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Linoprint presents modular Drop-on-Demand system at interpack

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Press release from the issuing company

April 23, 2008 - A new Drop-on-Demand technology for the individual decorating and marking of folding boxes, labels and blister packs is about to be launched - and its name is Linoprint. Developed as part of an innovation project at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg), the Linoprint system works in a resolution of up to 720 dpi. The major benefits of the digital printing system are its flexibility and ease of use. The modular Linoprint systems can be integrated just as easily into existing lines as into new lines. They are aimed initially at businesses in the pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and beverages industries as well as packaging firms and suppliers of packaging lines. Linoprint can be found at booth D21 in hall 12 at interpack 2008 (24. to 30. April) in Düsseldorf.

The Drop-on-Demand systems are aimed at a different market segment to the sheetfed offset printing solutions from Heidelberg. Because this segment demands a flexible focus on project and configuration business, Linoprint is being presented separately. However, the technology is 100% sourced from Heidelberg. The Linoprint sales and services team will primarily address the requirements of those companies that use folding boxes, labels or blisters to pack their products. This concept demands great flexibility and rapid reaction to customer requirements. Linoprint will enjoy the benefits of Heidelberg's tried and tested worldwide logistical support network. Sales and Service will be done directly by Linoprint and its external distributors and partners.

Field tests are scheduled for the last quarter of 2008. Linoprint will be testing the market at interpack by revealing technology studies of its printing systems. "We have seen from preliminary discussions that there is enormous interest in our system", explains Karl-Heinz Walther, who is responsible for the sales and marketing of Linoprint. "The key advantage of Linoprint is the fact that we have been working closely together with packaging machine manufacturers right from the start of planning. We pay great attention to where we can best fit our printing modules into the production process. We also question those who operate and control the systems about the unique requirements of their production lines. The knowledge and experience of those actually on the production line are extremely important for us." Cooperation has already been agreed with one major packaging company, and Linoprint is in negotiation with others.

A team of printing experts and developers has been working on the technology for the new products for a good three years. The digital systems were developed on the basis of the control technology that Heidelberg uses to build its computer-to-plate image-setter. This has been developed into a modular, high-performance Drop-on-Demand system that can be integrated into any standard packaging line. The Linoprint system processes variable data, enabling the print motifs to be modified without any interruption to the production process. Different language versions or production-related data such as sell-by dates, serial and batch numbers, barcodes or data matrix codes can be imprinted in top quality, inline and just-in-time.

Linoprint technology paves the way for the individual printing even of extremely small runs right down to a batch size of 1. Thanks to specially optimized inks, the process can be applied on a very wide range of substrates. Another significant innovation is the scalability of the Linoprint systems: by activating multiple printing modules in sequence or in parallel, the printing width, speed and even resolution can be adapted to meet a wide variety of requirements. Another special feature of Linoprint is that the printing system can be integrated anywhere in the production line, if desired even after the packaging has been filled.

Linoprint systems comprise two elements: the printing unit and the control software, which is adapted to meet individual requirements. The printing unit consists of the print head, cleaning unit and dryer. 'Linospot', the version for single-color printing, is nearing readiness for the blister film printing segment. It will soon be possible to imprint labels and folding boxes. Specially optimized screen technology allows any gray tone to be generated, while special colors are also feasible. The Linoprint developers are also already working on Linocolor, the 4-color printing unit.
Linoprint opens up whole new vistas of creative freedom in packaging design. Whereas esthetic considerations have traditionally had to give way to cost aspects or logistical feasibility, the Linoprint system combines high-quality printing with the option to exchange the print motifs used in any desired print run length. This means that blister films providing precise information on production location and time are just as feasible as having the contents of cosmetics specified in various languages on the packaging or labels printed with the very latest news.




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