Frequently Asked Questions about Cold Transfer in Sheet-Fed Offset Printing

What is Cold Transfer?

In the graphic industry, cold transfer is a finishing technology that is characterized above all by particular versatility and is suitable for a wide range of substrates. Among other things, cold transfer can be used to create sharp-edged metallizations and holographic effects.

Cold transfer is suitable for both sheet-fed offset printing and long-grain flexo printing. To ensure high-quality finishing in both processes it is particularly important that all components - from the adhesive to the substrate to the transfer product - are ideally matched.

This process is primarily used for decoration of folding boxes, packaging, magazines, brochures, or wet-glue labels.

If you want to know what applications there are for cold transfer in long-grain flexo printing, read our corresponding FAQ.

In this efficient process, cold-foil adhesive is first transferred to the substrate areas to be decorated by means of a printing plate. The sheet with the freshly applied adhesive is then transported to the print module. Here, the ultra-thin transfer layer with the coating is applied to the substrate between a rubber blanket and an impression cylinder. The applied pressure ensures that the decoration bonds securely and permanently to the pre-printed sheet - and only in the areas where the adhesive was previously applied. The carrier is rewound after the transfer. The decoration can be overprinted (in multicolor) in the next step.

For more information, visit our cold transfer website.

Yes. The technical outlay for installing a cold foil transfer unit is relatively low. What makes sheet-fed offset printing so efficient is mainly the fact that this process combines printing and finishing. It is possible to carry out the cold transfer offline - this is particularly advantageous if a smaller or older plant is to be upgraded cost-effectively. For larger presses (with six colors or more), the cold transfer unit can be installed inline as an additional module.

On the one hand, cold transfer makes a wide range of metallization effects possible - both as fine lines and filigree lettering and in the form of full-surface decorations. In sheet-fed offset printing, in particular, the process is designed so that the metallizations can also be overprinted inline - with conventional as well as UV or hybrid inks. This creates special, metallic shades. On the other hand, diffractive and holographic effects are possible with cold transfer, which are in particularly high demand in label printing.

If you would like to discover our full range of cold transfer finishings, we would be happy to send you a brochure. Simply send us a message to request one.

Sheet-fed offset printing is particularly well-suited to finishing smooth, glossy papers. Furthermore, the technology is constantly being developed further, meaning more and more materials are being added. The KPS SX+ solution, for example, can also be used to finish recycled or ‘difficult’ substrates, i.e., those that are very thin or tend to delaminate or tear.

Both of KURZ’s finishing processes produce high-quality results and allow for a wide range of visual effects - from high-gloss decorations and edge-to-edge metallization to three-dimensional hologram effects. While hot stamping is characterized by the fact that haptic details (relief finishes) are possible, cold transfer in sheet-fed offset printing is particularly efficient. On the one hand, the process can be integrated directly into the printing process without requiring any additional embossing tools. On the other hand, the finishing is applied only by means of pressure without any heat application. This also reduces energy costs. In addition, cold transfer enables fast and efficient full-area sheet decoration and can be implemented in sheet-fed printing using standard components (printing plates, rubber blankets).

Learn more about hot stamping here.

Both cold and digital transfer offer an efficient and sustainable alternative to traditional finishing processes such as lamination. With digital transfer, the focus is on glossy metallizations, even for small batches and special editions from as little as one piece. Cold transfer, in turn, impresses with an unrivaled range of different effects as well as a high printing speed. Up to 20,000 sheets per hour can be printed using sheet-fed offset printing.

If you want to know more about the digital transfer process, visit our website.

Absolutely! On the one hand, no plastic remains on the substrate - in contrast to lamination, for example - because the carrier is removed after application of the finishing. All KURZ transfer products are fully recyclable and can be recycled through KURZ RECOSYS®, the company’s own PET take-back system for the graphic industry, which is unparalleled worldwide. In addition, KURZ is constantly further developing its solutions and making them even more sustainable. The cold transfer module DISTORUN®, for example, enables precise positioning of single images and continuous decors. This means that the remaining free surfaces on already used substrates can be used in further finishing passes.

Read more about sustainability in cold transfer here.

KURZ offers a wide range of cold transfer solutions that produce glossy results in sheet-fed offset printing.

  • KPS SX+ is suitable for conventional and UV systems, for various substrates, and for large-surface and delicate motifs
  • KPS slim (patent pending) has a thickness of only 6 µm instead of 12 µm and requires even less adhesive with improved gloss and even higher opacity
  • LIGHT LINE® KSO creates vibrant diffractive effects in silver, gold, or with transparency for extremely thin metallizations