In addition to a live demonstration of the Gallus ECS 340, attendees were treated to an Avery Dennison factory tour. Experts were also on hand from other industry suppliers, including Heidelberg, GEW, Prati, Agfa Graphics, and XDS.
Ferdinand Ruesch, vice president of the Gallus Board of Directors, and Christof Naier, vice president of sales, marketing and services, Gallus, welcomed visitors to Mentor and explained the relationship that their company has with Avery Dennison.
Avery Dennison’s facility in Mentor is the third such location to install a Gallus ECS 340 press, joining Avery Dennison China and Avery Dennison India. Ruesch added that Gallus has maintained a long-term relationship that dates back to the early 20th century.
“In the early days, the two companies exchanged information,” said Ruesch. “When a machine was sold, they needed paper, and when paper was sold, they needed machines.”
As part of the event, Gallus established its goals–both in North America and worldwide. Gallus, which was acquired by Heidelberg two years ago, will lean on its parent company for resources. It will increase the number of field technicians for Gallus products using Heidelberg service personnel and training. In addition, Gallus will develop a high level of service for Heidelberg digital solutions, including prepress, workflow, application knowledge.
“We can cater to customers better because we have access to the Heidelberg team worldwide,” said Naier.
Gallus is establishing a new home in the United States. The company will move all its staff to a new office in Philadelphia, PA, USA, which is 11 miles away from the old facility. Screeny manufacturing and delivery will take place from this location, while spare parts delivery will be done from the Heidelberg US Logistic Center. The new facility is expected to be ready by August 1, 2017.
Michael Ring, Gallus’ worldwide vice president of sales and marketing for digital solutions, explored how Gallus has jumped into the digital label printing arena with the Labelfire. Ring emphasized that, “Digital is not going to replace traditional flexo. It’s a complement. It’s just another tool for the fit of the job like a golfer using a different club for a different distance and lie.”
Gallus also listed its plans for the Labelmaster, a new 17” flexo platform that is built on extreme flexibility. The Labelmaster is offered in 3 models: Labelmaster, Labelmaster PlusLine, and Labelmaster AdvancedLine. The AdvancedLine features “unlimited flexibility” and is comparable to the Gallus EM-S.
In anticipation of Labelexpo Europe, Gallus has announced its plans for the international labeling event. The company will host an Open House on September 22, 2017, at its facility in St. Gallen, Switzerland. A new demo center is under construction there, as well.
Gallus is anticipating its visitors’ arrival in Zurich, where plans will be made for transportation to St. Gallen. Gallus will host its event – complete with presentations, demonstrations and networking opportunities–and then provide sightseeing tours. Gallus will then take care of transportation arrangements to Brussels, where its guests can then attend Labelexpo Europe.
At Labelexpo Europe, Heidelberg and Gallus will announce the launch of Heidelberg Assistant, which is already operating in beta at several locations. “Our goal is to improve communication between Gallus headquarters and field service organizations by using common software platforms,” explained Naier.
The ECS and RCS will also factor prominently in at the Brussels Expo Center. The RCS r2–Gallus’ latest model–was launched at Innovation Days 2016. The press features less waste, a faster setup and improved offset heads. Plus, it features a 15% shorter web path and a unified HMI, which is touted as the latest control technology.
“We are happy to announce we have already sold r2 machines to the United States,” said Naier.
Gallus is also providing a special offer on all ECS orders. The press, which has over 470 sales, will come with a $5,000 voucher on all orders placed through June 30. “We hope to celebrate machine sale No. 500 at Labelexpo in a couple of months,” added Naier.
Curing and finishing experts
The Gallus Open House featured presentations from collaborators like GEW and Prati. GEW’s Brian Wenger detailed the ArcLED hybrid curing systems and the transition that’s already begun.
There are pros and cons to Arc and LED lamps, which makes hybrid curing a natural fit. Arc lamps perform better on some processes like hot melt and varnish, have lower investment costs and lower ink costs. However, they are less controllable and have higher energy consumptions. LED arrays feature energy savings, performance advantages, and are inherently more controllable with less heat. They do come with a higher investment and limited ink availability/higher ink costs, though.
The GEW hybrid system includes two UV curing technologies and one RHINO power supply. The company’s goal is to optimize the process on every print station. Arc can be used for the lowest investment cost, while LED offers the lowest energy costs.
“We believe ArcLED is a future-proof technology,” said Wenger. “There’s no risk involved. You can buy an Arc system today and upgrade to LED when ready.”
Wenger added that to fully optimize a press, Arc and LED are both required. Low migration and varnishes can benefit from Arc curing. LED is useful for base white and laminating. “One of the best examples of benefits is flexo base white curing,” explained Wenger. “Arc has trouble penetrating heavy laydown inks. With LEDs, it’s fast curing and you get full penetration through that heavy base white ink and full surface adhesion with less power.” Wenger added that the lamps' lives are roughly 20,000 hours with LED curing and 3,000 hours with Arc.
Claudia Fabbri of Prati explained her company’s wide array of advanced solutions in label finishing equipment. Prati’s finishing machines are currently present in 68 countries. “We have a strong collaboration with Gallus here in the United States, and we have over 3,000 machines installed,” said Fabbri. “We offer a strong competitive advantage because we have a modular platform and flexible solutions, adapted to present and future needs.”
The solutions are tailored for all niches like pharma, spirits, beverages, food. The slitter rewinder inspection machines and modular platforms cover the entire printing industry, from PS labels to clear-on-clear to board.