Saturday, July 12, 2014

Labelexpo India 2014: South Asia’s largest label, product decoration, package printing and converting industry expo

Labelexpo India, launched in 2002 is the largest label event in India. It is one of the world’s fastest-growing label markets, attended by all the key label printers in South Asia. Recognized as the biggest event for the label, product decoration, web printing and converting industry in South Asia, Labelexpo India 2014 show will assemble more than 150 international and local exhibitors, offering them an excellent chance to meet up with an array of visitors from the label, packaging, package printing, design, origination and brand owner/end-user sectors.

From Label and narrow web printing machinery manufacturers to Industry service suppliers, Label application, overprinting & inspection equipment suppliers, Pre-press & production technology suppliers, Radio frequency identification suppliers, Security solution suppliers, Substrate & adhesive suppliers will be exhibiting. It will also be a meeting point for Printers / converters of labels, flexible packaging and folding cartons, General printers / converters, Brand owners, Label and packaging designers and Industry suppliers.

The show is supported by Label Manufacturers Association of India (LMAI), All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP), Hologram Manufacturers Association of India (HOMAI), Delhi Printers' Association and all of the country’s key printing and packaging magazines. Labels India is a key media partner to this event.

In a run up to the Labelexpo India show happening at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from October 29th to November 1st, we at Labels India will be bringing to you a series of interviews with various personalities. So keep tuned…

Friday, July 11, 2014

Looks like Glass, but it’s pet! Sidel launches innovative new pet bottle for beer

PET liquid packaging solutions specialist Sidel has launched the world's first-ever pasteurisable lightweight PET bottle for beer with a non-petaloid base. The innovative bottle also supports a crown cap, which together with the non-petaloid base gives the bottle the appearance of glass, but with all the advantages of PET. This includes the lightweight and increased mechanical properties of PET. Most notably, the new bottle weighs only 28 grams, which is up to 86% less than an average equivalent glass bottle, according to Sidel data.

Sidel PET beer bottle singleAround five billion PET packaging units of beer are currently sold a year, about 2% of the global market, with glass and can being the most widely used materials. This was also the case in the past with many other food and beverage products that have since increasingly made the switch to PET from other packaging materials, including juices, water, carbonated soft drinks, olive oil and sauces etc. This is not surprising considering the safety, strength, flexibility, lighter weight, recyclability, design flexibility and greater convenience that PET offers. Now, to help beer producers and consumers alike make the same switch more easily, Sidel has created a PET bottle that utilises a 'champagne' base that is more traditionally found on glass beer bottles. The bottle also supports a crown closure that again mirrors those more typically found on premium beer products. It looks like glass, but it's PET.

To prove the benefits of its technology, Sidel has blown a 330 millilitre version that can achieve a six-month shelf life (with less than 1 parts-per-million (ppm) of oxygen ingress and less than 17% of carbon dioxide loss). The company can also provide versions up to 600 millilitres and is developing sizes even bigger. When packaging beer it is critical to prevent oxygen entering and carbon dioxide escaping the package. The new bottle design can achieve this with different solutions, such as single-layer material blends and Sidel's proprietary Actis™ gas-barrier technology. As a result, the beer bottle can protect beer qualities for up to a six-month shelf life.

The bottle can be used for flash or tunnel pasteurised beer, and also micro-filtrated beer. For tunnel-pasteurised beer a PET bottle usually requires a petaloid base, but Sidel's new bottle has a unique base and other design technologies that mean it can resist the pressures produced by the prolonged high temperatures during this production process, while still retaining the appearance of a more traditional glass bottle. The bottle can withstand pressures of 20 pasteurisation units (PU) in the tunnel, which is standard for lagers, and retains a stable base after pasteurisation. Furthermore, the bottle design can be used on existing tunnel pasteurisers that currently serve glass bottles.

"We want to help beer producers take advantage of the flexibility, lighter weight, sustainability and lower costs offered by PET, by producing a bottle that was more attractive to the next generation of beer consumers who want their drinks packaging to be more sustainable, convenient and user-friendly," explains Christophe Bunel, Head of Packaging Care at Sidel. "For many consumers a petaloid base is associated with other product categories, such as carbonated soft drinks or sparkling water, and therefore when it appears on a beer bottle it can negatively affect the brand perception. But increasingly consumers are becoming more aware of the benefits of PET, because they experience it as the preferred packaging material of choice in other food and beverage areas in their life. So to help producers and consumers alike make the transition we wanted a bottle that looked like glass, but has all the benefits of PET."

For many years there have been misperceptions around beer in PET. For example, some mistakenly think beer in PET gets warmer quicker. In fact, in Sidel's studies, its beer bottle kept beer cold for the same time duration as an equivalent sized glass bottle, with much less wall thickness and hence much less material weight. Taste is also another misperception, with some consumers falsely believing beer tastes better, for example, in cans instead of PET bottles. As the world's leading specialist in PET liquid packaging solutions, Sidel wants to help change these misperceptions and bring the great benefits of PET to beer as well.

To achieve this the company ran its advanced packaging optimisation and qualification tests on the bottle, including finite element analysis and feasibility testing to evaluate bottle stability, liquid quality protection and rigidity. Finally it ran full industrial production tests to prove the bottle's performance, both during production and across simulated supply chains.

Sidel has been helping producers package their beer products for over 40 years. The company is currently in conversations with some of the world's leading, and most well-known, beer producers on how to bring the benefits of PET to beer using its new bottle design and packaging technology. The new bottle itself can be produced using all suitable Sidel PET packaging solutions for beer, including its beer fillers and the new range of Sidel Matrix blowers and labellers.

WIFAG-Polytype makes it possible to do water-based ink-jet digital printing on aluminum and plastic substrates

Converting off on their joint future together under the name WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG. About 50 experts from the fields of newspaper printing, coating and converting had a chance to find out about the newly named company and its strong orientation toward R&D and customer projects. The highlight came with the premiere performance of the pilot version of the Techma-4 printing press. On this roll-to-roll system, WIFAG-Polytype Technologies gave its first-ever demonstration of digital printing with water-based ink-jet inks on plastic and aluminum foils. The technology is also suitable for printing on food packaging.


The Techma-4 supplements the already extensive machinery at the technology center in Fribourg, which industrial customers often use for testing purposes.  The digital printing line can print 680 mm wide foil and paper webs at a speed of up to 100 m/min in four colors wet-on-wet. Downstream of that is a 4.5-meter hybrid drying section (infrared with changeable wave length plus hot-air drying).

One focal point of the open house was CEO Jörgen Karlsson's presentation on WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG. Another was the lecture given by Roger Ineichen, Head of Digital Printing.  In it, he explained in detail the expanded possibilities offered by WIFAG-Polytype's own ink-jet printing technology. Lars Sommerhäuser, Head of Ink-jet Inks and Materials, presented the additional expertise in ink-jet inks and in receiving and functional layers that was added when an entire development team was transferred from Ilford.

In a tour of the facility in Fribourg, Switzerland, the open house guests saw a demonstration of the Techma-4 as well as four-color printing on plastic cups and tubes with ink-jet systems. The latter optimally combine the expertise of Polytype AG with the technology of the Digital Competence Center of the corporate group.

The "still can" production line was also shown. It produces and fills this new type of composite-foil beverage packaging that is ultra-lightweight and that cuts down on the material used. It is based on a material developed by Huhtamaki and on mechanical engineering and process technology from Polytype.

Labelexpo Americas launches specialized packaging master class for brand owners

Brand owners, retailers, label and packaging designers and buyers are being invited to enroll for the inaugural printing technology master class - Brand engagement through packaging. Taking place on Thursday 11 September, the half day master class is featured as part of Labelexpo Americas 2014.

Brand engagement through packaging is a combination of speaker sessions, guided show tour and hosted lunch. It is designed to give attendees a robust understanding of label and package printing; such as which materials to use, the effects of using the latest technology and design techniques to grow a brand, increase sales and stay ahead of competitors.

Delegates will hear from several leading industry experts across a range of specialisms. Mike Ferrari of Ferrari Innovation Solutions will navigate the shopper’s journey - retail, online and social media. Looking at packaging in the digital age, he will demonstrate how to grow brand revenue and margins by sharing best practice case studies from brands such as Procter & Gamble, Danone and Coca-Cola.

John Foley of interlinkONE and Grow Socially will look at connecting packaging and the web through engaging in social media. John will guide delegates through how to measure their social media profit success through engagement and consumer marketing. He will also outline how to extend the life of the label and packaging to connect with the next generation of consumers as well as teaching attendees to think ‘outside the box’ on how to incorporate the power of digital marketing with their products.

Esko’s Jan De Roeck will explore digital visualization to workflow. De Roeck will reveal how a product’s packaging can be virtually created in 3D to show a range of substrates, printing techniques and finishes and to review its shelf impact. He will also demonstrate how 3D visualization can also be used to show packaging designs to concept teams in remote locations and quicken a product’s route to market with improved approval times.

The master class will be closed by Mike Fairley from the Labelexpo Global Series with his take on new opportunities and solutions in high tech printing and finishing technologies. He will give practical examples of how different printing techniques can be applied to products and how they can also add value. He will also summarize the latest possibilities with new inks, materials, security and brand protection solutions.

Mike Fairley commented: “The master class is designed to help brand owners and packaging designers get a better and fuller understanding of what they can achieve with their label and package printing designs. Digital printing technology has really opened up and expanded the design possibilities and labels and packaging have become a hugely important channel for communicating and engaging with the consumer. With the personalization and multiple variation of products on the rise, the master class should give a valuable insight into how using label and package printing can best attract the consumer’s attention to grow revenues and increase margins.”

Being held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Chicago, entry to the master class costs $700. Delegates can register online by visiting www.labelexpo-americas.com. 

EKS-Label chooses SPGPrints' DSI digital UV-inkjet press to maintain flexibility in short-run label markets

Self-adhesive label converter EKS-Label GmbH (Kirchlengern, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) has invested in an eight-colour DSI (Digital System Integration) UV-inkjet press from SPGPrints, in order to meet the growing demand for short runs of self-adhesive labels.

The custom-built 330mm (13”) DSI press features the standard CMYK plus orange and violet, enabling reproduction of 90 percent of visible colours, a digital primer and opaque white. With top-speeds of 35m/min (114fpm) and including converting technology from AB Graphic, the press gives a productive single-pass solution. Esko Automation software provides simplified file management with minimal manual intervention, allowing several jobs to be scheduled at once, and significantly cutting prepress times.

The press will relieve EKS’s existing letterpress and offset presses of production runs between 100 linear metres and 3000 linear metres, allowing the analogue printing operation to focus on long jobs.

A deciding factor in the EKS’s investment was the DSI’s high specification. LED pinning between the colour stations ensures high-quality, consistent ink laydowns at fast printing speeds, and a chill drum maintains the stability of heat-sensitive film substrates. This gives full scheduling flexibility to EKS, because much of the company’s output comprises PP, PE and PET materials, mainly to customers in the food, cosmetics, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors. The digital primer - an optional feature - achieves the embossed effect without material waste, because it needs only to be applied to the image area and eliminates the need for pre-coated paper. 

SPGPrints’ proprietary inks are specially formulated to ensure high performance on the DSI press, which features Xaar print-head technology. With high-gloss and BWS-7 light fastness, the inks offer resistance to sunlight, scratching and chemicals. The opaque white, with 93 percent optical density, provides an effective alternative for no-label look applications.

Nicole Fischer, managing director of EKS-Label, comments: “With its high specification, colour range, software and ink performance, SPGPrints’ DSI press enables us to maintain our flexibility while meeting the market’s changing service requirements productively and economically.”

Live demonstrations highlight benefits of Sidel labeller at International conference

In developing the Rollsleeve labeller, Sidel has focused on minimising maintenance, reducing environmental impact, saving on costs, and the branding opportunities shrink-sleeve labels present to generate shelf appeal in what is a competitive marketplace.  As part of the two day event in April presented at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, Sidel staged a visit for customers from several countries to the 400,000 square foot facility of labelling partner Verst Group Logistics to see various sleeving production lines in action.

The live demonstrations allowed visitors to see for themselves the respective benefits of the different technologies, with the Sidel Rollsleeve labeller, which has recently been installed as part of an expansion programme for Verst's production area, drawing particular attention.  Designed to meet a growing demand for shrink- sleeve labels, Sidel Rollsleeve is a rotary labeller equipped with an ergonomically designed, robust and precise linear labelling station. It can switch easily between shrink-sleeve labels for shaped containers and classic hot-melt applications. The infeed and outfeed wheels, the container platforms all driven by servomotors, and a single rotating knife allow a clean and precise cut every time and a high quality labelling application at very high speed. It also offers the ability to use multiple types of label material for sustainability and cost savings.

The Sidel Rollsleeve labeller carries out the seaming and wrapping of all labels inside the machine itself.  It does so without the use of solvents and this, combined with the use of film material up to 50% thinner than other comparable systems, reduces its environmental footprint.  The labeller operates with a range of film thicknesses from 18 to 40 microns - with film of 30 microns being typically used.  By carrying out the seaming of labels inside the machine, the solution simplifies converting and eliminates the need to outsource sleeve manufacture.

Most importantly, Sidel's Rollsleeve labeller makes it possible for beverage producers, packers and co-packers to undertake the precise application of quality labels at very high speed, clearly evident during the live demonstrations.  It can run at rates of up to 54,400 bottles per hour, depending on bottle specifications and equipment and whether the machine is running in 'Roll-Sleeve' or 'Shrink-Sleeve' production mode.  Such high outputs can again contribute to further savings on shipping, storage and energy costs.

Yann Renard, Business Development Manager for Labelling, Sidel, said: "The way products are labelled has a significant impact on their success in the marketplace, with the design and branding a major influencer on consumer purchasing decisions.  Producing attractively labelled products cost effectively is therefore key.  These events are an ideal opportunity for visitors to actually see the technology working. The Verst facility proved an excellent venue for demonstrating the capabilities of our Rollsleeve labeller and how it can add real value to labelling operations."

FLEXcon's New Prime Label Substrates with V-01 Adhesive for Better Performance

FLEXcon, an innovator in adhesive coating and laminating, today announced the addition of products for prime labeling applications using the company’s new, higher-shear, permanent acrylic adhesive.

Available as part of the optiFLEX, optiFLEX EZ, optiFLEX CONCEAL, optiFLEX CONFORMmax, THINflex and DigiPRO PRIME product lines in addition to the original sureFLEX line, FLEXcon’s new generation V-01 adhesive offers problem-free performance by running without buildup on converting or dispensing equipment. It provides excellent adhesion to a variety of container types, including low-surface energy HDPE. It also offers open time for clean removability of misapplied labels, allowing the container to be salvaged and re-labeled.  V-01 resists moisture and exposure to product contents and passes soapy squeeze testing, making it ideal for the health and beauty, food and beverage and household chemical markets. It is compliant with FDA 175.105 for indirect food contact.

“We pride ourselves on our ability to listen to our customers needs and then develop products that will not only help them capture new business but also reduce cost and to run efficiently,” said John Bennett, Vice President, FLEXcon. “V-01 is our answer to the many challenges our customers face in supplying the consumer packaging market with competitive pricing and superior performance both on the press and in the end use.”

Ensure Excellent Performance
V-01 adheres well to a wide range of container types, including low-surface energy HDPE. The V-01 adhesive provides excellent resistance to water, humidity and product contents, preventing edge lift and water whitening of the label.

Reduce Down Time Due to Adhesive Buildup
Adhesive buildup on equipment is commonly caused by the adhesive oozing out of the edges of the material during production. This can slow or even halt production, resulting in downtime due to waste clean-up. Label substrates with V-01 adhesive are much less susceptible to ooze which means that your presses can keep running. But don’t take our word for it. Trial V-01 now!

Improve Production Speeds
No adhesive ooze means no clean-up. So in addition to reducing down time, substrates with V-01 can also increase production speeds, giving you a 1-2 punch for your bottom line.

Reduce Waste
V-01 provides open time for clean removability of misapplied labels. This feature results in less waste since the container can be salvaged and re-labeled.

Stay Competitive
Improving efficiencies and minimizing waste allow you to offer your customers high quality and great performance at a reasonable cost - which ensures that you stay competitive. Trust FLEXcon products with V-01 adhesive to keep your presses up and running.

FLEXcon’s V-01 adhesive is available on a wide range of films for use on a variety of container types including rigid, semi-squeeze and full-squeeze containers. In addition, products are available for a variety of print technologies, including HP Indigo, UV, solvent, emulsion and hot stamp, to name a few. Label substrates with V-01 are readily available, many in Quick-Ship and/or pre-slit inventory for fast delivery.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

GSE Dispensing Debut Colorsat Switch to the Americas at Labelexpo

GSE Dispensing presents American narrow-web printers with its latest, automated, lean ink management solution specifically engineered for small ink batches at Labelexpo Americas (9th-11th September, stand 558, Rosemont, Illinois, Chicago). The Colorsat Switch ensures a fast, precise and waste-free means of achieving spot color on demand.

Maarten Hummelen, marketing director of GSE Dispensing, comments, “After the success at Labelexpo Europe, where the Colorsat Switch was sold to printers in Europe, North America and Africa, we are looking forward to similar interest from the US market at Labelexpo Americas. Our products provide modular solutions for any ink volume requirements, and offer optimal dosage accuracy for a waste-free process that typically improves ink yields by up to 30 percent.”

As label design lifecycles become shorter and limited edition promotional messages more frequent, short lead-times can be challenging to deliver. There is no room for error, and labor-intensive, unpredictable manual ink mixing is not cost-effective. Automated gravimetric ink dispensing systems, like the Colorsat Switch, eliminate these production bottlenecks and provide converters with fast, accurate, repeatable color.

The Colorsat Switch is engineered to dispense water-based, UV-curing or solvent-based ink batches into 1.3 gallon buckets with a typical four-component recipe of 11lbs produced in less than four minutes and to 0.01lbs accuracy. It has a modular design that has a capacity of 20 base inks of 55lbs, or can optionally be connected to 55 or 275 gallon totes. Benefits include easy exchange of buckets with base components and fast dispensing of exact quantities of ink for each individual job, eliminating operator error and ink overproduction or shortfalls. This results in a lean workflow that helps to minimize prepress overheads and tighten margins.
GSE also offers gravimetric dispensing units for quantities up to 1300lb and for a maximum of 32 different components. It can therefore provide solutions for a variety of print applications, from short-run labels to high-volume corrugated board production. The fast dispensing speeds are especially ideal for printing environments where different ink series are needed to ensure compatibility with a variety of substrates.

In addition, all dispensing units use GSE's Ink Management Software (IMS), a user-friendly production management tool. This enables the operator to see details of existing recipes, store new color specifications and find any return inks that are available and suitable in real-time. This significantly reduces waste and storage space, as well as providing transparent per-job ink costs to manage profit margins.

PeterLynn Upgrades to Xeikon 3300 Label Press

PeterLynn Ltd, Corby, has announced details of an upgrade to its 2012 Xeikon digital colour press purchase in order to cope with the increased volume of label production being demanded by its customers. The field upgrade has enhanced the Xeikon 3030 machine to the productivity levels of the top end Xeikon 3300 model.

Commenting on the need for the upgrade, James Lindsay, General Manager of PeterLynn, said: “The Xeikon has performed exceptionally well for us in the 18 months since it has been in production. Our own sales efforts have managed to fill the capacity offered by the original configuration to the point where we needed to evaluate our best move forwards."

“The ability to field upgrade the Xeikon was part of our initial decision making process when we selected the 3030 label press, and it seemed the logical move for us to make in order to increase our production capacity.”

The Xeikon 3300 digital label press hardware offers variable web width ranging from 200 mm (7.9 inches) up to 330 mm (13 inches). The machine now offers PeterLynn a top speed of 19.2 m/min (63 ft/min) and it can handle production volumes of up to 380 square meters/hour (589 MSI/hour).

Vicky Waine, Sales & Marketing Manager for PeterLynn, is delighted with the addition of the new digital capacity: “The original purchase of the Xeikon machine meant that we were able to offer our customers high quality, short-run four-colour labels without incurring expensive plate and set-up costs. This makes it ideal for the shorter run requirements that are becoming more typical of the market, with many customers seeking to reduce their inventory."

“Our discussions with customers since the installation of the Xeikon machine have been very successful and the quantity of digital labels being ordered by our customer base has been increasing swiftly over the time that the machine has been running here."

“We have strong relationships with a number of companies involved in the brewery sector – companies that we have worked with since their very early days – and as their businesses have grown the quantity of labels they require has, of course, grown with it. Our work within the food sector has grown significantly in the time that we have been able to offer food-safe digitally printed labels.”

Typical applications that are perfect for digital production include labels for pharmaceutical, asset, food, cosmetics, and beauty products, as well as many others. Because of the ability to laminate or varnish as part of the process, digital produced products are ideal for chemical resistant labelling.

Established in 1985, PeterLynn Ltd manufactures custom roll labels, plain paper labels, laser labels, tickets and tags. It provides a range of products for specific applications, including synthetic materials, write and seal labels, mobile printer labels, high temperature and cryogenic label products.

Commenting on behalf of the machine manufacturer, Filip Weymans Director Segment Marketing and Business Development Labels and Packaging , at Xeikon, added: “The Xeikon 3000 Series offers the unique opportunity to upgrade entry level presses, such as the Xeikon 3030, in speed or substrate width in the field. It allows businesses moving into digital for the first time to enter at a lower price point and then expand their production capabilities as the amount of work being produced grows.”

Sappi presents full range of Speciality Papers at Packaging Innovations 2014

Sappi Speciality Papers will be exhibiting at this year’s Packaging Innovations Show taking place in London, from 30 September to 1 October on stand D6, to present its latest innovative papers and board packaging solutions. These include the sustainable and recyclable packaging grades such as Algro Guard M and Leine Guard M, offering Mineral Oil Barrier functionality to safeguard food from contamination. Also featured at the show will be Sappi’s award-winning bright white carton board Algro Design; the premium white topliner Fusion for lamination to carton and corrugated cardboard; and biodegradable packaging solutions like Algro Nature, a certified home compostable flexible packaging substrate that is based on renewable raw materials, as is the case with all Sappi papers.

Produced to high quality ISO standards as well as FSC accreditation, Sappi Speciality papers have been developed to meet the growing requirements of brand owners and converters for grades that address improved shelf presence and brand image, environmental and sustainable impact, enhanced productivity and functionality as well as concerns around food safety.

Speciality papers from Sappi give customers an array of options to improve shelf presence and brand image ranging through flexible packaging, premium SBS board, topliner for high quality corrugated packaging, wet glue applied label paper enabling strong on-shelf appeal packaging papers offering stiffness and pack strength, silicone base papers for carriers for self-adhesive products, and home compostable papers. Sappi’s family of coated paper products offers a variety of packaging applications ranging from sachets and pouches for the food industry to confectionery wrappers and labels.

Enhancing environmental sustainability
With Algro Nature, Sappi is presenting a home compostable paper packaging solution. The Algro Nature paper, produced with cellulose based film from Innovia Films, enables brand owners and packaging manufacturers to develop packaging from renewable resources, that once used can be easily composted, either commercially or domestically.

Keeping Food Safe
Also on show will be the new and innovative Sappi grades Algro Guard M and Leine Guard M. These sustainable and recyclable packaging materials are designed to address concerns about migration of mineral oil into food from packaging that is manufactured from recycled fibres. The integrated solution of mineral oil barrier functionality combined with excellent heat sealing properties minimise converting process steps and considerably reduce costs in the supply chain.

Fusion a white top liner for corrugated packaging
Presented at the show is Fusion, a premium-quality, bright white premium liner. Composed of white bleached virgin fibres, this top liner has achieved success among a number of stakeholders in the packaging supply chain, ranging from corrugators to litho laminators and finishers of folding cartons, as well as print finishers, designers, agencies and brand owners. Thanks to its high white finish, Fusion outperforms standard white-top liners and gives colour prints an unprecedented brilliance and saturation, whereby the finishes have a very tactile appeal. The top liner Fusion convinces with excellent converting properties and production advantages such as 30% less glue consumption, less cracking, high runability and reduced transportation and storage costs.

Algro Design: special finishes drive brand value
For many brand owners, packaging manufacturers and finishers, Sappi’s superior SBS carton board Algro Design is the first choice when it comes to printability and virtually limitless processing and finishing options. It guarantees maximum precision, value and consistent quality. Algro Design from Sappi is one of the most popular coated cellulose carton brands. The product range impresses with superior whiteness, consistent surface finish, very high light resistance and a silky smooth touch.

Kerstin Dietze, Marketing Manager Speciality Papers concludes “Sappi believes in working in partnership with customers to help them identify the best ways to differentiate their offering from the competition. By specifying packaging substrates that enable the quality production of demanding designs they can communicate a premium message and create a perception of greater value. We are addressing even the most challenging packaging and conversion requirements of our customers. Our expanded product portfolio and our solutions reflects this expertise. Our substrates print well, can withstand complex finishing processes and assure product protection, are regulatory compliant and are offering the necessary shelf appeal to convince consumers.”  

A New Definition For 'Labels' : Finat Congress debates changing influences and technologies

The label industry is no longer a separate and definable niche in the broader field of packaging print. It has a new and extended profile as a provider of product decoration, brand identity, product data, smart phone interaction, track-and-trace and authentication data -- and, indeed of packaging itself.

Members of Finat, the international trade association for self-adhesive labelling and related industries, convened in June in Monte Carlo for their 2014 annual congress, to address the core topic of  ‘The Battle for Shelf Appeal’. Congress Moderator Marc Büttgenbach (DE), worldwide sales director for Bizerba Labels and Consumables, introduced the keynote speaker – Rik Olthof (NL), brand strategist at international branding and packaging design consultancy Cartils. 

The essence of branding
Mr Olthof explained the essence of branding, showing how important the look and feel of a product are to its ‘shelf appeal’. The key to success is to ensure product impact and visibility in a variety of different environments, from supermarkets – (where, today, the consumer spends an average of just 20 minutes, making ‘shelf appeal’ essential for the purchasing decision) – to clubs and bars. Mr Olthof identified a number of iconic names like Nike, Lamborghini, and Smirnoff, whose branding pathways are demonstrably successful.

There are five key pillars for successful brand identity. Shape, which conveys the character of the product; colour, which engages our emotions; the use of a unique visual language that confirms authenticity; ‘endorsements’ underlining product quality and authority; and, through the packaging’s finish, defining the product as an aspirational international premium brand. 

Looking at the label industry
Next on the agenda was an overview of trends in the French label markets, delivered by Dominique Durant-des-Aulnois (FR), currently vice president of the French label association, UNFEA, and general manager of label makers Paragon Identification, assisted by well-known label trade journalist, publisher, and consultant John Penhallow (FR). France’s self-adhesive label industry embraces around 400 production sites and 7000 employees – mostly SMEs and, geographically, quite fragmented. Most UNFEA label converters reported a dramatic sales increase, powered by the need to ‘be different’, export to other regions, and innovate. The ever-increasing EU ‘red tape’ relating to label content could, in fact, represent ‘a green light for label converters’.

This presentation set the scene for Jules Lejeune (NL), managing director of Finat, to present his annual 360º tour of the label industry, including the underlying trends and forces for the industry as a whole and for Finat members. 

Expert panel discussions
Two valuable panel discussions followed. Firstly, representatives from key aspects of the international industry supply chain – Krones, Avery Dennison, and Karlville Development -- came together to debate the subject of the ‘battle of decoration technologies’. Then it was time to hear the brand owners’ viewpoint on ‘the future of product decoration’ via a second panel discussion featuring representatives from L’Oréal, LEGO, Reckitt Benckiser;  and G3 Enterprises.

Industry awards presentations
Industry awards presentations concluded the first day’s proceedings. This year they celebrated success not only in the Finat Label Competition and Congress Logo Competition, but also in the new FINAT Recycling Awards – in which Unilever took the first-ever end-user company award and Hagmaier Etiketten & Druck the first-ever label converter award.

‘Innovation for profit’
Next morning, the topic of ‘innovation for labelling and packaging profit’ was addressed by Mike Ferrari, founder and president of Ferrari Innovation Solutions, and for 32 years a key figure in Procter & Gamble management. He illustrated his talk with many fascinating examples of how the shopper’s journey is changing, and how solutions for engaging the shopper are also evolving. ‘If people are in the virtual world,’ said Mr Ferrari, ‘how can we make them buy products in the REAL world?’ P&G’s ‘first moment of truth’ – originally the first eye contact with a packaged product on a retail shelf – is a different matter in a world where 70% of purchasing decisions are no longer made in store, and where the world’s six billion cellphones interact with smart features on packaging. Today, a product’s first sales message might be anything from a friend’s Facebook message to a printable coupon that generates ‘stop, hold, and buy’ in-store. It is a sign of the times that, in last year’s earnings call, Procter & Gamble’s Chairman-CEO estimated that the company now spends up to 35% of its marketing budget on digital media.  The key to continuing brand success, however, remains in the consumer’s experience of the product in use and, if that experience is good, in repurchase.

Mass production has also spawned mass customisation – like the ‘personalised’ Coca-Cola bottles, featuring popular male and female first names, which have graced retail shelves in 32 countries across Europe and represent the longest digital packaging print run ever. 

So what is there in this new world for the label converter, asked Mr Ferrari? --To be shopper-/consumer-focused was at the top of the list. The need to consider the shopper journey beyond the retail shelf came next. Label printers should redefine their role more broadly – as solutions providers and marketing companies. These elements, said Mr Ferrari, are the successful route to ‘leveraging packaging for profit’.

Printed electronics
One such route which Finat member companies are increasingly taking is the creation of printed electronics. The UK’s Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) is a consortium of major companies committed to creating a UK supply chain to enable the widespread adoption of low-cost, NFC devices using printable electronics, and currently running a project focused on enabling smart phones to connect with labels and other packaging, and other documents. Alan McClelland (UK), head of business development at CPI, showed that, while  printed electronics are a feature of many more applications than just labels, packaging can successfully employ printed electronics to deliver ‘smart’ interactive brand features; ‘bling’ on the pack; and track-and-trace, stock reordering, tamper-proofing and anti-counterfeiting. Sadly, the extended nature of the smart packaging supply chain has created a real problem in
fast-tracking the commercial development of this extremely versatile technology because, he said, brand owners, retailers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and other major suppliers will not invest ‘until the technology is there’.

Flying high with Bertrand Piccard
Broadening the horizons -- into the realms of the sky and beyond -- is a topic on which Bertrand Piccard (CH) is unquestionably well-qualified to speak, as the achiever of the first-ever non-stop, round-the-world hot air balloon flight in 1999.

M. Piccard’s motivational presentation encouraged delegates to embrace his definition of freedom as the ability to explore the alternatives, the other possibilities, with courage and pioneering spirit – even in the business world, where exploration of the unknown can unleash successful innovation. It is a real challenge to take a new, unmapped direction, but it is important to realise, he said, that, in fact, ‘we need fear. Never be afraid of it: it’s just a signal that we are moving out of our comfort zone – a moment of waking up, of awareness.’

Drawing the event to a close, Finat President Kurt Walker commended the Congress programme, which had proved an excellent overture to Finat’s new Congress format which, as Jules Lejeune summarised, ‘is a real driver for forward thinking at all levels. Finat is committed to building on this inaugural event in the coming months through the new web-based knowledge and learning platforms, our expanded definition of the label, our recycling and public affairs initiatives, and, of course, our focus point for tomorrow’s industry leaders – the Finat Young Managers Club.’

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Scottish label manufacturer CV Labels invests in a second Nilpeter press

Scottish label manufacturer CV Labels Limited has invested in a second Nilpeter FB-2500 UV-flexo press, in just eighteen months, to keep up with the demand for self-adhesive labels from its pharmaceutical customer base. CV Labels also has increasing demand from other sectors, including the food and drinks industry.

The configuration of the new press includes six UV–flexo units, hot air dryers, a die-cutting module, a laminating unit, and a turn bar to facilitate reverse-side cutting. The Nilpeter has a top speed of 228 meters per minute (750 feet per minute). Having two Nilpeter FB-2500 presses, CV Labels can easily keep up with the demand for pressure sensitive label production from its pharmaceutical, medical, and electronics clients.

Bob Veitch established CV Labels in 1989 and quickly identified the customer opportunities best suited to his team’s skills, such as specialised substrates, security inks, and encoded labels for blood transfusion bags. The company also supplies sterilization labels with colour changing inks, syringe labels and cryogenic products for liquid nitrogen freezing. CV Labels are the only Scottish label manufacturer to attain the coveted P.S. 9000:2011 pharmaceutical quality certified supplier status.

CV Labels Production Manager, Ricky Weatherston commented, “Recently we refurbished and extended our factory, which presented us with the opportunity to accommodate the second Nilpeter”. Ricky went on to say, “Our first Nilpeter has been running high quality labels since it was installed eighteen months ago and to date we have experienced the reliability and maintenance levels which we expected. This gave us confidence to invest in the second press”.

Susan Veitch, CV Labels Sales Director, is keen to drive more sales for high-quality specialised labels, hoping that the company will soon have to invest in a third Nilpeter.

Erhardt+Leimer expands portfolio with acquisition of Theta Print ELSCAN dualView

As part of an “asset deal”, Erhardt+Leimer has acquired the Theta Print product segment from Theta System Elektronik GmbH. This acquisition includes the high-end video system ELSCAN dualView, which is now available for purchase from Erhardt+Leimer. The company has also enhanced its color measurement, register measurement, and closed-loop control expertise.

Print inspection solutions from Erhardt+Leimer are the standard across the world. With the NYSCAN® 100% print inspection system and the ELSCAN web viewing system, Erhard+Leimer was already well positioned in the market. E+L has now crowned their portfolio with ELSCAN dualView; an unrivaled print image monitoring system.

Top image quality
With web speeds of up to 1300 m/min, the image representation of the two 5 megapixel cameras integrated into the system is unsurpassed in both color reproduction and contrast. The images taken by the wide angle lens have virtually no distortion, and any “fall-off” of light towards the image edge is compensated for perfectly. ELSCAN dualView also has a comparatively wide field of view with two versions; “Standard” (140 mm x 117 mm) and "Large" (230 mm x 192 mm). To fulfil the special requirements in packaging printing, E+L is also planning a system with two 12 megapixel cameras and a 460 x 345 mm field of view. As with the other versions, the mounting dimensions are very compact.

Superior LED flash plus specialty flashes for a variety of applications
ELSCAN dualView uses an LED flash which has several significant benefits compared to conventional lighting methods. The LEDs last for the entire camera lifetime, while conventional flashes may need replacement. Also, the LED flash is operated with a non-hazardous low voltage of under 48V compared to the higher voltage requirements of conventional flashes.

Additionally, Elscan dualView provides highly specialized solutions for the packaging and security printing segments via the integration specialty flashes. A UV flash facilitates the viewing of otherwise invisible security elements. The systems can be equipped with a varnish flash for inspecting coatings, varnishes, and embossing, as well as a back flash for observing front to back register and watermarks.

Simultaneous presentation of overview and detail
As standard equipment, ELSCAN dualView utilizes two adjacent 24” monitors. This allows the operator to observe an overview of the repeat as well as a highly magnified selection simultaneously. The inspection specialists at Erhardt+Leimer remain true to their principles - just as in prior versions of ELSCAN, the dualView housing integrates both wide angle and zoom lens cameras. The ELSCAN dualView camera unit is also maintenance-free as the fixed focus lens contains no movable parts. Just like its "little brother" ELSCAN OMS4, ELSCAN dualView provides an overview of the entire repeat for quick navigation via mouse. Touch screen operation is also available as an option.

Spectral inline color measurement, inline register control
With the addition of Theta Print, Erhardt+Leimer has not only acquired a technically outstanding web video system, but has also positioned itself in the market of inline spectral color measurement as well as inline register control. E+L continues to develop its already outstanding position in the print inspection segment. With 15 subsidiaries on four continents and over 1,500 highly skilled professionals, the family-run company is optimally equipped to meet the requirements of the global market. For more information go to http://www.erhardt-leimer.com.

DiMS.NET! - MIS/ERP with fully automated Imposition

"Increased level of automation: with DiMS.AutoImpose! direct from MIS to CtP"

With DiMS.AutoImpose!, DiMS! organizing print bv headquartered in Lichtenvoorde, The Netherlands extends its full integrated DiMS.NET!, the newest version of their fully integrated MIS-ERP – solution.

"Direct connection from Order management to PrePress“

"The imaginary Wall to PrePress gets permeable“

Industrialized, integrated and mainly automated processes are a necessity in times of price erosion and smaller margins and returns in today’s print- and packaging industry, crucial to survive.

The order volumes will always be smaller but more diverse. With shorter delivery times the processing times from order, availability of data, printing and production are reduced considerably. More and more jobs have to be processed as a consequence.

With DiMS.NET!, DiMS! has a fully integrated solution for the market that has taken an active response towards these trends for years and provides companies in the print- and packaging industry with the most powerful and efficient MIS/ERP–solution they can find, all on a single central database.

With the introduction of its new DiMS.AutoImpose!, DiMS! completed the next step to integrate and automate prepress processes in their MIS/ERP solution.  Already in the calculation of an respective order – and at a very early stage -  the relevant impositions are automatically available so that no extra operating cost for pre-press are necessary. Immediately after importing the print-ready PDF's into DiMS.AutoImpose! - the order can be directly forwarded to the plate production. More and more, the order administrator gains full control on the relevant customer order, fully and comprehensively supported by DiMS.NET! and DiMS.AutoImpose! 

Including automated, flexible nesting and ganging, by simultaneous consideration of substrate, paperweights and delivery date of each individual order, DiMS.AutoImpose! will automatically setup the print form for the appropriate printing machine, created directly and send out from DiMS.NET!. And , as always taking into account the optimal allocation of jobs on the template and print form by simultaneous consideration of the most cost-effective production path.

The times are gone, where you had to choose among hundreds of different imposition templates or started to think, what jobs are alike and can be combined with each other.

DiMS.AutoImpose! can be used both in commercial, digital-, label as well as packaging printing.

A corresponding prepress -application can be still used by prepress specialists, still providing the possibility of switching back the full automatic production proposals if necessary, for example to bring in additional flaps, very quick and easy. Or to create additional, customer dedicated special templates to make those available for his colleagues, if this at the end is really necessary..

Nilpeter to host in-depth seminar on expanded gamut printing

Nilpeter USA is hosting a seminar on one of the hottest topics being discussed in the industry today at its Technology Center in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 31

Nilpeter sets out to expand your horizons with an in-depth overview of the 7-colour Expanded Gamut printing process. Learn from industry professionals on how to integrate this technology into your current workflow. Representatives from Harper, Flexografix, ESKO, Actega, and Tesa will be presenting on each step in the process. See the entire process work on the groundbreaking Nilpeter FB-3 8-colour, 13-inch press. The FB-3 offers the highest level of servo automation in its class. This allows the EG process to seamlessly integrate into the flexo workflow. Learn how to reduce spot colour variations and all the waste generated from mixing colour on press, no more need to change anilox, and continue to wash up components. Now all you need to do is a simple plate change to accommodate the majority of your product mix. With the high level of servo automation on the FB-3, all your print settings can be saved run to run. Now a simple recall of a job and a plate change will get you running quicker and more productively.

Join Nilpeter for an educational journey into the world of expanded gamut. It is not just a buzz, it is a revolutionary process that will streamline our operations.

Converters interested in attending the free Nilpeter Seminar in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 31, 2014, may register online at www.nilpeter.com.

Sun Chemical Narrow Web Solutions to take customers from concept to consumer during Labelexpo Americas 2014

At Labelexpo Americas 2014, Sun Chemical will showcase its full range of solutions for the narrow web, tag and label, and converting markets, from inks, coatings, and consumables to brand protection, low migration, pre-press services with high-definition digital plate technology, packaging design/brand consultancy, and a dispenser program which lowers ink spend by up to 25 percent. 

“Our narrow web, tag and label customers are looking for solutions that will enhance productivity, improve pressroom performance, and help packaging pop off the shelf,” said Charles Murray, President, North American Inks, Sun Chemical. “During Labelexpo Americas, we’re taking our customers from concept to consumer by showcasing our full range of solutions for the marketplace. Customers can count on us not only for inks and coatings, but also for color management, plates, brand protection and more. We strive to be a partner our customers can turn to for any need they may have.”

Sun Chemical Inks and Coatings Meet the Specific Needs of Each Individual Customer
Visitors of booth #5413 will be introduced to Sun Chemical’s Solaris System, a complete line of inks, consumables and coatings designed to meet all the printing needs of all narrow web and packaging printers. The full range includes products for virtually all narrow web applications, from self-adhesive and in-mold labels to wrap arounds, shrink sleeves, tubes, and food and pharmaceutical packaging. The global series of inks can be tailored to a printer’s specific needs no matter what substrate is utilized including: films, foils, papers, pressure-sensitive papers, plastics, vinyl, top-coated polyethylene, polypropylene, and more.

Also on display will be Sun Chemical’s SunSpectro® family of reverse/surface print inks. These inks increase pressroom productivity by printing at high speeds without defects, and are designed to provide resistance to heat, water, scuff and rub.

Sun Chemical Coatings Utilize Sensory Special Effects and Late-Stage Differentiation
Sun Chemical’s wide range of coatings will be on display during the show including a variety of options for satin, matte and gloss printing, in addition to its SunInspire sensory coatings line which offer special effects that allow a customers’ product packaging to stand out on store shelves visually through high luster metallic, fluorescent, glitter, pearlescent, as well as iridescent finishes. SunInspire tactile coatings, ranging from coarse and gritty to soft and smooth, appeal to the sense of touch. Other coatings in the line can create an interactive experience with color shifting, reticulating, and other aromatic coatings.

Visitors can also see live demonstrations of Sun Chemical’s SunLase laser marking solutions, a coating that enables brand owners to add information to both secondary and primary packaging information after the filling and closure of the pack, whether for practical supply chain purposes or as a late stage packaging differentiator.

The SunLase solution prints a transparent or tinted coating onto a packaging substrate during the printing process. After the packaging has been sealed, variable coding graphic information, such as barcodes, QR codes, and “Use By” dates or branding, can be created using a low power CO2 or fiber laser to change the color of the patch to black where marked, with no risks to the packaged product.

SunGraphics HD Plate Certified Technology Produces Packaging that Pops
Narrow web, tag and label and corrugated printers at the show will be introduced to SunGraphics high definition flexographic plate technology, with Esko HD software and CDI high resolution imaging. Converters that utilize the HD printing plates can print with an image quality of up to 4,000 PPI resulting in expanded tonal range and wider color gamut to produce sharper more vibrant images and colors.

Printers will also see the new Flat-Top Dot technology that prints with 30-60 percent less impression sensitivity compared to standard digital plates, which allows for longer, cleaner, more consistent runs from beginning to end.

Certified by ESKO through a rigorous process, Sun Chemical’s HD plates are one of the select few worldwide that are proven to help achieve higher ink densities, reduce or eliminate pin-holing, improve print quality in the shadow areas and create a smoother more uniform ink lay down for solid coverage.

Meeting Brand Owner Needs from the Design Stage
Sun Branding Solutions (SBS), the packaging brand lifecycle management agency of Sun Chemical, works extensively with brand owners to ensure that packaging is pivotal to their retail presence, harmonizing global brands, optimizing shelf impact and package performance, and helping to make packaging a pivot point for integrated multichannel promotional campaigns.

Through the expertise of SBS, Sun Chemical can work with brand owners and retailers to optimize packaging at the design stage, evaluating alternative formats and structures, reducing surplus packaging, or supporting a transition to lower-gauge materials.

PantoneLIVE Provides Advanced Color Management
Sun Chemical is the preferred partner for ink supply and a key contributor to the PantoneLIVE technology, a cloud-based color management solution on display from X-Rite/Pantone, which enables brand owners to accurately communicate colors across a packaging supply chain.

Brand Protection Products Offer Anti-Counterfeiting Solutions
Sun Chemical will showcase an infrared coding solution called Verigard, a security system that adds a small quantity of taggants, or chemical markers, to inks, varnishes or coatings for use in any print process on any substrate, by using a demonstration unit containing a control box and conveyor belt. Using sensors attached to the control box mounted on the conveyor belt, the verifier monitors the presence/absence of the printed ink containing taggants, and/or the printed film thickness.

Water-Based Flexo Dispenser Program Decreases Ink Spend
Printers using water-based flexo inks can now decrease their overall bottom-line operating expenses in ink volume and ink costs by up to 25 percent with Sun Chemical Water-Based Flexo Dispenser Program. The water-based flexo dispenser is unique in that it can make process, blending bases and spot colors all from the same machine. To learn more, visit www.sunchemical.com/wbdispenser.

Sun Chemical Displays Digital Inkjet Capabilities
Sun Chemical will demonstrate its capability in the joint development of ink solutions for single pass inkjet in label, packaging and pharmaceutical applications, together with OEM partners and in collaboration with all of the major print head manufacturers. A complete range of solutions for the digital press aftermarket will be on display during the show and include ranges from OPV to adhesives.

To learn more about Sun Chemical’s products on display during Labelexpo Americas 2014, visit www.sunchemical.com/labelexpo or visit booth #5413 September 9-11, 2014 in Rosemont, Illinois. Visitors who come to Sun Chemical’s booth will receive a label for their game piece to win a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Screen Print India's six roadshows in six cities in South India to culminate on 7th July

Screen Print India, an exhibition focusing on the screen, digital and textile printing industry in India has organised six roadshows for its 12th Screen Print India show that is scheduled to be held at The International Centre, Goa between 18-21 September 2014. The show has been endorsed by 12 industry associations from across India and the globe and has the support of major publications in India.

In order to maximize the number of visitors to the show Screen Print India organised six roadshows in six cities in South India which included Chennai, Sivakasi, Madurai, Tiruppur, Bengaluru and Hubli. The road shows that flagged off to promote participation for the event in Goa on 30th June will culminate on 7 July 2014.

Epson India, Fujifilm Sericol, HP India, Grafica Flextronica, Kunal Enterprises, Repro Graphics and Skyscreen are the major exhibitors at the four day show. The roadshow showcased new techniques and special effects in screen printing, textile and garment printing as well as glass and ceramic printing solutions.

Canon Launches Entry Level Océ VarioStream 7170 and 7110 Digital Continuous Feed Specialty Printing Systems

Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, has launched the flash-fusing, toner-based Océ VarioStream 7170 and 7110 specialty printing systems. These entry-level, monochrome continuous feed solutions are aimed at corporate and commercial environments with low to mid-range volumes of transaction, direct mail, product instruction collateral and applications requiring special media.

"For customers desiring to drive unique specialty applications in black and white, the Océ VarioStream 7170 and 7110 solutions provide outstanding productivity and performance that is easy to operate and maintain," said Junichi Yoshitake, senior vice president and general manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc. "Using these systems, Canon's customers can expand the range of printing applications they can support, opening opportunities to provide additional print-related services to their respective clients."

Smart, time-saving features, such as automatic paper loading, can substantially reduce and simplify set-up time. Automatic resolution detection and switching further reduce operator intervention. Economical first page printing eliminates substantial special media waste over the printer's lifetime. The positive impact this has on productivity makes the Océ VarioStream 7170 system well suited for short-run printing and quick-change jobs.

In addition to standard paper, VarioStream 7170 non-contact flash-fusing technology allows users to process a wide range of special-media applications such as adhesive labels, thin paper or plastic ID cards, RFID tags and light-weight forms. The non-contact flash-fusing bonds the toner without heat transfer or exerting pressure, putting less strain on the paper and keeping it in outstanding condition for finishing. The short and straight paper path allows the substrate to remain flat throughout the device, enabling users to process special media that cannot withstand paper path deflections or the heat and pressure of normal fusing.

The LED image generator delivers excellent output at up to 600 dpi with high-optical density for professional-grade text, graphics and barcodes and easily fulfills the tough legibility standards for 2D and 3D bar code printing. As a result, users have the flexibility to take on a wide portfolio of print jobs.

Based on the Océ VarioStream family, the Océ VarioStream 7170 engine is equipped with the newest and powerful Scaleable Raster Architecture (SRA) controller technology. Customers can seamlessly operate the Océ VarioStream 7170 system side by side with all other Canon continuous feed printers. It can be used as a proofing device and as a backup to other Océ VarioStream systems. The state-of-the-art graphic user interface provides easy, intuitive operation, resulting in availability and efficiency with minimal set-up times and outstanding overall productivity. Thanks to its simplicity and online help, operators can quickly become familiar and productive.

In addition to the new Océ VarioStream 7170 system, a slower speed version will be available later in 2014. Running at 114-letter pages per minute two-up, the Océ VarioStream 7110 system will extend the speed choices within the Océ VarioStream product line. This monochrome printer will benefit customers needing the versatility of the 7170 model, but with a lower monthly print volume.

Shipments for the VarioStream 7170 are now available. The VarioStream 7110 will be available starting in September, 2014.