Tech Watch: Gietz’s ROFO 910 PLUS Hot Foil Machine
by Lara Copeland, assistant editor
Since 1892, Gietz, Gossau SG, Switzerland, has supplied the printing and packaging industry with high-performance machines. The company builds its machines exclusively in Switzerland before they are delivered worldwide. Recently, the company upgraded the ROFO foil stamping series that was first introduced over a decade ago. The 36" width ROFO PLUS flexible web machine was upgraded for improved performance of wide web applications. “The Gietz ROFO 910 PLUS is specifically designed for the requirements of foil stamping and blind embossing,” noted Steve Leibin, executive vice president of business development for Matik, the exclusive North American distributor for Gietz. The ROFO series from Gietz offers flat-flat hot foil stamping, embossing and hologram application capabilities for web-fed applications.
The stamping and foil transfer is performed by a toggle-operated platen press by means of flat stamping dies. This principle allows a versatile application of the machine, a minimal consumption of foils and the use of low-cost tools. Used in the print finishing of printed and plain web substrates, it enhances the value of flexible packaging, gift wrapping, chocolate and shopping bags, and cigarette packs. The 910 PLUS also is well-suited to the security industry for its ability to add holograms on currency and security applications. “Hot foil and holograms are being applied on PET, PP, PC, laminated films and thin paper substrates, which are impossible on traditional sheet-fed machines. Plus, the web-fed process enhances profitability,” explained Leibin.
The machine demonstrates its flexible performance range by processing paper, cardboard, plastic films and composite substrates. “It also includes many features exclusive to Gietz, such as the VACUFOIL high-speed foil transport system; multiple, fully adjustable dwell settings to optimize time under pressure for hot foil stamping; both longitudinal and transverse foil feed; short set-up times and modular flexibility,” Leibin revealed. One advantage for the hot foil stamping “flat-flat principle” is the deep reliefs. It also allows structure and micro embossing, in addition to a combination of foiling and embossing, at one time. Up to eight foil feeds are available and, therefore, eight registered hologram webs also are available.
“The ROFO 910 PLUS can add value to flexible packaging, film and paper applications that are challenging or impossible for sheet-fed machines,” continued Leibin. Additionally, due to the modular construction, it is possible for tailor-made customer solutions. The machine can be configured with optional sheeting, stacking, slitting or diecutting capabilities for inline production efficiencies.
In other packaging markets – such as label and folding carton – the added value that hot foil offers is well recognized; however, it is not well known or often utilized in the flexible packaging segment. As Leibin pointed out, “pouches are becoming common on store shelves. Hot foil on pouches enhances the value of the product and helps that pouch jump off the shelf at the moment of truth in the shopping aisle.”
Gietz customers offering hot foil stamping and hologram capabilities in the flexible packaging market are experiencing “excellent growth by offering further innovation to this fast-growing market,” Leibin reported. He said customers have purchased second ROFO machines or added multiple stamping units in a single ROFO line to achieve creative solutions with greater profitability. “Customers are excited by the unique and superior capabilities they can offer their customers,” exclaimed Leibin.
The maximum substrate web width for the ROFO 910 PLUS is 35.8". Its maximum substrate weight is 300g/m² and the minimum paper weight is 40g/m², with the option to handle very thin film substrates as low as 12 micron PET. The continuous substrate web pull maximum is 800mm/31.5" and its minimum is 50mm/2". The machine’s stamping area is at a maximum of 31.5x28.3" (800x720mm). It has a new maximum speed of 393"/min (120m/min) and up to 10,000 strokes/hr. The maximum pressure of the press is 165 US tons.
The ROFO 910 PLUS weighs approximately 18.2 US tons with its base measuring approximately 37.7x13.5"(11.5x4.1m), while the height reaches 11.8" (3.6 m). The standard equipment includes VACUFOIL foil transportation system, two longitudinal foil feeds, high-capacity baling press for waste foils and touchscreen machine control. Optional equipment can include up to 10 foil feeds (eight longitudinal and two transverse) and hologram equipment up to eight foil webs. The ROFO series also is available in 750mm and 1020mm web widths.