Getting started in digital printing, now made easier

Gallus launches a new ultra short-run digital label press

VIANiklaus Amacker
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label printing
Already on the first day of to the Gallus Innovation Days, numerous visitors came to see the premiere of the new Gallus Smartfire.

At the ‘Gallus Innovation Days 2018,’ which took place from 26 to 28 June 2018, Gallus presented its latest innovations in label printing to the public for the third time. This year’s Innovation Days highlight is clearly the introduction of a new digital press – a starter model for digital narrow web label printing. On the first day, almost 300 visitors came to the St Gallen headquarters of the Swiss manufacturer of label printing machines to see how Gallus is going to support its customers in managing digitization in label printing. PSA was on the spot.

With the Gallus Smartfire, the Swiss full-range label press supplier presented a starter model for digital narrow web label printing focussing on new target groups who are looking for an easy entry into digital label printing. The digital label entry-level press is equipped with Memjet technology and keeps investment costs at a low level. The inkjet press can produce labels in ultra-short runs below 300 linear meters with a quality of 1600 x 1600 dpi. The well-proven Memjet print-heads print with water-based inks, which means that these labels are eco-friendly and leave a minimal ecological footprint.

The Gallus Smartfire uses only an ordinary power outlet, is extremely compact, and needs no exhaust equipment. It is ready for shipping on the reel, the installation is no more than plug and print, and Gallus will deliver consumables within 48 hours. During the live demonstrations, Gallus showed that this machine is easy to operate via a self-explanatory touch panel. Only a few prepress skills are required to create professional CMYK 4-color inkjet labels, and just as easy are the replacements of the ink-containers and the exchange of the print-head. Furthermore, this machine also delivers finished inline die-cut labels, all produced in one pass. For this purpose, a finishing unit is attached, on which the labels are laminated and cut. This can be either done individually using an integrated cutting plotter or by fast and cost-effective punching with a semi-rotary die-cutter at the end of the inline finishing unit.

Compact, agile, and with relatively low and inexpensive ink consumption for producing a high quality level of labels, this new digital press is really impressive but the future will show if Gallus’ expansion of its portfolio and the focus on new customer segments will bring success.

Further exhibits and highlights at the Gallus Innovation Days
After having seen the live demo of the Smartfire, Gallus Screeny and over 30 industry partners showcasing their products and innovation in the main hall, all visitors of the Gallus Innovations Days were offered participation in a special tour. The tour led to another hall where live demonstrations of the Gallus RCS 430, the new Gallus Labelmaster Advanced, the Gallus Labelfire Digital Press, and the Gallus ECS 340 were shown. During these live demonstrations, the easy-to-handle process exchange from flexographic printing unit to screen printing on the Gallus Labelmaster Advanced and the Digital Embellishment Unit producing gloss and matt spot coatings and tactile reliefs effects in a single pass on the Gallus Labelfire drew appreciation. An additional highlight was the production of multilayer labels at high speeds on the Gallus ECS 340 by using a special Printum web-shifting unit.

Manish Desai, director of Mudrika and Samir Patkar, regional head of sales, Gallus Asia of Heidelberg in front of a Gallus Labelmaster at the Gallus Innovations Days 2018
Manish Desai, director of Mudrika and Samir Patkar, regional head of sales, Gallus Asia of Heidelberg in front of a Gallus Labelmaster at the Gallus Innovations Days 2018

A short interview with Manish Desai, director of Mudrika Labels
PSA: In which markets does Mudrika operate?
Manish Desai: Mudrika operates in various markets very successfully. We produce mainly labels and shrink sleeves for food, cosmetics, industrial, and stationary. Besides India, we serve several other countries in Europe, Africa and South East Asia with our high quality products.

PSA: What brought you to the Gallus Innovation Days in Switzerland?
Manish Desai: Being a long-term customer and a member of the famous Gallus family for many years, it was clear to me that I will attend this very special and shining event – it is like a real family event and one does not think about not going. We already have seven Gallus machines – five EM 280s, one ECS fully in production and one brand new Gallus Labelmaster under installation, which will start production next week.

PSA: What are the most impressive developments you have seen?
Manish Desai: The Smartfire, the new digital entry-level press. Besides the easy handling, the low ink consumption and the price have impressed me in particular. Furthermore, the quick exchange of screen printing units on the Gallus Labelmaster was remarkable.

PSA: What is your overall impression of the Gallus Innovation Days?
Manish Desai: Since 2014, this event is getting bigger and bigger. Each time, there are more exhibitors, more partners, and more innovations. For me personally it is great networking opportunity to exchange ideas and knowledge with family members from all over the world.

A short interview with Samir Patkar, regional head of sales, Gallus Asia
PSA: How many Indians are here?
Samir Patkar: 15 Indian companies are here. Besides existing Gallus customers, a big number of potential new customers has made its way from India to Switzerland. Most of them are sheet-fed offset printers, new to the label industry, and planning to get into the label business. The rest already have a label printing machine from a competitor and are looking for new opportunities.

PSA: How is the overall result after the first day on Gallus Innovation Day?
Samir Patkar: We are delighted with the success. On the first day, we were very busy with serving all customers. Over 300 visitors were coming, seeing our innovations and enjoying our hospitality. On top of this, we have already generated some sales.

PSA: A lot of Heidelberg equipment and staff is around. Even a small stand focussing on sheet-fed label printing. What will be the future of reel-fed printing within Heidelberg?
Samir Patkar: The integration of the organization is in process. On one hand, there is so much label printing knowledge of Gallus to integrate and this will obviously take time. On the other hand, there are so many synergies, which can be taken advantage of. These are for example the MIS system of Cerm, Prinect, Phoenix for screen printing, and the service of consumables and spart parts. Last but not least, the development of the Gallus Labelfire and Gallus Smartfire are tremendous signs of our good synergies which is very evident at the Gallus Innovation Days – many customers want to be associated across the broad and fitting Heidelberg and Gallus product portfolios.

Niklaus Amacker from merkatur.ch, is an independent marketing & sales consultant in the label industry. Over 10 years experience in international marketing, communication and sales of services and industrial goods. With over 5 years in leading functions, Amacker led many international projects and teams in several countries worldwide including installations of subsidiaries in Europe, Asia and Latin America. He has travelled to over 60 countries on business and on three extended round-the-world-trips between jobs.

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