Measuring Distance in Cold Foil Printing with Sensors from Senix

Using foil and other multisensory packaging effects to gain the consumer’s attention has become a common practice in a crowded marketplace.

Print shops are constantly seeking that competitive edge, the thing that allows what they produce to stand out against the work of all other print providers.

Metallic foils are often a straightforward yet powerful way to improve the aesthetic of a product in order to set it above the competition. An evolution of the hot stamping process, the use of cold foil has become more frequent in recent years.

The flashy graphics and shiny materials found on beauty products, cosmetic boxes, toothpaste boxes, wines and spirits, as well as many more products, are more than likely achieved using the cold foil printing process.

Also known as cold foil stamping, cold foil printing is an advanced technique in which metallic foil is printed onto a substrate to vastly improve the aesthetic of the final product

The picture above houses 2 Senix ToughSonic Distance & Level Sensors used with 90-degree mirror. Because of the close quarter’s application, the mirrors are approximately 1” in diameter and Sensors lay parallel to the mount and reflect towards the roll.  With a proper mechanical gauge, Eagle Systems reports amazing repeatability.

The picture above houses 2 Senix ToughSonic Distance & Level Sensors used with a 90-degree mirror. Because of the close quarter’s application, the mirrors are approximately 1” in diameter and Sensors lay parallel to the mount and reflect towards the roll. With a proper mechanical gauge, Eagle Systems reports amazing repeatability. Image Credit: Senix Corporation

More specifically, lithographic cold foiling is an inline printing process conducted on a sheetfed offset press that enables the positioning of a metallic foil anywhere on a printed sheet with litho-precision. Simply put, cold foiling is printing foil onto paper in almost any place and in almost any weight.

What is more, is that significant savings of time and money can be made as cold foiling and printing can be done in a single process. Time is saved due to it being one pass on a press, and money because tooling costs (dies) are eliminated.

A job that would typically require two separate machines – one for the printing and one for the application of the foil – taking up about eight hours of press time can be completed in around 20 minutes with cold foil.

When designing and engineering the ECO-Eagle cold foil system, Eagle Systems initially utilized a simple Ultrasonic Distance sensor. Regrettably, the sensor created quite a few problems and would fail on a frequent basis.

Thus, Eagle Systems required an enhanced solution and turned to Senix, picking out a ToughSonic 3 for trial. After the short term trials, they understood this sensor had impressive durability and precision.

To date, we have yet to have any failure of the Senix sensors and have purchased at least 100, if not more. Having built in scaling and filtering makes the system so much easier. 

Mike King, CEO and Founder, Senix 

In the event of needing an alternative algorithm for the machine, the system facilitates remote programming; this is most helpful as the Eagle undergoes frequent upgrades offering newer, advanced features. Parameters are also easily changed as the Senix ToughSonic sensors also allow remote programming.

The Eagle Systems ECO Foil System.

The Eagle Systems ECO Foil System. Image Credit: Senix Corporation

Back in 1990, Mike King (President and CEO) established the company, and today Eagle Systems leads an international market in foiling equipment for the packaging and printing industry. The development of an industry-leading machine for cold foil application commenced in 2007. The ECO-Eagle cold foil system is fully automated, extremely simple to use and does not need an operator console.

Installation of the cold foil unit typically takes about 2-3 days, which means production can begin on the 4th day, after only 2 hours of required operator training. Clients can rest assured that in a small space of time, a considerable return on investment will arise.

The cold foil system has the capacity to run unmanned and without interruption – even between jobs. The systems can rapidly foil ultra-fine detail to a 175-line screen, as well as producing an extensive range of coverage from light to heavy.

Dynamic machines of this kind demand a sensor that is robust, durable and easily configurable to measure the diameter of the cold foil and monitor when a new role is necessary.

Senix ToughSonic ultrasonic level and distance sensors have also manufactured in switches that can be installed as souring or sinking switches. The user calibrates the switch outputs to trigger when a roll is under or over the threshold. The switch point can be set by simply pressing SenixVIEW or the teach button.

Customers find that our ECFC not only optimizes their usage, but also opens the door to knowing how to sell foil, compete on new jobs and win for more profits.

Mike King, CEO and Founder, Senix 

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Senix Corporation.

For more information on this source, please visit Senix Corporation.

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