Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Memjet’s next generation print engine enables easy integration into custom application configurations

Memjet, a global leader in color printing technologies, today announced the Sirius-12G compact color print engine sub-system developed for OEMs in need of creating a compact, cost-effective printer that easily integrates in to their media handling systems. Memjet’s Sirius print engine facilitates printhead maintenance without the need to break the plane of the media, enabling a wide range of applications including label printing, package printing, mail processing, and print-and-apply labels in product manufacturing operations.
Sirius empowers OEMs to design printing solutions with greater control and flexibility. For example, the above the web configuration enables more efficient printhead cleaning when roll-to-roll printing, so that a pause in a print job does not require the web to be cut. Sirius-powered printers are able to move the print zone up and down to accommodate varying material thickness such as stuffed envelopes or board stock. This offers a greater range of media handling options for unique applications.

“Commercial print shops must balance the varying needs of individual, custom print jobs,” said Gus Piccin, senior vice president of new business at Memjet. “Sirius makes this possible by enabling OEMs to develop printers that align with customers’ unique printing needs, whether it be longer runs or diverse print materials, at an attractive price point.”

The Sirius-12G color print engine is available with the print mechanism assembled or separated into core components. When delivered as core components, OEMs can leverage Sirius as a development kit of components to be integrated based on specific needs. In addition the ink delivery system is highly flexible and compatible with a wide range of ink supply cartridges, including customer specific solutions.

The Memjet printhead features over 70,400 nozzles that deliver millions of ink drops every second. The page-width printhead provides 1,600 dpi native print resolution in full process color (CMYK). Speeds are 12 in/sec in standard-quality (1600x800 dpi) print mode and 6 in/sec in premium- quality (1600x1600 dpi) print mode. (This never states that the PH is 220mm, 8.77” long). Memjet-powered printers are sold only through authorized Memjet OEM partners.

Hally Labels gets it right for variable data traceability labels

In the business for over 49 years, Hally Labels is one of Australasia's leading label manufacturers, providing its customers with an unmatched range of labelling solutions. With five manufacturing plants based in New Zealand and Australia, Hally Labels uses leading edge flexo and digital offset technology to provide innovative labelling solutions to broad range of markets. With an unmatched range of materials, inks, coatings and special finishes that are ever evolving, Hally Labels can create tailored solutions to solve even the most difficult challenge.

Variable data labels are now a large part of Hally Labels’ product range, with seals and tags used by the food industries throughout the region for traceability, brand protection and anti-counterfeiting requirements. This in turn places new demands on the production processes.  Typically every label in a traditional print run is identical, with overall print quality, registration and die cut accuracy the key inspection criteria. Traceability labels are by their nature, unique. While the same inspection requirements exist, each label carries a unique serial number, manufacturing or region code, or other traceability features using OCR, 2D, QR and linear barcodes. It is imperative that there are no duplicates; imagine the same product arriving in two different locations with the same serial number, or an unreadable serial record. The penalties for label integrity errors are significant, and therefore customer satisfaction, liability and ultimately the profitability of a print run rely heavily on the equipment and technology used during the printing process.

Working with both customer requirements and government regulations, Hally Labels fully understands the expectations for label data integrity, and has invested heavily in the equipment necessary to meet these demands.

Initially a series of inkjet heads were mounted on a Gallus EM280 label press. Driven from a sequential print file, these inkjet heads provide up to five lanes of serial numbering in an OCR font. Data file management ensures the same data file is never repeated, however production errors on the press were harder to capture. 

Blocked or failed inkjet heads may not be identified for some time, leading to high reprint costs, production delays, and increased wastage. In addition minor drift on the web can lead to missed inkjet “print go” sensors, and subsequent blank labels. These may be difficult to detect at the rewind and slitting stage if they are buried within a roll. A simple camera inspection system was therefore added to the press, however this proved unreliable. While ensuring ink was present on each label it failed to check the code was readable, and suffered the same web drift issues as the ink jet heads. It was clear that a more powerful inspection technology was required. Nick Keats, Operations Manager at Hally Labels’ Christchurch, New Zealand plant started to evaluate the options on the market.

It became clear that the traditional web inspection system suppliers can offer high performance print quality inspections solutions, comparing each label with an original “golden” image to monitor colour, registration and general print quality. In these scenarios print faults typically develop and trend during a print run and a one off “single” error is unlikely. The issue with any traceability label however is its uniqueness and the risk and consequences of an individual error. Therefore another approach was required.

After reviewing a number of potential suppliers Nick approached Lake Image Systems. Their reputation is built on years of experience supplying vision solutions to the print and finishing industry for variable data inspection applications, and they instantly recognised the issues that were critical with the application.

Using high resolution line scan technology, integrated on to the Gallus press just after the inkjet heads, the Lake Image Discovery system can scan the entire web width at full press speeds and perform a series of inspections on each label. While these can include various print quality inspections, they also include powerful OCR and code reading tools. Each label can be read and compared to the print file to identify incorrect, missing or bad print in each individual label. An audible and visual alarm is then used to alert the operators. A combination of encoder and trigger sensors can identify any errors caused by web drift, and ensure the press cannot be run without the inkjet heads operating correctly. 

“I found that Lake Image really understood the issues relevant to our variable data labelling applications, and were able to deliver a scalable system that will grow in functionality as our applications change and become more demanding. Their experience in this field is second to none, and their skill and expertise through the specifying, installation and commissioning process was first rate,” explained Nick. “They have continued to offer regular support and I am confident they will be able to help us with other similar applications as our business develops.  Since installation the system has identified several errors that could have proved very costly, so our return on investment has exceeded our expectations. In addition we have added significant capability and intelligence to our existing press which enables us to take on more complex, higher value jobs with confidence.”

Harper Corporation of America rounds out 2014 Harper roadshow in Arkansas

Global anilox roll supplier Harper Corporation of America will host its final 2014 Harper road-show event in Springdale, Arkansas, on October 14, 2014. This one-day seminar will bring together leading experts from throughout the flexographic industry to share the latest developments and advancements in technology.

Offering a broad range of topics, this free seminar will have presentations that appeal to professionals in all facets of industry including pre-press and print managers and supervisors, graphic designers, purchasing staff, general managers, and ink, plate, and pre-press suppliers and operators. Attendees will learn how to improve the short-term success of their business and ensure operations are running as efficiently and competitively as possible.

There is no charge to attend this event, but seating is limited, so interested individuals are encouraged to register as soon as possible to secure their spot. Online registration is available at http://www.harperimage.com/roadshows/Springdale-AR/456. The event will be held on Tuesday, October 14, 2014, at the Holiday Inn & Convention Center in Springdale, Arkansas.

Harper Corporation of America is excited to have the opportunity to connect with professionals within the industry and keep them up-to-date with valuable information to enhance their business.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Codimag demos unique press technologies at Labelexpo Americas

Trade shows, especially Labelexpo Americas, are venues where visitors come to learn about new equipment and technologies, with an eye towards bringing back solutions that can improve their companies’ bottom lines. With this in mind, visiting Codimag’s booth #5803 is a must.

Codimag incorporates a combination of press technologies that delivers short-run printing that is more profitable than digital and faster than flexo. Unique features include intermittent-feed presses that allow format changes to be done without changing any cylinders, and Codimag’s Aniflo technology, an anilox-based waterless offset inking system.

Intermittent feed presses and servo control of web motion enable short makereadies, low waste, and high productivity. The only job-specific component to change is the plate, which can be mounted quickly onto the press without any tooling. Pre-register positioning is done electronically and displayed at each unit. No plate cylinders to changeover; no die cylinders to changeover; no stickyback; no impression setting.

Codimag’s Aniflo technology is truly unique. It uses four cylinders in the ink train (anilox sleeve, form roller, blanket, and plate rollers). Each has the same diameter, eliminating offset tinting and ghosting issues. The press uses paste waterless offset inks (available from common ink suppliers) and incorporates a patented heat control system that allows the operator to vary the temperature of the anilox. This is how the Aniflo controls color density: warmer temperature thins the ink, lowering the color density; cooler temperature makes the ink thicker to increase color density. There are no ink keys and ink-water balance issues to contend with as in traditional offset printing.

Codimag offers these technologies in two product lines: the Viva 340 (13” web width) and the Viva 420 (16” web width). The Viva line offers combination printing capabilities including waterless offset, letterpress, and screen, along with the efficiency of inline converting processes (hot and cold foil stamping, embossing, lamination, flexo varnish, die cutting).

The Viva presses also have two unique value-added features: 
  • Codimag’s patented hot foil unit includes a foil saver, but more importantly, uses low-cost magnesium plates (very cost effective for short runs).
  • Codimag’s screen unit is semi-rotary and only requires one set of end rings and screens for all repeat sizes (eliminating costly tooling).
  • To demonstrate its unique capabilities, Codimag will be the only press manufacturer at Labelexpo running live customer demos. Using Esko Equinox prepress technology, a proofer, a waterless CTP device to image the plates, a plate washing system, and the Viva 340 Aniflo press, Codimag will take a customer file, produce printed labels, compare color to the proof, and show cost comparisons to digital and flexo – all in less than 40 minutes.

Tower Products to exhibit at Labelexpo Americas

Tower Products, Inc., the leading manufacturer of environmentally sensitive pressroom chemistry for the graphic arts industry, will be exhibiting its full line of pressroom products for flexographic and offset printing at Labelexpo Americas 2014.  Tower Products will be located in Booth 5219.

According to Mark Principato, Product Sales Specialist, this will be the first time that Tower Products Inc. has exhibited its full line of SmartFlex flexographic pressroom chemical products at a major industry trade show. Principato commented that Tower will introduce a new UV cleaning technology (SmartFlex UV Flexo Cleaner) at the show, addressing the growing need for more efficient cleaning technologies for the label and narrow web industry.

Color-Logic names Canadian sales representative

Color-Logic-developer of the Process Metallic Color System--has named Parker MacDonald its sales representative for Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritime Provinces of Canada.

Announcing the appointment, Color-Logic Sales and Marketing Director Mark Geeves said: "Parker MacDonald brings Color-Logic extensive experience in the Canadian graphic arts market, with previous positions at AGFA and Ernest Green & Sons serving the offset, flexographic, wide format, and sign industries.  Parker enables Color-Logic to better serve the important eastern Canadian market and we are pleased to welcome him to the Color-Logic family."

Developed for brand managers, product managers, corporations and advertising agencies, the Process Metallic Color System gives licensees the ability to differentiate themselves and their clients from the competition by simplifying the design and print production process and implementing eye-catching decorative effects into their branded products and associated collateral. The Color-Logic system is compatible with offset, inkjet, flexography, digital presses, screen printing, and gravure processes. It is ideal for packaging, pouches, direct mail, point-of-purchase material, signage, post cards, literature, booklets, labels, shrink sleeves, calendars and much more.

Label Traxx to showcase Version 7.1 at Labelexpo Americas

Label Traxx, the label industry’s job management software specialist, will unveil Version 7.1 of its industry-leading MIS system at this year’s Labelexpo. Taking place September 9-11 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, USA, Labelexpo Americas is the premier event for the label printing industry. Visitors to Booth 6023 will have the opportunity to experience the beta model of Label Traxx Version 7.1 MIS software.

Version 7.1 builds upon the success and performance of Version 7, which uses the latest 4D database technology. For this latest update, Label Traxx is focused on advancing the “paperless office,” with a new external document system that can store multiple document types, including PDF, .MOV, .DOC, .XLS and others. The storage system has been added to all areas of the program for storing the paper trail, proofs, ISO and other information. Also new to Version 7.1 is on-screen backup verification, where users can view from the Home screen the last successful backup. If a backup is not complete, an email notification is sent, thus assuring users that data is backed up in case of emergencies.

When updating its MIS software, Label Traxx takes into account the feedback received from those who can provide the most practical insight – the software users themselves. “Version 7.1 improves upon Version 7 by integrating what our customers have said will increase their efficiencies – going paperless. And our new storage and back-up systems provide peace-of-mind, insuring no losses of data,” says Label Traxx President Ken Meinhardt.

Additional enhancements found in Version 7.1 include an improved connection from JDF/JML to the Esko Automation Engine and digital press front ends with more specific job data being sent. Here, messages are automated when job changes are entered. Version 7.1 also features the integration of Gantt Chart Software, a user-friendly, visual system for scheduling jobs and projects.

Meinhardt emphasizes that elements of Version 7.1 address Label Traxx software users’ requests to have the option of using a simplified, easy-to-use system. He explains, “Version 7.1 offers a simplified Estimate Interface. This optional component allows for basic quoting, as many label printers prefer a rudimentary tool for salespeople or inexperienced estimators to generate quotes. While this interface allows for basic estimating, loaded with features it is also available for complex jobs. And it allows companies to manage the estimate approval process, including setting profitability limits.”

“We’re really excited about Version 7.1, and Labelexpo is the perfect forum to show the industry how the latest Label Traxx software is the ideal tool to help label companies run in the most efficient and profitable ways,” concludes Meinhardt.

Now in its 21st year, Label Traxx is headquartered in Milwaukee, WI, USA, and has sales offices in the UK. Label Traxx also has resellers serving Australia, Brazil and Singapore.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Esko and Highcon: A Powerful Digital Duo for the Packaging Industry

Esko, market leader in packaging design and workflow solutions and Highcon, developer of the Highcon Euclid digital cutting and creasing machine, expand their cooperation with an OEM agreement. Highcon will distribute, install and support the Esko CAD Digital Front End (DFE) software as complement to the 2014 Must See'Ems award-winning Highcon Euclid. This combined solution is available immediately on a worldwide basis.

Today, Esko's CAD software is already the standard for processing structural designs for production on the Highcon Euclid. It converts packaging structures to the finishing format required by the Euclid, which receives its CAD cutting and creasing information from ArtiosCAD prepared or converted DFX files. With the new OEM agreement, the Highcon Euclid now offers an on-board software tool, the Highcon Light Editor, that allows Euclid operators to take full advantage of the benefits of digital technology by editing crease and cut lines in the structural design of the job at the point of production, including the ability to incorporate last-minute changes. It also enables optimizing of nicks by increasing or decreasing their size or adding or removing them; and adding, removing or editing stripping lines.

“We are proud of the opportunity to partner with Esko, incorporating their industry-leading technology into our game-changing digital converting solution,” comments Eitan Varon, Highcon’s Executive VP. “We have been working with Esko since the beginning and are excited to extend this collaboration for the benefit of our existing and future customers. Flexibility is one of the key advantages of digital technology and by implementing the Esko CAD DFE, our customers will be able to perform a wide range of last minute edits that ensure the proper production of the package, promotional item, or greeting card that their clients require.”

“This late-stage capability is especially important in an environment where run lengths and cycle times are compressed,” adds Richard Deroo, Product Manager Structural Design at Esko. “Packaging converters accept files from a wide variety of sources, and it is essential that they have the ability to control final structures at the point of production to ensure a consistent quality product with limited waste and downtime.”

“Esko's mission is to deliver integrated customer solutions that drive profitability throughout the printing and packaging supply chain,” concludes Deroo. “By partnering with Highcon to integrate Esko’s CAD DFE with the Highcon Euclid, the packaging workflow is streamlined through the ability to perform edits to design files at the point of production, ensuring optimal digital converting in the fast-paced world of digital packaging production. This minimizes downtime and maximizes productivity. We are very pleased to be working with Highcon to bring this innovative solution to the market.”

Colordyne to Unveil New 3600 Series Digital Label : Upgraded press features enhanced web handling system

Colordyne Technologies (CDT), a leader in providing digital printing end-to-end solutions, will unveil its new 3600 Series press, the next generation in disruptive digital color printing, at Labelexpo-Americas 2014 in Rosemont, Ill. The CDT 3600 Series joins the Production Class family of digital print system solutions as a full-featured process color digital label and tag production system with an enhanced precision web handling system, powered by Memjet technology.

The CDT 3600 Series provides the latest in proven closed loop tension control technology and is available with low cost inline finishing options and configurations. The innovative product also brings several benefits to the Production Class Digital Color Printing System including, but not limited to, enhanced print quality; increased resolution of 1600 x 1375 dpi; drastically reduced RIP times; speeds up to 225 ft/min (69 m/min); and a more user-friendly interface. The new CDT 3600 Series web handling system also provides flexibility and modularity for custom configurations and future faster speeds.

"We consistently seek to provide our customers with the most precise and efficient products in the digital printing industry," said CDT President and CEO, Gary Falconbridge. "The CDT 3600 Series upgrade does just this as it brings new features and benefits consistent with our core value of providing the fastest print speeds and highest resolution at the lowest capital cost. We are pleased to partner with such a well-respected company on the enhanced web handling system, which makes this high-quality product the best on the market."

CDT partnered with Paper Converting Machine Company (PCMC) on the new press, which features the PCMC-created web handling system. The new partnership with PCMC, a global leader in tissue converting, packaging, flexographic printing and non-wovens technology, reaffirms the high quality and high precision offered by the CDT 3600 Series. The cutting edge web handling system allows for digital upgrades and enhancements as they are available in the future to be implemented easily and cost effectively. This, in turn, protects and ensures customers that what they purchase today will not become outdated technology.

Director of Sales for PCMC, Rich Rogals, said, "PCMC is excited to collaborate with Colordyne and provide our long established history and expertise in web handling, converting and line integration to the Colordyne family of digital products. By capitalizing on each company's core capabilities and strengths, the Colordyne offering becomes a highly productive and predictable digital solution for the end user."

The CDT 3600 Series is available in similar configurations to CDT's existing Production Class platforms and is customizable to provide solutions for customers with unique application needs. Visit Colordyne's booth #6455 at Labelexpo-Americas to see the booth running live September 9-11th, 2014.

Omet demos expanded press lines at Labelexpo Americas : New 17” XFlex X4 targets the North American market

Labelexpo Americas 2014 is Omet’s 13th consecutive showing in this leading trade show series. And as with all the previous shows, Omet’s booth #3123 will be packed with innovative new products for visitors to see. Omet will debut its XFlex X4 press with 10 colors in an expanded 17” version. This press features Omet’s innovative Vision fully automatic register control system, along with twin servo drives on each printing unit. The extended 17” width for the XFlex X4 family is especially targeted for the American market, where printers can easily accommodate the printing of short and medium runs of labels, along with longer runs of flexible packaging.

Alongside the XFlex X4 press, Omet will also be running a 21” XFlex X6 press, demonstrating its modularity, flexibility, and multi-process capabilities. It can now be configured as a highly efficient combination printing platform incorporating flexo, offset, screen, gravure, hot/cold foil (including platen hot foil/embossing), and laminations. The XFlex X6 press uses lightweight print sleeves and also features Omet’s Vision register control system. At the show, this press will alternate between printing shrink sleeves and self-adhesive materials to show its versatility and highly consistent printing performance.

Omet introduced its JetPlus combination inkjet press at drupa 2012 with the support of its partner Domino. After extensive beta testing, the JetPlus inkjet system is now available for printers around the world. JetPlus is especially suited for high-quality label and package printing with the capability to print on a variety of different substrates. Available in print widths of 13”, 17”, and 21”, the JetPlus can run at speeds up to 164 ft./min. and accommodates water-based and UV inks.

An additional feature available for JetPlus is the ability to incorporate Omet’s innovative Mono-Twin Cut “Tool-Free” variable die cutting system, which further enhances its overall productivity for short- and medium-length production runs. Just snap on the magnetic flexible die (for any label shape or dimension) to the single magnetic cylinder and it’s ready to go.

Omet has also expanded its Varyflex product line to incorporate a 33” wide version. In addition, Omet will soon be releasing sleeved offset print stations for the Varyflex platform. Omet is driven by engineering excellence. Experience it firsthand at Labelexpo Americas.

Mark Andy announces company sale; management team and former CEO Desai lead buyout

Mark Andy Inc., a global leader in label and package printing equipment, support, supplies and consumables, today announced that an investment group formed by P.J. Desai, Mark Andy's former Chief Executive Officer, and the current management team has completed the purchase of Mark Andy, Inc. from American Industrial Partners Capital Fund IV, L.P. (AIP). AIP will continue as a minority investor in Mark Andy along with Graycliff Partners, an independent investment firm focused on middle market investments.

As a pioneer in the label printing equipment space, Mark Andy has led the industry with award-winning breakthroughs in flexo printing technology and workflows, as well as a total solutions approach to driving profitability for converters around the world. Mark Andy has seen considerable growth in recent years with a focus on innovation and is poised to capitalize on the industry’s burgeoning shift to digital inkjet printing in the form of its recently launched inline hybrid solution, the Mark Andy Digital Series.

"This was an outstanding opportunity to purchase an established and innovative company with a strong core business of equipment, consumable products and services for the label market, as well as several exciting new products in the pipeline, including our new Digital Series inkjet press," Mr. Desai said. "Combined, there are over 10,000 Mark Andy and Rotoflex machines currently installed with a replacement value of over $1 billion. Together with our excellent management team, we are committed to growing Mark Andy's already leading market position."

Mr. Desai served as Mark Andy's Chief Executive Officer from 2012-2014. Prior to that, he was President and CEO of Abencs, an engineering and construction company, and MECS, Inc., a global leader in the design of sulfuric acid plants and related high performance products.

Kevin Wilken, Chief Executive Officer at Mark Andy, said, “The management team is very excited to work once again with P.J. Desai and to be part of the ownership of such a great company. We have exceptional customers, market-leading products and services that drive improved profitability for our customers, and we have great people that love the industry and take great pride in their work. The combination of dedicated owner-managers and P.J.'s expertise and strategic thinking will continue driving Mark Andy’s success and long-term growth strategy.”

Mark Andy will be exhibiting at Labelexpo Americas, September 9-11, 2014, where the new Digital Series will be debuted to a global audience. In addition, the company continues its global market strategy and mission to be the supplier of choice throughout the product life cycle, offering high quality, innovative solutions that drive customer profitability. The company's stand at the 2014 show will focus on displaying Mark Andy’s Total Solutions Partner approach, offering complete workflow solutions to advance the converters’ business.