Etiketten-Küchler chooses Verico waterless plates

A year ago the German label printer Etikettenfabrik Erhard Küchler GmbH switched over to using Verico Zahara NWL plates. 

Dirk Handler, CEO of Etikettenfabrik Küchler, alongside one of his three Codimag Viva Aniflo 420 narrow web presses.

The company, based in Esslingen am Neckar, near Stuttgart, was founded in 1964 by Erhard Küchler. Today it’s run by his grandson, Dirk Handler. It runs a single shift with 44 employees, printing self-adhesive labels. 

Around ten years ago the company moved into offset with a Codimag Viva Aniflo 420 press. Handler says that not having any roller changes, with variable length blanket and short ink trains with no ink keys was a good fit for staff trained on flexo printing. He also says that waterless printing gives good print quality and extremely precise register.

Etiketten-Küchler prefers to configure its presses so that virtually all jobs can be produced inline even when several passes have to be combined. That first press is capable of up to six offset passes as well as flexo, hot foil and relief embossing. 

The company subsequently added a second Codimag in 2015 with five offset units, a UV letterpress unit and a flexo coater. At the start of this year Etiketten-Küchler bought a third Codimag, with five offset units and a flexo coater. This press features an enhanced substrate transport unit that, depending upon the printing length, allows printing speeds to be increased by up to 30 percent.

Last year the company switched to using Verico’s Zahara NWL plates to deal with durability issues with the previous plate, particularly with longer print runs. The NWL plates have been designed specifically for label production, particularly for use with UV inks, though there are also versions for newspaper and commercial sheetfed printing. It’s an aluminium plate, exposed through an 830nm thermal platesetter. The Zahara plates also tick an environmentally-friendly box, in that they’re chemistry-free. Thus the processor was reconfigured to operate as a washer with pure water.

The Zahara plates were originally developed by Presstek but after Mark Andy bought Presstek it sold this part of the business to Verico, a long term competitor to Presstek. Thus the plates are manufactured in the US though Verico also has offices in the UK and Germany.

Verico will be demonstrating its Zahara NWL on the Codimag stand at Label Expo, alongside a VIVA 420 Aniflo press, HD ProW Thermal CtP System (which is a rebadged Heidelberg Suprasetter) and EcoKleen Washer, which uses a filtration system to reduce water consumption.

You can read further on Verico at its website here, and on Etiketten-Küchler at its site (in German only) here.


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