Gallus has announced a new digital label press, the Smartfire, an entry-level model aimed at coping with lots of short run jobs to expand Gallus overall digital portfolio.
Gallus appears to have rebadged an existing label printer, the Lion, developed by the Portuguese company New Solutions. This uses Memjet’s Versapass printheads, which have been around for a while now and are not by any stretch of the imagination the latest in inkjet technology. This head produces 1600×1600 dpi resolution at 9mpm, or 1600×800 dpi at 18 mpm. It’s also worth remembering that these are thermal printheads so they are a consumable item.The print width is 222mm.
The press uses Memjet’s water-based dye inks, which, according to Gallus means that they are eco-friendly but in the real world actually means that it will only print to coated materials, which will also push up the running cost of the printer. The heads have five channels and usually run CMYKK.
The Smartfire includes a finishing unit that can laminate and then die cut the labels, with a choice of an integrated cutting plotter for individual labels or a semi rotary die cutter at the end of the inline finishing unit.
No word from Gallus as to what software the press will use, in fact very little information of any sort from Gallus, and definitely no idea as to why the Smartfire should be any better than any of the other Memjet-based label printers.
It’s difficult to see exactly what the strategy at Gallus is. Most of the flexo presses are aimed at the upper end of the market. So too is the Labelfire, the hybrid press that Gallus developed with Heidelberg, which uses Fujifilm’s excellent Samba inkjet printheads, designed to produce print similar to flexo. Yet the Smartfire seems like an afterthought, with the major selling point being its relatively low price of around €150,000.
The Smartfire was unveiled at the Gallus’ Innovation Days customer event. Gallus also showed off the hybrid Labelfire 340 with a new, fully integrated screen printing unit, that can be used for printing an opaque white to transparent substrates that can then be digitally over-printed. The Digital Embellishing Unit, which was previewed at the last Label Expo, was also shown applying textured effects combined with a new metallic foiling ability.
Gallus also showed a new automatic transverse and longitudinal register control on the Labelmaster Advanced. This should make it easier to quickly change out a flexo unit for a screen printing unit.
The RCS 430 was shown with a UV booster for faster ink drying, while the Screeny A-Line has gained the new Phoenix UV-LED exposing system by Heidelberg for screen exposure as well as a new automated washing and drying system.
You can find more details on all these and the event itself at gallus-group.com.