The Bundesliga on a Beverage Crate
If you think printing small numbers of foils, labels, or folding
boxes is not worthwhile, wait until you get to know the inkjet
systems of Heidelberg's innovation project 'Linoprint'.
Scored in the afternoon, printed in the evening: thanks to
the inkjet systems 'FixedLine' and 'DriveLine', witty marketing
campaigns can now be realized at short notice, for instance
promptly printing the current Bundesliga scores on folding boxes or
labels. "Customized top-quality printing with a resolution of 360
dpi is now no longer a problem, even with extremely small
quantities", explains Oliver Stenzel, Head of Marketing with
Linoprint. And, mind you, the digital Drop-on-Demand systems are
profitable: "Depending on the motif, the color saturation, and the
ink, our solutions are vastly superior to conventional flexo
printing when it comes to printing up to several 100,000 subjects
on industrial packaging materials or labels, as far as the total
overhead costs are concerned," emphasizes Stenzel. And they also
save time and money, because they can be integrated in the
production and packaging processes according to need.
Hence, DoD systems are pivotal for so-called late-stage
customizing. Many manufacturers process ever smaller production
quantities or work just-in-time in order to optimize their costs,
so customizing - e. g. printing information in various languages on
boxes for cosmetics or pharmaceuticals - often takes place
immediately before delivery. The UV-DoD systems assign the variable
image data to the various text data of a print job. Four model
series are available to suit specific customer demands.
1. Decorating and variable printing in production or
The application fields of 'FixedLine' include customized
product identifications, country-specific safety instructions, or
logos that are printed 'at the last minute', for instance on sealed
tablet blister packs or filled boxes. In most cases, the compact
printing unit can be integrated in the production and packaging
line wherever it is most profitable.
2. Customized and multi-purpose design, for marketing
campaigns or market tests
'DriveLine C' (expected to be available 2nd quarter of 2010)
is particularly good at decorating flat cutouts and prefabricated
parts made of the most diverse materials. Texts and logos can be
printed even in small quantities, e. g. of glued folding boxes
prior to their set-up, at a low cost.
3. Printing three-dimensional objects at a late stage
'DriveLine D' makes late-stage customizing easy: it
prints on three-dimensional objects made of cardboard, metal, or
plastic. Customized product identifications can be printed on
filled and closed folding boxes, for instance, be it in-line or
off-line. It is expected to be available in the 2nd quarter of
4. Last-minute customization, even with sensitive
'DriveLine B' prints on self-adhesive labels, aluminum or
plastic packaging foils (e. g. yogurt pot lids), tablet blister
foils, etc. Thanks to the temperature-controlled cylinder, the DoD
system achieves top results, even with substrates that are flexible
or respond to tension, pressure, or the ambient temperature.
'DriveLine B' is designed for process-color printing, but can also
be equipped for single- or two-color printing.
Each printer is customized
Thanks to their modular design, Linoprint systems can be
adapted to individual customer requirements. They can print from
roll to roll, from roll to production, from pile to pile, or from
pile to production. Moreover, clear product identification and
traceability requirements can be met at low cost. The easy-to-use
Linoflow software makes it possible to add variable data - for
instance text, series or random numbers, data and time, or data
matrix and barcodes - to each individual print job.
From ten down to three
The chemical and pharmaceutical giant Merck has replaced ten
thermotransfer printers with UV stations by three DriveLine systems
at its location in Darmstadt.
Mr. Held, you are the Director of Packaging Logistics with
Merck. What made you choose 'DriveLine'?
Dieter Held: Our previous printing units were not capable
of meeting the challenges of the new legislation in connection with
the Global Harmonized System. As of 2010, all hazardous substances
must be marked with the new GHS symbols. The conversion and
data-handling would have become too costly in the future. The
DriveLine systems are convincing on account of their high print
quality, flexibility, and ergonomic operation: the data are
processed centrally, so each job can be started at the push of a
What do you print with the new Drop-on-Demand system?
Dieter Held: We print acid- and solvent-resistant, almost
non-abrasive 4c data matrix codes and barcodes, logos, GHS symbols
and texts in up to seven languages per job on labels.
Of what benefit is the Linoprint technology for you?
Dieter Held: It enables us to efficiently print various
print-run volumes or even individual objects. The high printing
speed and the relatively low costs for consumables also optimize