Heaford unveils new automation at Labelexpo Europe

JM Heaford is launching its latest innovation for narrow web printers at Labelexpo Europe. Exhibiting in Hall 7 (Stand 7D33), the new Heaford Label AutoMounter takes centre stage, showcasing its combined technologies for ensuring first-time, consistent accuracy and dramatically reducing press downtime.
Based on the same technology platform as its AutoMounter for flexible packaging launched at drupa last year, Heaford’s new Label AutoMounterhas 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 inches) and a repeat range of 150 – 610 mm (6 – 24 inches), it offers automatic plate mounting, within a five-micron tolerance, in less than one minute per plate.
The company has drawn on the success of its best-selling 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 to just 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 over 10,000 jobs and the Label AutoMounter also allows manual override. A sleeve dedicated model is also available.
To complement the core operation of the Heaford Label AutoMounter, it can also be specified with additional options, such as a Precision Plate Cutter for enabling precise plate joins with a gap of 0.3mm, which can provide a cost-effective alternative to continuous print sleeves. Heaford team members are available on the stand at Labelexpo to discuss and demonstrate the range and purpose of options in relation to specific production requirements.
Following the successful launch and market uptake of the Heaford wide web AutoMounter for flexible packaging, with sales on five continents, Sally-Anne Heaford, Managing Director of JM Heaford, is buoyant about the company’s label solution. “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. “In reality, they are discovering that once they have got used to the extra time they gained in make-ready, 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.”