Star product: Highcon Euclid

Tim Sheahan
Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Israeli cutter and creaser could potentially help finishers reduce costs

 

What does the machine do?

The Highcon Euclid is a digital creasing and cutting machine that the manufacturer claims will eliminate the need for conventional dies in the folding carton converter market, making short runs both profitable and viable in the process. The machine employs precision laser optics and polymer technology to streamline and migrate the die-cutting and creasing process from analogue to a digital.

When was it launched and what market is it aimed at?
Unveiled in December 2011, the Highcon Euclid is the company’s first product launch since Aviv Ratzman and Michael Zimmer founded the business in November 2009. According to Chris Baker, vice-president of sales and business development at Highcon, the machine is being pitched at packaging converters, as well as businesses wanting to move into "viable and profitable" short-run die-cutting.

Highcon’s development of the Euclid has included investment from several parties including Landa Ventures, the investment company owned by the Indigo founder Benny Landa, who has high hopes for the machine.

How does it work?
The Euclid uses the company’s patent-pending ‘digital adhesive rule technology’ (DART) to crease lines direct from digital data, which helps cut set-up times. Each crease line job is created digitally after the data is received from the design and production software. This is claimed to remove the costly die-making process and the associated set-up times involved. Multiple lasers and precision optics are then used to cut the sheets up to a maximum size of 760x1,060mm and up to a maximum weight of 550gsm.

How productive is it?
According to the manufacturer, the Euclid can handle runs from a single unit up to 10,000 items on a maximum thickness of 0.6mm at 9,000sph.

What is the USP of the Highcon Euclid?

Baker says the main advantage of the Euclid machine is two-fold. First, it enables customers to produce short-run die-cuts and creases up to runs of 10,000 in a viable and profitable fashion. And second, it allows clients to output bespoke die-cut designs in each job, without the need to change a die.

"On conventional machines, this could take a day for a die to be produced and then you still have to set up and produce the job," he says. "With the new Euclid model, this process is removed by eliminating the need for a conventional die and a job could be ready to go in 15 minutes, it’s an astonishing turnaround."

How does it differ from previous models?
The Highcon Euclid is a digital die-cutting and creasing machine and as such is the first of its kind.

According to Baker, the company has surveyed a large number of die-cutting jobs from a variety of businesses to gain an understanding of the market. The majority of those surveyed were on runs lower than 20,000, which Baker says make the Euclid "more than capable" to migrate a large number of existing analogue jobs to digital.

Companies, including UK converters, have been invited to Israel to test live jobs and compare production to their existing facilities.

"Many have a portfolio of work that includes a number of smaller jobs that they do to keep the customer happy," he said.

What training and support is available?
Baker says Highcon is in dialogue with potential distributors to supply the Euclid when it becomes commercially available. Highcon also plans to sell, and offer service, into some countries directly once the machine is available to buy.

How much does it cost?
While exact pricing of the Highcon Euclid has yet to be confirmed, Baker said he anticipates the machine will have a price of between $750,000 (£475,246) to $1m.

The company will start to roll out the Euclid from the third quarter of 2012 with a "cautious" approach and initially target the European market , in particular the UK, Germany and Austria.


SPECIFICATIONS

Max speed 1,500sph
Max sheet size 760x1,060mm
Max stock weight 550gsm
Max media thickness 0.6mm
Price From $750,000 (£475,246)
Contact Highcon +972 8 9101705 www.highcon.net


ALTERNATIVES

Kama ProCut 58

The Kama ProCut 58 is a flatbed die-cutter offering cutting, creasing and embossing.  The machine offers, says Kama, precise cut and high-quality creasing, the possibility to run nick-free, job changeover of less than seven minutes and the option of hotfoil stamping and a registered hologram application.
Max speed 6,000sph
Max sheet size 400x580mm
Max stock weight 800gsm
Max media thickness 1mm
Price From £129,000
Contact Kama +49 (3 51) 2 70 36-0 www.kama.info/en

Heidelberg Varimatrix 105CS
The Varimatrix 105CS automatic cutting and creasing machine has embossing and braille applications, the ability to remove stripping waste and comes with the option of hot foiling. It is ideal, says Heidelberg, for carton manufacturers, trade finishers and commercial printers.
Max speed 7,500sph
Max sheet size 750x1,050mm
Max stock weight 80-1,000gsm
Max media thickness 2mm corrugated
Price from £250,000
Contact Heidelberg +49 (0)6221 92 00 www.uk.heidelberg.com

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