Eminence Business Media

Eminence Business Media

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Constantia Flexibles acquires Globalpack, the market leader in flexible packaging in Mexico

Constantia Flexibles Group, headquartered in Vienna, Austria, completed the acquisition of 100% of Globalpack - the leading flexible packaging and folding carton company in Mexico. Thomas Unger, CEO of Constantia Flexibles, “With this transaction we significantly strengthen our market position in North America and will get access to the growing markets in Central America.”

Globalpack has sales of approx. € 180 million with ca. 1,500 employees, of which 70% is flexible packaging and 30% folding carton. Globalpack supplies mainly the fast-moving-consumer-goods industry for food, beverage and non-food products. It converts various materials such as plastic films, aluminum foil and paper. Globalpack operates at two state-of-the-art production sites in Mexico under the brand names Aluprint (in San Luis Potosí) and Grafo Regia (in Monterrey), both well established in the market. The parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price of the transaction.

The acquisition is part of the international growth strategy of Constantia Flexibles and constitutes a strong basis for further growth and expansion in North and Latin America.


Acquisition spree in 2013 continues... WS Packaging Group acquires Label World

WS Packaging Group, Inc. has acquired Label World, a full-service printer located in Rochester, N.Y., specializing in labels and flexible packaging printing.

“Label World has built its business with an ongoing commitment to the highest standards of customer service, helping its customers succeed by delivering labeling and packaging solutions for brand owners,” said Rex Lane, chief executive officer of WS Packaging. “The company leverages the problems and challenges of a competitive marketplace and turns them into opportunities.

“From delivering outstanding print quality to engaging in ongoing improvements in its operations, Label World has an established lean culture that’s enabled it to become a market innovator in terms of quality, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness,” Lane added. “And it’s a driving force that has helped Label World to be named among the Best Workplace in the Americas from 2006 to 2012 by Printing Industries of America.”

Pressure-sensitive labels are the core business for Label World. The company also provides a complete range of custom label solutions beyond basic and prime labels, including tags and inserts, point of purchase, extended content labels, plow-folds, and pouches and packets. Additional capabilities include specialty material stocks, varnishes and stamping for premium effects, direct thermal paper and tags, and thermal transfer paper and films.

“All of us at Label World are extremely excited to become part of WS Packaging Group because of our likeminded commitment to our customers’ success,” said John McDermott, president and CEO, Label World. “And now, having the opportunity to solve customer problems and challenges with a much broader scope of product and service capabilities creates an even stronger position for success.”

Label World was founded in 1985 by Bob and Janet Allardice. Its growth has been fueled by investments in capabilities to produce prime labels for the specialized needs of brand owners in the health and beauty, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, wine, and specialty beverage markets.

The company has a longstanding commitment to sustainability within its operations and the supply chain by becoming a zero landfill company and earning L.I.F.E. certification by the Tag and Label Manufacturer’s Institute (TLMI). In addition, TLMI awarded Label World its Environmental Leadership Award in 2011.

WS Packaging Group, Inc., with more than 45 years of experience, is one of the largest printing and label converting operations in North America. It operates 21 manufacturing facilities and produces high-quality packaging products. Its customers range in size from small businesses to large, high-volume manufacturers and consumer product goods companies doing business locally, nationally, and in marketplaces worldwide. WS Packaging Group is majority owned by J.W. Childs Associates, L.P. (JWC), a private equity firm based in Boston, Massachusetts, investing in middle-market growth companies. Since 1995, JWC has invested in over 40 companies with a transaction value of more than $12 billion.

Domino's first installation of its N600i digital colour label press takes Reynders Label Printing to the next level in digital production

When it comes to quality and perfection, Reynders Label Printing knows just how to deliver. From its humble beginnings over half a century ago, when Mr Emile Reynders founded the company in 1959 printing stationery in the family home, it has since expanded to become one of the leading label specialists in Europe. Headquartered in Boechout, Belgium with six specialised printing divisions and eight production facilities spread throughout Europe and Asia, Reynders Label Printing prides itself in its commitment to delivering the very best in design and label printing in which innovation, quality and customer service are of paramount importance.

Today, Reynders, which remains a family-run business, has over 60 printing presses and more than 450 printing stations covering flexography, offset, letterpress, screen, dry toner, wet toner and ink jet printing technologies, enabling the company to offer one of the broadest ranges of label printing equipment for a host of applications.   It has been this focus on maintaining its leading position through investment in the very latest label printing equipment that led to the installation of the first Domino N600i digital colour label press at its Belgium production facility.

Chief Executive Officer Marc Reynders explains, “Over the past few years, label printing has been facing new challenges with customers demanding ever tighter delivery deadlines, shorter average run lengths, more personalised data; but still the highest quality of end product. As a result, we needed to find solutions that can not only cope with these changing demands, but that also means adjusting our service offering for our customers. It ultimately helps us to move our business forward in line with the changing dynamics of the industry.”

When Marc and his team first saw an early technology demonstration of the N600i at Ipex 2010, they were immediately impressed. For a digital printing press, it offered much higher levels of productivity combined with improved print quality for ink jet.

“We already had a number of HP Indigos, the latest Xeikon technologies and three Agfa Dotrix digital label presses all of which were doing a good job,” continues Marc, “But to take Reynders to the next level in digital label production we needed a solution that could offer high quality digital printing at significantly increased speeds. The N600i was just what we were looking for.”

The Domino N600i four colour digital label press offers a native 600dpi print resolution and uses one of the smallest drop sizes (6pl) to deliver the highest quality output onto a range of coated paper and plastic label stocks, and operates at speeds of 50-75 metres per minute. Combined with a standard 333mm (13”) wide web width it provides up to 1,500m² of print per hour. In addition, by varying the droplet sizes delivered from a single print head combined with the composition of the ink, the N600i can reproduce a wide colour gamut including over 80% of the pantone colour range.

With so many label press technologies installed across Reynders multiple sites, the fact that Domino had integrated the Esko front end into its N600i added to its appeal to Reynders and assisted with its integration.

“We already worked with the Esko workflow and this together with the intuitive user interface made working with the N600i so much more straightforward,” said Marc.

Installation didn’t go without its challenges, especially with the company agreeing to be a beta test site for Domino’s N600i, but both the Reynders and Domino teams worked together to ensure any issues were addressed and the installation met all requirements. “It’s fair to say that with any beta site, installation can take longer than usual, but we are delighted with the outcome,” confirms Marc. “We always had complete confidence in Domino throughout the process. They listened to our requirements, were extremely helpful in exploring ways to overcome any issues and conducted the installation with the utmost professionalism.”

Within a short time, the operations team had the N600i running at production speeds of 50 metres per minute, a significantly higher rate than the company’s existing digital technologies, and were using the press for new mid-volume applications of up to 3,000 metres, well above the 1,000 metres limit they typically would schedule on digital machines.

The increased speed of throughput brought additional challenges for the operators, as it meant they could no longer manually check for rejects and quality of output, as was the procedure for the company’s slower running solutions. As a result, Reynders installed an automated vision system onto the N600i line that could cope with verification of output at such high speeds, reducing operator intervention and adding further to production efficiencies.

To further develop the flexibility and capabilities of the N600i, Reynders and the Domino team are working together to develop new inks as well as review the integration of inline die-cutting technology within the N600i production line.

“Although it is still early days, we are extremely impressed with the capabilities of the N600i,” enthuses Marc, who is already looking to exploit the potential it can offer in terms of longer term new business opportunities.

 “The N600i has certainly lived up to our expectations of high resolution, high quality output at significantly higher operational speeds. The operation has been reliable and we are able to run much longer production jobs than we would normally print with digital technology, in this respect it is more targeted at replacing what we would normally run on flexo machines”

“If the N600i continues to perform to our expectations and we can achieve all our business goals, we will be considering further investment in this technology in the future,” concludes Marc.

3 Print Hungary Offers Sales and Support for HP Indigo Digital Presses

HP recently announced the appointment of 3 Print Hungary, of Budapest, as a new channel partner for Hungary, providing sales and support for the full range of HP Indigo Digital Presses.

3 Print was founded in 2007 by industry veterans experienced in introducing new solutions and transforming markets. The company has been an HP Indigo Distributor since 2007, and operates in Greece, Bulgaria and Israel as well as Hungary.

“We are excited by the opportunity to help develop the Hungarian digital print market,” said Beky Shemer, CEO, 3 Print. “We will be offering our customers an integrated service comprising sales, training and support along with workflow, software, presses and finishing equipment to meet our customer’s requirements.”

Among 3 Print Hungary’s plans for the Hungarian market is the anticipated opening of a training and demonstration centre in Budapest. The centre will include an HP Indigo 5600 Digital Press, one of the latest sheet-fed presses and capable of a wide range of commercial, photo-specialty and book printing applications and a range of complementary solutions and technologies from selected HP partners.

“3 Print brings expertise, experience and comprehensive support to our customers in Hungary,” said Christian Gericke, regional business manager, Indigo & Inkjet Web Press, Central & Eastern Europe, HP. “In addition, the training and demonstration centre will boost awareness of the digital printing opportunity with HP in Hungary.”

Finat reports on its Global Young Managers Club Congress

The future of the label industry is in good hands. That was how one delegate summed up the first ever Global YMC Congress organised by FINAT’s Young Managers Club (YMC). Mike Fairley of Tarsus Group went on to say that the opportunities for the next generation of industry leaders to meet, network and discuss the industry’s challenges and opportunities will undoubtedly provide long-term benefit. The two-day congress, held in Berlin in close collaboration with TLMI (US), LMAI (India) and the hosting country’s national association VskE (Germany), covered a range of topics under the umbrella of ‘Young Managers, let's challenge the future’. It offered the young blood of the industry international networking opportunities and the ability to share experiences and obtain knowledge from industry experts all over the world.

It also covered a broad variety of topics from ‘Next Generation or New Generation?’, ‘Developing an Environmental Management Policy that makes Economic and Business Sense’ and ‘Decision Making’.

Next generation thinking
The 'Next Generation or New Generation?’ presentation by Renate Kenter, strategy consultant, facilitator, and teacher with De Ruijter Strategy (NL)  said ‘being stuck in today’s thinking can be expensive’. She described how sailing towards a desired goal, your chosen destination, involves a combination of looking back (using the experience and knowledge of the older generation) and looking forward. Beforehand, you must define what your core business is, and why you are successful in it. “If you cannot do that, you cannot look at the future,” she stated. 

A workshop followed which saw delegates consider key uncertainties and their future vision which included globalisation, possible international alliances and partnerships; cost pressures, and the need to find cost-saving solutions and new technologies, developing faster than they are being adopted.

Green Labels
The importance of an environmentally conscious approach was outlined by label industry guru Mike Fairley, Director of Strategic Development, Labels & Packaging Group, Tarsus Exhibitions & Publishing. He set out in detail the options for creating and maintaining an environmental management policy appropriate for the packaging and labelling industry that also makes economic and business sense. It must also, crucially, partner the policies and published environmental aspirations of the major brand owners, 70-80% of whom rate environmental concerns ‘highly’.   

An eye-opening interactive session, ‘Managing people - leadership and decision making’, was led by Prof Dr Isabell Welpe, chair of strategy and organisation at the Technical University of München (DE). She explained how some wrong decisions are unavoidable, but others are definitely avoidable, and urged participants – as leaders in their organisations - to fine-tune their decision-making processes to identify and eliminate any team bias, and to steer clear of any form of ‘group think’. Strategic leadership in a company is critical for its success, and is centred on matching company resources to market opportunities. "Leadership is influence," Dr Welpe underlined. "If you lead, others follow.”

There were also presentations on Strategic Planning, India: Opportunities and Challenges, Burnout: How to Recognize, Prevent and Deal With It and Collaboration.

Be flexible to change
Francesc Egea, of IPE Innovaciones Para Etiquetajes, Spain and chairman of YMC summed up the clear messages of the event succinctly when he said: “There is a lot of change around our industry today – changing technology, changing end user markets, new economies, and changing customer needs.   We have to be flexible, and adapt our companies accordingly.”

But what did the delegates think? “The content was fantastic, focusing on key skills and unique ideas on how to drive our businesses forward,” commented Matthew Burton, AB Graphic International. “This made it relevant to all attendees, whether they are suppliers, converters, or press people, by focusing on developing skill sets rather than new technologies or innovations within the industry.”

Aside from the opportunity for networking Brian Hurst of Yerecic Label was impressed by the relevance of the business sessions that provided ‘take-homes’ for all and Alex Elezaj from Whitlam Label Company stated "the discussions surrounding global business issues with such a fine group of individuals were really beneficial."

“Not only were the challenges of upcoming markets discussed, but techniques of how to solve them; and opportunities were highlighted,” commented Pawandeep Sahni, Weldon Celloplast. While Radovan Kilarsky of  Purgina said: “The topics of the presentations were accurate, very interesting, and motivating.  I believe the next YMC Global Congress will be as successful as this and I cannot wait to take part!”

Evolving to meet changing markets
The Young Managers Club was created by FINAT - the European association for the self-adhesive label industry - for industry manager’s under-40. Initially it was focused on succession planning within the many industry SMEs. It has since evolved to encompass meetings and topical workshops.

Mr Egea explained: "With the YMC we are recognizing how important it is for young managers to understand the global influences on the industry and how they can align their business to these changing requirements. Essential to this is being able to connect with their peers in the labeling industry from around the world. There are so many interesting young global citizens and professionals out there and collectively we are highly educated, ambitious and excited about the future.”

“The next generation sure looks bright with this calibre of leaders,“ concluded congress attendee Tania Mathias of Fantastick Label Co. And Jürgen Scheiblehner of Delfort Group said: “It is very important to develop the young generation within FINAT to secure a successful future for the association – and the industry.”

Monday, January 7, 2013

Epson to offer Esko's highly functional Digital Front-End with its SurePress L-4033 series

Esko announces that it has entered into an OEM relationship with Epson to provide a customized Digital Front-End (DFE) for use with the Epson SurePress L-4033A and L-4033AW inkjet digital label presses.

"As the label and packaging market increasingly transitions from analog to digital solutions," says Jef Bogaerts, Commercial Partnerships at Esko, "manufacturers of digital printing equipment are looking for digital front-end alternatives that can effectively address workflow and job processing issues specific to their industry. Our DFE does just that by streamlining prepress and workflow for greater efficiency. And with Esko's Color Engine 12 integrated into the DFE, it offers Epson the ability to process files of up to seven colors to take full advantage of the capabilities of the L-4033 series presses. We are pleased to be partnering with Epson, one of the printing industry's best-known brands."

The 6-color Epson SurePress L-4033A and 7-color L-4033AW (with white ink) inkjet digital label presses are designed for efficient high-quality, short-run label printing. Delivering exceptional print quality and accurate color reproduction on a wide variety of standard label substrates, the L-4033 series presses enable label converters and commercial printers to expand their service offering and improve profitability. Now, with the addition of the Esko DFE, Epson customers will be able to take advantage of Esko's expertise in the label and packaging market to deliver differentiated digital label manufacturing that incorporates Esko capabilities that have become the standard in the label and packaging industry.

"As we continue to grow our presence in the label industry, we turned to the industry leader for additional capability," comments Mr. Kitahara Tsuyoshi, General Manager, Epson. "Combined with Epson's reputation for high-quality, affordable printing solutions, this DFE powered by Esko will bring even more value and automation to customers serving the digital label printing market. As the market continues to evolve, so do Epson products and the Esko partnership is another example of our dedication to bringing our customers best-in-class solutions that help their businesses grow and grow with their businesses."

The new DFE, powered by Esko, will be standard on Epson SurePress L-4033 series digital label presses sold in Europe and Australia, and will be an option for presses sold in other parts of the world.

Flint Group develops Soft nyloprint Plates

Flint Group has developed a soft, steel based letterpress printing plate for brilliant quality in coating and printing of special effect inks. With the nyloprint portfolio, Flint Group Flexographic Products offers a broad range of high-end products for all kinds of letterpress applications. nyloprint WS-S Digital plates represent the latest development of the digital steel based product range with focus on coating and special applications, such as the use of fluorescent inks in security printing.

This new water washable plate type provides an improved solid ink density due to brilliant ink transfer of the soft relief layer. Another benefit is the high durability for long print runs. The plate is suitable for rotary letterpress, as well as imprinting units and printing presses for special applications.

Digital nyloprint printing plates can be imaged with resolutions of up to 10,160 dpi. Particular advantages are observed in the reproduction of finest details without any loss of film-related quality limitations, such as dust, scratches, nicks, etc. Better reproducibility of repeat jobs with improved dimensional stability help to further enhance print quality. As a result of the elimination of film and chemicals for film processing, handling becomes much easier, and the plate processing becomes more efficient. The handling of digital data enables a secure and rapid data exchange worldwide, as well as an optimised data archive. Another important effect is the environmentally friendly process without any films and chemicals. Besides the 0,73 mm standard thickness of the digital version, other thicknesses and a conventional plate type are also available on request.

Test plates can be ordered via the local sales representatives.

Harper Corp and Clemson create Flexo Holiday Cards

Harper Corporation of America, a global anilox roll supplier, has partnered with Clemson University's Sonoco Institute to create flexographic greeting cards for the holiday season. The organizations are thrilled to have been able to utilize flexographic technology to produce these beautiful cards.

Printed on the Sonoco Institute's Omet VaryFlex press, the cards were created with 14 point stock and specialty tactile inks. By using these tools, professionals were able to produce a textured surface that looks like a snowflake. Harper Corporation of America believes that these cards reflect the spirit of the season and it is proud to share them.

The Harper Corporation team would like to thank the professionals at the Sonoco Institute for the time and energy that they have dedicated to this project.

For more information, please contact Jazmin Kluttz at jkluttz@harperimage.com.  

Friday, January 4, 2013

Inkjet and digital label and packaging print: AWA US seminar

The growing applications for digital print in the label and packaging arena are today a focus for both brand owners and the converting industry – and they present both benefits and challenges. Troubleshooting these new pathways, coupled with leading-edge success stories, are the key focus of AWA Conferences & Events’ Ink Jet and Digital Label/Packaging Print Seminar 2013, which takes place in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, 29-30 January 2013, co-located with IMI’s annual Ink Jet Conference.

Broad-ranging program
The program for this established annual seminar that alternates between Europe and the USA represents an opportunity for brand owners, converters, and industry suppliers to gain an in-depth update on the increasingly-wide base of available options, from digital offset to UV ink jet, thermal transfer, and EB imaging; the pre-press platforms that underlie the print capabilities; substrates, both paper and film; and inks. Speakers include experts from many disciplines – for example, Dr Dene Taylor, President, Specialty Papers & Films Inc; Lou Lovoli, VP, Strategic Partnership & Marketing, Hammer Packaging Corp; Victor Gomez, VP, Narrow Web Products, Durst Image Technology; Tom Erickson, Plant Superintendent, The Label Printers; and Sean Skelly, VP/GM, EFI Jetrion. Leading printing substrate suppliers UPM are the seminar’s Platinum Sponsors.

Leveraging AWA expertise
The global business environment in which the industry is operating will also be examined in a review of the labeling and product decoration markets from AWA Alexander Watson Associates’ President and CEO, Corey M Reardon.

The 2013 Inkjet & Digital Label & Packaging Seminar is now open for registrations, which may be achieved online, where a full seminar prospectus, and details of all AWA Conferences & Events forthcoming events and published market reports, are also available.

Esko scores successes with Full HD Flexo

The next-generation HD Flexo technology brings breakthrough quality to flexo printing at Bischof + Klein. Esko is reporting several successes with its new Full HD Flexo technology at customer sites throughout the world. At drupa 2012, Esko first presented the next-generation HD Flexo plate imaging concept technology: Full HD Flexo. Now, 6 months later, Esko is happy to report customer acceptance and successes at several sites around the world, amongst whom is the well-known German flexo company Bischof + Klein.

Bischof + Klein: very consistently reproduced quality
Bischof + Klein (www.bk-international.com), based in Germany, is one of Europe's leading full-service suppliers of flexible plastic and paper packaging and technical films. Helmut Wenzl, Operations Manager at the Konzell printing plant of Bischof + Klein, comments: “Thanks to the installation of Esko's CDI with Inline UV2, Bischof + Klein is able to execute 'Full HD' flexo printing with high screen rulings and a convincing solid ink laydown. The first productions in higher print runs up to 250.000m also showed a very consistently reproduced quality, with print results exactly matching the proofs. We therefore already have many production jobs to be handled with Full HD Flexo in the pipeline. The positive feedback of our customers and last but not least, the DTFA-Award we've won, assured us we choose the right path with Esko's Full HD Flexo.”

DFTA-Award 2012 winning product with Full HD Flexo
"We will convert all round top HD Flexo jobs to Full HD Flexo. The exciting thing is that Full HD Flexo gives a much better long run consistency of fine highlights at high lineatures," adds André Kölker, Team Leader Repro / Project Manager at Bischof + Klein.

Full HD Flexo technology
The Full HD Flexo technology combines Inline UV2 digital main exposure inside the Cyrel Digital Flexo plate imager (CDI) with innovative HD imaging and screening technology. Full HD Flexo extends the boundaries of flexo printing for flexible packaging. By enabling the formation of different dot structures in one single plate, the combination of smooth highlight printing and gravure-like solid ink laydown can be achieved. The result is a superior flexo plate that is delivering unique print quality in highlights, midtones, shadows and solids of a print job. It raises flexo print quality to an unprecedented level - comparable to gravure, digital print and even offset - and allows customers to cost-effectively deliver against the specific requirements of brand owners. "We go beyond the binary discussion of flat top dots or round top dots, and create the best possible combination of dot structures on one and the same plate. Especially for flexible packaging converters this is a giant step forward as work can be done more cost effective without loss in quality, while gaining brand color consistency," says Dr. Thomas Klein, R&D Manager Flexo Business at Esko.

Rolling out Full HD Flexo
“The fast acceptance and excellent results of this new technology are encouraging”, concludes Juergen Andresen, Vice President Flexo Business at Esko, “Now we are finalizing installations at a range of early adopter sites, we get ready for a global rollout as from early 2013 onwards.” 


API Holographics in joint venture with IQ Structures

UK-based API Holographics, part of the API Group, has partnered with Czech Republic-based IQ Structures (IQS), led by Tomas Tethal, to launch a joint venture business, API Optix.

The new business brings together the specialist capabilities and resources of API and IQS to form a joint technology center. The venture will further enhance API’s offering of holographic originations for specialist security applications.

API says it will be able to offer its customers a broader and more innovative range of design possibilities using nano-level overt and covert security features incorporated into sharp clear holographic images.

This project is one of a number of investment strategies currently being undertaken by API. Others include the installation of a new demetallization line, an upgrade of site security accreditation and the development of a new design studio and visitors’ suite.

New 3 Sigma Coating Line In Operation

3 Sigma Corporation, a leading supplier of specialty custom adhesive and top-coated materials for the pressure-sensitive label industry, has completed installation of a wide format specialty coater, providing customers with a greater array of cost effective, custom engineered pressure sensitive adhesives and custom coated products.  The new coater, designed and built to 3 Sigma specifications, accommodates 80-inch (203-centimeter) web materials and can apply multiple coatings and/or adhesives on both the front and back of the web.  A laminating station permits producing pressure sensitive constructions with liner or multi-layered product designs.

Discussing the new equipment, Mike Sotzing, 3 Sigma Vice President of Operations, said: "This new specialty coater is our most versatile piece of equipment.  With it, 3 Sigma can produce more complex applications and constructions for new specialty and niche markets, as well as those we now serve.  We designed and built this machine to complement our existing capability and to further our growth in both the label-stock industry and additional markets. The new coating line has increased our employment, and with more staff additions planned in the near future, 3 Sigma is helping the local Miami County (Ohio) economy continue its growth."

Since 1980, 3 Sigma has been a fast-growing, resourceful innovator of specialty top-coating and pressure-sensitive adhesive coated products.  3 Sigma offers expertise in solvent, emulsion, and hot melt technologies, to provide the optimum solution for any label need.  Quality teams monitor and inspect material throughout the manufacturing process according to ISO 9001:2008 guidelines, to ensure that 3 Sigma customers receive the best label stock available.