ACTEGA Metal Print FAQ

This section details some of the most frequently asked questions with their answers.

Who is ACTEGA Metal Print?
ACTEGA Metal Print GmbH develops and produces ECOLEAF technology, the industry's most sustainable technology for creating metallic embellishments in graphic arts. ECOLEAF saves a significant amount of material, cost and production time compared to today's conventional metallization processes. ACTEGA Metal Print is a subsidiary of ACTEGA, part of the ALTANA Group, and is located in Lehrte, near Hanover, Germany. The company acquired Landa's Nano-MetallographyTM technology in February 2017.

How is ECOLEAF technology used?
ECOLEAF technology is used to print metallic effects for labels, folding cartons, flexible packaging, commercial printing, and publishing. The technology dramatically reduces the waste associated with conventional cold foil and hot foil stamping technologies while providing a solution that is cheaper, faster and easy to use. Combining a colorized trigger image with a thin layer of metal pigment, ECOLEAF technology creates high-resolution, solid and tactile metallic effects that were previously impossible to create.

Which types of printing presses are suitable for ECOLEAF​​​​​​​?
ECOLEAF metallization units will be available for all printing segments, including labels, folding cartons, flexible packaging, commercial printing, and publishing. It will fit a wide range of applications like Personal Care, Food and Beverage, Consumer Products or Health Care.

The first module to be commercialized is designed for use with narrow web presses and the production of labels. Future metallization units will be available for sheetfed and mid-web printing presses.

Where is the metallization module placed on the press?
The ECOLEAF metallization module can be positioned anywhere after the station that prints the trigger image. The trigger image is cured at the station where it is printed before it proceeds to the next station. It is also possible to print the trigger image inline on a printing press and perform the metallization offline.

How do I print the trigger image?
The trigger image can be printed in flexo, rotary screen, flat bed screen or inkjet. Trigger images printed with analog technologies can be colorized, allowing endless possibilities for creating unique, previously unseen, metallic effects. Depending on the printing process used for the trigger image, you can create tactile metallic effects, high resolution embellishments or solid metallic printing.

How much metal is used in the ECOLEAF metallization process?
A very thin layer of metal pigments is transferred from the donor roll inside the metallization module to the trigger image. The amount of pigments transferred is very small and only placed where needed.

When will the ECOLEAF technology be commercially available?
ACTEGA Metal Print now readies itself for EU-based commercial ECOLEAF installations, planned to begin in mid-2021.