Leonhard Kurz will be demonstrating its latest DM-Jetliner system for digitally applying metallic effects to labels at this month’s Label Expo in Brussels, Belgium.
The Jetliner is an inkjet system, although it jets adhesive to the substrate and then applies the foil, followed by UV curing. It’s designed to sit between the unwinder and the press so that the foil effect is laid down with the colours then overprinted, which can create some colourful effects. Since the metallisation is a digital process, it lends itself to variable data. Overprinting metallic designs with colour can produce a rainbow colour effect as the label is viewed at different angles. Kurz’s Digital Metal process is a flat application so that there is no distortion of the extremely thin and flat coated labels, which in turn means the labels can be wound and further processed without problems.
In theory it can be used with any digital press, toner or inkjet, though it requires a certain amount of integration to ensure the web is moving under tension through both the Jetliner and the press in synchronization and that the web path is in the right place. So far Kurz has worked with HP Indigo and will show this solution at Label Expo inline with an Indigo 6900 digital press. The Jetliner can run at 70mpm, so can easily keep up with the Indigo unit.
The pattern itself comes from a single-layer PDF which can be put together in whatever workflow is used to create the PDFs for the Indigo, with the idea being that the colour PDF is sent to the press and the same workflow sends the PDF wth the foiling layer to the Jetliner. There’s a control panel on the Jetliner where an operator can set parameters such as the size of the adhesive droplets according to the application in hand.
The actual foiling follows the Indigo as Simon Rumble, worldwide business development manager for digital foiling at Kurz, explains: “We have a sensor on our machine that detects the movement of the web so as soon as it detects the movement from the Indigo then the foiling starts.”
He adds: “We put an Indigo-specific registration mark in foil so that when the web comes through to the print engine of the Indigo it recognizes the registration mark and starts printing in the right place.”
Kurz also makes a range of foils that have been designed to accept the electroinks used by HP Indigo. The range includes gold and silver as well as some base colours such as red and blue.
There are currently four systems working, with two at HP demo centres in Israel and Barcelona, and a further two at customer sites at All4Labels in Hamburg and Eurostamper in Italy. Rumble says that they are past the beta stage but only just beginning to start rolling out these machines.
The machine itself costs in the region of £300,000 though the exact cost obviously depends heavily on the particular configuration. There will be two machines running at Label Expo – one on the HP stand and a second on the Kurz stand. You can find further details from kurz-graphics.com.