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  • 20 Sep 2017

JM Heaford adds automated plate mounter for label printers

ased on the same technology platform as its AutoMounter for flexible packaging, the new Label AutoMounter has been designed to eliminate the need for skilled operators in plate mounting

JM Heaford has developed Label AutoMounter, an automated plate mounting system designed to offer reliability and repeatability for streamlined label production.

Based on the same technology platform as its AutoMounter for flexible packaging, the new Label AutoMounter, which debuts at Labelexpo Europe 2017, has been designed to eliminate the need for skilled operators in plate mounting by combining a series of failsafe automatic procedures with unique machine ergonomics. With a maximum cylinder width of 700mm (27.5in) and a repeat range of 150-610 mm (6-24in), it offers automatic plate mounting, within a five micron tolerance, in less than one minute per plate.

The company has drawn on the success of its FTS mounter in designing the internal configuration of the Label AutoMounter unit. Two cameras are positioned below the cylinder and plate manipulators to ensure easy access while also keeping the footprint to a minimum. Operator intervention is limited to just simple loading of the cylinder into pneumatically operated headstocks and loose positioning of the plate over curved manipulators. The AutoMounter then takes over, precisely positioning the plate using dual-axis closed-loop controls, and then completing the process by means of an integrated lay-down roller.

Overall control is maintained via a simple, multi-lingual graphic interface, and set-up can be by coordinates imported, manual programming or using teaching mode. The system can store and recall over 10,000 jobs, and allows manual override. A sleeve dedicated model is available.

Label AutoMounter can also be specified with additional options, such as a precision plate cutter for enabling precise plate joins with a gap of 0.3mm, which can provide a cost-effective alternative to continuous print sleeves.

Sally-Anne Heaford, managing director of JM Heaford, said: ‘Feedback from early users of our AutoMounter has been very positive; customers are on track to beat the return-on-investment forecast that we provided for them upfront, which was based on their existing production requirements.

‘In reality, they are discovering that once they have got used to the extra time they gained in make-ready, they discover more opportunities to increase productivity and overall output. With today’s trend towards more job changes and shorter runs in label production, our Label AutoMounter can make a significant contribution to supporting the advantages of flexo over digital.’

Read L&L’s comprehensive Labelexpo Europe 2017 preview in issue 4, and here

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