The classic Heidelberg lithopresses of the 1950’s still remain a key resource for many small to medium sized printers. With an increased demand for unique finishing techniques over recent years, foiling has become sought after and a useful value added addition to your service range to help retain and win all important new custom.
A rejuvenation of T and GT presses, along with the GTS die cutters have been the answer for many. With some small machine modifications and the addition of a foiling conversion unit, many rarely used Heidelbergs are now back in daily operation foiling business card to twenty-first century designs. Specialist machine converters like SF Services in the UK (Prfoil’s partnering engineering company) have thrived on this sector for many years, making high speed foiling systems for all types and sized presses – right up to B1 sheet size!
With sometime investment and a knack for bargains, it remains possible to pick up a 10″ x 15″ or the 13″ x 18″ press for a price as low as £2,500. It’s the conversion that becomes the important aspect to choose wisely. There are a number of types already on the market, but speed and performance is key to a successful approach to making money! Here at Profoil, our experience and know how of the industry has helped us produce both of our unique conversion systems, the Foil Expert and the Foil Optimiser – robust and reliable systems which we trust to use daily in our very own production factories.
Whether you already have a traditional letterpress T, GT, GTS machine and wish to convert for foiling, or have an original Heidelberg GTP foiling press and wish to upgrade, there are some factors to understand about our solutions before proceeding.
Owners of the Heidelberg T, GT and GTS machines
We offer the Foil Expert full conversion system which comprise a heater plate, the main foil pull-unit and a foil handling system – the later of the two handle the flow of the foil through your machines impression motion. The temperature of the heater plate is controlled by a digital heat controller built inside the main unit. Heater plates are made available for both platen bed sizes.
The Foil Expert unit requires a single-phase 220/240v connection.
For a T and GT, the inking units will need to be removed permanently during operation of the foiling conversion. You can convert back in future should you wish.
Owners of the Heidelberg GTP machines
If you have the original foiling system still present on top of the machine with rollers intact, you have two options for upgrading your machine.
Option 1. Your foil pull-drive will be the old mechanical “chain-driven” system, which can be completely replaced with our Foil Optimiser system. It’s a low cost solution that will significantly improve your accuracy and ability with simple multi-programmable foil pull options and will reduce your foil wastage. The Optimiser clamps on the side of the original roller frame and drives the last roller.
The Foil Optimiser unit requires a single-phase 220/240v connection.
This option is cost effective if your existing heater plate and heat controller system is working effectively.
Option 2. Favorable towards owners of a GTP with a bad-conditioned original foil pull-unit still on the machine or those requiring a new heater plate and temperature controller system.
Many of the old presses were designed for a 3-phase power source, so you would need to provide a single-phase connection to the Foil Expert unit.