The labeling market is one of the largest growth segments in the printing industry. The demand for digitally printed labels in particular is recording extremely dynamic and sustained growth. The level of customer interest in the latest labeling solutions from Gallus, a subsidiary of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg), was thus very high at this year’s Labelexpo trade fair in Brussels at the end of September. Numerous orders for the Gallus Labelfire digital label press as well as for the new Gallus Labelmaster platform are evidence of Heidelberg’s leading role in this market segment. “The labeling market is an important part of our growth strategy,” explained Rainer Hundsdörfer, the company’s CEO. “We’re focusing on the globally increasing demand for labels, produced both digitally or in the conventional way. We’re convinced that our Gallus range will provide a great amount of potential for Heidelberg.”
Closer dovetailing of the Gallus organization and the Heidelberg Group will also play its part. For example, important technological components are already being developed jointly in Heidelberg and St. Gallen, some of which are produced at the Heidelberg site in Wiesloch-Walldorf. The new service provisions from Gallus are fully in line with Industry 4.0 – they facilitate higher machine availability for label printers. Gallus and Heidelberg are working together on numerous concrete projects which will bring digitization in the companies forward and offer customers actual added value. For example, in the event of a service request, the Gallus mCall product automates the transfer of machine data to the Gallus service organization, enabling a noticeably faster response time and problem solving process.
Gallus customers also benefit from the virtually completed integration of the Gallus sales and service organizations into the Heidelberg Group. They have a global, blanket coverage network of local Heidelberg service organizations at their disposal, which ensures rapid on-site service.
Numerous orders for the new Gallus Labelfire digital label press
At the Labelexpo, Gallus presented the Gallus Labelfire digital label press with enhanced inline finishing processes. As opposed to the digital label presses found on the market which only print digitally and incorporate label postpress activities into a downstream process, the Gallus Labelfire produces finished and die-cut labels in just one production run. Thus the digital printing of finished labels on the Gallus Labelfire guarantees faster production times in conjunction with less paper waste. This means that label printers save time, money and material in comparison with a multi-stage production process, as switching to the downstream postpress process is dispensed with. And thanks to the latest generation of Fujifilm inkjet printheads, the Gallus Labelfire, with a native resolution of 1,200 dpi, ensures print quality that matches that of offset printing.
Numerous orders were signed during the trade fair, including by first-time customers from Italy, Austria and Germany. Three customers have already ordered or are using their second press.
Customers were impressed by the new Gallus Labelmaster press platform and have placed a large amount of orders
After the successful premiere of the Gallus Labelmaster during the Gallus Innovation Days in September 2016, Gallus also presented the Gallus Labelmaster Advanced line with multiweb feature (several webs are processed simultaneously and are merged to produce the end product) to the public for the first time at the Labelexpo 2017 in Brussels - in addition to the basic version of this machine.
Thanks to its modular design, the Gallus Labelmaster Advanced line impresses with top levels of flexibility and a high degree of automation. The press provides label printers with maximum process variability. This means that the various finishing and printing units at any position in the press can be changed quickly and easily, thus facilitating virtually any configuration, including for the production of complex label products.
The Gallus Labelmaster stands out due to its special platform design and it can be configured by the customers in line with their individual requirements – on a job by job basis. With open interfaces, this range of machines ensures its users make an extremely secure investment and have the option of responding flexibly to future changes in the market.
The demand for this press platform exceeded expectations, resulting in the fastest start-up of a machine system in the history of Gallus. The initial series of more than 20 machines, which will be produced by the end of the year, has already been sold.
Digital printing is the driving force behind the transformation in the growth segment
The new Gallus Labelfire 340 digital printing system has been designed for the self-adhesive label market. The global print volume of these labels is growing by around 4 percent each year. The proportion of the volume that is printed digitally is only approximately 6 percent – but this is increasing significantly. Digital printing is therefore influencing the transformation in this highly promising market segment. Forecasts indicate that in the medium term around every second machine sold in this sector will print digitally. With the development and provision of entire workflow solutions for efficient operation of conventional and digital label presses, Heidelberg and Gallus will play an active part in shaping the transformation of the business models in this segment and will be able to offer the users flexible and economic solutions for it.