In line with its philosophy of supporting printers and converters with a full range of makeready materials and accessories for embellishment and finishing, KURZ Australia is now manufacturing flat brass dies locally under the well-respected Hinderer + Muehlich (H+M) brand.
The dies, manufactured in Sydney, were launched on 1 November, providing Australian customers with faster delivery on simple, high-precision dies to cater for some of the most common converting requirements.
According to KURZ Australia CEO, Stephen Pratt, the move is the ‘logical next step’ for the company in meeting its commitment to stand behind its customers with makeready materials and accessories across the whole finishing process.
“KURZ has long been a trusted partner for everything from stamping foils and coatings to the requisite tooling, and our long-term partnership with H+M, which has been part of the KURZ Group since 1971 and fully owned by KURZ since 2015, has made dies a fundamental part of that ‘single source’ offering,” he explains. “Now, with the new Sydney manufacturing facility, we can offer some of the most-used dies to our Australian customers within 24-48 hours from supply of artwork – perhaps a couple of days for more complex designs – to complement the full range of H+M embossing, debossing, combination and counter dies which are still available in about 7-10 days from order.”
Some dies for hot-foil stamping are already manufactured locally, but Pratt explains these are usually made of magnesium, aluminium or copper, metals which are not as robust or long-lasting as brass. “While these are ‘cheap and easy’ options, the apparent economy they offer is often eroded by the longer set-up times required to get a decent result, the loss of precision compared with brass dies, and the need to re-make a die if a subsequent run is required,” he explains.
“The locally made H+M flat brass dies, which are available in 4 mm or 7 mm thickness, fill a critical gap in the market, providing that immediacy of supply but in a precision-tooled product which is faster to set up, offers an exceptionally smooth finish for sharper, clearer and cleaner results, and a completely flatbed to eliminate any variation in pressure across the impression surface.”
As well as making it easier to achieve optimal stamping results, Pratt says brass is more energy efficient than other metals as it heats faster and at a lower temperature. It also retains heat for longer and delivers longer tool life with dies able to be used multiple times.
Does it cost more? Yes, but Pratt says those who have already trialed the new local product agree that the extra investment is more than justified given the savings in makeready and the increase in quality.
“Bottom line is that a die is not just a die,” he says. “When you invest in H+M products from KURZ, you know you are getting a die with high-quality tooling and premium quality materials – and that pays real dividends in the long run.”
In a digital world, some may question the KURZ Group’s investment in what is often viewed as a very ‘analogue’ process, but Pratt says the company remains confident that the popularity of physical embellishment is here to stay.
“Foil stamping, embossing, debossing and other haptic effects are perennially popular due to the dimensional quality and tactile engagement they add,” he says, “and with the wide range of embellishment options available, including advanced solutions like micro-embossing and nano-embossing which add super-fine patterns to the foil surface to render extremely fine detail and effects and even mimic holographs or lenticular printing through light refraction, the possibilities are almost endless.
“That’s what really sets print apart from other media and adds value to everything from high-end packaging to sophisticated security and product verification solutions. Australian printers and converters, and their customers, understand that value-add and we are confident they will continue to take advantage of the benefits of embellishment well into the future.”