The aim of these solutions is to increase the efficiency of all processes through intelligent networking and automation. This applies both to printing high-volume standard packaging as well as highly embellished folding cartons in the luxury segment.
Packaging printing is the strongest growing segment in the print media industry. Annual growth rates of approximately 3% are expected in the coming five years, and 20% for digital printing. Heidelberg announced a broad-based product campaign for this market at drupa 2016, which is now being implemented consistently in both offset and digital technology.
The end result is predictable, user-independent productivity that enables cost-effective production, particularly with ever decreasing runs lengths and increasing levels of embellishment. This was demonstrated during the Packaging Day using the example of a Speedmaster XL 106-8+LYYL with cold foil module. The task was to change over from the current job a five-color perfume box with cold foil and a combination of special matt and relief coating to a similarly challenging job. After just seven minutes, the first good sheet from the new production run was available. Consumables from Heidelberg’s Saphira range were used for these special applications.
How navigated printing is making production even more efficient, especially for very short runs, was demonstrated on the Speedmaster XL 75-8+LYYL with Anicolor technology. Three typical packaging jobs of the kind found in any pharmacy were printed: pharmaceutical cosmetics, over-the-counter medicines, and drugs that require a prescription. These jobs have different requirements, which need to be implemented in an economical way.
Three different technologies were used on the Speedmaster XL 75 for this: Anicolor technology, which delivers fast and perfect inking for short runs with minimal start-up sheets; UV technology, which delivers enormous substrate diversity, special effects, and of course an instantly dry sheet; and finally the Multicolor workflow, in which almost all the required spot colors can be generated from seven colors.
In the area of postpress, three special products were presented under the motto“100% Postpress Packaging” to demonstrate that Heidelberg offers the entire process chain with die-cutting, gluing, embellishing and product verification.
The first product was the Promatrix 106 FC, a hot-foil embossing machine for embellishing cosmetic packaging, with for example metallic accents. The second product was the Promatrix 106 CSB, a die-cutter with die-cutting, stripping, and blanking function. This machine is ideal for further processing of foodstuffs, medicines, and household products. The third and final product was the Diana Eye 55 offline inspection system for reliable verification of the completeness of information and consistent quality of the cartons.
The day after the Packaging Day, more than 70 customers from 40 major European packaging manufacturers had the opportunity to see the future solutions for themselves during a visit to the Heidelberg customer Multi Packaging Solutions in Obersulm near Heilbronn.
“For a long time, digital printing presses were not able to meet our customers’ high standards for quality and color fidelity,” said Steffen Schnizer, Multi Packaging Solutions managing director. “The Primefire 106 from Heidelberg meets these requirements.”
Smart Packaging Solutions in the Belgian city of Meer uses a Speedmaster XL 162-5+L for its printing needs. The company services a very special segment in packaging printing: transport boxes for fruit and vegetables, which are grown in large quantities in the nearby Belgian and Dutch greenhouses. They also have customers in the meat-processing industry and in the flower industry.
The challenge here is that the cartons used as the substrate are extremely thick at up to 1.5 mm, and many presses fail to achieve high net production speed. The Speedmaster XL 162 can handle this with ease thanks to its robust design, and reliably produces 13,000 sheets per hour. With the machine that was previously used, the maximum was only 8,000. “We’ve been using the Speedmaster 162 for six months,” reported plant manager Marc Hopstaken, “and I couldn’t be happier.”