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Tech Watch

Sterling Toggle Die Positioning System

by Jen Clark

May-June, 2014

The Die Positioning System (DPS) from Sterling Toggle allows operators to easily register foil stamping and embossing dies into an exact position. By registering dies off-press, users can save valuable press time, without bumping dies. DPS – the system developed by the West Babylon, NY, company – cuts makeready time by 40 to 70 percent and promises to be “as simple to use as an iPhone.”

“Traditionally, the press operator aligns the die with a vellum set-up sheet,” explained Bill Horne, president. “The probability of the press operator registering the dies correctly on the first attempt is low. It is a tedious process in part because the operator cannot calculate for thermal expansion. Press operators struggle with this task and their skills vary greatly from one press operator to another.” 

The DPS utilizes a touchscreen interface to help the operator lock-in hot foil stamping or embossing dies off-press. It eliminates the guesswork associated with attempting to manually register embossing and foil stamping dies. “The Die Positioning System is a scientific approach that allows the press operator to register dies into position the first time, every time,” Horne said. 

The DPS’s digital touchscreen display consists of four vertical icons. The first icon loads the PDF file. The second icon allows the operator to enter the job information (temperature, foil stamping or embossing and the type of die being used). The third icon checks to make sure the honeycomb is zeroed-out properly. The fourth and final icon allows the operator to view the PDF file to determine which die to position. The camera then moves to the required position. The screen overlays the selected PDF image and the corresponding die. This allows the operator to precisely register the die into position. 

“Our software developer wrote the software so that no computer skills are needed,” Horne said. “The software is driven by icons so that there are no language barriers because icons are positioned in sequential order. There are only four simple steps required before dies can be positioned. The new software simplifies and speeds up the press operator’s experience. We have had many companies upgrade to the new software. One customer is quoted as saying, ‘The DPS is so user-friendly a caveman could operate it’.”

The DPS is available in two models. The DPS 130 will work with any foil stamping or embossing press up to a 1300mm format. The DPS 870 was designed to accommodate small- to medium-sized print shops and label makers. It can work with any press up to 870mm, including Gietz 870, 790 and 720; Kluge 14x22" and 13x19"; Heidelberg 10x15" and 13x19"; Brausse 21x28"; and Saroglia Sub.

Technical details
Digital files. The DPS utilizes the same digital file used in pre-press, making it possible to have the chase locked up prior to the sheet being printed. All major digital files are accepted and can be recalled at any time. The file must contain the layout of the sheet, but no special formatting is required. Files can be loaded from a hard drive, USB or CD-ROM. The unit also supports networking. If no digital files are available, a sheet can be scanned or photographed. The snapshots can be pieced together automatically.

Thermo expansion – board stretch. The DPS factors in the thermo-expansion of the chase and dies. By entering the temperature at which the press will run, the system will calculate the position of the hot stamping dies. Users can preset honeycombs, die material and press temperatures or select them per job. It also compensates for press and room temperature.

Touchscreen interface. Similar to an iPad or iPhone, the DPS’s touchscreen interface makes for a versatile, familiar and simple operating system. It features crisp, full-screen camera images, with sharp, high-resolution quality.

For additional information, contact Sterling Toggle at 631.491.0500 or visit www.sterlingtoggle.com.