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Digital finishing of plastic tubes

Fürth/Germany, September 2nd, 2019: LEONHARD KURZ will be presenting individualized tube decoration in its most attractive form for the cosmetics and packaging industry at the K 2019 trade fair, from October 16 - 23 in Düsseldorf. KURZ, together with its subsidiary ISIMAT, have developed a process combining Indirect Digital Decoration (IDD) and digital metallization. This process enables variable data in luminous metallic colors to be applied simply and efficiently to plastic tubes.


360-degree metallization and customized metallic look

To be able to transfer metallized designs directly to plastic substrates, KURZ and ISIMAT set out to further develop the already well-established Inline Foiling process. From this process they derived a technique called Digital inline Foiling (DiF), which can be combined with IDD and allows particularly fast and economical metallization. The DiF process uses the transfer module of a central printing machine. In this module, adhesive is digital printed onto a carrier foil. The transfer layer is then applied to the substrate at a low contact pressure, and the special adhesive then UV cured. This new digital technology can be used to implement 360° decoration and metallized individualized elements.


Implementing small runs efficiently with indirect digital printing

After the DiF decoration, the metallized design can be overprinted in multiple colors by IDD. An external digital printing unit connected to a central printing machine is used for this purpose. It transfers a multi-color print image and an adhesive onto a carrier foil. The complete print image is then applied to the already metallized tube in the central machine by means of a transfer module. In the IDD process, the metallized designs produced by DiF can be overprinted in multiple colors in a single printing operation. The combined application of the IDD and DiF processes enables small print runs to be produced economically. Small and limited edition runs, seasonal and promotional items can all be decorated in high quality.


Value adding through uniqueness

The Inline Foiling process applies an up-market metallic look directly to the plastic packaging. Direct printing, as opposed to labels or decals, creates a very high-quality appearance. Furthermore, diffractive designs with glittery or shimmery effects that turn the product into a real eye catcher on the retail shelf can also be transferred. Using the combined IDD and DiF process it is also possible to implement individualized elements such as names or serial numbers in metallic colors. Variable designs that make each packaging unique can also be implemented quickly and easily. Brand name manufacturers can use the new digital printing technology to efficiently and elegantly service the trend for individualized mass production. 

The possibilities that this process offers will be explained in detail at the KURZ booth A19 in Hall 5 and a diverse selection of application examples will be presented. A live application of the IDD process will also be on display. Visitors to the trade fair will be able to observe a print image being digitally printed onto a carrier foil, and how quickly and efficiently the print image can be changed.

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