Cold Foil Transfer – The Sheet-fed Offset process
The Cold Foil transfer is realized using two conventional printing units in an offset printing press. Over the first printing unit a Cold Foil adhesive (adhesive ink) is being applied via an ink unit and a standard offset printing plate / blanket. Over a second printing unit which is equipped with a suitable Cold Foil module and a roll-off and roll-up station, the Cold Foil is fed into the nip between the blanket cylinder and the impression cylinder and transferred under pressure to the parts on the sheet on which the adhesive has been applied previously.
After separating from the backing material, the metallized transfer layer remains on the substrate and adheres with a special adhesive layer immediately and permanently bonded to the pre-printed Cold Foil adhesive. The substrate is then rewound with the non-transferred areas through the cold foil module. By subsequent and perfectly aligned inline overprinting of the Cold Foil by following printing units or in a separate working step off-line, a large variety of metallic color effects and color shades can be achieved.
Coated papers and folding cartons with smooth and even surfaces provide the best conditions for high-quality Cold Foil results. In addition, non-absorbent substrates such as PP or PE can be used as well.
• The transference of finest details, fonts, large areas and screens is possible in a single run
• Inline- & Offline overprinting is possible
• No hot stamping dies are required
• For the process no heat and no high pressure are required
• The surface structure of the printing material is maintained on both sides
• Very short set-up and make ready times and fast roll and job changes
• Very high production speeds
• Compared to metallized substrates no opaque white application is necessary, the white degree of the substrate can be optimally and efficiently used by avoiding the corresponding
• Foil savings per sheets are possible by the use of certain Cold Foil modules
Markets & Typical uses
The Cold Foil finishing in sheet-fed offset printing today is used for many different kinds of applications. Diverse markets use a Cold Foil enhancement for their products to gain an added value. For example the following ones:
• Lebensmittel & Getränke
• Food & Bevarage
• Spirits & Wine
• Entertainment media
• Personal care
• Non-food and much more
• Business Cards
• Packaging / Boxes
• Book covers
• Greeting cards
• Paper bags
Printing machines and Cold Foil modules for sheet-fed offset printing
Suitable equipment for cold foiling is available from the major press manufacturers, such as by manroland sheetfed, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG or KBA AG. There are also some systems available which can reduce the effective film consumption per sheet, thus making the process as compared to other finishing processes attractive and efficient. Production speeds in sheet-fed Cold Foiling can reach up to 18,000 sheets / hour and are therefore it becomes interesting for large print runs.
In addition to the Cold Foil modules of the printing press manufacturers, Cold Foil modules are available as well from independent manufacturers in the market, which can be installed on many different series of sheet-fed offset printing machines which are being used worldwide.
Depending on the cold foil module, either 3 inch or 6 inch cores are used. Below you will find a list of manufacturers of printing machines and cold foil modules:
Manufacturer / Company Cold Foil module manroland sheetfed GmbH InlineFoiler for ROLAND 700 and ROLAND 500 Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG FoilStar for CD 74, CD 102, CX 102, XL 75, XL 105 and XL 106 König & Bauer AG Cold Foiler VINFOIL BV Infigo SF 110GF, Micro SF 76 GF, Micro SF 110 GF, Optima SF 110 GF Ryobi MHI Graphic Technology Ltd. 750G Serie Komori Corporation Cold Foil System for Lithrone SX-29 / SX-40 StarFoil Technology BV Cold Foil 110 unit Compact Foilers Ltd. CF1000 Portable Foiler, CF1000 PM (press mounted) EuroGraf Italian Cold Foil Graphic Arts System Inc. Eagly System / Eco Eagle Diversified Graphic Machinery Foildex
Blankets for the Cold Foil transfer
For the Cold Foil application special blankets are used, which with respect to shore hardness and surface texture and roughness are different to standard printing blankets. The following printing blankets have become widely adopted for the cold foil transfer and are mostly used on many machine series:
SuperPress/BlackPearl (Glassbead blanket) ,Fa. Streb AG
3 Layers, 1,85mm,
Vulcan IRIO blanket , Fa. Streb AG / Trelleborg
4 Layers by 1,96mm, 3 Layers by 1,71mm,
Cold Foil adhesives and substrates
Depending on the printing process, special cold foil adhesive are being used in sheet-fed offset printing machines. In order to achieve a high-quality cold foil application a suitable adhesive type must be used and if necessary as well the tack must be adjusted to the conditions in the press and on that of the printing material. Applying quantities are dependent on the substrate absorbency level between 1.5-3.0 g /m². Gloss coated and cast-coated Paper, label substrates and cartons, are suited for cold foil applications. These types of substrates are mainly used for printed advertising material, wet glue labels and packaging jobs. However, the end result is strongly dependent on the surface properties and from the absorbency of the substrate in use. Uncoated- and matt-coated substrates are not well suitable due to the surface structure and higher absorbency level. But also non-absorbent substrates such as PP or PE can be used for cold-foil applications, but they should not have a surface tension underneath 40 mN / m, in order to achieve good adhesion.
We recommend in advance making a test to ensure that the components used are suitable for your applications and jobs.
Below you will find a list of manufacturers and suppliers of conventional and UV curing Cold Foil adhesive:
Zeller + Gmelin GmbH & Co. KG
Epple Druckfarben AG
Jänecke+Schneemann Druckfarben GmbH
Siegwerk Backnang GmbH
Stehlin & Hostag
Manroland sheet fed - printcom
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG - Saphira
T&K TOKA COMPANY
Toyo Ink America, LLC
UNIVACCO Cold Foil´s for Sheet-fed Offset printing
UNIVACCO manufactures and supplies with the CF series a high quality range of Cold Foil types for sheetfed offset printing machines. Cold foils of UNIVACCO have a high gloss and are suitable for large areas as well as for fine line designs and fonts. A good adhesion can be achieved with many different kinds of available cold foil adhesive in the different markets.
Our Sheet-fed Offset Cold Foils in the overview
CF6.1 – Metallic Sheet fed Offset Cold Foil for the application with conventional adhesives
Color Shades: Standard Gold & Silber
CF6.2S - Metallic Sheet fed Offset Cold Foil for the application with conventional- and UV-curing adhesives by well UV overprintability
Color Shades: Standard Gold & Silber
CF5.1Y – Holographic Sheet fed Offset Cold Foil
Color Shades: Standard Gold & Silber (optional also as transparent version CF5.1T)