The conventional press is designed for the label and packaging market, and has the capabilities to meet individual customer requirements. The Labelmaster capitalizes on expertise from parent company Heidelberg, building on the Speedmaster offset printing platform. The flexo press is driven by two servomotors and is capable of being fitted with a newly developed screen printing unit, allowing users to take advantage of multiple finishing options.
“We want to produce something that other companies cannot,” said Stephan Plenz, a member of the Heidelberg management board. “We are pushing performance to completely new levels with the Labelmaster.”
The press runs at speeds up to 200 m/m and features high register accuracy. In addition, Labelmaster engineers have introduced “Best Spot Interaction,” a user-friendly feature designed for ease of use and fast operation across all sectors.
A short web path of 1.1m is also intended to reduce waste, and an optimized ink duct for the chambered doctor blade requires just 250g of ink to minimize costs.
“Irrespective of technology, our goal is to have a solution for every customer,” explained Klaus Bachstein, Gallus CEO. “This technology is future-proof and innovative. The Labelmaster is not just another label press – it can be configured to the needs of the customer.”
According to Gallus, one of its customers is currently conducting field tests with the Labelmaster, and the press is set to hit the market in the second quarter of 2017. The press will be available in modules in three classes: Basic, Plus, and Advanced. The Basic version covers all the standards of label printing, while Plus model offers greater flexibility. The Advanced version is configurable to all levels of automation.
While much of the industry has focused on new digital printing solutions for short runs, Gallus believes there is still a booming market for innovative flexo technology. “There is no stop in the growth of conventional technology,” said Bachstein. “In fact, it’s quite the opposite.”
A new locking system provides press modularity. By positioning the printing units on the base unit precisely, the company guarantees 100% register accuracy regardless of substrate. The Labelmaster supports a plethora of substrates, ranging from paper and PE to PP and foil.
“Our goal is to bring this platform to customers from all over the world–from Germany to Bangladesh,” added Bachstein. “The success of the ECS 340 showed Gallus that we can be successful with an excellent price-performance ratio.”
The Labelmaster can be centrally controlled with an HMI touch panel while also supporting manual intervention, leading to shorter setup times. The lightweight aluminum printing cylinders lead to faster job changeovers, as well.
Innovation Days Tour
As part of the event, which took place from September 20-22, Gallus provided visitors a guided tour of the company’s St. Gallen facility. The tour featured live demonstrations of the Gallus range, including the ECS 340, Labelfire 340, the RCS 430, and the Heidelberg Omnifire 250. Gallus also announced that Heidelberg will be launching the Omnifire 1000 in November at InPrint 2016.
The announcement of the Labelmaster came seven years after the market launch of the Gallus ECS 340. According to Plenz, Gallus’ product range focuses on operational excellence and business innovation. The range is intended to maintain competitive prices and integrated process automation.
At Innovation Days 2014, Gallus launched the Labelfire 340. The digital platform offers printing in one pass at speeds of 50 m/m and 1200 dpi. Three Labelfire presses have already been installed, and Gallus has four more on their way to customers.
The Heidelberg Omnifire provides direct printing on any curved surface, with the goal of creating new opportunities for customers with regards to customization and personalization.
“Our equipment is built to be modular,” said Plenz. “We have developed our own digital front end (DFE), and we’re focusing on our Fire portfolio for digital printing. We’re not just showing an update either. We are investing in a complete digital portfolio.”
Bachstein added that Gallus is staying current with two proven trends: the need for digitalization and a growing market for proven conventional technologies.
For more pictures of the event, click here.