PRINTING United Expo Hot Products Spotlight: Heidelberg Gallus One Inkjet Label Press
(Editor's note: This review of the Heidelberg Gallus One press, which will debut at the upcoming PRINTING United Expo, is part of an ongoing series featuring longtime industry consultant David Zwang's rundown of his "Must See" products that will be on the show floor.)
The Gallus One will make its North American expo debut at PRINTING United 2023. This all-digital, roll-to-roll press is designed to offer a digital inkjet printing solution to flexo label converters as well as commercial printers looking to enter into label production.
The Gallus One uses Dimatix Samba printheads on print bars attached directly to the machine which can achieve levels of print quality that match those of high-resolution offset printing. The quality is achieved at a native resolution of 1,200×1,200 dpi, with a droplet size of just 2 pl and four different available drop sizes, providing a visual resolution of 2,400×2,400.
The Gallus One prints CMYK plus White low migration aqueous UV ink, which is compliant with Swiss Ordinance, Nestlé Guidance, Eupia, GMP — making it ideal for indirect food contact and pharma applications. The white ink reaches an impressive 85% opacity at the full 70 m/min production speed. The Gallus One supports a wide range of substrates and, to ensure continuous production, it has built-in automatic splice detection, which detects splices and lets them pass all print bars without the loss of register and speed. All of this in a compact 11x20.8-ft. footprint.
The new press includes a vision system to monitor and ensure the print quality, with live visual checking via web video while the press is running. It also performs automatic compensation for missing nozzles and automatic compensation for density variation. It allows the operator to adjust the register at the push of a button. Ultimately, it is designed as a productive machine, with a throughput of 70 mpm (230 fpm) with a 340 mm printing width, wider than other similar offerings.
The big differentiator of the Gallus One is the Prinect workflow and the ecosystem that drives it, providing connectivity within the shop that really streamlines the production. It is designed for ease of use for the novice operator, but especially if they are familiar with Heidelberg and Prinect, which is great for commercial printers entering the label market. The press is designed for ease of maintenance as well, with expected uptime of more than 95%. The Gallus One digital label press is also designed as the base of an expandable modular platform and will spawn new features in the future. This expanded solution can bring the features of a digital printer with an in-line flexo station, a semi-rotary diecutter, embellishment, etc.
In the booth, Heidelberg will also be launching its new Versafire LP, which is based on the new Ricoh Pro C9500 engine. Like the Gallus One and the other Heidelberg equipment, it uses the Prinect front end to allow for a more integrated plant workflow. There will also be a Polar cutter connected with Compucut, and an assortment of other finishing equipment.