Eminence Business Media

Eminence Business Media

Friday, September 30, 2011

basysPrint’s first time attendance at Labelexpo underpins expansion strategy

basysPrint choose its first attendance at Labelexpo to unveil ambitious plans to expand market share and introduce technology to a wider customer mix in Hall 12 - T90.

NEW: Cross Applications for profitability and flexibility
Featuring a unique flatbed design and Dynamic Autofocus technology, the new generation basysPrint UV-Setters gives customers the opportunity to embrace new markets and Cross Applications. Using the UV-Setter 450x and 850x Series, printers can now image in-house:
  • UV plates for offset printing
  • Coating plates for spot varnish printing
  • Photoengraving magnesium or copper plates (up to 10mm thick) for hot-foil stamping and embossing
  • Screen meshes for all kinds of silk screen printing applications
  • Dies for flexible die-cutting

"We are focused on developing and delivering solutions that will flexibly handle the increasing wider array of jobs our customers perform," says Christophe Lievens, Director of Sales and Marketing. "To forge a successful future operation they need to improve their adaptability and flexibility. That is why we designed our UV-Setter 851x to help them differentiate their offering in an increasingly commodity based industry. Cross Applications are what we at basysPrint mean with unique print effects such as spot varnishes, hot-foil stamping and embossing, as well as processes like die-cutting and screen printing. Helping our customers to offer these solutions in-house helps them tap into additional revenue streams and reduce cost levels to add value and reinforce long-term relationships with their clients."

Productive UV-offset platemaking
At the Labelexpo show, basysPrint will showcase the new manual 8-up UV-Setter 851x solution for conventional plate exposure, part of its new generation 450x and 850x UV-Setters. Main features are strongly increased UV offset platemaking productivity, quality, and sustainability.
The new units assure higher UV-offset platemaking productivity thanks to dual plate loading which enables imaging up to 120 plates per hour (470 x 650 mm size). The brand new graphical user interface facilitates both improved ease of use and professional remote access using Smartphone and tablet type devices.

For the manual version on show there is a clear upgrade path to semi-automatic and fully automatic multi-cassette systems. These can accept up to five different plate formats from five cassettes, each holding 100 plates. All types include an integrated punch that provides fast, reliable and register-accurate customer-specific punching.

Unbeaten sustainability
The new UV-Setters also offer sustainability benefits, featuring ecology friendly processing chemistry with a low alkali, soap like solution that can be poured down the drain and very low energy consumption of 2 KWH versus 8,3 KWH for thermo plates.
These are combined with the standard benefits of UV-plate technology that include stable and easy-to maintain overall processing quality, wide processing tolerances with reliable output, chemistry that lasts three times longer than digital plates, high run length stability even without baking, and compatibility with UV-inks.

Modular all the way
Apart from the flexibility in choosing a manual, semi-automatic or full automatic solution, the exposure speed can be configured at wish by increasing the number of high-performance diode modules (DSI³), enabling plate throughput rates to be more than doubled. 

New lightweights, wet-strength and digital printing options in premium pressure-sensitive label face stock

Smart Papers has re-engineered and expanded its premium high-gloss, cast-coated Kromekote Label papers brand and is now introducing the comprehensive product line to label printers and converters across North America and Europe. With the expansion, the company now offers one of the world’s broadest selections of premium label papers for consumer packaging. All papers are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.

The Kromekote Cut and Stack label line has been reformulated for improved dimensional stability in wet-glue applied label applications. The line now features nine products, including new lightweight offerings, new papers guaranteed for digital presses, new wet-strength papers and a 30% post-consumer waste (PCW) label paper. Cut-and-stack labels—used in wine, spirits and consumer packaged goods—are sold to label printers and paper/packaging distributors.

The Kromekote Converting line now offers eight products for high-gloss, pressure-sensitive label face stock, including new lightweights, new digital press-guaranteed papers, and new wet-strength papers. This product line is sold exclusively to pressure-sensitive label converters.

“Brand owners who want to showcase or reinforce a premium image know that the best-looking labels are essential to brand success,” explained SMART Papers Executive Vice President Paul Simpson. “Kromekote Label delivers a sophisticated look and feel, can handle any specialized printing technique and is specifically designed for high performance on labeling lines.”

Simpson said label printers and converters will also benefit from improved supply chain reliability and quick-response technical support from Smart Papers.

Smart Papers is North America’s largest manufacturer of premium cast-coated printing and label papers. For 80 years, its Kromekote brand has been a global standard in coated papers, respected for its mirror-smooth glossy surface, extraordinary graphics reproduction and excellent on-press performance.

Kromekote Cut and Stack Label Papers
With the new product line additions, Kromekote Cut and Stack label papers are now available in five basis weights from 54-lb. to 80-lb. (80-118 gsm). Two new products are available in wet-strength formulations, while another product is offered with 30% PCW content. Kromekote Cut and Stack 60 lb. label paper is also certified by the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) for use on all HP Indigo narrow web presses. All papers in the line feature 90 brightness, high opacity, deliver superior lay-flat performance in a variety of calipers.

Kromekote Converting Label Papers
With the new additions, Kromekote Converting is available in 57-lb. and 60-lb (84-89 gsm), regular and high gloss (82 to 95 gloss) and 90 and 92 brightness. A 60-lb. wet-strength paper is now available, as are two new 60-lb. label papers RIT certified for HP Indigo and high-speed color laser printers. Superior sheet strength assures trouble-free performance in high-speed printing, matrix stripping and other converting applications. The papers are specifically for premium pressure-sensitive labels, laminations and wraps.

Kromekote Label Papers
Kromekote Label is optimized for printing on all offset, flexographic, color digital and gravure printing equipment. All papers deliver superior results in detailed embossing, foil stamping, metallization and varnishing applications. An ultra-absorbent and fast-drying cast-coated surface ensures crisp dot formation and super-sharp printed images, brilliant colors, nuanced shading and fine lines.

Kromekote Label is produced at the Smart Papers manufacturing center near Cincinnati. All products are available for immediate shipment across North America, Europe and for select customers worldwide. 

New software interface from GSE Dispensing and Cerm integrates ink flow into label printer’s planning system

Ink logistics solutions provider GSE Dispensing and Cerm, specialist in automation and business management solutions for the print industry, have co-developed a software package that enables the management of ink requirements to be integrated within the label printer’s forward planning and scheduling systems.

The new interface provides information about availability, costing and traceability of ink recipes and base inks. Cerm exports production orders and required ink volumes per order to GSE Dispensing’s Ink Management Software (IMS). IMS formulates the ink recipes consumption rates and return inks per order, enabling an accurate calculation of ink costs per order. This information is exported to the Cerm software, giving the customer an immediate overview of ink costs per order and recipe availability. This new interface provides many important benefits, which will boost the competitive edge of the label printer.

“Most significantly, the software interface provides total control of ink budgets, which until now have been a blind spot for printers. This will help immensely in improving the cost forecasting and waste reduction,” comments Peter D’Hondt, manager global business development and sales at Cerm.

Other benefits include the real-time information of recipe availability, enabling faster response printing. Furthermore, the ability of the software to trace inks used on every job to the original base ink batch number will enable the printer to meet strict packaging quality standards required for certain food, beverage and pharmaceutical goods. 

“This collaboration between GSE Dispensing and Cerm finally integrates the ink workflow into production planning operations. This development addresses the need for a leaner, more responsive print value chain,” said Maarten Hummelen, GSE Dispensing’s marketing director.

GSE Dispensing offers a diverse programme of modular gravimetric ink dispensing systems, tailored to the printer’s specific ink volume requirements, from label to corrugated board applications.  Its Colorsat Match dispenser, for flexo, gravure and screen label printing situations, has enjoyed great popularity in the five years since its launch, with nearly 60 installations worldwide. 

EskoArtwork raises quality of flexo printing yet again with choice of round or flat-top dots

EskoArtwork has once again lifted the quality bar of flexo plate making with the release of Inline UV2. The new inline UV exposure unit for Cyrel Digital Imagers now offers flexo printers the flexibility to select the type of print dot – either round-top or flat-top – according to the specific job requirement. With this new found flexibility, printers can offer their clients the best of both worlds in terms of dot quality.

A hot topic in the flexible packaging market today is whether to use round or flat-top dots during the flexo plate making process. Both have their respective advantages: round-top dots offer vignettes down to zero with the finest minimum dots, while flat-top dots offer best-in-class solids, due to their high solid ink density. Recently, there has been resurgence in demand for flat-top dots to improve solid ink densities when printing on flexible or corrugated materials. With Inline UV2, flexo printers can produce flexo plates which create either round or flat-top dots in print – thus meet this demand. With a simple click of a switch they just select the dot shape according to the job requirements – from plate-to-plate or sleeve-to-sleeve. There is no need for different plates or different plate-making capabilities and equipment.

“HD Flexo revolutionized the flexible packaging industry by delivering near-offset quality across all flexo print applications,” says Juergen Andresen, EskoArtwork Vice President, Flexo Business. “With print runs getting shorter and the quality gap closing, printers and brand owners are increasingly looking towards flexo technology as an alternative to gravure. Gravure, however, has always been able to lay down more ink for saturated colors – until now that is,” says Andresen.  “With Inline UV2, flexo printing can now produce digital flexo plates with either flat-top or round-top dots – producing both vignettes and solids equal to that of gravure. This enables flexo printers to offer their clients the choice in the way the work is produced. It is very much “horses for courses”,” explains Andresen. “But the flexibility enables end-users to opt for a flexo solution when they previously might have chosen gravure.”

Getting to grips with the technology
Digital flexo is the leading choice for much of today’s digital plate production and involves imaging a mask or LAMS (Laser Ablation Mask System) on a plate. It is then UV exposed creating a round-top dot structure that offers vignettes down to zero with finest minimum dots in print. Proven over the years, this industry standard reduces dot gain and produces smooth imagery with an expanded tonal range. With the Inline UV2, digital flexo can now generate a flat-top dot structure in a digital workflow ensuring the solids are best in class, due to its very high solid ink density. Before Inline UV2 this was only possible in an analog workflow where a film layer over the plate had to be used to eliminate the oxygen during UV curing.

Inline UV exposure replaces analogue UV bank exposure with digitally controlled UV laser diodes. This highly precise digital process delivers the highest levels of consistency. And because it can be fully integrated into the digital workflow, reproducibility is assured. Being a single step workflow also means simplicity, avoiding errors by manual handling and elimination of extra workflow steps. Inline UV exposure is availability for sleeve workflows as well which ensures a route to the future.  The Inline UV2 unit can also be easily implemented into existing LAMS workflows.

Other advantages include a true digital dot with higher precision, no time lost or risks for errors and no need for extra equipment, film or consumables.

Mercian Labels invests in second Xeikon Digital Industrial printing press

The Mercian Labels Group has completed its latest investment with the purchase and installation of a new Xeikon 3300 digital label press. The new press which is due to be commissioned shortly is the company’s second investment in Xeikon digital printing equipment.

Dr Adrian Steele, Managing Director of The Mercian Labels Group said: “Investing in a second Xeikon machine at this time in the economic cycle is the right decision for both our customers and us.  We are in business to make money, and the increased capability of the Xeikon 3300 machine will bring a new dimension to our short-run labelling division, which will make us more profit.

“The increased four-colour speed with inline converting delivers a real productivity benefit to us as lead times from artwork approval to dispatch are now always under three days.  Our workload in 2011 has been getting increasingly erratic and spiky, but that’s the way we like it as our competitors can't react as quickly as we can! 

“The vibrancy of the colour matching with Xeikon’s QA-I toner is also an attraction, as is the 1200dpi resolution that more than meets the expectations of our market.  By again committing to the Xeikon platform we believe that it gives us a genuine competitive advantage – we run the fastest short-run labelling service in the UK with a 98% on-time in-full (OTIF) performance, and with the Xeikon 3300 we can now also deliver the highest quality print to our customers.  It’s a compelling offer to our 9,000 trade and end-user customers.”

The purchase decision was aided by Xeikon’s continued focus on working with conventional substrates, rather than the extra costs and production time incurred by applying coatings to printing materials, as well as the use of Xeikon’s X-800 workflow technology. “The X-800 system is something that our operational teams are already used to, and a solution that works well,” added Dr Steele.

Commenting on the purchase decision by The Mercian Labels Group, Filip Weymans, Xeikon’s Business development manager for labels and packaging products, said: “We are, of course, delighted that a company with such a high profile in the industry as The Mercian Labels Group has confirmed its commitment to Xeikon technology for the production of high quality printed self-adhesive labels. We see this as a vote for Xeikon’s reliability and ability to meet tight deadlines – a point of difference that this customer focuses on.”

The Mercian Labels Group of companies are market leaders in the manufacture of LabelLock seals, Gammatex radiation indicators, high volume variable data and barcode labels, bespoke high security label seals and short-run custom printed labels.  They operate from two manufacturing sites in the UK and benefit from over 9,000 business customers, exporting to over 20 countries across 6 continents.  The business prides itself on providing loyal customer service, and focuses on three day production turnaround for label orders from its short run labelling division. Mercian Labels is the preferred supplier of short-run labels to thousands of businesses throughout the UK.

The unique combination of 1200 x 3600 dpi addressability and 4-bit variable dot density offers rich colour depth and subtle contrasts. Sharp and crisp details can even enable the creation of micro text, an often used anti-counterfeiting tool. The Xeikon 3000 Series uses the Pericles screening library. The screen ruling can be adjusted for every image element, resulting in images of the highest quality that are pleasing to the eye. An inline densitometer allows users to calibrate the press to ensure uniform and accurate colours and colour consistency between jobs and between presses. The four process colours plus one of a range of standard or custom-made spot colours provide an extended colour gamut. Our one pass opaque white helps to create immaculate images on transparent and metallic label stock. 

DIGILINE delivers Versatile Printing at LabelExpo 2011

Rapid job changeovers and minimised downtime from Atlantic Zeiser’s responsive integrated solutions guarantee quality-assured delivery of high-speed security printing applications. Seamless changeovers and versatile job capabilities are fundamental in helping today’s label printer meet increasingly tighter turnaround times with more specialised and creative print. That is why Atlantic Zeiser has further developed its highly responsive, flexible, integrated DIGILINE Web 300 to meet an array of printing demands as demonstrated with the DELTA 105i and GAMMA 70 P at LabelExpo 2011, Brussels, hall 11, stand R95.

An added benefit of the modularity of these complete solutions is that practical applications are limited only by the customer’s requirements. Atlantic Zeiser’s Vice President Digital Systems Ralf Hipp comments: “To successfully produce high quality print and ensure customer happiness requires printers to be able to adapt swiftly to changing demands while delivering guaranteed quality assurance. With our modular solutions we can meet various requirements from tax labels, lottery tickets, event tickets and labels.”

Comparable to common printing technologies with printing width of 300mm, a resolution of up to 600 dpi and at a top speed of up to 150 m/minute, the DIGILINE Web solution consists of a modular continuous feed unit, digital inkjet printers, curing technology and controller unit. It has an automatic splice station that detects, marks and splices printing errors within the production process and continues the print job seamlessly. Its modularity ensures cost efficiency for printing, coding, serialisation and personalisation; even with late stage customization and just-in-time production.

To highlight a number of the most popular options, as well as additional ways to win new business, Atlantic Zeiser will be showcasing three applications. They include integrating with the greyscale printer DELTA 105i to print from roll to roll. The solution also features the camera-based verification system, VERICAM, to check the quality of printed data in real time, guaranteeing zero-defects in the end product.

The second, also using the DELTA 105i, will individually print and code from the roll industrial labels from its partner, 3M. The 3M labels are made from a liquid-repellent special plastic used in the chemical industry. The third, with a GAMMA 70 P full-colour printing module for CMYK inkjet printing, will print industrial labels for another self-adhesive 3M high-performance film.

Hipp adds: “Security print service providers increasingly demand high-security, cost-effective and rapid coding and serialisation using variable data. Industrial digital printing provides precisely these options and considerably reduces the cost per print.”

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Screen appoints European Business Manager to focus on flexo packaging

Screen European Operations is pleased to announce the appointment of Carlo Sammarco as European Business Manager with a focus on Flexo Packaging. The appointment sees Carlo move from his existing sales role with Screen UK to this newly-created position at Screen European Operations.

Screen is bringing its reputation as the world’s leading developer and supplier of quality computer to plate (CTP) systems to the flexo industry sector with an expanding range of highly innovative imaging systems and specialist workflow options. The Screen PlateRite FX range of thermal platesetters images all market-leading solvent and water-wash photopolymer plates for flexo and letterpress applications to the highest 4,800 dpi quality levels. In addition to Screen’s Equios workflow and FlexoDot software, the open-platform PlateRite FX systems can be integrated with any flexo front-end system to create a powerful and flexible imaging solution for flexible packaging, labels, cartons and corrugated packaging applications.

Carlo is now responsible for managing Screen’s growing market share in the flexo packaging industry and will provide expert knowledge and support to the company’s direct and reseller sales teams across Europe. “We deliver the best quality imaging systems available today, backed by Screen’s renowned service and warranty, to ensure customers have the best production experience. This is a fantastic opportunity to develop Screen’s presence in an expanding and technically demanding sector of the print market", said Carlo.

Commenting on the appointment Kees Mulder, President of Screen European Operations, said: "The packaging industry is an area of increasing opportunity for Screen and Carlo’s appointment to this important new role shows our commitment to the sector and reinforces our aim to become a significant supplier of flexo and packaging solutions.”

EskoArtwork connects with wide range of partners at the heart of the label industry

EskoArtwork is presenting its latest range of innovative label design, prepress and workflow solutions at Labelexpo Europe 2011 on stand B30 in Hall 5, and cooperates with an impressive number of industry partners who recognize the power of EskoArtwork technology.

“While Labelexpo Europe is the platform for EskoArtwork to showcase our latest technologies for label and tag production, it Is equally a boast to an extensive network of partners that demonstrate our technologies throughout the show floor,” comments Carsten Knudsen, CEO of EskoArtwork. “We are proud that our solutions are coveted by so many in the industry, and happy to demonstrate how we link up with our partners to provide successful tag and label solutions.”

Digital Print Workshops (Hall 9)
EskoArtwork has been an enthusiastic driver of the Digital Print Workshops since its first edition at Labelexpo Chicago last year. The ultimate challenge continues at this year’s edition in Brussels with three competing digital printing technologies (Xeikon dry toner, HP liquid toner and EFI inkjet) lined up alongside each other to run the same label job. The prepress workflow and color management on all three presses will be managed again by the EskoArtwork Automation Engine that integrates all MIS and job information on the highest level. Visitors will be able to assess the advantages and limitations of each technology with regard to substrates, consumables, preparation times and running costs.
Digital Flexo
The EskoArtwork state of the art digital flexo imaging technology is shared with the following flexo plate vendors:
• DuPont (Hall 11 Stand Q25): DuPont is the long-standing EskoArtwork plate and plate-processing partner since the introduction of the first CDI system.
• Flint (Hall 5 Stand B45): Flint’s Nyloflex® printing plates will be shown along with EskoArtwork CDI imagers.
• Toray / Dantex (Hall 11 Stands R30 and S40, and Hall 5 Stand D20): Dantex, EskoArtwork's OEM digital flexo platesetter partner, will be imaging letterpress plates on a Dantex CDI platesetter, powered by EskoArtwork. Dantex will also demonstrate customer work using EskoArtwork HD Flexo.
EskoArtwork HD Flexo 2.0 technology, imaging digital flexo plates for near-offset print quality, will be on display at:
• Gallus Ferd. Rüesch AG (Hall 5 Stand B50): An EskoArtwork CDI Spark 2120 digital flexo platemaker will produce Gallus Screeny digital screen plates live at the show. In addition, Gallus will be using EskoArtwork HD Flexo technology on two presses in the stand: a Gallus RCS 330 Offset/Flexo Combination press and the new Gallus ECS 340 commodity label press.
• Marc Andy (Hall 5 Stand C10): Mark Andy presses will be running jobs imaged with HD Flexo plates.
• Nilpeter (Hall 7 Stands L60 and L90): Narrow web press manufacturer Nilpeter will produce live samples running EskoArtwork HD Flexo plates on Nilpeter flexo presses.

Offset Printing
EskoArtwork prepress and color software, including workflow automation, complements the preparation of labels.
• Codimag (Hall 11 Stand R30): Label press manufacturer Codimag demonstrates a live integrated workflow from design to prepress; offset and flexo platemaking, and production heavily dependent upon EskoArtwork solutions. An EskoArtwork application specialist will demonstrate software solutions for labels and tags based on collaboration between EskoArtwork, Codimag, Agfa, CERM, and CIPPI award-winning French label manufacturer 5Sept Etiquette.

Digital Printing
EskoArtwork color and workflow software drives digital color printing for labels, and are demonstrated at:
• HP (Hall 9 Stands F65 and G65): HP and EskoArtwork have a long-term partnering and pioneering relationship in digital print development for industrial applications such as labels and tags, and this cooperation has resulted in growth for the digital label print market. EskoArtwork´s color solution is embedded in the front end of HP Indigo digital presses. A dedicated EskoArtwork demonstrator will show how HP Indigo presses are driven by EskoArtwork solutions.
• Durst (Hall 9 Stand H57): On display are the Tau 150 8C UV-Inkjet Labelpress and Rotoworx 330 DIVA/VDP, including an EskoArtwork digital front end (DFE) with integrated FlexRip, Color Engine (color management) and DeskPack step & repeat modules. The powerful end-to-end solution for short-run label production include prepress workflow software, a high speed liquid UV ink label press with variable data capability and a matching die-cutting and lamination unit.
• EFI (Hall 9 Stand H55): EskoArtwork FlexProof/E powered by EFI Bestcolor® technology will drive inkjet proofing devices without the need for an additional software RIP. The operator can be certain that the FlexProof/E proof is created from exactly the same data as final production.
• Stork Prints (Hall 6 Stand H40): Stork Prints will introduce its DSI press, a single-pass 4-color UV inkjet digital label press with in-line varnishing and die cutting. This press will be on display in its stand, featuring an EskoArtwork DFE for prepress workflow and color management.
• SGAT (at CSAT GmbH Hall 9 Stand F10 and Gallus Ferd. Rüesch AG Hall 5 Stand B50): CSAT GmbH manufactures digital printing systems for pharmaceutical label printing, while Gallus will also highlight digital label production. Both utilize SGAT solutions with FlexRIP, Automation Engine Pilot, and Color Engine Pilot.
• Domino (Hall 9 Stand H10): EskoArtwork allows the Domino N600i digital inkjet press to link seamlessly into existing prepress workflows.  Designers can use familiar tools to design their labels and then simply select the printer to print them on.

EskoArtwork color expertise, especially in reliable proofing of brand and special colors for labels and packaging applications, is demonstrated at:
• EPSON (Hall 9 Stand H50): EPSON’s new white ink unit (SP-WT7900) that will be demonstrated at Labelexpo is especially suited for labels and tags. EskoArtwork and EPSON are long-time partners. On two workstations, EskoArtwork Color Engine for color management and proofing solutions — along with other EskoArtwork prepress and printing software applications — will be linked to EPSON devices, and supported by a dedicated EskoArtwork demonstrator.

Workflow – MIS integration
EskoArtwork design, prepress and workflow software can be integrated with many industry leading MIS / ERP solutions to improve productivity of the complete label production process. Links with EskoArtwork software are demonstrated at:
• CERM (Hall 6 Stand F95): EskoArtwork has a strong relationship with CERM, which specializes in JDF automation. CERM and EskoArtwork will be jointly demonstrating integrated solutions such as the one implemented at France’s CIPPI award-winning 5Sept Etiquette utilizing CERM MIS and EskoArtwork Automation Engine.
• Tailored Solutions with Label Traxx (Hall 9 Stand F47): Label Traxx, the print business management software for narrow web label printers and converters, can be linked with EskoArtwork Automation Engine and an HP Indigo press.
• EFI/Radius (Hall 9 Stand H55): The Radius MIS works with Esko Automation Engine as part of a total production workflow. Once an order is created in the Radius system, the details are sent, along with the one-up PDF file via a JDF message for proofing and, on approval, step and repeat. At each stage of the workflow, updated status report messages are sent back to Radius.
• Theurer (Hall 6, Stand F150): JDF-Integration of Automation Engine and theurer.com C3 MIS-Software for the printing and packaging industry will be shown. The JDF workflow integrates job and product data as well as status information.

“At Labelexpo Europe, a large number of companies are relying on EskoArtwork technology to enhance their business or production solutions. At the same time we are able to complement our solutions with components and expertise from other best-in-class companies. We strongly believe these benefits the industry by delivering true integrated solutions for the professional label and tag producers that help them become more competitive and profitable.” concludes Carsten Knudsen.

Allen Datagraph Systems, Inc. launches iTech CENTRA HS Digital Finishing System at Labelexpo Europe 2011

At stand 9G20 during Labelexpo Europe 2011, Allen Datagraph Systems Inc. (ADSI) will feature the worldwide launch of its new iTech CENTRA HS Digital Finishing System — up to four times faster than the original CENTRA system, and the European introduction of the ‘first of its kind’ iTech AXXIS SR Digital Label System for proofing and prototyping of labels. Allen Datagraph will also showcase the iTech AXXIS Digital Label System for printing and finishing high-quality, short-run labels on a wide variety of substrates.

“When companies digitally print short runs of labels, they still have another step: the need to finish the labels. No one wants to pay for the cost of a die nor wait for the delay of manufacturing the die,” explains Mark Vanover, VP Sales and Marketing at ADSI. “The CENTRA HS Digital Finishing System, shown for the first time at Labelexpo Europe, is fast enough to finish labels from any digital press.”

Worldwide introduction of iTech CENTRA HS Digital Finishing System
Allen Datagraph will be showing the first time anywhere the iTech CENTRA HS (High Speed) Digital Finishing System, which is up to four times faster than the original model. The digital finishing system is used when label convertors print short runs of labels on a digital press — enabling custom shapes and quick turn-around delivery to the customer.

The iTech CENTRA HS is a high-speed roll-to-roll digital converting system that allows users to laminate, die-less cut, strip the waste matrix and slit custom labels in one production pass. It can die cut any custom shape on demand – without the inherent costs, delays and limitations of more conventional die cutting processes – right from Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw using the same vector file that would normally be sent out for die manufacture. It is sized to accommodate most label convertors’ needs. The iTech CENTRA HS can convert printed materials from any digital or analog print platform, including inkjet and thermal printers or a conventional flexo press in roll lengths up to 1,250 feet (381 m) and up to 14 inches wide (356 mm).

Print to cut registration is accomplished via the SMARTMark Optical Registration System. Multiple registration marks can be scanned to automatically adjust the cut file, compensating for any skew or scale issues that may have been caused by the output device or the material. The computer-driven cutting technology is capable of cutting multiple depths within the same cut file allowing for perforations or multi-layer applications. The iTech CENTRA HS also has a new touch screen interface that makes it easy to set up and operate.

Requiring no dies, make-ready, or running waste, the iTech CENTRA HS Digital Finishing System’s versatility and accuracy provide the professional converter as well as the end user with true ‘on demand’ converting capabilities. The system is available for purchase at Labelexpo Europe with deliveries scheduled for January 2012.

European introduction: iTech AXXIS SR Digital Label System
Being demonstrated for the first time in Europe is the first of its kind iTech AXXIS SR Digital Label System. The iTech AXXIS SR Digital Label System is a complete, affordable digital label production solution that meets the needs of all converters who need to proof or prototype labels of any shape on-demand or for end users who have short run label requirements.

The iTech AXXIS SR Digital Label System is an all-in-one solution that can print and digitally die-cut any shape on demand labels in a matter of minutes. With a ‘one-touch’ print and cut software interface, the ability to proof or prototype finished labels of any shape has never been easier. It provides end users with their own ‘in house’ label production solution that reduces inventory requirements and costs. The iTech AXXIS SR Digital Label System enables converters to provide their customers the ‘value added’ capabilities of proofing and prototyping labels of any shape prior to committing to full production.

The iTech AXXIS SR Digital Label System, using an Epson B-500DN inkjet print engine, prints ‘consumer quality’ labels at 720 x 720 dpi. With a wide variety of available substrates – paper, polyester and polypropylene – the system can print in widths from 4 inches (102 mm) to 8.5 inches (216 mm) in rolls with a maximum outside diameter of 11 inches (280 mm). Integrated into the iTech AXXIS SR Digital Label System is the proven and revolutionary technology developed by ADSI to die-cut labels on-demand without the need for expensive dies. The finishing portion of the system laminates and digitally die-cuts, along with scoring the face stock to easily help remove waste matrix.

The iTech AXXIS Digital Label System: Affordable short run digital label printing and finishing
“Many small-to-medium-sized companies need high quality labels. However the cost associated with purchasing small quantities of high quality labels is one of the biggest issues these companies have to resolve—while still offering products that are appealing to the consumer at the point of sale. Until the iTech AXXIS Digital Label System, they had few options,” comments Vanover.  “They were required to purchase labels in large quantities creating inventory that may never be used, or they paid a high premium for short-run labels—both options decreasing their profitability. Their last option was to use inferior pre-cut label solutions.”

The iTech AXXIS Digital Label System is comprised of both the iTech AXXIS Digital Label Printer and the iTech AXXIS Digital Label Finisher. The iTech AXXIS Digital Label Printer, using an Epson B-500DN inkjet print engine, prints ‘consumer quality’ labels at 720 x 720 dpi. With a wide variety of available substrates – paper, polyester and polypropylene – the system can print in widths from 4 inches (102 mm) to 8.5 inches (216 mm) in rolls with a maximum outside diameter of 11 inches (280 mm). The ability to print variable data is an option. The iTech AXIS Digital Label Finisher is a roll-to-roll digital converting system that allows users to laminate, die-less cut, strip and slit custom labels in one production pass. It can die cut any custom shape on demand – without the inherent costs, delays and limitations of more conventional die cutting processes – right from Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw using the same vector file that would normally be sent out for die manufacture.

The complete iTech AXXIS Digital Label System is small enough to fit on a tabletop, yet engineered to handle high-productivity throughput.  “No other label system can offer the features of the iTech AXXIS Digital Label System for anything close to the low cost of acquisition,” continues Vanover.  “We’ve turned the industry’s assumptions of label production on its head by bringing affordable digital label manufacturing within reach of everyone. We believe the iTech AXXIS Digital Label System enables every converter to never have to walk away from their customers’ short-run label production needs again.”

“Sales of the iTech AXXIS Digital Label System over the last two years have exceeded our expectations – with almost 250 systems installed worldwide,” concludes Vanover. “Label converters of all sizes are looking at ways to expand their offerings to existing print customers. The ability to manufacture short runs of labels – which are highly profitable with such a minimal investment — has been a major key to the success of the iTech AXXIS Digital Label System in the market.”

New version of QA-I toner in spot red and orange at Labelexpo Europe 2011

Xeikon will launch a new version of its QA-I toner in spot red and orange at Labelexpo Europe 2011, which takes place at the Brussels Expo, Brussels, Belgium from 28 September to 1 October.  The new spot colors feature a vastly improved light fastness up to a level of 6 on the blue wool scale. In addition, both colors now meet FDA food safety requirements for both direct and indirect dry food contact. Visitors to the Xeikon stand will also have the opportunity to see for themselves the results of a recent light fastness benchmarking test, which confirms Xeikon as the best performing digital printing technology on the market.

When Xeikon first released the QA-I toner at IPEX 2010, it raised the bar of digital color print toners to new heights. Uniquely developed for the label and packaging market, the new toner featured major advances in color gamut, fast lightness and food safety. It was released in all the standard CMYK process colors along with a series of off-the-shelf spot colors (orange, green, red, blue, extra magenta, clear and white). At the time, however, the performance of spot orange and red lagged slightly behind the rest of the family in both light fastness and food safety. Since that initial release, the toner R&D group at Xeikon has continued to optimize the pigments used in the toner and have now lifted both colors up to be in line with Xeikon’s traditionally high standards.

“Red and orange are both used a lot in the chemical industry,” says Filip Weymans, Marketing & Business Development Manager, Labels & Packaging at Xeikon. “For example: Warning signs placed on the outside of large drums carrying potentially dangerous contents typically use these two colors and they are often exposed to UV light for long periods of time. With the light fastness of both colors now lifted to 6 on the blue wool scale, labels created with QA-I toner can easier meet the demanding requirements of this market.”

During the same period, the R&D team also focused heavily on improving the food safety performance of the two QA-I spot colors.  When first released, they met the FDA requirements for indirect food contact. By optimizing the color pigments, they now meet FDA requirement for both indirect and direct dry food contact. The new release of QA-I toner in both spot red and orange will start shipping as from Labelexpo Europe 2011 (i.e. from 1 September 2011).

“The raised performance of both light fastness and food safety of the two spot colors now enables label printers to broaden the range of applications they can offer,” adds Weymans.

Xeikon comes out on top of light fastness benchmarking exercise
Visitors to Labelexpo Europe 2011 will also be able to observe – first hand – the results of a benchmarking exercise that was conducted recently between different digital printing technologies. During the exercise, which was carried out by an independent printer, three identical  labels were printed on the same material using three different technologies: UV inkjet, liquid toner and Xeikon’s dry QA-I toner. Each label, lying side-by-side, was exposed to 800 hours of sunshine during the 4 months of April to August this year.

The deltaE, which is the unit of measure of color difference, was measured for seven different colors of each label. At the end of the 800 hours, the deltaE of the Xeikon printed sample was significantly less across all seven colors. The results clearly reaffirmed Xeikon’s high standard of quality in light fastness with an average deltaE of 7.6. This compared to 12.2 for inkjet-printed label and 37.3 for the alternative liquid toner technology.

Xeikon will exhibit at Labelexpo Europe 2011 in Hall 9, Stand 45. The company will showcase an impressive line-up of five solutions dedicated to the digital label printing market, including digital label presses, converting lines and integrated software. On the stand there will be live demonstrations of a wide web label solution with its Xeikon 3500, the most productive digital label press available on the market. The show will also mark the launch of the DCoat500, which will be showcased in “World Premiere” as the in-line finishing solution of the Xeikon 3500.

A pioneer in digital printing, Xeikon designs, develops and delivers high-end digital colour printing systems for the industrial, document and commercial printing market segments. These systems are composed of advanced web-fed printing engines using LED-array-based, dry toner electrophotography, open workflow software, exclusive toner and other consumables. Xeikon’s production and R&D operations are based in Belgium and its solutions are distributed and supported through a worldwide sales and service network. Xeikon is a division of Punch Graphix. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

EFI Jetrion UV printers implement Color-Logic process metallic color system

EFI has successfully concluded a series of collaborative efforts and joint testing whereby its Jetrion Digital Industrial Inkjet Systems are now certified by Color-Logic. EFI Jetrion personnel are familiar with the Color-Logic Process Metallic Color System, and stand ready to assist label printers and converters in achieving dramatic Color-Logic effects using metallic foil. Announcing the implementation, Color-Logic Director of Sales and Marketing Mark Geeves commented: “EFI Jetrion and Color-Logic, through joint testing, have certified that the Color-Logic Process Metallic Color Process can be successfully implemented on EFI Jetrion inkjet presses. As a result of our collaborative efforts, Color-Logic samples printed on Jetrion machines were shown to attendees at the recent EFI Connect conference in Las Vegas.”

Digital EFI Jetrion Industrial Inkjet systems and inks enable printers and converters to differentiate their businesses from the competition and increase revenues by doing short-run printing, labels, shrink sleeves, packaging and direct mail jobs. The EFI Jetrion systems and inks also enable printers to expand into premium margin applications such as one-to-one marketing, track and trace, anti-counterfeiting, and brand protection. EFI Jetrion systems eliminate plates, reduce labor and waste costs, alleviate inventory pressure, and shorten turnaround times.

EFI’s Fiery XF production RIP for Jetrion handles the multi-layered PDF files produced by Color-Logic’s software seamlessly, giving users ease of use without extra manual interventions.  

Color-Logic develops color communication systems and software tool sets for a variety of special effect printing applications. Color-Logic provides brand owners, product managers, corporations, and their advertising agencies the ability to differentiate themselves and their clients with a simple print production process that yields dramatic results. Color-Logic special effects utilize the existing workflows of printers and designers, yielding dynamic results without the use of special equipment. Color-Logic supports the value of print and works with designers and printers to enhance their printed media. 

Solutions Graphiques to showcase the new flexo 4260 inline system &, sleeve cleaning system

Specialist in plate making for Solvent Flexo, UV flexo, Water Fexo and letterpress as well as cleaning system for Plate Sleeves and Anilox, Solutions Graphiques is dedicated to supplying equipment solutions for the pre-press and post-press sector of the printing industry. Based on years of design and manufacturing experience, the company has a simple mission to provide well designed equipment at affordable prices. 

At Labelexpo Europe, Solutions Graphiques will be showcasing the new flexo 4260 inline system, sleeve cleaning system, plate cleaner, and all water flexo and letterpress equipment at the show. The team of Lucky Graphics that is the agent for Solutions Graphiques in India will be present at Stand No. 11Q95 to attend customer enquiries and queries. This will be your chance to see live machine demonstrations as well get your answers to your queries from Rohit Sachdeva along with Raghav Sachdeva will be personally be present at the stand to attending to all of you. See you there at 11Q95.

Waterless plate specialist to combine expertise with intermittent feed presses manufacturer Codimag

Waterless platemaking specialist Toray Industries and intermittent feed presses manufacturer Codimag will combine their expertise at Labelexpo to showcase a range of optimized flexible print production solutions for label and packaging markets. Equipped with Toray plate processing capabilities Codimag’s VIVA 340 will run four jobs a day to highlight live changes, proof-matching and day-to-day reproducibility while the VIVA420 will run one job per day in combination with hot-foil. Both will feature the innovative Aniflo unit (keyless anilox offset) that offers a predictable and repeatable print system, for reliable colour management.

The event will also showcase various applications of waterless offset in the high-end label and packaging markets from labels, plastic card printing, CD/DVD printing, security printing, packaging up to newspaper printing. This includes the daily distribution of Le Figaro, the first French newspaper printed waterless offset on a KBA Cortina press, and also De Morgen printed by Eco Print Center on 12-tower KBA Cortina waterless press – both using Toray plates.

Pascal Duchêne, Managing Director at Codimag, comments: “As a press manufacturer, Codimag has been active in waterless offset technology for label printing since 1999. We are convinced that this technology brings many advantages to our customers. Printing labels inline in one pass improves register between the processes and reduces time and material lost in second or even third passes while optimizing productivity. Codimag’s intermittent feed presses work with all sizes without the need to change cylinders or rollers while enabling fast make ready, low waste and high productivity.

As for the Toray relationship at Labelexpo he adds: “We are very pleased to work in partnership with Toray and show how the waterless world is much broader than label printing, with high quality newspaper, plastic card or commercial printing also achievable.”

Founded in 1978 by Mr. Tison and Mr. Demol, Codimag began by manufacturing CODA a semi-rotary press for the business form market that later expanded into three different versions. In the early 90s these were joined by a semi-rotary press for the self adhesive label industry. In 1993 the first VIVA 300 was installed, primarily as 4-colour UV letterpress machine, and then as 6-color machine. In 1997, the VIVA 300 naturally became the VIVA 340, to reflect higher productivity thanks to a maximum printing area of 305 mm by 340 mm. Wet lamination, hot-foil stamping, screen-printing were added. In 1999 the VIVA 340 became available in waterless offset. The higher quality, in terms of fine dots, high screen ruling, and fine vignettes, especially on textured materials, such as vellum or linen papers soon opened up markets in wine, cosmetic and food labels. CODIMAG has now more than 300 VIVA presses installed in Europe, Brazil, South Africa, North America, Russia and Eastern Europe.

Toray Industries Inc., the leading manufacturer of waterless printing plates world wide, was founded in 1926 and has a global presence with factories and sales offices in Asia, Europe and North America. The main businesses of Toray are synthetic fibers, carbon fibers, plastics, films and chemicals. Many of the products are developed from its proprietary polymer technology base and are commonly used by the electronics, packaging, textile, automotive and aviation industries. Recent annual sales approached € 10 billion. Toray International Europe GmbH, Neu-Isenburg, Germany is the trading arm of Toray Industries Inc serving an independent network of distributors in the European market.

Demonstrations of flexo water washable plates at Labelexpo Europe @ 11P38

Toyobo Co., Ltd., world leader in photopolymer chemistry and manufacturer of Cosmolight water wash flexo plates as well as Printight water washable letterpress plates will be presenting its new Aqualine processor for digital water washable flexo polymer plates will be presenting its new Aqualine processor for digital water washable flexo polymer plates at Labelexpo Europe. On demonstration and display at the AV Flexologic Stand at Hall 11 Stand No. P38 will be the Aqualine that operates according to the ‘flat washout’ principle has the maximum brush contact due to which the wash out results are fast and of high quality. Thanks to its inline system, continuous plate processing is possible and compared to conventional processing equipment capacity is increased. Toyobo will also show a new generation Cosmolight NS. In addition AV Flexologic will demonstrate the AquaSuper 500x700 and the AquaSupreme 800x1050 for processing water washable flexo printing plates and the Mount-O-Matic Table Top for mounting flexographic plates in the narrow web industry.

Lucky Graphics that is the agent for Toyobo’s products in India headed by Mr. Rohit Sachdeva will be present along with Raghav Sachdeva to attend customer enquiries and queries along with the Toyobo Director Mr. Fuji Moto who will be imparting more ideas and information on the Cosmolight water wash flexo plates. For the uninformed, Cosmolight is the first water wash flexo plate in the world which ensures healthy and environmentally friendly work conditions while at the same time being more cost effective and fast. The material is durable to all water based, solvent and UV inks.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Webtech secures bright future with SUN slitter inspection rewinders from PRATI

Webtech Industries, India, expects its latest investment in three PRATI SUN TE330 slitter inspection rewinders, equipped with AVT camera systems, to help it continue its rapid growth in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors and aid its expansion plans into the cosmetics and FMCG markets. Following its latest investment the ambitious Mumbai company now delivers a high level of quality control with eight PRATI SUN TE330 slitter inspection rewinders.

Amar Chhajed, who founded the company in 1998 explains Webtech’s commitment to the solutions: “We have consistently bought the PRATI SUN TE330 slitter inspection rewinders for the last few years and we can easily say that the PRATI machines have contributed a lot to our overall efficiency and quality.

Webtech bought their first PRATI machine through Reifenhasuer India, PRATI's distributor in that area, which is also marketing Gidue and AVT systems as Webtech was looking for a total solution provider to their entire need including after sale support

Simple Design and Sturdy Build Key Qualities
“We evaluated many systems for our slitting/rewinding and inspection requirements and found the PRATI machines ideal for our needs and expectations. The simplicity in design, sturdy build quality and easy compatibility with 100% defect detection camera systems were the main features for us. We are extremely happy and satisfied with the overall quality of PRATI’s products and services.”

The PRATI SUN TE330 slitter inspection rewinder detects missing labels, color discrepancies as well as a matrix waste on a wide range of pressure sensitive labels, unsupported paper, cardboard, as well as aluminum. If equipped with inkjet print-head, it is able to overprint not only variable data such as barcodes and product codes, but also special inks. The servo technology applied on the machine allows the integration with all 100% camera inspection system brands. It can process webs width up to 330 mm and is a great cost-saving investment combining mechanical precision with electronic technology. For paper and transparent substrates, the electronic web guide comes equipped with ultrasonic sensor for easy process as well as the IR cell for counting with silk spot labels. While the touch-screen monitor guarantees ease-of-use, a self-diagnostic software informs the user about any specific stops or problems.

Consistent Growth Aided by PRATI Investment
Webtech has grown to become one the largest manufacturers of self-adhesive labels in India. Chhajed comments: “We purchased a Mark Andy in a Print exhibition almost on an impulse and the machine was just sitting around in our factory for the next six months. Then I learnt to operate the machine myself, as there were no skilled operators available. At that time Elf lubricants was screen-printing on its plastic containers. We convinced them to use sticker labels. Today many of the automotive oil companies in addition to most of the pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies are our clients. We have added roughly one printing machine every year since inception and have one of the largest manufacturing capacity for self adhesive sticker labels in the sub continent.”

Passion for Labels
The self adhesive label specialist provides specialty and customized labels including high security and anti counterfeit solutions and Chhajed adds: “The label industry has become a passion and now our goal is to rapidly expand operations to more locations within and outside India. The label industry is growing at a fast pace. The increasing consumption of branded goods in pharma, electronics, and cosmetics is fuelling the demand for labels. India has the opportunity to become an outsourcing hub and try and replicate the IT success story. This requires sustained effort on the part of the industry players who need to gear up by upgrading technology and using improved quality of substrates.”

Concluding he states: “We hope to improve the quality standards of the label industry in India taking them to international levels and even exceeding them in many cases.”

PRATI supplies machines for self-adhesive label print-finishing: covering customisation, inspection, die-cutting, matrix waste removal, longitudinal cutting and post-printing. With its more than thirty years of experience, PRATI has developed a reputation as a trustworthy manufacturer of extremely reliable systems, which are tailored to customers’ needs and form a solid foundation that offers mechanical and electronic precision.

The company’s product range incorporates versatile-use solutions which contribute to increased productivity at a low cost. These include the JUPITER und SATURN/SUN inspection tables, the modular and customer-specifically adjustable VEGAplus platforms, the PHARMACHECK finishing system, which is tailored specially to the needs of the pharmaceutical industry, the VEGAplus BOOKLET maker, the ideal offline unit to produce any type of booklet labels and the URANUS for overprinting and verifying data.

With over 1,000 machines installed in the market, PRATI is represented worldwide thanks to a representative and distribution network in Europe, the Middle East, India, Australia, Far East, South Africa, North America, Canada and South America. An expansion into other markets is planned. 

Toray targets European growth with new Czech plate plant

Toray Industries Inc. is to meet higher global demand for its pioneering waterless plates with a new printing plate factory in the Czech Republic. The Japanese specialist expects the facility to be operational in early 2014. Encompassing both coating and converting capabilities, the new Czech production facility will meet the needs of printers across Europe and the Middle East.

Currently Toray’s main plate manufacturing is undertaken in Japan and the company relies on ample local European stockpiles to ensure on time delivery to its overseas customers in an increasingly important market sector.

“Europe has been given priority regarding the time table for expanding Toray’s plate production because of the growing interest in waterless printing in these markets and the need to shorten supply routes“ states Mr. Matsumoto, General Manager, Graphics Division, Toray Industries Inc., Japan. “Central to the decision is the reinforcement of our commitment to the newspaper market where our customers benefit from the high productivity and the new semi commercial product opportunities the superior KBA Cortina newspaper press technology provides.“

The final selection of the Czech site was made after some years of operating a plate converting facility adjacent to Toray’s textile plant in Prostějov.

“It was a logical choice considering the local staff’s prior experience with printing plates and already being in possession of the required real estate for expansion,“ states Matsumoto.  

The move will improve technical support to customers as well as reduce cost through simplified process flow and logistics. Matsumoto adds: “The European manufacturing site is also expected to reduce the adverse effects of currency exchange rate fluctuations “

Toray engineering staffs are currently finalizing the plans for the coating line which will be installed in a new building adjacent to the present facility. It is expected that the freed up capacity in the Japanese factory will be needed for the Asian market, which is also growing.

This latest major capital investment follows the 2003 development of a modern coating facility in Toray’s industrial complex in Okazaki, Japan, where both letterpress and waterless offset plates are produced.