Manufacturer C&T Channel Matrix has launched a new locating device to save on makeready times during the die-cutting process.
The new patented product, Kingpin, will be launched today (17 May) at the International Association of Diecutting and Diemaking (IADD) Odyssey expo in Chicago, US. Priced at between 40p and 70p per pin, it will be available in the UK from 1 June. The device is intended for long-run jobs of more than 100,000 impressions.
Traditionally, crease alignment in the die-cutting process is carried out by locating 'phenolic counters' on a cutting plate with plastic pins and cork rings. Pins are manually placed in the die and have to be manually removed. Kingpin is intended as a faster replacement for this manual process as the pin retracts fully into the die and transfers the counter automatically to the cutting plate, without the need for removal.
C&T managing director Simon Shenton said the device has been tested extensively during its year-long development process and can be reused and reactivated up to 100 times. He said C&T is aiming for around a million UK sales in its first year and 20 million global sales.
Shenton highlighted three main benefits of the new product: faster makereadies, better alignment for creases and averting the risk of plastic pins falling out.
“New pins are fixed into the die so you don’t have contamination. If you’re doing food packaging you don’t want pieces of plastic flying around in your package so it reduces the risk,” he said.
Beta-testers included global packaging giant Multi Packaging Solutions (MPS) and supplier Lasercomb Group. with MPS committing to taking a number of pins once launched.
Shenton believes the time has come for die-cutting, an area that has seen little advancement in the last 30 years, to catch up with other printing techniques in moving forwards and embracing digital.
He added: “The next step might be digital die-cutting; we’ve seen it in printing but that hasn’t yet filtered through. Highcon dipped the first toe in the water but it has not taken off, but like HP Indigo in the past it won’t take long until we go digital, that is probably the next stage.”
Also being launched at Odyssey, C&T’s new partnership with Irish manufacturer Speedpin and its new pin product for the stripping process. C&T will act as UK agent for Speedpin.
The Wellingborough, Northamptonshire-based outfit has launched a number of new products over the last few months, including a range of steel cutting plates and accessories for Heidelberg Cylinder users. It also parted company with its UK distributor Partwell in order to distribute more of its products direct.