The Gallus Smartfire released at the Innovation Days in Europe in June, made its American debut at Labelexpo Chicago this year. Michael Ring VP Digital Solutions and General Manager Gallus Labelfire 340, told the audience that the Smartfire was the first choice for many converters and that the press had shattered the price barrier, in terms of capital investment.
“Smartfire is designed for the ultra-short-run market,” explained Michael, “300m or less. And we chose the proven head technology from Memjet, which means it is a waterbased and four-colour system. It requires coated substrates, which are readily available now and delivers 9 mpm in high definition mode. There is also a productivity mode, but staying true to our mission at Heidelberg, we wanted high definition.
“Smartfire also addresses the shortfall we have identified in the lower-end of the market, which is being able to supply finished labels, from a fully-integrated converting line. We thought that an essential end-result. SmartFire comes with a semi-rotary die-cutter; slitting knives; waste pick-up, so you can really go from a PDF file to a finished label – all integrated at one pass.”
Michael said the Smartfire had been designed for a broad target market, from commercial printers wanting to increase or complement their revenue stream or brand owners who strive for more immediate and supply control. “Regional brandowners for instance, are very interested in being able to print their labels in-house. We have seen commercial printers who have tried wide-format, and many other things to enter new segments. Now, they have a low-cost solution where they can stick their toe in the water of digital label printing. And of course, it clearly fills a need for label converters themselves, as more and more SKUs come down in volumes.
They see the Smartfire as the ideal machine for reduced run lengths, it’s an ultrashort-run press to complement their other platforms. So Gallus believes, the markets for this new press, with proven print technology, are potentially very big.”
He said the units were under test in Europe and the company expects to start shipping mid-October and the orders being taken in the North American market, to get delivery before Christmas.
Besides the new Smartfire the other press on show was the Labelfire, as Michael said: “At the other end of the label production market.
“Labelfire focuses on complex labels, requiring multiprocesses,” said Michael. “It has flexo, screen, and digital – all integrated in-line plus converting. And we are told again and again, that it is the best UV inkjet ever seen on the market.
Because it is a UV inkjet 7-colour machine. It has sold very well; we have 23 units sold, with a couple into Australia, in Singapore, and multiple machines in North America.”
Caption; Michael Ring VP Digital Solutions and General Manager Gallus Labelfire 340
For more information visit www.gallus-group.com