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Morgana hopes to build on its stealthy early entry into the rotary die-cutter market by making more noise about its new machine, Words by Barney Cox

What does it do?
The RDC is a small-format rotary die-cutter that uses metal dies for cutting, kiss cutting, scoring and perforating. Like similar machines from Duplo and Horizon it is a reimagining of the ubiquitous converted Heidelberg Cylinder updated for the digital age. That is to say to handle today’s needs for ease-of-use, fast setup with minimal make-ready waste and as little operator attention as possible.

Specifications
Speed 4,500 sheets per hour
Max sheet size 368x508mm
Substrate thickness 120-400gsm
Price $76,415 around

When was it launched and what market is it aimed at?
Morgana first showed the RDC at an event in March but it got its official UK launch at The Print Show in September, where it was the star attraction on the firm’s stand according to Morgana vice-president offline business Ray Hillhouse.
“The RDC has been designed to meet the needs of today’s digital printers,” says Hillhouse. “These companies are keen to handle as many finishing tasks in-house as they can. By increasing the services on offer a printer has a greater control of delivery times, rather than having to rely on third-party suppliers. Die-cutting is one of those capabilities that is being demanded more and more as customers seek ways to make their print stand out from the crowd.”

How does it work?
At the heart of the machine is a magnetic cylinder around which flexible steel dies are wrapped, which perform the cutting, scoring and perforating as sheets travel between it and a counter cylinder. Sheets are fed automatically from a pile feeder into the unit and from there a combination of air blowers and mechanical fingers separate waste from the finished jobs, which are passed to the delivery conveyor with the option to batch items.

How does it differ from previous products?
Morgana used to sell a similar machine marketed by its former German agent Nagel, until that firm’s demise and sold a number in the UK, even though it wasn’t as well known as similar machines from Duplo and Horizon. With the RDC the firm claims to have a machine that offers a number of advantages over other units.
“The RDC has got some nice features that makes it really easy to use and we are talking to some existing rotary die-cutter users who like the ease of use of the machine,” says Hillhouse. He adds that key features of the RDC include a deep-pile feeder, which can take stacks up to 400mm deep, minimising time spent on refilling it.
“Ours has optical mark reading, ensuring accurate registration to the print and a comprehensive waste management system that removes more waste.”
The waste management system uses a timed pneumatic valve to separate waste from finished items in addition to mechanical stripping fingers, reducing the need for manual intervention.

How fast is it?
Maximum mechanical speed is 4,500sph with a “realistic speed with complex work of 3,000sph”.
“Most runs are only a few hundred, so it’s more important to be able to set up quickly and easily.”

How easy is it to use?
“It’s a really simple machine to operate thanks to the touch panel,” he says. “We’ve had guys running it within 15 minutes.”
The most time-consuming part is setting the waste management – setting the pneumatics and the stripping fingers – and the machine runs through an automated slow speed cycle using one sheet to guide the operator through that process. Complex changeovers, including changing the die takes around five minutes.

Alternatives
Duplo PFi DiCut 300
This rotary die-cutter can cut, kiss cut, perforate, slit, punch and round corners on digital and offset sheets. It is described as compact, efficient and easy to use.

Speed 50 sheets/min
Max sheet size 364x515mm
Max substrate thickness 0.4mm

Horizon RD Series
Horizon has widened its rotary die-cutter line to three machines to suit a wider range of budgets, formats and applications. Joining the original RD-4055 the RD-3346 handles smaller format sheets (330x550mm) while the RD-4055DM can handle a combination of male and female dies for creasing.

Max speed 6,000cph
Max sheet size 400x550mm
Max substrate thickness 0.mm