05 December 2011 Finishing

Highcon to debut digital cutting and creasing for cartons

An Israeli company has developed technology that is being used in the first digital creasing machine for the packaging sector.

The Euclid in its prototype form. This may change by Drupa.

The Euclid in its prototype form. This may change by Drupa.

AN ISRAELI START UP COMPANY IS TO LAUNCH a digital die cutting device for carton production at Drupa.

The Highcon Euclid uses an imageable polymer to create the creasing element of the rotary die while a laser is used to cut out the carton blanks. The machine will work in line with a digital press, though initial installations will almost certainly be near line.

THE COMPANY WAS FOUNDED IN 2009 BY AVIV RATZMAN and Michael Zimmer, both of whom worked with Indigo, before and after its acquisition by HP. One of the investors is Indigo founder Benny Landa and Highcon VP sales and business development is Chris Baker who helped launch the Indigo in 1993.

The connections continue because Indigo sees great promise in packaging production, both printing on films and on cartons, anticipating the same impact as it has had in label production. At Labelexpo, the company showed an Indigo press inline with a Kama die cutting platen supplied by Friedheim International and other trials with inline finishing solutions are underway.

ACCORDING TO CEO RATZMAN, CONVERTERS packaging print has lagged behind other areas because of the finishing conundrum. “Converters and their customers have been unable to benefit from the speed and flexibility that digital solutions could provide to finishing. But this is about to change.”

Digital printing is already having an impact on packaging, but in producing promotional messages or ultra short run versions of static format boxes. StoraEnso

LASER CUTTING IS ESTABLISHED FOR DIGITAL label production, so it is the method for creating the die that is novel. This relies on precision optics and polymer technologies and lies behind what Highcon calls DART - Digital Adhesive Rule Technology.

The Euclid is the first application of the system and will be launched at Drupa. It will handle a sheet to 760 x 1060mm in format and to 560gsm or 0.6mm thick.

The company intends to bring the product to market through a mix of direct and indirect channels. It has been talking to partners and potential partners for almost two years about integration with other processes and software.

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The Euclid in its prototype form. This may change by Drupa.

The Euclid in its prototype form. This may change by Drupa.