Diamond Packaging Installs First CF1000PM

The new press mounted cold foiler is enhancing the company’s extensive specialty finishing capabilities.

By Jackie Schultz (Folding Carton Magazine)

Diamond Packaging is the first U.S. installation of the new CF1000PM (press mounted) cold foil module from Compact Foilers. The module was designed for customers that want to create foiling effects with minimal cost in a fixed location. The unit has many of the features of the CF1000 module, which is a portable unit that can be used for both cold foil and cast and cure effects inline.

Bruce Hussar, Diamond Packaging Operations Manager, says there were many features about the CF1000PM that he liked, such as foil saving, tension control, rapid setup and ease of operation. “The demands of our customers require more and more complicated work. We researched several options and determined that this system best fit our needs,” he says. “We looked at several different pieces of equipment but we liked this technology. One of the things we were impressed with was the fact that Compact Foilers has been in the rewinding business for over 100 years and they brought to the table a wealth of experience.”

Compact Foilers is based in the UK and specializes in inline cold foiling and cast and cure systems. The CF1000PM module was introduced last year at Graph Expo in Chicago. It enables customers to enhance their printing capabilities.

The module is well aligned with Diamond Packaging’s focus on higher-end, award winning folding cartons and sustainable packaging solutions. The company has extensive converting and specialty finishing capabilities, including coatings, embossing, hot stamping and cast and cure. Prior to installing the CF1000PM Diamond was cold foiling offline in a separate pass, which required longer makeready times and was more expensive. “Now our makeready time is much faster and it’s easy to switch between printing and cold foil applications,” Hussar says. “Once we makeready the press it’s just a matter of turning on a switch to start the unit.”

The module is mounted to Diamond Packaging’s Heidelberg XL 105 offset press, which has eight litho stations, a double coater in the delivery and a coater/flexo unit before the litho units. The CF1000PM is on the second litho tower. The first print station lays down the adhesive and the second station transfers the foil.

Both rewind and unwind are driven using the latest digital drive technology for perfect tension control and multiple passes of cold foil. The coated side of the foil does not touch any rollers above the press and a shutter guard encloses them completely during operation to prevent foil contamination in the press.

The module automatically synchronizes with the press speed leaving the operator to focus on his normal duties, and it has three options for foil saving which can be selected depending on the pattern/coverage to increase foil yield and reduce costs.

In addition to the already referenced features, Hussar says he liked how the reels of foil are loaded and unloaded. The loading system eliminates heavy lifting of reels and shafts for complete safety, reducing setup time. The shafts remain in the machine and cantilever for loading and unloading. The reels of foil are automatically lifted from floor level using the integrated manipulator, eliminating heavy lifting and reducing setup time to a minimum. “It’s really slick the way it works. Ergonomically, it’s tremendously better and there’s no concern about an operator standing under a 400 or 500 pound reel,” Hussar says.

James Self, Compact Foilers Sales Manager, says when comparing cold foil systems it is important to “consider setup and changeover time, waste and quality. “Our module eliminates heavy shaft and reel handling and monitors all operations to safeguard the press, automatically shutting down if a problem occurs,” he says. “Our unit is constructed for high running speeds, quality and safety. We are endorsed by several press manufacturers and many of the leading printers have chosen our module as the most versatile and cost-effective unit on the market today.”

New Market Opportunity:

The new CF1000PM is opening up new opportunities for Diamond Packaging’s existing and prospective customers, especially in the personal care and cosmetics industries where shelf presence at retail is critical. “Our customers have a limited amount of shelf space, and consumers make up their minds relatively quickly when they’re in the store looking at product,” says Dennis Bacchetta, Director of Marketing. “We’re offering an in-line enhancement that will attract consumers’ attention faster and retain attention longer than packaging without foil stamping.

We’re Looking to expand our business with customers who haven’t used cold foil or foil of any kind,” he adds. “This is an opportunity for brands to enhance their packaging cost effectively with foil. At the same time we’re working with existing customers on the viability of transferring some of their hot foil stamped packaging to cold foil.”

Bacchetta says customer demand for foil has been steadily rising. “Studying the industry as a whole, we found the demand for cold foiling has increased considerably. That set us on the path a few years ago to finding the right solution.”

Diamond Packaging recently produced a L’Oreal men’s skin care product that was converted using FSC-certified Invercote G paperboard. The carton (see photo) was six-color plus UV matte and UV gloss spot coating. Silver foil stamping enhanced the front, side, rear, and bottom panels.

Currently, Diamond uses primarily silver and gold foil, however, with the new cold foil module the company can offer a virtually limitless palette of color options by printing directly on the cold foil.

Hussar says cold foiling with the CF1000PM is vastly different from earlier technologies. “We had a unit on one of our web presses about 10 or 12 years ago. The quality was very poor. The quality we’re getting now is exceptional. I’ve never seen anything in cold foil as close to what we’re producing right now.”

Bacchetta adds, “We’re meeting the demands of our customers to produce not only high-end cartons but do it in fewer steps so it’s more economical, faster, and provides sustainability benefits. We continually challenge ourselves to deliver cost innovation and this is one more way of achieving it.”

Cold foiling inline fits into the company’s greenbox initiative, which is to research, design and implement packaging solutions that are innovative and sustainable. Last September Diamond Packaging achieved zero manufacturing waste to landfill status (ZMWL).

Diamond installed the CF1000PM in April and is running the module about two to three days every three weeks. “We try to lump the jobs together so we accumulate the work for a couple of weeks and run them all at once,” Hussar says, adding that the company continues to experiment with the new technology “We’ve only had this installed a few months so we’re experimenting with and learning the capabilities,” he says.