In February 2018, INSIGNIS-Etiketten in Vienna, an Industry 4.0 pioneer in the print processing sector, invested in new printing technology from Gallus, a subsidiary of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. The Gallus Labelfire, combined with the Digital Embellishment Unit (DEU), was the ideal addition to the print service provider’s equipment, creating new digital printing capacities and above all new application options. In addition to improving the flexibility, quality, and efficiency of everyday production, Austria’s first Labelfire also enabled INSIGNIS to expand its product portfolio.
One year after installing the digital label printing press, the feedback from Ferdinand Hager, Managing Partner of INSIGNIS, is as follows: “The Gallus Labelfire is incredibly versatile. The Digital Embellishment Unit in particular enables us to achieve effects that were previously inconceivable and produce new applications that customers are willing to pay for. We’ve also succeeded in attracting new customers and recently won the FINAT Award for the ‘Frizzante’ label of a local vineyard, which further underlines our innovative credentials.”
Christof Naier from Gallus is equally positive in his assessment: “It goes without saying that installing a Gallus Labelfire with such an extensive configuration for a discerning print service provider like INSIGNIS represented quite a challenge. It was also the first Labelfire with integrated DEU that Gallus has installed for a customer. One year on, we too are happy with how things are going. The Gallus Labelfire hybrid label printing press and the Digital Embellishment Unit are the perfect combination for the current demands of the label market.”
The label industry is changing all the time. Quality requirements are becoming more demanding due to the growing importance of labels at the point of sale, the versions in a particular range are becoming more varied, and runs are getting shorter. Print shops are under pressure to complete production operations ever faster and quick response times are becoming increasingly important.
The Gallus Labelfire at INSIGNIS has an integrated Digital Embellishment Unit (DEU). Combining the strengths of digital printing with inline finishing processes specially optimized for this type of printing means labels can also be varnished, embellished, and finished inline on the Labelfire. This is not the case with the many digital label presses on the market that use only digital printing technologies and treat the finishing of labels as a separate, downstream process. The digital printing of embellished labels ensures faster production times and also less waste. Label printers can save time, money, and materials compared with a multi-stage production process because there is no switchover to separate converting process. In response to requests by a large number of customers, these functions have now been extended to rotary screen printing. The fully integrated screen-printing unit can be located either upstream or downstream. When it is upstream from the digital printing unit, for example, label printers benefit from screen printing’s unbeatable white opacity. In the downstream configuration, rotary screen printing’s full range of embellishing benefits come into their own, including the haptic effect achieved with spot colors and the security applications made possible by special screen-printing inks.
“Printing a fully embellished die-cut label digitally at 50 meters per minute is a real USP for us as a service provider. Even metallic relief effects with haptic properties are possible,” enthuses Erwin Pudek, Managing Director of INSIGNIS. “The years of experience Gallus has with conventional printing units is an added bonus. The Gallus Labelfire reliably combines flexographic printing, screen printing, die-cutting, and varnishing with eight-color inkjet printing – all in a single system!” he adds.
The Gallus Labelfire is operating in its full configuration as part of the new production area for digital printing at INSIGNIS. With a resolution of 1200 dpi (native), the quality of the inkjet printing is comparable with that of offset printing. Thanks to the extended color space with seven colors (CMYK + GOV) and digital white, INSIGNIS is able to cover around 96 percent of the simulated PANTONE® PLUS color guide.
Pudek sums up his impressions as follows: “As INSIGNIS sees it, equipment from the Heidelberg/Gallus team delivers optimum quality and efficiency, which makes the Gallus Labelfire a long-term investment in maintaining our competitiveness. We’re looking forward to producing further highly embellished labels that will make our customers even more successful by attracting attention at the point of sale. The versatile Gallus Labelfire can produce more than just adhesive labels, though. Examples of other products include sachet foils, banderoles, tickets, and even magazine covers. We’re no longer looking to go with the flow, but rather to swim against the tide and generate added value by using the equipment we’ve invested in to help us stand out from the crowd.”
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