Heaford to Unveil Automated Plate Mounting

CHESHIRE, UK | JM Heaford, supplier of proofing and mounting solutions for the labels, flexible packaging, corrugated, and decorative markets, is launching its latest innovation for narrow web printers at Labelexpo Europe 2017, September 25–28, at the Brussels Expo in Brussels, Belgium. The new Label AutoMounter will take center stage, showcasing its combined technologies for what company says is first-time, consistent accuracy and reduced press downtime. 

The new Heaford Label AutoMounter

Based on the same technology platform as company’s AutoMounter for flexible packaging launched at drupa last year, the new Label AutoMounter 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 700 mm (27.5 in.) and a repeat range of 150–610 mm (6–24 in.), it offers automatic plate mounting, within a 5-micron tolerance, in less than 1 min/plate.

The company has drawn on 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, company says, to 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 co-ordinates imported, manual programming, or using teaching mode. The system can store and recall more than 10,000 jobs, and the Label AutoMounter also allows manual override. A sleeve dedicated model is also available.

Sally-Anne Heaford, managing director of JM Heaford, says, “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,” says Sally-Anne Heaford. “They are discovering that once they have got used to the extra time they gained in makeready, 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.”

The Labelexpo stand will feature other company equipment, including the following:

  • The FTS 700 2CM plate mounter
  • The FTS 500 manual mounter with user-friendly design
  • The ELS 600 traditional plate mounter with a modular platform that can be fitted with a range of additional options and upgraded over time
  • The EES 500 entry-level plate mounter designed for startups and emerging markets.

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