Australia’s 1st Gallus Labelfire goes into Rapid Labels
Australia’s first Gallus Labelfire 340 inkjet press is going to leading Melbourne convertors, Rapid Labels. The technology investment heralds a new era in label production as the landmark inkjet hybrid press is set to fire up in production by April.
In the latest issue of Print21 magazine, Sean Kennon and David Power, owners and directors, said the decision to buy the first Gallus Labelfire in the region came down to two aspects – speed and metallic ink. The new inkjet press, first presented at Labelexpo in late 2015, outputs at 50 metres per minute, well up near the top of the digital engine board. That’s hard to beat, especially when it maintains the same speed no matter how many colours or processes are being employed. The throughput compares well with the actual factory-floor production speeds of most narrow web flexo presses, no matter what the manufacturers may say.
With a full production schedule, an increasing number of shorter runs plus the need to boost productivity by eliminating time-consuming make-readies, speed was a crucial factor for the Rapid Labels directors.
But there was more. Many high-end labels specify silver and metallic inks. The exclusive domain of flexo presses, metallic inks have proven a step too far for digital. True to its Gallus heritage the Labelfire 340 is an end-to-end label production system with flexo stations included as part of the line-up. There are flexo units before and after the digital print unit that in addition to printing metallic can also do spot colours, making it a very flexible machine system. In addition it’s eight-colour digital inkjet printing can be varnished, laminated, embellished with cold foil and die-cut, all in a single pass. This single pass productivity proved to be the tipping point for the two experienced directors, who began their working lives as qualified printers.