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With more than forty years of experience in the design and manufacture of foil stamping machines, BOBST has constantly been at the forefront of advances in this technology. From the BOBST SP 1260 BM of the 1960's, through to today’s highly sophisticated equipment, flat bed BOBST presses and the rotary lines from BOBST's Steuer range have pushed forward the boundaries of the hot foil stamping process.
Thanks to intensive research and development, the knowledge and experience of BOBST staff, and constant attention to the views and needs of our users, this development continues today.
In principle, hot foil stamping is the process of using heat and pressure to apply metallic foil or holograms to materials such as light papers, carton board, laminated board, plastics and corrugated board.
The term hot foil stamping encompasses:
The process is used on a wide range of products to create decorative finishes and anti-counterfeiting measures. In the packaging industry the applications include food, pharma, tobacco, and luxury goods packaging, as well as labels for products such as wine and spirits. Beyond packaging, hot foil stamping is extensively used on banknotes, greetings cards, and throughout commercial print.
Hot stamping and holographic foils are made up of several layers. These include a polyester carrier, a release layer, a number of lacquer, image and metal layers, and an outer adhesive sizing layer. During the hot foil stamping process a heated die forces the foil against the substrate, which is supported by a counterplate or counter cylinder. A combination of this pressure and the activation of the adhesive sizing makes the foil attach itself to the substrate, a process that is aided by the melting of the release layer. The dies used in hot foil stamping are predominantly made from brass and are produced by etching or by engraving using hand work or CNC systems.
A hot foil stamper may be an offline, stand-alone machine, or may be inline with a printing press and/or other units. While mainly sheet-fed, some high speed hot foil stampers are web-fed. Whether sheet or web-fed, sophisticated handling systems are needed to position the substrate and foil between the plate or cylinder that holds the dies and that supplying the counter pressure.
There are three differing operating principles found among foil stamping machines, commonly called flat-flat, round-flat, and round-round.
Each principle has its advantages:
BOBST hot foil stamping presses cover the complete range of production needs, from straightforward block foiling, through hologram application with pinpoint accuracy, to the creation of highly complex foil effects.
The machines in the range offer a level of finished product quality that is unsurpassed, while also delivering the performance, versatility, and reliability which modern manufacturing demands.