‘Offset is not new, flat bed embossing is not new, flexography is not new, rotary embossing is not new, but the process of optimising all these processes in a single pass is what Nilpeter offers,’ Robert explains.
In his view, the evolution of Nilpeter’s flatbed embossing unit, the FP-4 is an example of meeting demand for inline sophistication without compromise.
‘Following years of focus on cost saving and production optimisation, we now see more sophisticated label designs with 3D effects, brilliance, and outstanding detail. There’s a shift from rotary to flatbed embossing, primarily for luxury labels for wine and spirits and high-end health and beauty products. This evolution is why today’s labels can look like creations of detailed artistic vision yet are produced with modern production techniques,’ he contends.
Meeting market challenges
Label printing isn’t an easy market for converters to enter because the complex designs and embellishments require specialised tools and skills. Nilpeter, as a dominant supplier, constantly refreshes and delivers solutions to meet market challenges. For example, the challenge of embossing on pressure-sensitive labels has always been the maintenance of constant depth without affecting the liner or cracking the substrate.
‘The shift from rotary to flatbed embossing leaves the converter with several advantages in terms of quality and cost-savings,’ Robert continues. ‘The option of in-house tool-making allows the printer to decrease response time. The flatbed technology has made high-quality hot foil and embossing more accessible and much more competitive compared to the traditional methods.’
Besides traditional rotary embossing (polymer plates and engraved cylinders), Nilpeter provides an inline flatbed embossing unit (the FP-4), with or without hot foil option, which can run at up to 100m/min. ‘The strength is that we combine various types of embossing with various types of hot foil – all in one inline process,’ Robert points out. ‘This is a part of Nilpeter’s modular printing system, having designed configurations with as many as three FP-4 units in one press.’
Previously, complex labels had to be manufactured in two, three or more steps. Nilpeter’s integrated solution now offers the possibility of achieving perfect embellishments in one process with all the benefits and savings that a LEAN process entails. ‘This is very popular in the pressure-sensitive market, and we even see how the sheet-fed market migrates towards the PS market to obtain the inline benefits,’ Robert comments.
With 20 tons of constant pressure, this value-adding unit for hot foil and embossing produces consistent, sharp, and solid results on conventional as well as rough and textured substrates. The unit is robust, compact, easily accessible, and very operator-friendly. Low tooling costs make it perfect for short runs.
One of the most important reasons for the inclusion of the FP-4 unit in numerous press installations is that it allows the converter to place the embossing and the hot foiling individually within the press. Flexibility is maximised and job changeovers are considerably faster.
‘With 20 tons of pressure and high heat at our disposal, we can make lasting embossing in complicated and critical substrates at various depths. This, combined with the unit’s foil saving function and low tooling costs, makes it an easy investment decision for converters,’ Robert insists.
Nilpeter is committed to remaining a printing partner on a global scale. Headquartered in Slagelse, Denmark, with production facilities in Denmark, India, and the US, and technology centres in Denmark and the US, the company is ready to help printers meet any challenge.
‘These technology centres contribute considerably to the innovations and developments that have been Nilpeter’s hallmark for almost a century,’ Robert concludes.
Leaving a lasting impression – digitally
The use of Scodix digital technology removes the time-challenging process from print jobs by allowing in-house production of highly-differentiated premium products, without sending work out for lamination, embossing, hot foiling or other embellishments.
Founded in 2007, Scodix has become a world leader in the digital enhancement business, with 35 distributors and nearly 200 installations around the globe.
Scodix cites forward thinking and differentiation as the way to gain a leading edge in a crowded print industry ad offers a genuine solution to the challenges facing today’s commercial printers, such as how to retain customers through innovation; how to attract new customers and develop new markets; and how to stay profitable.
The company’s game-changing digital technology promises to leave a lasting impression and to deliver a genuinely competitive edge.
The added value of digitally-enhanced products means premium prices can be charged, even for short runs – translating into improved profitability.
In conventional processes, embossing requires two dies and a separate press run after varnishing or laminating. With Scodix SENSE, these valuable effects can be produced in one pass, providing a number of advantages:
• 70µm of embossed height (without the deboss)
• 99 GU (gloss units), the highest gloss available for printed materials
• up to 250µm (Braille) in polymer height, 100 times higher than selective varnish
• variable-density capabilities ranging from 1% to 100%
• the Scodix ‘lens effect’ – making colours stand out by magnifying clean light on to printed colour
Spot UV and metallic colours
During 2014, Scodix developed a system to replace traditional spot UV varnishing by digitally laying an ultra-thin leaf of polymer that looks and feels like the traditional process. The benefit? Costs are reduced and the process competes economically on runs of up to 3 000 B2 sheets.
Enhancing print with metallic colours, using the traditional CMYK colour process – printed either digital or litho – is another possibility with Scodix SENSE.
The digital one-pass post-print process eliminates the need to send print out for hot foil stamping.
An unlimited number of metallic colours can be printed in one print pass, providing a cost-effective, easy-to-use, in-house alternative to foil stamping. What’s more, this can be used for short runs, as low as a single copy!
All these effects are produced with the Scodix SENSE polymer by a process that ignites standard colours through magnification.
Web to print – visualisation software
Also during 2014, Scodix launched its visualisation solution, a tool that allows B2C businesses to offer a template-driven business card operation. Entering simple text renders the file, creating a fifth spot UV file, and then shows consumers how the Scodix effect can enhance their products.
Simply put, this W2P tool is the online salesperson by showing the glossy, embossed end product.
Scodix digital enhancements make a tangible difference to each online order, ensuring that that each and every creation brings something new and desirable to the table. Alternatively, older pieces can be refreshed with exciting additions. Add shine, raised elements, different textures, metallic colours or just expand the audience base to those who are sight-impaired with Braille.
By adding high-gloss, variable densities and metallics, consumers won’t only see finished products but will want to feel them, too – a proven way to leave a lasting impression!
In a nutshell, the Scodix message is this: ‘If you can envision it, we can help you create it!’
Successful launch into hot foil stamping
Jürg Läser has every reason to be pleased about the sustained cross-border success of his company. He has headed Läser since 1991, the second generation to run the family firm since it was established in 1952.
When it was time to modernise the company’s folding box production unit, Läser decided to branch out into hot foil stamping. In mid-2012 three Bobst machines were installed – a Visionfoil 104 hot foil stamping machine, along with a Masterfold folder-gluer and an Expertcut 106 PER flat-bed die-cutter.
The Visionfoil 104 was the perfect solution for the company’s launch into hot foil stamping, because it can also be used for die-cutting and stripping. With a stamping format of up to 1 010 x 702mm, it integrates seamlessly with the production process, which is in 70/100 format throughout.
As plant manager, Alfred Kälin, explains, ‘We were surprised by the high stamping quality we achieved within a very short time. Our customers are particularly pleased with the mirror, gloss and metallic effects and the relief printing.’
Stamping is used just about everywhere – from chocolate, Champagne and cosmetics boxes to sales brochures for cars. Throughputs of up to 5 000 sheets/hour can be achieved – in full format and with eight foil webs.
The machines also offer short set-up times. ‘Bobst has developed a range of intelligent options to minimise setting-up times for material changes, retooling and CUBE reconfiguration. This is a crucial factor these days, as print runs get smaller and jobs change more frequently.’
Examples include the foil control system, straight forward job preparation in foil handling, and the MSS console of the Visionfoil 104 with a large colour touchscreen making it easy to program, store and retrieve jobs.
According to Jürg Läser, his company clearly has to be in full control of the many different processes it offers customers. That’s why it’s essential for technology to be user friendly.