International post-press processing firm enters large format carton production
Ocean, NJ, – Graphic Art Systems, Inc, the leading developer and manufacturer of foil enhancement equipment for the printing industry for over 20 years, announced today that Starcke Ltd., an international post-press processing firm based in Finland, has purchased a totally rebuilt large-format Bobst SP142E with Eco-Eagle Hot Foil stamping machine for its facility. This is the only large format machine of its size with hologram abilities in the world, according to Graphic Art Systems.
"We are very pleased and excited to add the Eagle foil stamping machine to our facility," says Starcke Chairman of the Board Ari-Veli Starcke. "We believe this new capability will provide us with new international customers with larger size jobs and longer run lengths. It is a huge step for us, giving us a capability that we didn't have before. Plus, it sets us apart from our competition since it is the largest machine of its size in the region."
"We are honored to partner with the international firm Starcke Ltd.," says Michael King, President of Graphic Art Systems. "Being recognized by Ari-Veli Starcke and his staff allows our firm to work with true professionals and provide them with a unique machine that will contribute even further to their capabilities. There are only five SP142 conversions worldwide all performed by our staff. This will allow Starcke Ltd. to enter a very special unique market."
The Bobst SP142E with Eco-Eagle Platinum series HFM5600 large format foil stamper installed at Starcke Ltd. is a totally rebuilt machine with a raft of new features and advancements. The Eco-Eagle features an eight arbor fully automatic rewinder. It is capable of speeds up to 6,500 sph and the Bobst press has 600 tons of stamping power. Its size format of 142 cm by 102 cm features all new grippers and chains and replaced Bobst manufactured components allowing it to keep tight registration for hot foil stamping. The Eco-Eagle is designed with the newest heated honeycomb chase so it does not need to be pre-heated for several hours but rather can be heated from cold to stamping temperature in 10 minutes. The fast response time of the heated chase allows jobs to be run 30% faster than other machines with heat built in the bolster. The new design also comes with 40% more honeycomb holes than its predecessors. This unique ability of the Bobst to reach temperatures faster and maintain them allows the heating system to be much more economical. Another new advancement is an on/off impression system that features all electronic controls with no mechanical switches, very minimal mechanical parts, and less wear on the parts. Another recent development added to the Starcke Ltd. machine is the release of Eagle HMI software.
Starcke chose Graphic Art System after careful consideration for its long history and reputation, its superb engineering capabilities, and the extensive background of its president Mike King and its team of support engineers. "Purchasing this large-format foil stamper from Graphic Art System is one of the biggest steps we've made in our company," says Milla-Riitta Reunanen, chief executive officer. "It helps us to meet the needs of our customers. Along with the purchase of the new foil stamp machine we moved into a new world-class facility that allows us to expand into new markets and offer additional abilities to our customers."
Since the late 1980s, Starcke and his firm have been eyeing the large format hot stamp market. In the beginning they started by offering foiling and embossing capabilities with a Kluge hot stamping machine. This sheet format was suitable for commercial printing and book jackets. A few years later, related Starcke, the firm purchased a larger half-sheet Kluge machine for the European B2 format to produce smaller-size packaging and give them the capability to hot stamp two- and four-up or more instead of just one- and two-up sheets.
"We were always aiming to step into the packaging field with a large format hot stamping machine," says Starcke. "We knew we could transfer our expertise and capabilities to create visual effects and security features in large format. With this installation, our goal is to add totally new customers and be able to break into new print markets such as mail catalogue customers. Now we can with the Bobst machine."
For the last several years, Starcke Ltd. has been a very fast-growing firm, more than doubling its employee size to 17. The firm built a new headquarters to meet the requirements of the Bobst hot stamper as well as other new equipment such as a pile turner and R2R machine for security seals. Keeping an environmentally-friendly firm is of prime importance so Starcke Ltd. invested in a unique environmental system that takes energy from the soil to help cool the halls and heat the offices. The Bobst system also contributes to the environment by allowing Starcke to recycle foil waste rather than sending it to a land fill.
Once the foil stamper was installed, Graphic Art System followed up with extensive training. Rich Brown, a Graphic Art System employee with 36 years of hot foil stamping experience, worked with Starcke in a two-step training program. "Starcke Ltd. was ready to go as soon as we installed the Bobst," says Brown. "Like most of our customers, they all try to push the envelope right out of the gate by testing light stocks. The operator who was chosen to run the Bobst brought his background of working on small format foil stamping and embossing to learn to use the new large format machine. Of course there were new challenges to be met but we were able to bring them up-to-speed quickly."
"The response time from Graphic Art System is amazing," says Ari-Veli Starcke. "They provided us with complete and total support and walked us through the entire process to ensure that our operators were completely trained and comfortable. We invested a lot of time and money for training. It has gone very well. We're running the Bobst machine and we've produced jobs but we're always open to learning more and maintaining our training."