling precise plate joins with a gap of 0.3mm, which can provide a cost-effective alternative to continuous print sleeves. Heaford team members are available on the stand at Labelexpo to discuss and demonstrate the range and purpose of options in relation to specific production requirements.

“Feedback from early users of our AutoMounter has been very positive," says Sally-Anne Heaford, managing director of JM Heaford. "Customers are on track to beat the return-on-investment forecast that we provided for them upfront, which was based on their existing production requirements. In reality, they are discovering that once they have got used to the extra time they gained in make-ready, they discover more opportunities to increase productivity and overall output. With today’s trend towards more job changes and shorter runs in label production, our Label AutoMounter can make a significant contribution to supporting the advantages of flexo over digital.”

The JM Heaford stand at Labelexpo Europe also features a range of the most popular and relevant Heaford models for international visitors to the show. In addition to the headlining Label AutoMounter, the main lineup comprises:

FTS 700 2CM – A 700 mm maximum-width plate mounter fitted with two motorized cameras, allowing for multiple plates to be mounted across the cylinder. Plate positions can be stored and then recalled, and the cameras will automatically position themselves correctly for start-up. It is available as a cylinder or sleeve version.

FTS 500 – A 500 mm-wide manual mounter with user-friendly design for guiding the operator in quick and accurate camera-positioning and mounting. It is available as a cylinder or sleeve version.

ELS 600 – A 600 mm-wide traditional plate mounter. The ELS 600 consists of a modular platform that can be fitted with a range of additional options and upgraded over time, as required. It is available as cylinder and sleeve version, and it also features quick-release camera focal adjustment.

EES 500 – An entry-level plate mounter designed purposely for start-ups and emerging markets. This model is available only as a cylinder version.