St. Gallen, Switzerland – Gallus organized a full day of presentations and demonstrations on emerging trends and technologies for label printers at its new Avery Dennison demo center in Mentor Ohio on June 1, 2017. Gallus was accompanied by several business collaborators presenting complementary technologies on UV curing, air drying systems, mounting systems, finishing equipment and materials.
Christof Naier, General Manager Gallus Label Business, opened the session by outlining some of the improvements coming to Gallus customers by virtue of the pending acquisition by Heidelberg US. They include increased cooperation and training with Heidelberg service personnel to handle more first-level support, especially for the Gallus ECS 340, the new Gallus Labelmaster press and the Gallus Labelfire 340 digital-hybrid press lines.
In his remarks, Ferdinand Rüesch, Anchor Shareholder of Heidelberg and Vice Chairman of the Board of Gallus, connected the past to the future by talking about the close relationship his father and grandfather established with the founder of Avery Dennison in the 1950s and 1960s, and how the relationship has emerged as a mutually beneficial and cooperative one even to the present day. That became more evident as it was announced that Avery Dennison’s Mentor Ohio facility had become the new Gallus ECS 340 demo center.
Michael Ring, Gallus General Manager of Digital Solutions, presented the case for digital and hybrid label printing, pointing out that short-run and personalization have become leading drivers for emerging technologies. He outlined the features and competitive advantages of the new Gallus Labelfire 340, and spoke about the close collaboration between Heidelberg, Gallus and Fuji that made possible the achievement of 1200 dpi inket printing at high speeds, producing near gravure quality on extremely short runs, and including flexo, embellishments and converting, all on a single press.
Dan Maurer, Vice President of Digital for Heidelberg USA explained that 400 Heidelberg engineers are currently devoted to digital innovations, representing about 50% of the company’s technology investments. Said Dan, “Today’s digital technologies provide virtually unlimited opportunities for differentiation by brand managers, including personalization, anti-counterfeiting techniques, versioning and short runs.” He also introduced Omnifire, a new robotically operated print head which can be used to custom-print 3D objects for instant personalization at the consumer level, to be released for sale in Summer 2017.
Brian Wenger from GEW presented his case on the advantages of UV curing and discussed his company’s technology which allows customers to migrate over time from traditional UV curing to LED UV using a single hybrid head. He characterized the open house as “a great opportunity to educate the printing audience on ways to reduce energy costs and maintenance with built-in flexibility.”
Claudia Fabbri from Prati presented an overview of her company’s line of advanced finishing systems, all based on a modular concept designed to provide the customer maximum flexibility and value. She summed up her company’s objectives by saying, “We deliver the capability to process different materials with one investment and to enable a ‘stress-free’ finishing department at all of our customers’ plants.”
Chuck Irons of XDS discussed hot air drying systems that his company develops for water based inks. The XDS air drying units are available on Gallus presses and operate on IR supplemented with fans. According to Irons, “Improvements in technology allow the printer to migrate more seamlessly between UV and water based inks, giving the customer more options on a single press.”
Gregg Gayle of AGFA presented his firm’s Heaford Mounting System. Said Gayle, “It’s a great day in flexo label printing when complementary products and technologies come together. Agfa provides JM Heaford plate mounters, along with other Best In Class products and services to help our customers profit and grow.”
Gallus technicians then demonstrated the Gallus ECS 340 press in the Avery Dennison demo room after which the guests were treated to a tour of Avery’s R&D facility.
After the demo and tour, Chris Blackwell from Avery Dennison concluded the day’s presentations with a short talk about the company’s flexo plate mounting tapes.
If there was a single theme to the day’s presentations and discussions, it was “flexibility.” From digital technologies that allow virtually unlimited short-run customization, to modular products that provide multiple functions on a single platform, flexibility has quickly become the new cornerstone criteria by which all label printers are judging equipment purchases.