AS REPORTED earlier this year (PPM May 2017), Eagle, US-based developer and manufacturer of foil enhancement equipment, has been awarded a US patent for the use of foil and the process of optimising foil usage in commercial printing.
Eagle president and CEO Mike King is delighted. ‘The patent protects our fully-automatic cold foil module and process on commercial printing presses, and our methods of using foil stocks more efficiently. We’re extremely excited, especially when you take into account the extent of the patent pending process owing to the technological intricacies of what many believe is the most sophisticated and reliable cold foiler in the world. Our dedication to the industry and especially to the science of cold foil has been validated with this announcement.’
The company’s design team has replaced the inconvenience of previous cold foil systems with a simple and efficient design, including fully-automated functions controlled by high-end software.
Configured in a twin printing tower set-up, the cold foil is applied in two easy steps.
During the first step, the system uses the first two towers of the printing press to perform the cold foil process. Adhesive is placed in the ink tray of tower one and applied to the substrate in the design – defined using a standard printing plate – transferring the image on the plate to a standard printing blanket.
The cold foil unit is mounted on top of tower two and during the second step it feeds silver cold foil through the blanket and impression cylinders of the tower, where it sticks to the adhesive in the defined areas. No printing plate is required. The foil carrier is rewound into the unit and substrate, continuing to the next tower for printing. The foil is then overprinted with ink giving a brilliant, shiny finish. When foil isn’t being applied, normal printing can be performed in both towers.
Switch on the fly
This inline design, Mike reports, enables the operator to switch easily from regular print to cold foil applications by restringing the foil, changing the blanket, washing out the ink in tower one and replacing it with adhesive. ‘He/she is then ready to foil at the same speed as the printing press and without stopping – reducing press downtime and increasing continuous production.’
The company’s local representative is Alliance Machinery.