Eminence Business Media

Eminence Business Media

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Heidelberg innovation for label production: Speedmaster XL 105 for rotary die-cutting

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has extended its product portfolio to include an innovative solution for label production. The new Speedmaster XL 105-DD was launched to an international audience on October 20 and 21, 2010 at the Print Media Center (PMC) Label Days in Wiesloch-Walldorf. "DD" stands for die-cutting. 

More than 150 international guests used this opportunity to discover the benefits of the new press through various practical demonstrations and expert lectures. The Speedmaster XL 105-DD is ideal for use in label production, preferably for processing foil materials. 

Positioning for the Speedmaster XL 105-DD 
Heidelberg already offers two solutions for die-cutting - Varimatrix and Dymatrix. Both solutions are designed for packaging production and are based on the principle of flatbed die-cutting, whereas the Speedmaster XL 105-DD uses the principle of rotary die-cutting and has been specifically designed to meet customer requirements for processing inmold labels. These labels today are usually processed on flatbed die cutters or "push-through" die cutters (in which the punching stamp pushes the material stack through the cutting die to give the stack its intended shape), but both are hampered by limitations, because flatbed die-cutters can only process single sheets and push-through die-cutters are only suitable for labels measuring up to 400 mm. 

The Speedmaster XL 105-DD press also offers advantages in terms of tool costs, because its delivers savings of more than 50 percent compared to flatbed die-cutters. The makeready times of the XL 105-DD are even more impressive: It only takes around 15 minutes to prepare the Speedmaster XL 105-DD. Thanks to the high accuracy of the cylinders and cutting dies, separate adjustment is not required. With a flatbed die-cutter, on the other hand, initial makeready for the IML takes up to five hours. The production speeds of the new machine are also much faster than the methods commonly used today. While flatbed die cutters reach production speeds of between 4,000 and 6,000 sheets per hour, the Speedmaster XL 105-DD reaches speeds of up to 10,000 sheets per hour.

Technical concept of the Speedmaster XL 105-DD 
The new press is based on tried-and-tested XL 105 technology. It is equipped with two printing units, a Preset Plus Feeder, and a foil package for the feeder, die cutting unit, and delivery to ensure that critical plastics can be processed with ease. The impression cylinder in the die-cutting unit is fitted with hard-wearing cylinder jackets. The die-cutting cylinder is fitted with a clamping system that is identical to that of the coating blanket cylinder. The process of changing the die-cutting plate is semi-automated - the clamping process is performed manually, while the press positioning and pressing roller functions are automated. 

Suction segment disks, sheet guide plates, and the dynamic sheet brake used in the XL 105 perfecting technology are employed to ensure that the die-cut sheets are transported safely to the delivery. The suction segment disks secure the sheet transfer from the impression cylinder to the sheet guide plates, and these then guide the sheets smoothly to the delivery. From here, the dynamic sheet brake takes on responsibility for sheet transfer, slowing the sheets from the press speed to the ideal delivery speed without any tension. These components, familiar from perfecting technology, ensure precisely-aligned piles without a single blank detaching from the sheet.