KBA-Sheetfed demos world record rotary die-cutting of labels

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Koenig & Bauer division KBA-Sheetfed has demonstrated rotary die-cutting of self-adhesive labels at a claimed world record speed of 17,000 sheets per hour.

Between November 29 and December 1, KBA-Sheetfed invited international print and finishing specialists to a series of Print & Postpress Innovation Days at the company’s facility in Radebeul near Dresden. Over 250 participants from 30 countries took the opportunity to gather information on the latest automation options for commercial, label and packaging printing, as well as post-press equipment.

This included the Rapida RDC 106, rotary die-cutting machine which includes design features shared with the Rapida printing press platform and the various process steps which can be implemented in the individual towers. These range from die-cutting and hole punching for in-mold and other label applications, via embossing, creasing, cutting and stripping for the processing of packaging products, through to tailored variants for commercial users. The machines offer cutting outputs of up to 15,000 sheets per hour, depending on the substrate and the required contours. Productivity is claimed to be increased by up to 300 per cent for label applications, and folding carton producers can also see a 65 per cent increase in efficiency.

During Print & Postpress Innovation Days, a single-unit Rapida RDC 106 processed in-mold and self-adhesive labels that had previously been printed on a 6-color Rapida 106 with coater and cold foil module. Changing from die-cutting to kiss-cutting, the machine ran the self-adhesive label production at 17,000 sheets per hour.

A four-unit Rapida RDC 106 processed a job requiring the creasing, cutting and stripping of a folding carton for pharmaceuticals. At the end of production, the machine was converted within just a few minutes for a pencil box. Subsequent blanking was done off-line on a Master Blanker from Laserck with a throughput of up to 20,000 sheets per hour.

During an earlier practical session, Dirk Winkler, head of print technology at KBA-Sheetfed, demonstrated the printing of labels and folding cartons on a 6-color Rapida 106 coater press with reel sheeter and a Vinfoil Micro cold foil module. The focus of his presentation was placed on the benefits of low migration UV LED production, the simple flexibility to incorporate cold foil application, and high-speed production at 20,000 sheets per hour both on reel-fed IML film and on cardboard and self-adhesive label substrates from a pile.