Eminence Business Media

Eminence Business Media

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Nordmeccanica to display Duplex SL HD laminator at drupa 2012

Nordmeccanica, the multinational coating and laminating machinery manufacturer, will be at drupa 2012 with a substantial presence in booth space and technical contents. At Hall 15, Booth B42, it will present its Simplex Duplex SL HD compact laminator. Machine has been sold to and demonstrated courtesy of Delo (Germany). The machine, currently the fastest solventless laminator in the industry, will be daily demonstrated for the first time ever at a trade show, in the most challenging lamination application known in the industry. As well, during every daily demonstration, it will prsent another “first:" the latest in terms of innovation for industrial automation and operator interface. Demonstrations will be at 12:30, 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. everyday of the show.

In conjunction with drupa, at the Nordmeccanica headquarters in Piacenza, Italy, a show room will display every major product featured by the company, starting with its Simplex family of laminators to the most reliable and highly productive laminators in the industry for both solvent -free and dry-bond lamination. To complete the offer at the show room, it will be demonstrated, for invited guests, the new model of “One Shot” family of triplex laminators: “One Shot Three MATIC." That machine has been sold to and demonstrated courtesy of Berry Plastics (USA.) The "One Shot Three" is an evolution of the company's award-winning 3-ply solvent-free lamination process.

Weldon to be Nikka Research selling arm in India, Srilanka, Nepal and Bangladesh

Delivering labels on time and in perfect quality is the first and foremost imperative of every label printer. The effort is rewarded by repeated orders from satisfied customers. The strive for perfection also results in continuous internal improvement of efficiency. Repeatable and objectively controlled product quality is an increasingly important factor for competitiveness and profitability.

Based in Stuttgart, Germany, Nikka Research Deutschland GmbH is specialized in providing high-tech automation, inspection and measurement solutions for the labels and packaging printing industries. Nikka Research is part of the Nikka company group of Japan with more than 50 years experience in providing solutions for the graphic industry. Their product lines and inspection systems are widely used in cosmetics, security, pharmaceutical, packaging, beverage and food product printing.  Nikka Research provides dedicated and reliable user friendly tools for measuring, controlling and documenting production quality with minimal impact on productivity. The product line includes PDF proofreading solutions for prepress, 100% inspection on press and on rewinders, workflow systems, inspection of variable data, process automation and data collection. Nikka Research intends to empower the label printers to produce well and excel!

Nikka Research Deutschland GmbH, has joined hands with New Delhi based Weldon Celloplast Limited, to market its product line to printers in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Weldon Celloplast was setup in 1982 by the present Managing Director, Harveer Singh Sahni. The company now represents some of the leading and trusted international names in consumables, materials and equipments. The company is a virtual “One Stop Shop” for the narrow web label printers. They are also leading producers of self adhesive label products and tamper evident label solutions. Pawandeep Sahni, Director Weldon says, “With consumer needs getting to be very exacting, Nikka’s offering stand to empower them with capabilities to achieve perfection, we are happy to be a Nikka associate.”

Ivan Bonev, CEO of Nikka Research feels Weldon is the right partner and says, “In the last years we have seen impressive production capacity growth in the region. Printers have achieved remarkable technical capabilities and are now turning attention to produce repeatable and objectively controlled quality. Weldon Celloplast has the broad technological understanding needed to assist printers in selecting the optimal inspection solution and to provide reliable support services in the region.”

BST International introduces intelligent Quality Monitoring

BST International GmbH, leading manufacturer of quality assurance systems for the web processing industry, introduces on drupa (Hall 10, D41) the “QCenter” a new product line for web viewing, 100%-inspection, and spectral color measurement.

During the show, BST shall unveil a trendsetting innovations and proven quality assurance systems- QCenter and QCenter Spectral two developments that will set new standards in the production quality control on web printing. QCenter is the central control for quality assurance: Based on newly developed software BST integrates various functions on one platform. By that BST creates an intelligent, modular managing tool for the comprehensive monitoring of the production tasks.

“Customers expect appropriate functions for their daily quality assurance tasks and do not want to deal with selecting different systems. With QCenter we offer the solution to that“, comments BST-CEO Percy Dengler. 

The innovative approach of the QCenter-concept is the integration of hard- and software-components on one operator interface, the Graphic User Interface (GUI). This GUI picks up the already known control principle of smartphones and tablet-PCs and therefore is an intuitive tool for the operator. The touchscreen supports gesture control and moreover offers central access to functions such as zooming, selecting fields of view, overview of the entire web width, and other quality assurance tasks.

QCenter is modular: Cameras, image analysis functions, additional lighting, and other options can be integrated, if needed, and are always operated by the central user interface. The producer gets a complete 1:1 overview of the whole web width in real time with the integrated high-resolution line scan camera modules –on request also on a large Quad HDTV monitor wall.

“QCenter is the new standard of quality assurance“, explains Percy Dengler, CEO, BST International.

The Inline Spectral Measurement System, QCenter.Spectral provides the solution for the ever growing need of the industry to obtain both reliable inline and offline data on specified colors over the entire print production. Due to the close development partnership between BST and X-Rite the results of inline measurement and measurement with stationary handhelds are comparable for the first time. This will set a new industrial standard for color quality control and workflow simplification.

BST Sayona is the Indian subsidiary of BST International, Germany that specializes in Web Inspections and Web Guiding Systems for printing, packaging and plastic industries. BST International is world leader in Web Guiding System, Web Viewing and Inspection systems and 100% Print Defect Detection System. Other BST products that will be on display at the BST Booth include QCENTER-Viewing, QCENTER SPECTRAL, SHARK4000 for wide web, SHARK4000 LeX for Labels, Web Viewing Systems, CLS Pro 600 Line Guiding and Web Guiding Systems. 

UPM Raflatac’s President on sustainability: Doing nothing is not an option

President of UPM Raflatac Jussi Vanhanen addressed the self-adhesive label industry with facts regarding the depletion of the world’s resources and the inevitable raw material inflation. “In these circumstances it is more important than ever for the industry to focus its efforts on the efficient use of raw materials and resources. Doing nothing is not an option.”

Vanhanen spoke to the leaders of global labelstock associations in Tokyo on April 3, 2012. His presentation was part of an L9 initiative aiming to stimulate global awareness and collaboration for recycling and sustainability in the self-adhesive labelstock industry. L9 is the informal global platform which brings together nine leading regional trade associations for the self-adhesive label and narrow web converting industry.

L9 is the informal global platform which brings together nine leading regional trade associations for the self-adhesive label and narrow web converting industry. The platform was founded in December 2009 at the occasion of Labelexpo Asia in Shanghai. The L9 was established with the objectives to offer a global associations network for information and knowledge exchange, joint industry promotion and collaboration on issues of common global importance. The L9 consists of FINAT (Europe), TLMI (North America), Ametiq (Mexico), LATMA (Australia), LMAI (India), PEIAC (China), JFLP (Japan), ABIEA (Brazil) and SALMA (New Zealand).

“Major brand owners and retailers are asking for accurate and case-specific information concerning the environmental performance of self-adhesive products and the factories producing them” Vanhanen said and invited the self-adhesive labelstock industry to lead the development of harmonization for its raw material suppliers’ environmental reporting under the umbrella of the L9 associations. The Paper Profile, developed and used by graphic paper manufacturers with the industry associations, was presented as a good example of similar development. 

The main factors influencing the global warming potential of labelstock products, throughout their lifecycles, are the raw materials and the end-of-life treatment of labelstock waste. Vanhanen highlighted practical means for label printers to reduce their environmental impact, most important of these being the selection of substrates, thin and light labelstock components and sustainable end-of-life treatment. He invited label printers and end-users to join labelstock suppliers in supporting the efficient use of raw materials and resources by promoting environmentally sound solutions. 

Viable recycling uses for labelstock waste streams were identified as the main bottleneck to increasing recycling rates. UPM has made substantial investments to innovate and develop viable solutions for labelstock waste streams. The RafCycle labelstock waste management concept makes use of labelstock by-products from all stages of the labelstock lifecycle. The recycled waste is given a new life as UPM ProFi wood-plastic composite products, paper or energy. Vanhanen concluded his speech by inviting the industry to innovate new uses for labelstock waste to expand recycling globally. 

UPM Raflatac, part of UPM’s Engineered Materials business group, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of self-adhesive label materials. With a global service network consisting of 12 factories on six continents and a broad network of sales offices and slitting and distribution terminals worldwide. 

Weber Packaging Solutions has purchased 6 AVT Helios II systems

Weber Packaging Solutions Inc., a leading worldwide manufacturer and supplier of labels and labeling systems since 1932, has purchased six PrintVision/ Helios II 100% Inspection Systems from Advanced Vision Technology (AVT), the world leader in print process control, quality assurance and color control for the packaging, labels, folding cartons and commercial print markets.

Weber Packaging Solutions, which conducts business globally in fifteen countries, will place the 6 Helios II Inspection Systems in their worldwide headquarters in Arlington Heights, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago near O’Hare airport. Weber has done business with AVT before when they purchased Proofit Systems. When looking for 100% Inspection Systems they naturally went with the worldwide leader in Automatic Inspection Systems - AVT Weber’s sophisticated label manufacturing equipment includes the latest flexographic and digital high speed label presses. Four of the Helios II 100% Inspection Systems will be placed on presses, one on a rewinder and one on a  finishing unit of a digital label press. 

John O’Leary, VP of Manufacturing commented “We have been looking to upgrade our vision defect detection systems for a few years. We have several Pharmaceutical, Nutraceutical and Medical Device Manufacturers as customers and it is becoming almost a requirement to utilize this technology to guarantee the quality of the labels their products demand. After several discussions with AVT over the years we were intrigued by the features of the AVT Helios II system. During Label Expo 2010 we decided to take a closer look at the system and we were very impressed by the user interface as well how easy it was to isolate several different areas on a label with various degrees of scrutiny. We determined that we could benefit from not only upgrading our systems on our rewind inspection equipment but could also add systems to our ten color Flexo presses to help reduce scrap by alerting the operator sooner to correct a defect. Since we also print labels on Digital presses and convert those labels on an Digital finishing machine, we decided it would make sense to add one to the digital finisher to ensure defect free product coming off of that equipment as well. To help us make the decision our AVT sales representative took us to another customer site where we were able to see the system setup and operating in live production. We were able to discuss the ease of use with the other customer’s operator and manager. From that point we were sold and now we are anticipating the installation of our first two units and a total of six scheduled to be deployed this year.” 

Commenting on the sale, Amir Dekel, Corporate VP Marketing of AVT said:” For AVT to be recognized by one of the leading label manufacturing companies in the world is important for our company. It is confirmation that our state-of-the-art technology is meeting the highest standards of the industry and it is working reliably in any production environment.  These inspection systems will guarantee that Weber will deliver labels that are 100% inspected, 100% of the time.  This is adding real value to customer care.”

PrintVision/Helios II is the most advanced 100% Automatic Inspection solution for label and narrow web printing. It is an innovative solution that delivers process control and 100% quality assurance capabilities throughout the entire print production workflow, from setup through printing to finishing. PrintVision/Helios II can be installed on any press or rewinder and identifies defects on labels as soon as they occur. The system detects every type of printing and finishing fault including color misregister, color variations, hazing, misprints, defects to the text, spots, splashes, die-cut problems, missing labels and many other print problems.

AVT showcases SpectraLab at drupa 2012

Advanced Vision Technology, (AVT) Ltd., is introducing the SpectraLab module, their new ISO-compliant on-press online spectrophotometer for color and density measurements. It is suited for flexible packaging printing, as well as for the label printing markets as it allows consistent color and density quality in repetitive packaging and label images – within the job and between the same jobs.

AVT’s SpectraLab is an extremely robust, revolutionary system employing the latest technology in color measurement. SpectraLab provides a true inline spectrophotometric measurement of the printed colors on virtually all flexible and carton substrates.

SpectraLab is the only ISO-compliant spectrophotometer available on the market for online measurement of absolute color and density values of color, which is essential in package and labels printing. SpectraLab is an optional add-on module operating in conjunction with the existing AVT PrintVision/Jupiter, and the PV/Argus II Automatic Inspection Systems, or to the brand new PV/Argus Elite system. The measured colors are reported during run-time by the inspection system, on press-side displays for the operator to immediately take actions as needed.

SpectraLab is comprised of a Spectral Measurement Unit (SMU) that measures in conformance with the recognized ISO standards for graphic arts color measurement devices (including ISO 13655 and ISO 5.3). For better accuracy, the SMU is automatically and constantly calibrated.

Amir Dekel, Vice President of Marketing for AVT, states: “SpectraLab is truly unique in being the only ISO compliant spectrophotometer available to packaging printers for on-press measurement of printed colors. SpectraLab provides a significant value to press operators, because now they can specifically ‘print to the numbers’ supplied by the end customer instead of relying primarily on subjective perception of comparable quality. In addition, the system is completely intuitive for production personnel. Ready access to a wealth of highly accurate, run-time color measurements is a ‘game changer’ for process control and quality control. SpectraLab will quickly become a standard in the printing of color packaging by eliminating the need for inefficient multiple press stops and starts which, up to now, were needed for collecting off-line, manual color measurements.”

SpectraLab measures automatically by sampling user-selected points anywhere on the web: several points of the same color and/or a large number of different colors - solid colors and halftone colors. The operator-friendly system interface allows the operator to add or change measurement locations, adjust target color values, and customize other key parameters as needed, even when the press is in production. It can reliably measure dedicated control target areas or color regions of interest, as required. SpectraLab accurately measures color on clear and opaque substrates, and on clear films it can measure color printed on either side of the web. The SpectraLab is in operation in several sites worldwide to great appreciation by the users.

Gilad Dekel, Packaging Product Manager for AVT adds: “Using SpectraLab’s automated measurements, printers can satisfy their customers’ increasing demands for more detailed and more accurate color quality monitoring. SpectraLab performs absolute color measurement online that correlates closely with color measurements made offline by prepress departments and print buyers. Accurate color measurements can be made anywhere on the printed web at any time during the entire production run. Such comprehensive measurements thoroughly document color quality and also provide valuable feedback on press performance. This automated feedback will drive process improvement well beyond traditional quality levels.”

The AVT PrintVision platforms are Automatic Defect Detection Solutions, Press Control systems and quality control for web printing applications. With their Advanced Automatic Inspection software module and ergonomic design, these systems visually inspect all kinds of printed materials on the press – including flexible, transparent and opaque substrates used in the packaging and label industries. 

The AVT PrintVision platforms provide a visual indication of the position and the nature of the defect and guide the press operator to its source. Operators can then quickly react and correct the relevant problem. A colored light tower, clearly visible from a distance, informs the operator when a defect is detected.

AVT PrintVision platforms provide a variety of waste reduction and quality control modules, ranging from automatic and fast make-ready tasks, to accurate Delta E (ΔE) color measurement, barcode verification, repeat length monitoring and more. They also provide different sensitivities inspection to different areas in the print, target less pressure control, job verification according to previous master or to the job PDF, with built in reporting systems and many more options and modules.

AVT has a large installed base within the packaging and labels markets, and is seeing growing demand for inspection solutions on both traditional and digital presses. AVT has joined the HP Partner Program for the Indigo division.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

2013 ICE USA already bigger than 2011 show, says organizer

Due to a combination of several new exhibitors coming into the show and many current exhibitors taking larger booth space, ICE USA 2013 has already surpassed the size of last year’s event. ICE USA will take place from April 9-11, 2013, at the Orange County Convention Ctr. in Orlando, Florida.

According to Bob Chiricosta, ICE USA show director, nearly 200 companies have already reserved slightly more space than the 2011 ICE USA show with almost a year to go before the event. “We are on track to have a significantly larger event next year,” Chiricosta predicted. “Since many companies don’t reserve their booths until a few months before the show, we anticipate adding dozens of additional exhibitors over the next 12 months.” He added that show organizer Mack Brooks Exhibitions recently increased the show floor by 15,000 sq ft to accommodate this anticipated demand for more space.

More than 30 companies are new to the 2013 show and 18 current exhibitors have increased the size of their booths, with some nearly doubling their space. Chiricosta said they are also adding some new features to the show in 2013. “We will soon be announcing some exciting new enhancements to the 2013 show that will benefit both attendees and exhibitors.”

Harper Corporation's Sean Teufler honored with an FTA President's Award

Sean Teufler, Technical Graphic Advisor for the Harper GraphicSolutions division of global anilox roll supplier Harper Corporation, was honored with an FTA President's Award at the recent FFTA Awards Banquet.

FTA President Mark Cisternino commented, "Sean is one of those strong, disciplined leaders who bring efficiency to every project. He will co-chair this year's upcoming FTA Fall Conference—Efficiency in Flexography: Connecting the Dots—and the event's theme represents an ideal reflection of Sean's philosophy in business."

Teufler received the award in recognition of his commitment to professional development. Without constant education and innovation, the flexographic industry would not be able to continue to push forward. Continual development is something that Teufler encourages in his coworkers and himself. This attitude is reflected in his daily work and his research contributions.

"Research activities of FFTA's Flexo Quality Consortium (FQC) have also attracted Sean's interests," stated Cisternino, "as he has led the very successful 'ink spitting' project over the past few years. In fact, the findings of this informative project provide a wealth of important data on this pervasive flexo phenomenon."

Harper Corporation of America is proud of Teufler's recognition, which is the most recent in a long list of accomplishments, including seven straight awards for Tech of the Year at Harper. In 2004, Teufler earned the designation of Certified Flexographic Press Operator from the National Council for Skill Standards in Graphic Communications. In 2011, he became a FIRST Implementation Specialist.

OMET becomes a history of success discussed in ESADE Business School (Barcelona, Spain) and SDA Bocconi School of Management of Milan

On the 25th of February 2012 four groups of managers who were attending the final phase of the Executive Master in Marketing & Sales (EMMS) where challenged on Omet. The project was started in September 2011, when the Direction of Omet presented the challenge to all the candidates: to develop a communications plan for Omet and its brands for the years 2012-2014.  

The 32 managers attending EMMS, average age 34 and strong international profiles, have decided to invest in their future careers by participating in an Executive Master, which offers the opportunity to work and study at the same time. To earn the title of master the candidates are obliged to choose a project among those offered; four groups of five chose Omet. The company based in Lecco, Italy, was chosen by the candidates mainly because: 

The company has managed to combine family governance with an important dimension. Thanks to a careful and intelligent management, the company has been able to create a balanced mix of entrepreneurial and managerial approach result of the integration between the charisma and the great capacity of vision of the entrepreneur and the inclination to reflection and deliberation typical of managers. Today Omet has a turnover that places it in the segment of medium-large companies; 

Omet has grown as both turnover and profitability in difficult years like 2010 and 2011, years when many companies suffered declines in their financial performance. In just two years, the sales of Omet machinery increased from 30 to almost 50 million euros. Omet is therefore a serious and solid company whose base is a great care for product quality and a strong focus on innovation; 

Omet works in B2B business, notoriously less accustomed to apply theories and concepts of marketing and branding and less sensitive to communication than the markets of consumer goods;

Omet is a company with a dynamic and young spirit, constantly looking for new horizons  and new challenges. This spirit is the same footprint and the legacy of the entrepreneur who has always ruled the company, whose death at the end of November 2011 has stimulated even more the next generation to pursue the path set. 

In September 2011, at the headquarters of Esade in Madrid were presented the projects among which candidates could choose. The four groups that had opted for Omet had begun to become familiar with the company, products, markets, competition and customers. Since the candidates reside in different countries and continue to work as managers, they have spent the evenings, nights, weekends to collect information, analyze and interpret, to confront through Skype, e-mail, by phone, via teleconference.  

Antonio Bartesaghi and Marco Calcagni, the second generation of entrepreneurs who governs Omet with the support of an excellent group of managers, have shown continued interest and involvement: the success of the work owes much to their personal involvement, which has stimulated the candidates master to give their best and spare no energy to do well. Even the knowledge that it was a challenge between four groups was a nice incentive to do well.

The final mandate was clear: develop a three-year communication plan based on one or two fundamental ideas and providing for the use of innovative methods of communication and aligned to new times. Deadline: February 22, 2012. Meeting in Barcelona in preparation for the climax, the groups have spent the last two days of master together to refine the presentation in detail and above all to define the mode of public presentation, coordinated by prof. Nick Flynn of ESADE and prof. Chiara Mauri of SDA Bocconi. 

In front of a jury composed by Antonio Bartesaghi, Marco Calcagni, Eduard Pont, Chiara Mauri  and Lluís Martínez Ribes, on the 25th of February the four groups took turns with their presentations, having 30 minutes for presentation and 30 for discussion. For OMET it was an immersive and exciting experience full of stimuli and ideas to make real. Not just an exercise to be carried out as a task in class, then!

The company had already begun a determined path towards promotion of its brand equity, but the ideas of the groups have opened new paths to explore.

Finat Seminar promotes innovation and sustainability in self-adhesive labelling

Innovation and sustainability were the key topics addressed by speakers at this year’s Technical Seminar organised by the European association promoting the interests of self-adhesive labelling, Finat. This biennial ‘meeting of minds’, held this year in March in Barcelona,  brings together the entire value chain of the European self-adhesive label industry, and represents a powerful opportunity for everyone from raw material supplier to brand owner/end user to identify issues and pinpoint possible new directions for self-adhesive labels. 
The history of the label 
A history of labelling covering all types of label and substrate, including early cans and wine bottles, set the scene for an examination of the self-adhesive label’s relatively-short 77-year history, during which this technology has become a top provider of product identification and decoration. In the medium term, future growth for self-adhesive labels is predicted to be greatest in the food and beverage sectors, and in logistics and transport applications - with the emerging economies representing the most dynamic marketplaces. 
However, today, self-adhesive labelling is facing increasing competition from alternative technologies in both its main marketplaces:  primary product labels and logistics/variable information print. As well as these challenges, the industry is facing continuing high costs for key polymers, adhesives, and chemicals; environmental and sustainability issues; value chain complexity; and fragmentation at label converter level, creating margin pressures (there are 10,000 label converters worldwide). Narrow-web self-adhesive label converters are therefore expanding their product offering to include sleeves and flexible packaging - creating change and opportunity in the supply chain.  
Regulatory issues 
Regulatory issues impact the label industry, with its extended value chain and the complex structure of the self-adhesive label ‘sandwich’ of facestock, adhesive, and release liner. Developments in REACH, the European chemicals legislation, were discussed. Finat is part of the CHEMI platform for downstream chemical users, and sees as its overall role in relation to REACH to ‘keep track of changes, influence where necessary, and communicate’ to the Finat membership.  
The same is true of food safety -- particularly in relation to packaging inks and their migration - and here there is increasing evidence of country-specific measures, that may set a precedent for pan-European legislation.   The seminar agenda covered best practice in making a choice of printing ink. This was said to be for the packaging supply chain to work together to ensure the best possible environmental footprint, without compromising product performance.  
Innovations in print technology... 
Printing technology for labels is indeed evolving and innovating. Lean manufacturing is a major feature of industry philosophy today, bringing significant benefits in the elimination of waste, faster changeovers, and improved productivity. There is also growing evidence of partnerships between ‘traditional’ printing technologies like flexo with digital label printing. Used together, they can deliver, for brand owners, a cost-effective answer for today’s shorter print runs and product multi-versioning. In one particular area, it was predicted that, in just five years, 75% of 100,000-label print runs or under will be run digitally:  the durable ‘life-of-the-product’ labels extensively used in automotive, electronics, appliances, and other industries for safety markings on components, and making stringent demands on the label substrate and adhesive.  
Pre-press, workflow technologies, and platemaking -- including the new HD flexo digital platemaking process -- and the requirements of new media such as mobile phone ‘apps’ and QR codes; the challenges and solutions for achieving excellence in kiss-diecutting of thin film release liners; UV LED ink curing (a new technology that will replace the traditional arc lamp).  
...and in self-adhesive materials 
The actual label substrate itself may be paper or film - with film face and liner stocks currently gaining market share. Bioplastics - which may be biobased, biodegradable or both - were said to be a real future opportunity area for labels. Already widely used in flexible packaging, replacing traditional plastic films, they are also gaining acceptance with leading brand owners for labels because of their extensive environmental and end-of-life benefits, applied performance, and high consumer acceptance.   There is much other activity in the development of film facestocks and release base;  and future projects in PET production were said to include rPET featuring post-consumer recycled content;  flame-retardant UL-compliant films; and antimony-free films. 
Adhesives partly based on renewable materials are also already offered on self-adhesive labels;  and to meet the needs of brand owners, solutions for label separation from the container are also currently available, custom-tailored to specific needs. 
Sustainability and recycling 
Recycling, and the recyclability of self-adhesive label components, are an area where Finat is extremely active and had much to report and discuss. A signatory to the European Declaration on Paper Recovery and a participant in the Consumer Goods Forum’s Global Packaging Project (GPP), Finat has established a recycling project group, and is actively promoting and raising the awareness of the importance of recycling for the label industry, as well as positively demonstrating the suitability of siliconised paper and film liner for recycling. The GPP has identified strategic and organisational implications for the packaging supply chain,  as well as a common sustainability language.  Bringing together the world’s leading brand owners, retailers, packaging manufacturers, and professional associations, the GPPS - Global Protocol on Packaging Sustainability -- is today an accepted framework for informed debate on sustainability concerns throughout the supply chain.  
The recycling and re-use of siliconised release liner is the self-adhesive label industry’s first-line concern in the recycling arena, and the subject of much activity.   The seminar also looked at the topic of the current  resurgence in the use of linerless labels - both for their environmental credentials, and as a specialist technology for retail priceweigh food prepacks complementing mainstream labelling. 
The future agenda 
Overall, the message was that the self-adhesive label industry must continue to innovate to meet brand owners’ needs because it is the consumer brands that, through the last 250 years, have driven, and will continue to drive, labelling in all its applications - from decorative to informative, from promotional to durable. The proceedings provided evidence that the industry has every intention of continuing - through innovation and sustainability initiatives - to meet the requirements of leading brand owners and retailers, now and in the future. 

Finat, founded in Paris in 1958 and headquartered in The Hague (The Netherlands), is the world-wide association for manufacturers of self-adhesive labels and related products and services. With 600 members in over 50 countries around the world, Finat has much to offer to label converters and all suppliers to the labeling industry in terms of information exchange and the opportunity to network internationally. 

JET to offer range of Xeikon ThermoFlexX imagers for leading flexo and letterpress plates

At the Xeikon manufacturing plant in Lier, Belgium, Jet Europe BV’s Harry Heesen signed the European wide distributor contract for the new range of ThermoFlexX imagers. Xeikon recently announced the launch of its comprehensive ThermoflexX solutions for flexo and letterpress plate imaging. 

In its search for knowledgeable and customer focused distribution partners, Xeikon is pleased to be selected as a partner by Jet Europe, one of Europe’s leading suppliers of excellent photopolymer printing plates for flexo, letterpress and dry-offset. Apart from imagers for flexo CtP and a broad range of high quality plate processing machinery for washout and finishing, the Jet portfolio also includes various types of double adhesive mounting tapes and consumables.

Says Harry Heesen, Managing Director of Jet Europe BV,”With the ThermoFlexX units, we expand our already wide range of solutions as a trusted provider of high quality flexo and letterpress plate production systems. We met the Xeikon team and were immediately convinced of their strive for high quality, their customer focused approach and their reliability as a business partner. The label and packaging industry sees Xeikon as a trustworthy player, and that was a very important reason to enter into this Europe wide partnership.”

Xeikon CEO Wim Maes states: “Xeikon is proud and honored to team up with a leading industry partner such as Jet Europe. We found in them a trusted pan-European distribution partner with years of experience in providing complete solutions for flexo and letterpress plate production. Very important for us is also that Jet is a company with a professional drive and a focus on meeting customer requirements. Just like Xeikon.”

Worldwide network for local sales, service and support 
Based on the agreement, Jet Europe will be one of the Xeikon sales and distribution partners whereas Xeikon’s worldwide service network will provide local installation, training and service for the full range of ThermoFlexX products. 

ThermoFlexX 5080 dpi quality resolution
Comprising leading-edge hardware and workflow software, the ThermoFlexX product line of imagers is based on mature technology and proven digital workflow solutions. It enables customers to consistently produce high-quality digital flexographic and letterpress plates at resolutions of up to5080 dpi. With this resolution, the product is technology-ready to raise the quality level of output to the newest industry standards. 

Unique benefits to save time and cost
The ThermoFlexX solution comes with some unique benefits. Advanced clamping design allows plates to be mounted directly on to the drum, while uniquely designed vacuum sliders offer the flexibility to use plates of any width. This is highly beneficial to operators as there is no need to cut the plates to fit a dedicated vacuum zone thus allowing the use of cut-off scraps. The ThermoFlexX solution also features ergonomic plate mounting and its hybrid drum offers flexibility of holding plates in place either by vacuum or by magnetics. 

Digital and Flexo: a perfect match
“Xeikon has been manufacturing industry-leading computer-to-plate solutions for more than 15 years,” says Jeroen Van Bauwel, Director of Product Management at Xeikon. “With ThermoFlexX, Xeikon expands its CtP experience into the flexographic and letterpress markets, further reinforcing its commitment to the label and packaging markets. Xeikon is the only player on the market who is able to offer its customers solutions for both flexo platemaking and digital label and packaging printing. Digital printing provides the perfect answer for short and medium runs and quick turnaround times, while the long runs will continue to rely on conventional printing.”

Come and see the new ThermoFlexX line up at drupa 2012
Visitors to the Jet Europe booth (Hall 9, E56) and/or the Xeikon booth (Hall 8A, B44) at drupa 2012 will have the opportunity to see the new ThermoFlexX solution first hand. 

Jet Europe / Interflex B.V is the European supplier of 'Jet' water washable photopolymer plates for letterpress and dry offset printing, 'OhkaFlex' photopolymer plates and Kodak solutions for flexographic printing. Apart from the plates, Jet completes its portfolio with imagers, modular workflow systems, washing and finishing equipment, mounting tapes, cleaning solutions…  Jet Europe also offers assistance and advice in environment-related matters.

Xeikon NV is an innovator in digital printing technology. The company designs, develops and delivers web-fed digital color presses for labels and packaging applications, document printing, as well as commercial printing. For the flexographic market, Xeikon offers digital platemaking systems under the ThermoFlexX brand name. ThermoFlexX systems provide high resolution plate exposure including screening, color management, as well as workflow management.

Screen’s compelling variable-data / Print-On-Demand solution ideal for the packaging print industry

Receiving its commercial launch at drupa, Screen announces an enhanced specification to the widely-anticipated Truepress JetSX full-colour, B2, variable-data sheet-fed inkjet press.  Showcasing the list of enhancements to an already impressive specification is the device’s ability to handle offset and inkjet papers and boards up to 0.6mm thick. The result is a compelling variable-data / Print-On-Demand solution ideal for the packaging print industry.

Printing on a variety of substrates up to 0.6-mm (23.6-mil) thick offers a compelling Print-On-Demand solution for the packaging industry, the Screen Truepress JetSX offers full variable data and duplex printing capabilities, delivering productivity up to 1620 B2 sheets/hour, equivalent to 108 A4 pages per minute. The press supports a wide variety of substrates with ease and is aimed at niche B2 format applications where conventional toner-based devices may struggle in terms of quality or productivity. The enhanced substrate capabilities will allow packaging printers and converters to offer a wide range of creative and lucrative added-value solutions to exploit both Print-On-Demand and variable-data applications.

The Truepress JetSX has attracted considerable industry attention due to its unrivalled combination of outstanding print quality using water-based pigment inks, use of standard offset printing paper, duplex and variable printing capabilities. The enhanced specification to support thicker substrates is thanks to a combination of developments in non-contact print technology through multi-level greyscale printheads, and Screen’s proprietary paper transport technology.

The result is a fast, high quality, variable-data, full-color B2 press with the ability to output on the most commonly used paper packaging materials, coated board and cardboard – which is bound to increase interest in Print-On-Demand and variable-data printing in the packaging industry.

In addition, the Truepress JetSX offers a variety of added-value applications in packaging thanks to features such as a traceability function using serial numbers, or control barcodes, as well as the personalization of gift wrapping. This can also be applied to the diverse short-run printing and zero-inventory needs of the commercial packaging field – e.g. machine parts, pharmaceuticals or medical equipment.

The Truepress JetSX, combined with Screen’s EQUIOS front end and third party finishing equipment, can be integrated to provide a highly automated, web to delivery solution. Files received online can be automatically preflighted, colour managed, imposed and placed in the print queue. Once the job is printed, EQUIOS passes the necessary information through to an MIS system for automatic billing if required.

Screen will be running demonstrations of the TruePress JetSX during drupa (Hall 9/A40) complete with printed samples on a range of thick substrates.

QuadTech partners with Alwan Color Expertise to automate dot gain compensation curves

Global press controls provider QuadTech and graphic software  provider Alwan Color Expertise have joined forces to provide on-the-fly automated plate curve monitoring and adjustment for web offset press applications.  Working with QuadTech's Color Control System with SpectralCam, Alwan's PRINT Standardizer software automatically compensates for dot gain deviations in virtually all printing situations and also provides ISO 12647 and G7 compliance confirmation.

The software relies on measurement data provided by QuadTech's Color Control System with SpectralCam. The spectral data is converted to L*a*b* and densitometric values including  dot gain or tonal value increase (TVI). Analysis by the Alwan software determines any dot gain variations and can automatically generate dot gain compensation curves, per job or over a specified time period. Alwan PRINT Standardizer monitors and stores data from any number of presses or papers per press. This information is easily retrieved, using parameters such as job, press, or paper name. The result is simpler, faster make-ready times, and greater stability from job to job. The combined solution is easily integrated into any existing workflow.

"Many factors can lead to dot gain variations on a press," according to Elie Khoury, president of Alwan. "These include paper, ink set, damping solution, room conditions (temperature and humidity), printed form content, and mechanical properties of the press. Maintaining constant control over dot gain is essential because increases of even three percent can result in color changes detectable to the human eye."

Any commercial printer can now achieve the same quality output from their web-fed as their sheet-fed press due to the collaboration of QuadTech and Alwan technology. Without the Alwan and QuadTech combined solution, dot gain shows a lot of deviation and is very unpredictable. With the new automated in-line measurement and standardizing technology, web printers can achieve print consistency and dramatically decrease make-ready time.

Greg Wuenstel, QuadTech product manager, comments: "Because of the diversity of substrates, not to mention the many factors that can cause deviation, monitoring and optimizing dot gain compensation curves has traditionally been a labor intensive task. Alwan's PRINT Standardizer software, together with QuadTech's color control technology, provides a fast, reliable means of ensuring consistent, ISO-compliant quality in web-offset, in virtually any printing situation."

Precision Press will be first to install new Goss Sunday Vpak packaging press model

Precision Press, an innovative U.S. packaging and label producer for the food, beverage and consumer markets, will be the first in the world to install the new Goss Sunday Vpak web offset printing system. The new press will be configured for flexible packaging applications, with Sunday Vpak 500 web offset printing units as well as a Goss in-line flexo and coating unit. The press will also be equipped for UV and EB curing. The system will go into operation at the company’s 213,000-square-foot (19,800 m2) facility in North Mankato, Minnesota in late 2012.

High offset print quality, quick-change sleeve technology and the prospect of lower production costs were key factors in the investment decision, along with Goss International support resources in the United States, according to Lee Timmerman, president of Precision Press. Timmerman says the Sunday Vpak 500 press will accommodate a wide variety of film substrates, product formats and high-quality lithographic requirements, supplementing the company’s extensive web offset capabilities.

“We have made a deliberate decision to do something different,” explains Timmerman. “There is a lot of untapped potential for web offset in the packaging arena, and we’re excited about the new print quality, productivity and efficiency benefits the Goss press technology will bring to our customers.”

Sunday Vpak 500 presses print at up to 1,200 feet per minute (6.1 m/s). Goss International will equip the system at Precision Press with a closed-loop color, registration and inspection system. Goss Sunday Vpak 500 and Sunday Vpak 3000 press models for folding carton, flexible packaging, pre-print and label applications are available in web widths of up to 75 inches (190.5 cm). Key features include quick-change sleeve adapter technology for efficient, cost-effective size changes, and advanced offset inking, tension management and control systems.

“Precision Press is a well-established leader in delivering differentiating packaging and label capabilities to its customers,” according to Jochen Meissner, Goss International president and CEO. “We appreciate this opportunity to support the company’s ongoing commitment to cutting-edge offset technology.”

Meissner says Sunday Vpak packaging presses represent a natural extension of core Goss strengths, including high-quality lithography, high-speed web offset production and advanced system integration. “We are introducing a new alternative for packaging with entirely unique web offset quality, speed, operability and cost-reduction advantages,” he adds.

Timmerman notes that Precision Press has worked closely with Goss International over the past year in development of the press configuration. “We had the chance to actually work with the high-caliber Goss engineering team as the press was being developed and tested at their U.S. headquarters,” he explains. “As a result, our experience in and the challenges of printing on films, as well as our vision of the capabilities our customers will need going forward, are built into the new press technology.”

Precision Press produces a comprehensive range of flexible packaging as well as in-mold, shrink sleeve, roll-fed and cut-and-stack labels to help customers throughout the United States distinguish their food, beverage and consumer products. The company is part of the Taylor Corporation, one of the top-five largest graphic communications and commercial printing groups in North America.

Goss International supplies presses and finishing systems – including the most automated and productive web offset presses in the world – for magazine, newspaper, packaging, catalog, direct mail and other printing applications. The company is headquartered in Durham, New Hampshire (USA) and has major manufacturing centers in North America, Asia and Europe as well as a global sales and support network.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Acucote Inc. celebrates 25 years in adhesive industry: Launches new interactive website

Acucote Inc. is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month and would like to thank its customers for their support over the years. To demonstrate Acucote’s appreciation to its customers and the flexographic industry, Acucote is making a donation to Appalachian State University. The donation will be awarded to the Graphic Arts and Imaging program, focusing in flexographic education, to the Department of Technology and Environmental Design.

The donation will provide the university with the ability to retain up-to-date flexographic equipment and provide students with real-world, hands-on experience. Acucote is donating to the program in honor of its customers to provide quality education and preparation for students with a future in our industry.  

Reflecting on the growth of Acucote, what started as a humble beginning with four employees has grown to a customized and commodity adhesive coating supplier with more than 135 employees. James, a shift manager who joined Acucote in 1989, stated, “We started with a handful of employees, and we all grew really close, it’s a family here, and it has become my home.” Brian, also a shift manager who joined Acucote 23 years ago, stated, “It is an honest environment, the employees here are good to work with, and they have made this business what it is today, we are a team here.”

Over the last 25 years, Acucote has filled a need in the marketplace with its customized products. Acucote built its business by helping its customers grow and differentiate themselves from their competitors.  The business development team currently advises customers on an individual case-by-case basis to develop specialty products, as well as service standard orders. Acucote has transformed itself from a general purpose supplier to a customer-driven, vertically integrated supplier. When established, Acucote produced a handful of commodity products. Now, it produces hundreds of custom and commodity products annually.

Acucote remains dedicated to working toward product solutions by delivering insight toward products in a timely manner and offering solutions at a competitive price. Acucote is looking forward to the next 25 years, and thanks all of its customers for the valuable relationships that have been built and the opportunities that have made Acucote a leading supplier in the adhesive coating industry.  

Launches New Interactive Website
Commemorating this occasion, Acucote Inc. launched a new revised website that provides customers with a resource to keep them connected to the organization and to the adhesive coating industry. Updated daily, the website provides insight into Acucote’s capabilities and the services it provides to customers.

Newly added features include downloadable face stock, liner and adhesive selection guidelines. Customers can also complete purchase order forms and submit new opportunity forms to disclose information regarding a new application directly to Acucote’s business development team. Gene Lauffer, vice president of sales stated “when we made the decision to update our website we had two goals in mind:  usefulness to our customer base and ease of navigation.  Based on customer feedback so far, I believe we have accomplished both.”  By providing visitors to the website with the most current Acucote product information, Acucote continues to build and maintain relationships with its customers.  

A significant benefit for the customer is the 24-hour access to Acucote’s products and services. Customers no longer have to wait to speak directly with a regional sales representative to be informed about products and services, and are able to receive immediate assistance from the markets and products section of the website. Customers can also review the latest product offerings by visiting the AcuChoice section of the website. Updated immediately upon any product change, Acucote customers are encouraged to review this section to identify commonly purchased items.

In addition to the extensive lists of standard products displayed on the website, Acucote promotes its customization abilities. “The new website highlights Acucote’s products that are common, but we have the ability to produce custom orders which are not on the website” said Earl Curran, vice president of business development at Acucote Inc.

Be on the lookout for phase two of the website. Launching later this year, an interactive customer information center will be available to provide customers secure access to view and manage orders. Features will include customer order status, access to invoices, credit memos and payment history. 

Acucote Inc, located in Graham, NC is a manufacturer of custom adhesive coated products.  The company focuses in the areas of brand protection, security, coupon, and graphic arts as well as a variety of specialty products used in the roll and sheet label industry. Do take time to visit and experience Acucote’s new website : visit www.acucote.com   

Thermo Fisher Scientific launches smaller, more efficient twin-screw extruder

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, today launched its new Thermo Scientific Process 11 parallel co-rotating twin-screw extruder for polymer and food industry research applications. The 11 mm extruder is designed to minimize material costs, be easier to use and optimize laboratory space. To achieve this, the benchtop Process 11 uses a minimal amount of sample material (20 g) and features a user-friendly touchscreen with integrated feeder control. Thermo Fisher will showcase Process 11 in Thermo Scientific booth 5555 during The International Plastics Showcase, April 2-5, in Orlando.

“To our customers, laboratory space is at a premium and cost control is critical, so we’ve designed Process 11 to address both issues,” said Karl Gerhard Hoppmann, vice president and general manager of Thermo Fisher’s material characterization business. “Our compact, standalone design is perfect for small-scale experiments yet robust enough to deliver results that are relevant to production conditions. The results are easily obtained due to the full scalability of the Thermo Scientific standalone compounding systems.”

The new Process 11 features a throughput of 20 g/h to 2.5 kg/h and a segmented screw design with removable top half barrel. The machine’s compact monocoque design makes its footprint four to five times smaller than competing twin-screw extruders, and enables easy transport and fume hood applications. The screw elements and barrel design scale geometrically across the whole suite of Thermo Scientific extruders and allow easy process scale-up. The instrument is available immediately.

Thermo Fisher, one of the pioneers in rheology, successfully supports a wide range of industries with its comprehensive Thermo Scientific material characterization solutions. Material characterization solutions analyze and measure viscosity, elasticity, processability and temperature-related mechanical changes of plastics, food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and coatings, chemical or petrochemical products, plus a wide variety of liquids or solids. For more information, please visit www.thermoscientific.com/mc.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science. Our mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. With revenues of $12 billion, we have approximately 39,000 employees and serve customers within pharmaceutical and biotech companies, hospitals and clinical diagnostic labs, universities, research institutions and government agencies, as well as in environmental and process control industries. We create value for our key stakeholders through three premier brands, Thermo Scientific, Fisher Scientific and Unity Lab Services, which offer a unique combination of innovative technologies, convenient purchasing options and a single solution for laboratory operations management. Our products and services help our customers solve complex analytical challenges, improve patient diagnostics and increase laboratory productivity. 

Honeywell introduces new line of industrial-grade barrier films for moisture-sensitive products

Honeywell recently announced that it has introduced a new line of industrial-grade barrier films for use with products and applications that require a high level of moisture protection. The new fluoropolymer materials, called HydroBlock films, offer class-leading moisture barrier performance at a lower cost than traditional industrial barrier films. The high clarity and strength of the film makes it practical for a wide variety of applications, from covering laboratory benches and sensor casings to protecting objects from graffiti. In addition to moisture barrier, the material also offers excellent resistance to chemicals, low temperatures, odors and ultraviolet light, making it suitable for outdoor uses such as signage. 

“HydroBlock is an economical film solution for manufacturers that need their products to withstand harsh environments,” said Perry Fan, global business manager for Honeywell’s flexible packaging business. “The same quality and dependability that has made Honeywell a leader in pharmaceutical and food packaging films are now available in an industrial-grade product.” 

HydroBlock benefits from many decades of Honeywell innovation in barrier films technology, which includes the Aclar line of moisture barrier films for pharmaceutical packaging and Capran nylon films for food packaging. The new polychlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE) film is a more cost-effective alternative to fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) and polyvinyldene fluoride (PVDF) films, and provides a higher moisture barrier and equal chemical resistance. It is not intended for use in food or medical applications. 

Honeywell barrier films are used in a wide variety of high-performance applications where materials with durability and excellent chemical properties are critical, including blister packs for medicines, food packaging, medical devices and aerospace components. For more information, visit www.hydroblockfilms.com.

Taghleef Industries to acquire AET Films

Dubai, UAE-based Taghleef Industries will acquire Applied Extrusion Technologies, Inc. (AET Films) of Wilmington, DE. The transaction, which was approved by the Board of Directors of both companies, is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of the second quarter 2012. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Dubai, Taghleef Industries currently has six production sites across the globe with a nominal capacity of 260,000 tons/yr. Taghleef Industries develops, manufactures and markets BOPP (biaxially-oriented polypropylene), BOPLA (NATIVIA) and CPP (cast polypropylene) films for snacks, confectionery, bakery/biscuits, fresh produce packaging as well as for labeling and adhesive tapes. The company offers a portfolio of high quality transparent, white voided, metallized and high-barrier films (Extendo) to its customers in more than 100 countries.

AET Films is a leading supplier in North America of specialized oriented polypropylene (OPP) films used primarily in flexible packaging for food, product labeling, and non-food applications. Headquartered in Wilmington, DE, the company provides supply chain value by applying advanced polymer technology, world-class manufacturing capabilities, and unmatched service organizations to offer solutions to the packaged food, beverage, and other consumer product markets. As a market leader with 100,000 tons of annual capacity, AET supplies many of the world’s largest consumer products companies, and continues to develop advanced performing, innovative products to meet the future demands customers have come to expect from AET.

Quantifying the Process is the theme for the 2012 Harper Roadshow

The Roadshow is an annual tour of events that allows global anilox roll supplier Harper Corporation to connect with flexographic professionals throughout North America. The 2012 Harper Roadshow will present information and innovation pertaining to the flexographic printing industry. 

The theme for the 2012 Harper Roadshow is "Quantifying the Process." Experts who specialize in all aspects of the flexographic industry, including industry leaders from Harper Corporation, will present this complimentary seminar in six locations, including: Montreal, Canada, on June 12; Mississauga, Canada, on June 14; Minneapolis, Minnesota, on August 1; Clemson, South Carolina, on August 23; San Francisco Bay, California, on October 3; and Rochester, New York, on October 24.

At each stop on the tour, attendees will enjoy presentations and discussions about substrate, ink, plate mounting tape, optimization, prepress, color proofing, preparation, diecutting, and more. All members of the flexographic industry are encouraged to attend, including print managers and supervisors, prepress managers and graphic designers, plate and prepress suppliers, purchasing managers, general managers, and operators.

Registration is open to all flexographic professionals and there is no limit on how many attendees a company can send; however, seating is limited so interested individuals are encouraged to register quickly.