Cutting

Heidelberg’s Promatrix 106 CS die cutter will make its North American debut at Graph Expo in Chicago next month. The system will be showcased on Masterwork Machinery’s exhibit.

In August 2014, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG announced it was restructuring its postpress equipment manufacturing through a new OEM partnership with Masterwork Machinery Co. headquartered in Tianjin, China. The move excluded Heidelberg’s production of folding machines at its Ludwigsburg site, a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

“Heidelberg offers a value proposition that is unique in the industry,” said Joerg Daehnhardt, Vice President, Postpress, Heidelberg USA. “Our strategic partnership with Masterwork enables Heidelberg to offer a broader portfolio than ever before to the converting market.”

The Promatrix 106 CS is designed to handle substrates from 65-pound text to 48-point board. It outputs 8,000 sheets per hour, and has a maximum sheet size of 29.92 x 41.7 inches, matching the format of Heidelberg’s flagship Speedmaster XL 106 press.
 
The Promatrix 106 CS is the first Heidelberg product manufactured by Masterwork, while the German company retains sales and support responsibilities for its postpress lines. The Promatrix CS 106 is a further development of an existing Masterwork platform, along with additional improvements and certifications (such as “GS,” a German seal denoting safe operation).
 


During its annual Packaging Days event in Germany, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG showcased its new Promatrix 106 CS die cutter and the new Diana Smart 55 and Diana Smart 80 folding-carton gluing machines.

These machines are primarily aimed at companies that manufacture folding cartons. More than 200 printing professionals attended the equipment demonstration, producing products like invitation cards, stand-up displays, posters, folding cartons, and CD jackets in Heidelberg’s Hall 11 at the Wiesloch-Walldorf plant.

The Promatrix 106 CS die cutter is designed for short to medium production volumes and performs die cutting and embossing at a speed of 8,000 sheets per hour.

Heidelberg’s Diana Smart 55 and Diana Smart 80 folding-carton gluing machines are comprise a new platform for medium volumes in the production of straight-line and lock-bottom cartons. The company states these products require less space than traditional systems and feature a modular design that can be adapted to suit specific customer requirements.

“In the medium term, we are going to continue to expand the product portfolio in die cutting and folding carton gluing machines,” said Dr. Frank Schaum, who now has overall responsibility for Postpress at Heidelberg, both commerical and packaging printing.

Highcon plans to launch the Highcon Euclid II series of digital cutting and creasing machines at Graph Expo 14 in late September. The company's second generation of Euclid machines incorporates a range of new features, including, perhaps most prominently, the Integrated Digital Stripping Unit (IDSU).

The built-in IDSU stripping mechanism automatically removes waste from internal cutouts, eliminating the need to buy, setup or store a separate stripping tool. Euclid II also now includes optical registration of the sheets, as opposed to mechanical only, which adds the ability to align creasing and cutting to the image.

New software for the Euclid II, described as the Fine Cutting Accelerator, is designed to provide more flexibility and speed for laser cutting and marking. At Graph Expo, Highcon will also demonstrate new Web-to-pack software that can be combined with the digital cutting and creasing of Euclid II.

The Euclid II also includes a new substrate handling system to work with substrates like paper, folding carton, labels and micro-flute. The system includes additional sensors for registration accuracy and sheet flow.

Highcon, founded in 2009 by Aviv Ratzman and Michael Zimmer, states it has also enhanced the quality of the crease line by developing a new polymer formula and implementing optimized rule geometry, which provides a new ability to produce curved lines. Cutting algorithms for laser power control have also been improved for Euclid II.



At the recent ExpoPrint 2014 in Brazil, Bobst launched its new Novacut 106 ER blank separating die-cutter, while also showcasing its folder-gluer line with Braille embossing capable of producing up to 115,000 boxes per hour.

The Novacut 106 ER system provides inline blank separation, for producing stacked bundles of blanks ready for downstream processing without a need for breaking out by hand. This system leverages the company’s Angle Lock blanking tool, which can either be supplied directly by Bobst or made in-plant using standard components.

Novacut 106 ER allows users to build up a portfolio of blank separating work as they run un-blanked jobs that are simply die-cut and stripped. The machine’s delivery section can be converted from single/double cut blank separating to full sheet delivery, and back, within what the company describes as a few seconds.

At ExpoPrint 2014, Bobst is also highlighting its Exportfold line with the newest generation Accubraille GT Braille embossing unit and a Cartonpack GT automatic packer. This configuration, which is particularly suited to pharmaceutical packaging manufacturing, can produce folded, glued and Braille embossed boxes at speeds of up to 115,000 per hour.


Less than a week after launching its new DC-616 machine, Duplo has released the UD-300 On Demand Die Cutter with a new separator and conveyor unit option.

The UD-300 Die Cutter produces a variety of toner-based print and packaging products, such as custom-shaped brochures and direct mailers, stationery, retail packages, labels and folded boxes in quantities as low as one.

Designed for use with flexible dies, the UD-300 performs multiple cuts, slits, slit-scores, kiss cuts, perforations, and window punches for single and multiple-up pieces on a range of paper stock of up to 14 x 20 inches at 3,000 sheets per hour.

The UD-300 comes standard with an exit tray and users can install the optional separator and conveyor unit, in place of the tray, to automatically remove the waste of each sheet as it is delivered. The photo-eye sensor is used to ensure only the finished pieces are neatly stacked onto the conveyor for more productivity.



Esko of Ghent, Belgium, added to its line of Kongsberg finishing tables with the new Kongsberg V series, described as entry-level machines aimed at packaging and sign and display markets.

The Esko Kongsberg V series is available in two standard configurations, including one earmarked for sign and display work based on a MultiCUT tool head for cutting and routing. The MultiCUT has various insert options with an air-cooled milling spindle of up to 45,000 rpm, suitable for acrylics and other synthetics.

The second Kongsberg V configuration for packaging focuses on sample making, short run production of mockups and other packaging-specific applications. It is outfitted with a FlexiHead for more demanding material cutting and creasing, such as folding carton and corrugated board. The FlexiHead is attached to a servo axis controlling the tool depth when cutting, creasing and routing. Three configurable tool stations accommodate a range of standard tool inserts.

Kongsberg V is available in two sizes, including the V20, with a format size of 1,700 x 1,300 mm (66 x 51 inches), and the V24, 1,700 x 3,200 (66 x 126). The new tables feature the i-cut Vision Pro camera system for registration accuracy. Tool changes on the Kongsberg tables are coordinated by unique barcodes for every insert.

“Esko began testing the market with this new family of cutting tables in Asia last year,” stated Marian Zincke, Vice President Digital Finishing. “Results clearly illustrated that there is a global need for a high-end digital finishing solution at an attractive entry-level price. That is exactly what the Kongsberg V brings.”

The Kongsberg V series joins the large format C series platform, as well the company’s longstanding Kongsberg X series of machines. The Kongsberg C series is designed for finishing a mixture of 3.2-metre wide flexible and rigid materials for sign, display and packaging applications. The Kongsberg X series includes the smaller format Kongsberg XE for production of sign and display items or folding carton samples. The Kongsberg XN platform is for product versatility, while the Kongsberg XP is geared toward continuous production.

Zünd, during Ipex 2014, introduced a new set of functions for its S3 cutting system, including an automatic sheet feeder and tandem vacuum system.

The S3 is a modular cutting system designed to handle materials of up to 25 mm (1-inch) thick. At Ipex, Zünd showed an automatic sheet feeder for high-volume production environments. The new option of a tandem vacuum system for the S3 is designed to enable the loading or unloading of materials on one side of the cutter as production continues on the other.

Zünd also introduced its new EOT 250 electric oscillating tool to better handle sandwich board/honeycomb materials and cardboard. The air-cooled EOT-250 features an extended 2.5 mm stroke and high oscillating frequency.

The company also highlighted its Zünd Design Center, an Adobe Illustrator plug-in to create three-dimensional designs for packaging and displays. Zünd Design Center provides a library of templated designs in folding carton and corrugated cardboard. The software includes a 3D preview tool to consider measurements, logos, patterns and other graphic elements.


Esko will be launching a completely new digital finishing platform dubbed the Kongsberg C series at SGIA later this month. 

“This is not just a new Kongsberg table – it’s a completely re-engineered and redesigned platform for Kongsberg finishing systems. We call this the C-series after a decade of the highly successful and well known Kongsberg X-series,” says Steve Bennett, Esko Vice President, Digital Finishing Business. “Among the many great new features, one of the eye catchers will be the innovative composite traverse technology that provides the fastest throughput along with the highest quality and precision in cutting and routing compared to all other systems of the same size.”

Shown at SGIA will be the C64 model, which works with 126” wide x 126” long (3210mm by 3200mm) materials. Also available is the Kongsberg C60 model to accommodate 126” wide x 63” long (3210mm x 1600mm) sizes.

Esko will also preview a new i-cut Production Console, a new front-end for its Kongsberg cutting tables. The company promises that the new table will be easier to use and is designed for all applications.

Esko plans to exhibit three Kongsberg tables on its booth at the ISA International Sign Expo, April 3 to 6 in Las Vegas, including the XP24, i-XE10 Auto and Kongsberg XN systems.

The Kongsberg XN cutting table – designed to work with a range of materials like vinyl, board or wood – is available in seven different sizes from 66 x 50 inches to 87 x 258 inches. This table’s versatility is based on its ability to integrate five application-specific tools from kiss-cutting to heavy-duty milling. Newly developed tools for the XN include solid board and corrugated paper-core board v-notching inserts.


The new generation of Kongsberg XN systems can also be equipped with an optional 3kW, water-cooled milling spindle, called MultiCUT-HP. This high-powered tool head, according to Esko, offers up to three times more routing productivity relative to earlier generations. Based on the requirements of the MultiCUT-HP, the company has also instituted new variable vacuum hold-down technology that consumes less energy. Users can also add productivity options like a material conveyor, auto-feeder and a roll-off unit.


At ISA, Esko also plans to exhibit the Kongsberg XP24 geared at finishing short-run POP/POS displays because of its speed. With a maximum speed of 66 inches per second, and a maximum working area of 87 x 126 inches, the XP series is designed to convert a range of board, sheet and roll materials.



Esko also plans to exhibit the Kongsberg i-XE10 Auto finishing system with a fully automated sheet feeder and off-load stacker, specifically designed for finishing small-format, prototype, sample and short-run printed materials – rolls or sheets can be processed. The “Pick and Place” automated stacker of the i-XE10 allows for non-stop sorting, while also automatically separating waste from the finished items. The Kongsberg i-XE10 Auto can handle a maximum sheet size of 35 x 47 inches.


All of the Kongsberg tables can be integrated with workflow modules of the i-cut Suite, including i-cut Preflight for editing of incoming PDF files. i-cut Layout is a module to build and edit sheet layouts to optimize substrate use, nesting and tiling. i-cut Vision Pro is used to ensure die-less cutting contours match printed images, particularly when slight distortions arise. i-cut Automate integrates all of the i-cut functions into a single workflow. Esko is also exhibiting its recently released Studio 12 workflow and ArtiosCAD for structural design.



Muller Martini has introduced a new three-knife trimmer, called Solit, for the small- and medium-run binding environments.

The Solit trimmer features what Muller Martini refers to as a 3-minute make-ready, which is a process based on the company’s existing Orbit trimmer platform. Muller Martini also describes the Solit trimmers as providing complete automation from the book infeed to the trimming centre, including the pressing plates and knife cassettes without the use of tools.

Solit also features Muller Martini’s patented SmartPress, which again is technology previously used in the Orbit trimmer. SmartPress is described as a gentle, controlled pressing procedure in which the air between the sheets of paper can fully escape from the product. The company states this is designed to eliminate chipping and spine wrinkling for high-quality trimming.

Reaching speeds of up to 4,500 cycles per hour, the Solit trimmer is based on a servo-controlled axis and a single-piece machine frame. It accounts for an 85-mm trim thickness capacity.


EFI announced that its Auto-Count direct machine interface is now integrated with POLAR cutting equipment, distributed globally through Heidelberg. In partnership with Heidelberg, EFI developed an interface from Auto-Count to the Heidelberg POLAR XT guillotine cutting systems (using various model cutters, joggers and peripherals)
.

This new version of EFI Auto-Count with the Heidelberg integration will be available in December. It enables real-time reporting and scheduling. 


The integration was tested through a beta site at Modern Litho-Print in Jefferson City, Missouri, which operates EFI’s Monarch software suite. “Until now, the cutter was a black hole in our workflow since there was no way to schedule this equipment or capture data from it,” stated Jim Tomblinson, plant superintendent. “With the new Auto-Count integration to our POLAR 137 XT, we’re able to obtain and track job information and operator productivity, and schedule the cutter in our overall workflow. This scheduling capability is especially useful for large jobs with multiple versions.”

In use in the marketplace for 30 years, Auto-Count is an interface system that has been deployed on sheetfed and web presses, flexo presses, perfect binders, saddle stitchers and folders. It is largely employed today through EFI’s various Management Information Systems.



Heidelberg has added a rotary die-cutting feature to its Speedmaster XL 105 press. Dubbed the XL 105-DD, the machine was launched at the company's Print Media Center's Label Days in Wiesloch-Walldorf.

While the company previously offered flatbed die-cutting in the form of Varimatrix and Dymatrix, both technologies were based on a flatbed die-cutting procedure. The new system uses a rotary system, for greater speed. Heidelberg says the Speedmaster XL 105-DD system is well-suited for processing labels using foil materials. Whereas flatbed systems can process labels measuring up to 400mm, whereas a rotary system is not faced with this limitation.

Heidelberg also claims tooling savings of 50 percent over flatbed systems and a makeready time of only 15 minutes, compared to up to five hours using flatbed. This is because the inline rotary system does not require a separate adjustment process to ensure alignment.

The XL 105-DD system can die-cut labels at speeds up to 10,000 sheets per hour. 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 in that the clamping process is performed manually, while the press positioning and pressing roller functions are automated.

 

 


EskoArtwork has released a collection of pre-production software aimed at the large-format printer and companies using digital finishing systems. The company says the modules within the i-cut suite will help improve efficiency and reduce waste.

“The new i-cut Suite reflects the needs of today’s professional large format digital printing and finishing market”, concludes Nicolai Gradman, EskoArtwork Senior Vice President CAM & Supply Chain. “Many shops have made significant investments in equipment, but are not always aware of innovative workflow tools to reduce operator time, eliminate waste and generally make the process less expensive. With the i-cut Suite, we are shaping the future of our customers business. We offer them a highly effective tool that immediately delivers tangible benefits."

The modules include features for PDF preflighting, layout creation and even advanced features such as structural design and graphic preparation. The i-cut Suite is part of EskoArtwork's Suite 10 and builds on the company's applications for packaging and commercial printing.
Speedmaster XL 75
With the largest booth space at PRINT 09, beginning this weekend in Chicago, Heidelberg plans to debut its new KAMA ProCut 74 to the North American printing industry. This cutting machine is engineered for small to medium runs with applications like die cutting, creasing, kiss-cutting, cold embossing, hot-foil stamping, hologram stamping and hot cutting. The machine works with a maximum sheet size of 23.6 x 29.1 inches. Heideblerg is also making the North American debut of its Easygluer 100, which is an entry-level model gluer with a maximum speed of 300 meters per minute.

While at PRINT 09, Heidelberg will also highlight several of its more recent technologies to come out of drupa 2008 held in Germany. The company plans to show its Speedmaster XL 75 operating with InPress control, Autoplate simultaneous plate changing and Intellistart. Heidelberg's Speedmaster SM 52 is to be shown with the Anicolor zoneless inking system in a 4-colour plus coater configuration. Also on display will be a 2-colour Printmaster QM 46, which has a 18.11 x 13.39-inch format.

Print 09To highlight its vision of software-driven automation, Heidelberg’s booth is to be centred around eight Prinect workstations that link to working presses and other equipment. Some of the newer Prinect modules include Integration Manager, for scheduling and monitoring workflow over multiple jobs, and Postpress Manager. From its workstation hub, paths will lead to four quadrants set up both as equipment areas and as theaters for the company’s various production processes on display.

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