Simon Lewis of Highcon at the pre-drupa event (Image: Messe Dusseldorf)

Highcon, a developer of digital cutting and creasing systems for various formats, substrates, and applications, will unveil multiple solutions at drupa 2024. The highlight will be the Highcon Beam 3 digital die-cutting machine and the Highcon Beam Writer for offline writing of DART foils. Highcon’s booth (Hall 9, B24) will feature not only their new solution portfolio but also showcase their customers’ work and samples from the Vulcan prototype. This was revealed during the pre-drupa media event in late March in Dusseldorf.

Designed for the folding carton segment, the Highcon Beam 3, with the optional Beam Writer for offline writing of DART foils, allows customers to produce around 50% more per shift compared to the Beam 2.

“Our top news story today is for folding cartons. Highcon is today announcing the new Highcon Beam 3 digital die-cutting system and the new Highcon Beam Writer. Together, these two systems represent an important performance leap,” said Simon Lewis, SVP of marketing, strategy, and business development at Highcon.

According to Highcon, the Beam 3 was developed in response to customer and prospect feedback over recent years. A converter can run 10 jobs with an average run length of 1000 sheets per shift, typically achieving an ROI in less than two years with a two-shift operation. Before the first Beam 3 ships to drupa 2024, Highcon will perform a field upgrade to an existing Beam 2 system at Eurographic in Poland.

The new Highcon Beam Writer, compatible with all existing Beam systems, enables customers to create creasing rules using Highcon’s proprietary DART system and 5th Generation Consumables offline. For every 100 jobs per month, Beam Writer can free up more than 16 hours of Beam capacity, or two full shifts, enhancing productivity and capacity.

Solution for Corrugated Industry

Highcon will also introduce the Highcon Vulcan for the corrugation industry. The Vulcan supports boards up to 5mm thick, including microflute, B-, C-, and EB-flutes, with a maximum sheet size of 1.4 x 1.7 meters (55” x 66”) and a maximum throughput of 3000 full-size sheets per hour (up to 7000 sqm/hr or 75,000 sqft/hr). It features a job changeover time of 5-10 minutes, combining physical creasing with laser cutting.

Four ‘Foundation Customers’, including Thimm, The BoxMaker, UDS (Poland), and Grupak (Mexico), placed deposits on Vulcan systems in 2022. In 2023, Schumacher Packaging joined the Foundation Customer program and signed an MOU to purchase 5-10 units of Vulcan from Highcon before 2030. Despite a slowed development pace due to the tough economic environment in 2023, Highcon plans to resume the program fully before the end of 2024, with the first Vulcan unit targeted to ship for Alpha testing in 2026.

Upgraded Beam 2

At drupa, Highcon will also showcase the upgraded Beam 2. When paired with the new optional Beam Writer, it will offer corrugated customers approximately 50% higher productivity per shift for typical job baskets, the company stated.

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