Varimatrix 105 CSF
Successful print shops adopt clear-cut business strategies, such
as gearing production to the mass market, standing out with
distinctive finishes, or occupying a niche market. Belgian print
shop Tuerlinckx favors the niche market strategy and has been
specializing in greeting cards over no fewer than four generations.
The print shop recently acquired a Varimatrix 105 CSF die cutter
with hot foil module to boost productivity and increase the range
of finishing options available. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG
(Heidelberg) unveiled this new machine in the run-up to drupa 2008,
and Tuerlinckx is one of the first companies in Europe to use it.
In these times of Print on Demand, the shelves stacked high
with brown boxes as far as the eye can see at the Tuerlinckx print
shop in the Belgian town of Aarschot seem to stem from a different
world. Three-quarters of the 3,500-square meter premises the print
shop moved into in 2000 is given over to storage. A closer look
reveals a creative print shop with eleven employees and one
ingenious idea - the boxes contain over 15 million envelopes with
cards and paper.
Over 1,000 print shops in Belgium buy greeting cards in all shapes
and sizes from Tuerlinckx's two sample books. These cards may be
preprinted or embossed, creased, punched, die cut, or given a hot
foil finish. They come in different colors and a variety of
materials - from 80 grams per square meters to 320 grams per square
meters, and from fine high-gloss paper produced by Gmund to
exquisite hand-made paper. These print shops then personalize the
cards in line with their customers' requirements. Cards are
available for all the usual occasions - from birthday and wedding
congratulations to death announcements. If print shops place their
order in the morning, they will receive their cards the very next
day. "I've always got something new in reserve and an ace up
my sleeve," says Arthur Tuerlinckx, explaining how he provides
his customers with top-quality work, creative solutions with
special finishes, and quick delivery.
Born in Belgium, Tuerlinckx (77) can look back on an eventful
career in the graphic arts industry. He opened a print shop at his
home in Aarschot 42 years ago, operating a platen
("Tiegel") and a cylinder ("Zylinder") press
from Heidelberg in his kitchen and storing the paper in his
bedroom. Tuerlinckx kept on coming up with new ideas, but there was
always one common denominator - all the greeting cards combined
high quality with unusual designs. He was thus continuing the
tradition started by his father and grandfather before him.
Greeting cards are obviously in the family's blood. His 31-year-old
son, Bob, has now taken over the day-to-day running of the
business, having worked at the company for ten years while also
successfully completing an MBA degree course.
Investment in further growth
Although Tuerlinckx also prints all kinds of commercial
products, such as brochures and flyers, greeting cards still make
up its core business. The print shop gets through up to 350 tons of
paper each year. The envelopes are produced on three special
machines from Winkler und Dünnebier, while the printing is
done on a Speedmaster SM 74 four-color press. A Speedmaster SM 52
five-color perfecting press is also to be installed this year to
enable smaller jobs to be processed more efficiently.
Since the middle of the year, the company has been using the
Varimatrix 105 CSF die cutter with hot foil module (CSF stands for
cutting, stripping, and foil). A demonstration of this die cutter
at the Heidelberg site in Mönchengladbach was enough to
convince Tuerlinckx to invest in it. The Varimatrix was supplied by
Plantin, the Belgian sales partner of Heidelberg, which also
provides a rapid on-site service. In one year alone, Plantin sold
five Varimatrix die cutters on the Belgian market, and there are
now a total of 160 installed worldwide.
"Until now, foil embossing has only been possible up to
the A3 format, but the new die cutter in A2 format means we can now
make full use of the SM 74 print format," reveals Bob
Tuerlinckx, explaining why the company decided to buy the
Varimatrix. "It has also improved productivity while
maintaining the same high product quality, and even the stripping
is done automatically," he continues. The maximum speed is
6,000 sheets per hour for hot foil embossing and 7,500 sheets per
hour for die cutting and stripping. The machine's simple operation
and short makeready times are ideal for the shorter runs typically
encountered in greeting card printing. So far, the die cutter has
been processing over one million sheets per month. The Varimatrix
105 CSF is flexible because it can be used for hot foil embossing
or solely as a die cutter with stripping function. A further
advantage is the wide range of different substrates that can be
processed - from paper and card to corrugated board.
The hot foil module applies metallic effects and multistage/relief
embossing efficiently in a single pass. "The Varimatrix has
optimized our production because the die cutter now combines
several processes that we previously used different machines for.
With the Varimatrix 105 CSF, we can now die cut the raw paper to
produce letterheads and envelopes and, if necessary, finish these
with the foil module in the larger format," explains Bob
Tuerlinckx. This enables features such as borders - including the
black borders used on death announcements - to be created precisely
in high relief and die cut in a single pass. The earlier method
using the cutter always resulted in a lot of waste.
New fields of business
The new machine is already opening up a new field of
business at Tuerlinckx, comprising die-cut passe-partouts and PVC
boxes for items such as framed wedding photos. Word has also
quickly got around in Belgium that Tuerlinckx now has a new die
cutter with a foil embossing module. Several customers have already
requested the new service, including two magazines that were
looking to finish the lettering on their covers in gold.
"This is just the start," states Bob Tuerlinckx
with conviction. "At the moment, the Varimatrix spends half of
its time die cutting and the other half foil embossing, but in the
future I see the trend moving more towards finishing, especially
with Christmas just around the corner," he adds with a smile
on his face. No doubt he has a few more aces up his sleeve to
follow in his father's footsteps.
Father and son, Arthur and Bob Tuerlinckx, specialize in
printing greeting cards with special surface finishes.
Tuerlinckx's sample folder for greeting cards is used by
all Belgium's print shops.
The Varimatrix die cutter optimizes processes and opens up
new fields of business. The machine is ideal for both die cutting
and hot foil embossing.
Tuerlinckx stores over 15 million envelopes with letterheads
Happy faces: Michael Münchow from Heidelberg (left), Bob
Tuerlinckx (center), and Pierre Feltgen from Platin.
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Ter Heidelaan 71
Tel.: +32 (0)16 56 59 14
Fax: +32 (0)16 56 36 17 Website
Hot Foil Application with the Varimatrix 105 CSF
In hot foil embossing, the foil is applied to the substrate by a
combination of pressure and heat that creates a brilliant,
high-gloss finish. Relief embossing is also possible, and creates a
multidimensional look and feel.
Step 1: The rolls of foil are unwound in the die cutter's
stripping station. These rolls are anything from 30 mm to 1,020 mm
Step 2: The embossing tools can be positioned anywhere on the
cutting station's heatable honeycomb plate. The twelve zones can be
heated individually to a maximum temperature of 180 degrees
Celsius. Embossing takes place with a cutting force of up to 300
tons using the "flat on flat" principle. The contact
pressure is distributed uniformly over the entire surface, ensuring
a high-quality result and absolutely sharp edges combined with
excellent accuracy. The platen transports the used foil to the next
section for disposal.
Step 3: Used embossing foils can be brushed away or wound
onto a maximum of six shafts by a rewinder.
New Cold Foil/Hot Foil Print Sample Folder
Heidelberg offers a wide range of surface finishing solutions.
These include the FoilStar cold foil transfer module for the
Speedmaster XL 75, CD 102, and XL 105 presses, and the Varimatrix
105 CSF die cutter with hot foil embossing module. The new cold
foil/hot foil print sample folder uses a large number of examples
to demonstrate the strengths of both methods and the effects they
The relevant contact in the Heidelberg sales department will
be happy to provide you with details. Further information