Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Leonhard Kurz offers a complete service package for metallic effects in digital printing

Fürth - After intensive development work, the moment has now arrived: the manufacturer of decorative and functional coatings, Leonhard Kurz, is commercializing its Digital Metal product, a system for applying metallic layers in the digital printing process. Kurz is offering an all-in-one solution comprising a transfer machine with the designation DM Liner, an associated web-based software, and a Digital Metal foil that has been specially tailored to this process.

The DM Liner transfers the Digital Metal foil at speeds of five to 30 meters per minute. It can process paper with grammages between 90 and 350 grams per square meter, and formats from 210 x 297 to 390 x 500 millimeters. The Digital Metal foil is available in gold or silver, as well as diffractive designs with a rainbow color play or holographic continuous structures. The Internet based software provides an overview of the consumption and available stock of the foils. Based on a “pay-per-stamp” principle, the user is only invoiced for the actual amount of foil used.

Three steps to a metallic gloss
The Digital Metal process involves three stages: First the desired design is printed onto the paper substrate using dry or liquid toner. Then the DM Liner is used to transfer the Digital Metal foil to the pre-printed surface. Next digital or offset color printing is performed, whereby the Digital Metal foil can be overprinted in any desired manner, thereby enabling a wide variety of metallic color tones to be generated.

The Digital Metal transfer technology allows partial metallization, which produces a very high gloss level that is not achievable using metallic pigment inks. All the advantages of digital printing can be fully utilized. This process is economical to use for small-run jobs, and can also be used for personalization and serialization. Digital Metal offers an economical means of adding personalized metallic finishes to print products.

First success stories
In order to optimize the Digital Metal process and to precisely tailor the associated services to actual requirements in the field, Kurz worked closely with a number of project partners in the printing industry. Valuable input was provided, for example, by the photobooks manufacturer and print services provider CEWE, who has been using the Digital Metal system for some time now in their site in Mönchengladbach and has successfully implemented a number of Digital Metal projects. One of the projects was Volume 39 of the CO-REACH magazine for a crossmedia marketing trade fair. Subscribers to the magazine received a personally addressed copy with their name emblazoned in silver letters on the title page. A further project involved a hairstyling related book “Rock’n Hair” published by Karen Cavallaro, Paula Kopczynski, Monika Gassmann and Viola Finkenrath. In this book, Digital Metal elements have been used to underscore the glamour of the 1940s to 1960s hairstyles by presenting them in a decorative frame.

Kurz provides further information about the Digital Metal technique at www.digital-metal.net.