The in-mould label market is continuously growing globally at around 4.3 per cent (Awa Global Inmould Study 2017), and more than two thirds of the worldwide production is required for food packaging. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is now offering an enhanced rotary die-cutter based on the XL technology, in addition to food-safe, highly efficient print production. 

The Speedmaster XL 106-DD unites two key production steps in a single machine – a unique combination in the market. The rotary die-cutter’s first unit places the injection hole in the label for the subsequent production process by means of a die on a magnetic cylinder with maximum precision. Even the tiniest holes of five millimeters diameter or more are possible. Up to now, this was a separate step that consequently extended the production time of the respective job. 

The cut out material is safely and reliably removed by means of an extraction system. The second unit of the XL 106-DD subsequently cuts out the contour of the label from the sheet. At the end of the day, this combination of the two production steps in a single pass means a downright doubling of the die-cutting throughput, while makeready times and costs for die cutting tools can be reduced to half of the previously required.

The XL 106-DD processes foils and paper with thicknesses of 0.05 to 0.3 mm at a throughput of 6,000 to 10,000 sheets per hour – almost twice as fast than a flatbed die-cutter. The costs for die cutting tools are usually in the range of EUR 300 to 1,000, and the machine is typically set up in 15 minutes.Injection holes of five millimeters diameter and more can be cut, thus all the needs that are customary in the industry can be met. Apart from in-mould labels, the XL 106-DD can also cut plastic or paper packaging elements, such as POS items which, due to their design, need a “window” or hole for mounting in the shelf or for attaching to the product.

Events show a wide-ranging portfolio for the label marketApart from the XL 106-DD, Heidelberg presented the entire range of print and postpress solutions for in-mould, wet glue and self-adhesive labels to the around 200 Label Day participants at the Print Media Center in Wiesloch-Walldorf at the end of September. 

Solutions for the in-mould label production in the food sector were presented on a Speedmaster XL 106 with LED UV drying. In addition to working with the Speedmaster XL 106-DD rotary die-cutter, Heidelberg demonstrated just how label printing can become even more productive using a special in-mould label package for the Speedmaster XL 106. 

Demos of a Speedmaster XL 106-8+LYYL with inline finishing and a Speedmaster XL 75-8+LYYL Anicolor 2 with Multicolor workflow focused on the economical production of wet glue labels.

The event complemented the Heidelberg trade fair presence at the LabelExpo 2017 in Brussels which took place at the same time. The focus here was mainly on the digital and modular label presses Gallus Labelfire and Gallus Labelmaster, which were primarily used for the production of self-adhesive labels.

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