The in-mould label market is continuously growing globally at around 4.3% according to the AWA Global In-Mould Study of 2017. And more than two-thirds of the worldwide production is required for food packaging. Heidelberg is now offering an enhanced rotary die cutter based on the OEM’s popular XL technology, in addition to food-safe, highly efficient print production. The Speedmaster XL 106-DD unites two key production steps in a single machine – a unique combination in the market, said Heidelberg. The rotary die cutter’s first unit places the injection hole in the label for the subsequent production process by means of a die on a magnetic cylinder with maximum precision. Even the tiniest holes of five millimetres in diameter or more are possible. Up to now, this was a separate step that extended the production time of each job. The cut-out material is safely and reliably removed by means of an extraction system.
The second unit of the XL 106-DD subsequently cuts out the contour of the label from the sheet. At the end of the day, this combination of the two production steps in a single pass means a doubling of the die-cutting throughput, while make-ready times and costs for die-cutting tools can be reduced to half of what was previously required. The XL 106-DD processes foils and paper with thicknesses of 0.05 to 0.3 mm at a throughput of 6,000 to 10,000 sheets per hour – almost twice as fast a flatbed die-cutter, said Heidelberg. Injection holes of five millimetres in diameter and more can be cut – “thus all the needs that are customary in the industry can be met.” Apart from in-mould labels, the XL 106-DD can also cut plastic or paper packaging elements – such as POS items which, due to their design, need a ‘window’ or hole for mounting on a retail shelf or for attaching to the product.