Friday, October 10, 2014

AVT unveils digital press control solution on new Gallus-Heidelberg inkjet press

AVT the world leader in print automatic inspection, process control, quality assurance and color control for the packaging, label, folding carton, metal decoration and commercial print markets – introduced a ground breaking press control and quality assurance solution for digital inkjet presses at Gallus Innovations Days, a special three-day event held at the Gallus Ferd. Rüesch AG facility in St. Gallen, Switzerland from September 23-25.

The AVT solution was installed on the new Gallus DCS 340 digital label printing press, which was jointly built by printing press manufacturers Heidelberg and Gallus and offers full quality assurance fully integrated into the press control system. The solution’s long list of features includes continuous quality monitoring to maintain digital printing quality, real-time feedbacks and ongoing detection of missing, deviating or weak printing nozzles.

The new Gallus DCS 340 label press combines the latest digital inkjet printing technology with the benefits of conventional printing and finishing technology. The digital converting system offers new standards for quality of print results.

The AVT digital solution can be expanded, to include benefits such as color control, verification of geometric parameters like color to color registration, image placement and an advanced reporting system. In addition, the solution has the ability to monitor data integrity of static and variable content, classify possible print defects and initiate corrective actions. Ultimately, it is designed to efficiently support printing process automation and calibration in full synergy with the press controller.

Jaron Lotan, AVT's president and CEO: "We are honored to be the partner of choice for Heidelberg and Gallus, the recognized leader in narrow-web and label presses, in developing this digital converting system that achieves new standards of print result quality. Our collaboration further showcases why AVT is positioned to lead the way in both digital and conventional printing quality and control throughout the workflow process.”

Stefan Heiniger, COO Label Business at Gallus Ferd. Rüesch AG. states:”AVT is a leader in the label industry for inspection and workflow control. Their solutions are world class and are supported by their global network. Through our strategic partnership, the AVT inspection and press control system is a part of the newly unveiled prototype of our Digital Converting System “Gallus DCS 340” that will ensure Gallus customers are at the forefront of technology and print quality.”

In addition to the new digital inkjet press control system, AVT also showcased its new Helios S solution, which has been installed on the Gallus RCS 330mm label press. Deploying a cutting-edge vision concept and the latest technologies, the robust, reliable system handles even thick embossed metalized substrates as well as highly-reflective holographic foils and laminates. Helios S is designed to boost inspection capabilities and pave the way to the future of inspection and process control.

UPM Raflatac launches next-generation logistics and shipping labelstock

UPM Raflatac EMEIA has launched a next-generation logistics labelstock which answers industry demand for a more productive, competitive and sustainable solution. The new Vellum Logistics Fit product draws on the latest material advances to combine substantial business benefits with precision-engineered performance.

The thin Vellum Logistics Fit label face has been matched with a leaner HG45 release liner as a move away from the traditional HG65. This provides more labels per same-diameter roll and the potential to upgrade to longer rolls. The result is fewer roll changes in label conversion and dispensing operations, for a marked increase in productivity.

The label face and liner retain good strength for reliable conversion, and label end-users will be satisfied with a well-defined thermal transfer print result for reliable scanning. The reduction in material usage also adds value for major label end-users seeking to achieve their sustainability targets.

Engineered for business and sustainability needs
With the RH 6 adhesive, the benefits of the new labelstock are accessible across a wide range of shipping and logistics labelling applications. RH 6 performs well in conditions from chilled to room temperature, on substrates including cardboard and stretch film.

“The products in our next-generation ‘Fit’ range introduce more productive, competitive and environmentally responsible solutions in their intended applications,” explains Jon Lenck, Director, Business Segment VIP at UPM Raflatac EMEIA.

“Vellum Logistics Fit is engineered using the latest material and technological developments to be precisely fit for purpose. Label printers and end-users in logistics and shipping can look forward to a balance of performance and efficiency optimized for today’s business and sustainability needs.”

PDF Magick - New high performance PDF manipulation and printing software available

This software will be of great interest to Reprographics shops or anyone else that is serious about manipulating or printing PDF files in a professional environment. It is designed to work with largeformat or smallformat, black & white or colour content and devices, regardless of manufacturer.

The software is based on a unique PDF processing idea that no other currently available commercial Reprographics software can offer. The author claims that it will outperform any known software by a far margin. It has been tested with metric and imperial files and on most common devices in North America and Europe and it has already proven itself at a large Reprographic Company in Canada and another shop in Germany. A full review is available upon request.

The software received some exposure after Scott Sheppard, Chief Technology Officer of Autodesk Inc announced it on his "Its Alive in the Lab" blog.

If you are "processing" PDF files to TIF at the moment you should be ready for a major surprise. The software can be used for preflight and job setup, or for electronic manipulation and exporting & archiving without any print device.

Main Features
  • Preview PDF files with high performance WYSIWYG viewer – full image, zoom, or thumbnail/edge.
  • Adjust Sequence, Orientation, Zoom, Alignment and Papersize – in batches or individual  with real time preview.
  • Split, Combine, Rename, Resequence pages.
  • Edge & Titleblock detection for precise auto-alignment.
  • "Grouping" of pages for sections, disciplines within a job. Manual or Automated.
  • Multiple and unlimited “versions” (Fullsize, Halfsize, 11x17, A0, A3,… ) using same files and within same job.
  • No proprietary file formats. All files remain as PDF in open directories.
  • Flexible configuration for automatic media selection based on common media roll width, sheet sizes, metric or imperial units.
  • No processing, imaging or database “server” requirements. Standalone & self contained desktop application.
  • Print to any device from the same Job editor and Interface.

Advanced Features
  • Color & Redline content detection.
  • Overlay & Watermark style stamping, with variable content.
  • Annotation & Font embedding, PDF version changes.
  • Support for automation of doublesided document setup, blank page insertion.
  • Vector Line thickness override to enhance print quality for thin lines.
  • Brightness and Colour Saturation controls for vector Grayscale & Colour content.
  • Crop pages.
  • Add cropmarks.
  • Automated tiling (side by side) and/or stacked, 2 up or 4 up printing.
  • Unlimited "N-Up" Imposition tool with advanced layout options, cropmarks, bleeds.
  • Deskew using any rotation degrees with on-screen detection.
  • Enforce document management rules for 3rd party planroom indexing.
  • Horizontal and vertical rulers with configurable guidelines in viewer.
  • Drag & Drop files across multiple directories, with automatic grouping and slipsheeting.
  • Job Summary for quicker quoting or billing, separated by Small-, Largeformat, BW, Color, sheet counts, sizes and coverage.
  • Task based or Queue Based workflow to suit small or large operations.
  • Interbranch Job Transfer capability via network share, ZIP files or FTP.

There are many more productivity enhancing features and the best way to find out about the software is to ask for a free trial version or additional information by contacting Hakan Usakli at pdfmagick@gmail.com

Labels India app now on iOS as well....

India's pioneer magazine dedicated to labels, packaging and converting industry - Labels India that released its android app a fortnight has been getting amazing response from the industry and alike. It has now been worked to support iOS phones as well. Aimed to bringing its readers on an engaging digital content platform and to keep them abreast of the latest news and happenings in the narrow web labels and the converting industry, this free-to-download app is available on http://www.appsgeyser.com/1248709? The app can also be downloaded by scanning the QR Code given on the right side of the website.

The first magazine in India to be aimed directly at the narrow web labels and the converting industry, Labels India provides label printers with relevant information on trends and technologies, as well as the latest news and affairs on what's happening in the global labels, packaging and the converting industry with a special emphasis on India.

Speaking on the response to the app, Associate Editor Mahua Mazumdar says, ““It was time that we kept in tune with the moving times. We needed something dynamic and attractive to connect to our readers and create an interactive communication platform. Nothing can get better than this app to keep abreast of the latest technologies even while on the move.”

The app that is now available to work on both ios and android platforms is a trendsetter as it brings all the topical information and news items on companies, associations, economics, markets, products, services and events as well as technical features right into your mobiles and tablets. Created by Bangalore based Pranshu Kulshreshtha, this app meets all requirements and is very easy to manoeuvre and use. And it also takes less time to navigate as compared to browsing on a site. But the biggest advantage of this application is that it comes free.

Gargi Bhattacharyaa of Labels India concludes: "We are all very excited by this development and the response to this new app. We are now more than ready for the new communication challenges ahead! Should you have any difficulties downloading the app or have any query or feedback, you can directly contact via the contact form provided on the site and we will be more than happy to serve you.”

Providing a comprehensive understanding of the technology, Labels India covers topics requiring an extensive knowledge of the industry. It includes materials, adhesives, printing methods, application technologies, inspection systems, new innovations, including smart labels, RFID, indicator labels and chipless tags, brand protection and security, as well as the related areas of tickets and tags.

Label&Print 2015 to be held from 25-26 Feb 2015 at NEC Birmingham

The future of Packaging Printing, Labelling & Converting, Label&Print 2015 is ideal if you are looking for the most up-to-the-minute equipment and technology to take your packaging to the next level - whether you are a brand owner or retailer.

Flexoprint still remains the largest form of print for packaging. At Label&Print meet with brand owners, marketers and print buyers from food & beverage, cosmetics & toiletries and healthcare industries, where flexographic shows off brands to their best advantage.

Visitors who attend Label&Print will be looking for what's new in the market by chatting to suppliers and peers, be inspired by the thousands of products and services on show and will leave with genuine solutions, exciting ideas, and a fresh outlook on their packaging

To happen at NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom from 25-26 February 2015, Label&Print 2015 combines a complimentary learnShops programme with insightful interactive features to provide you with the vital information and ideas you need to achieve better shelf stand-out and increase customer engagement.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

NEC Packaging Event to Celebrate Tenth Anniversary

easyFairs is set to celebrate its tenth anniversary on 25 and 26 February 2015 at Birmingham’s NEC. The flagship packaging event will play host to over 350 exhibitors all showcasing their latest products and developments in the market to thousands of packaging and print designers, retailers, buyers and managers. 

Event organiser easyFairs has already unveiled its new three dynamic core brands,Packaging Innovations, Empack and Label&Print, which all areas of the show will fall within. This aligns the full easyFairs packaging portfolio across Europe under the same brand concepts.

Alison Church, Event Director for easyFairs’ UK packaging events, says: “The easyFairs portfolio has become Europe’s fastest growing network of packaging events, so we have taken the opportunity to harmonise our shows across all the markets, simplifying our offer to our exhibitors and the industry as a whole.”

Packaging Innovations – the future of branded and inspirational packaging: The highly successful Packaging Innovations brand will continue to focus on the latest trends and innovations in packaging materials and concepts, with Ecopack and Contract Pack remaining as important components of the show with dedicated floor areas.

Empack – the future of packaging technology: Empack is one of easyFairs’ most established brands across Europe, with a strong presence particularly in the Benelux and Switzerland areas. Its focus is on packaging technology, with core visitors including packaging operations managers, engineers and technologists.

Label&Print – the future of packaging printing, labelling and converting: All aspects of offset printing, converting machinery and labelling equipment will now sit under one major show concept Label&Print. The inclusion of Label&Print as one of the three areas of focus underscores easyFairs’ vision to invest in and expand this aspect of its portfolio.

When the event took place in February 2014 it attracted 6,004 visitors, including packaging buyers from major names such as GlaxoSmithKline, Lush Cosmetics, Heineken, Britvic Soft Drinks, Danone, Asda and Proctor & Gamble; exhibitors were delighted with the buzz and visitor footfall from the moment the doors opened, with 77% of them rebooking onsite for next year’s show.

IBIS Packaging Solutions was just one of the companies exhibiting at the 2014 event. Hayley Mustad, Key Account Manager for IBIS Packaging Solutions, remarked: “The footfall was great, with key decision makers from blue chip companies coming onto the stand. Great show; so much so we have booked for 2015, with a bigger stand!”

Next year’s event will feature even more product launches and live demonstrations, making it the ideal shop window through which to showcase products and services in front of thousands of decision makers and influencers with real buying power.

Launching at the show will be four new features – The Drinks Symposium, The Pharmaceutical Symposium, The Retail Symposium and The Beauty Symposium, providing exhibitors and visitors from all spheres of the packaging and print world with a unique programme of valuable and insightful content.

Always popular is the BIG Packaging Debate, which will also be returning to the show, bringing industry experts together to put key issues of the moment under the spotlight.There will be a full learnShops programme addressing hot industry trends and issues; plus the BIG Print Debate and the popular feature Lions’ Lair.

Alison Church concludes: “Next year’s event is going to be a real showstopper. It will be packed with exhibitors specialising in all aspects of packaging and print from materials and design, to machinery, new technologies and equipment. It provides the perfect opportunity to see the latest innovations, touch products and materials, and to discuss your individual business with suppliers face-to-face. It’s going to be a celebrational show!”

The next easyFairs UK packaging events will be Packaging Innovations, Empack and Label&Print, taking place at Birmingham’s NEC on 25 & 26 February in 2015.

Heidelberg unveils digital printing generation with even better performance

A good three years after launching sales of the Linoprint C series of digital printing systems, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is unveiling a new generation of digital printing presses that delivers even better performance. The new Linoprint CV and Linoprint CP models are geared toward improved flexibility and productivity in the cost-effective production of short, personalized, and hybrid print runs. The new Prinect Digital Frontend sets a new standard in digital printing quality thanks to the use of Heidelberg Renderer (RIP) technology - which has been tried-and-tested in offset printing - and Heidelberg color management.

Linoprint CV offers greater flexibility due to white and coating functions and supports a large range of materials
With a printing speed of 90 pages per minute, high quality standards, and comprehensive functions, the new Linoprint CV sets new standards in its performance class. The system will be able to print with five colors, making it unique in its segment. Besides the four primary colors, the system also offers white with high opacity or alternatively a coating with high gloss properties as an additional color - either as a full-area or spot coating. Switching between white and a coating is simple, which means both surface finishing techniques can be used with flexibility.

Users can choose from a huge variety of substrates, ranging from structured papers to coated media, colored paper and synthetic films. What's more, because the Linoprint CV is designed for large paper formats, users can produce up to 700 mm long, three page folding brochures or posters in a single operation.

The multiple paper magazines in the system can be refilled on the fly, which keeps makeready times short. Several high-capacity magazines, which can be fitted with optional vacuum/suction-tape feeders, also ensure a continuous supply of paper without the operator having to constantly monitor the Linoprint CV. The system can thus also process long runs in a single pass, without interrupting production. A new, enlarged operating cockpit further enhances ease-of-use by helping the operator to both maintain a clear overview of every print job and re-run repeat jobs.

Linoprint CP offers outstanding productivity and comprehensive inline finishing solutions
The new Linoprint CP produces advertising and presentation materials at a printing speed of 130 pages per minute, as well as high-quality personalized print products, professionally bound books, and brochures. The system has a modular design that safeguards a high level of availability. The image transfer and fusing units are physically separate, which reduces heat from affecting the process of image transfer and makes it easier to locate and clear paper jams. The standard configuration includes a vacuum/suction-tape feeder that ensures even difficult printing materials such as heavy coated media are fed into the press reliably. The inline finishing units offer a whole host of solutions - from high-capacity stacking, perforating, and folding all the way through to leaflets and books with adhesive binding. The Linoprint CP can also be used to process a range of materials, some of which can be quite challenging, such as structured papers and plastics. A color toner with a low melting point further increases the range of materials that can be printed. The press operates using a feedback monitoring system that automatically corrects toner density and thus delivers excellent color stability.

New Prinect Digital Frontend: More integration and certainty in the production process
The Prinect Digital Frontend newly developed by Heidelberg supports the seamless integration of both new digital printing systems into the overall workflow of a print shop. This means that all print jobs can be centrally managed in one workflow system, irrespective of the production process that has been selected.

To ensure repeat jobs can be carried out with greater certainty and reliability, all work processes such as job creation, preflight checking, color management, and impositioning can be saved as linked sequences. This certainty in production also extends to the printing of personalized data. Furthermore, the Prinect Digital Frontend also supports the finishing options of the new Linoprint systems, thereby enabling several print jobs to be produced ready for sale in a single operation.

"The newly developed Digital Frontend from Heidelberg generates decisive added value for users. Indeed, besides getting better quality and productivity from digital printing systems, print shops also want to be able to control and manage as many applications as possible via a central workflow. That is precisely where the strengths of the Prinect Digital Frontend come into play," says Jason Oliver, head of Business Area Digital at Heidelberg.

Everything from a single source
In addition to the new Linoprint systems from Heidelberg, digital printers can also benefit from a broad range of technical and machine-based services, training and consulting offerings, and consumables offered in collaboration with Ricoh. This entire portfolio is designed to reinforce and extend the competitiveness and performance capabilities of print media companies.

Both printing systems and the Prinect Digital Frontend will be available from spring 2015 and will replace the previous Linoprint C 751 and Linoprint C 901 models.

Partnership with Ricoh is carried forward
In 2011, Heidelberg began marketing digital printing systems from Ricoh in the value segment under the name Linoprint and now, a good three years later, finds itself in a successful, strategic partnership with the Japanese company. To date, Heidelberg has installed about 500 Linoprint C systems worldwide. Heidelberg is now marketing the Ricoh presses under the names Linoprint CV and Linoprint CP as much more developed versions, particularly with regard to the software functions and the integration capabilities those bring. Heidelberg is thus underscoring its expertise as the only conventional manufacturer in the sector to successfully offer integrated digital and offset applications.

"Partnerships are the key to long-term market success in the digital sector. By marketing highly developed digital printing systems from Ricoh, Heidelberg has succeeded in establishing itself as a digital print supplier in the sector," says Oliver.

Polish Packaging firm paves the way for growth with KBA

Polish packaging printer Werner Kenkel recently expanded its press fleet with a second giant sheetfed offset press from Koenig & Bauer (KBA). The new Rapida 145 with five printing units and coater will predominantly print corrugated packaging like the KBA Rapida 162a which has been successfully in operation at the firm for a few years. The new press will expand the company’s production capacity by approx. 80 per cent.

Werner Kenkel is a family enterprise founded in 1979. It specialised in the production of packaging made of solid board and corrugated using flexo and offset from the beginning. The firm currently has three sites and its cutting-edge offset facility is located in Krzyck Wielki. The first Rapida 162a was installed at this plant in 2010 followed recently by a new Rapida 145. The firm’s co-owner Damian Kenkel: “The key reasons for the purchase of another press was down to the continuously growing packaging market in Poland, increasing customer requirements in terms of quality and finishing as well as the necessity to expand production capacity. Given the extremely positive experience we have had with our first Rapida 162a we decided once again on a large-format KBA press. For the last four years our Rapida 162a has predominantly printed packaging products. Now after transferring the majority of these jobs to the new Rapida 145 we plan to use its outstanding capabilities for finishing and special effects.”

High level of automation
The new Rapida 145 with five printing units and coater suits production at Werner Kenkel perfectly. It is mounted on a plinth measuring 420mm (16.5in) and its features include a board-handling package, nonstop facilities at the feeder, SIS sidelay-free infeed, DriveTronic SPC DriveTronic SPC dedicated plate-cylinder drives with KBA Plate-Ident plate recognition and pre-registration, CleanTronic Synchro for the simultaneous washing of the blankets and impression cylinders, DriveTronic SRW simultaneous roller washing in the idle units parallel to printing and KBA VariDryBLUE energy-saving drying technology. The ErgoTronic ColorControl console is equipped with ErgoTronic Lab and QualiTronic ColorControl for inline colour control. The press is integrated in pile logistics at the feeder and delivery as well as connected to the firm’s MIS and IT systems, just like the Rapida 162a.

Wies?aw Grabsztunowicz, production manager and head planner at Werner Kenkel: “Only a few vendors offer the format we wanted. We knew that KBA is a trusted supplier with its sheetfed offset facility near the Polish border which was an important benefit. We were satisfied with the expertise shown by the KBA sales and service team in Poland when we received our Rapida 162a. The press itself also works problem-free. A further advantage was that our press operators were familiar with how to operate a Rapida. We therefore chose KBA once again”.

More production flexibility
Rapida 145’s configuration allows this press to take over most jobs from the larger Rapida 162a. Wies?aw Grabsztunowicz is convinced that the firm’s flexibility has improved due to the short makeready times delivered by the new press: “We spent several days discussing the optimum equipment of the new press with representatives from KBA CEE. In doing so, we took into account the enormous potential of our six-colour Rapida 162a with two coaters (for dispersion and UV coating). The option to transfer a large part of our orders which require basic dispersion coating to the Rapida 145 and to exploit its high level of performance allowed us to free up capacity of our two-coater press which we now use more for high-grade finishing jobs. We are thus able to expand our product spectrum considerably”.

Damian Kenkel: “Our customers are global players, from the FMCG, electronic and chemical industries. Their demands in terms of quality force us to invest continuously in our press fleet. The inauguration of the Rapida 145 fits this strategy perfectly”.


Jan Korenc, managing director of KBA CEE, adds: “We are pleased that Werner Kenkel has once again invested in technology from KBA and are convinced that the new Rapida 145 will contribute to the firm’s further development. This extensively automated press is suited to the economical production of smaller print runs. We are proud that the circle of Polish printers who bank on high-end sheetfed offset solutions from KBA has grown with this press installation at Werner Kenkel”.

Arvato Services develops its direct marketing offering with Xeikon

Is an investment in digital printing only relevant for printing companies? Arvato Services clearly demonstrates the opposite. Thanks to digital printing, this leading direct marketing specialist has improved its performance, introduced innovative services and increased customer loyalty. To further enhance its market position, Arvato Services invested in a Xeikon 8500 digital press. "Today, customers tend to favor focused direct marketing operations, on smaller customer bases, but with higher quality documents, with a higher level of personalization and high end finishing,” explains Manuel Montigny, General Director Direct Marketing at Arvato Services. “Our investment in Xeikon technology is a perfect response to this growing trend."

Strategic investment in digital printing – and Xeikon
Arvato's direct marketing customers are mostly telcos, banks, large retail companies, mail order companies or city councils and administrative bodies. "Our business is evolving rapidly. Direct marketing remains a highly effective tool to address customers, but the business model is changing. Online direct marketing in particular has gained ground over the past 10 years and became an entry point for many new activities such as On Demand printing,” says Montigny.

In 2006, the company made the strategic decision to add digital printing to their services and move up one step in the value chain: the capability to produce high quality direct marketing pieces, with a very high degree of personalization, fully leveraged Arvato's database management skills and resources. Combined with powerful internet technologies, it allowed the company to offer a whole array of new services. “We designed an online platform – called DM Factory – that allows our customers to provide their sales network a web-based tool to manage direct marketing operations entirely. They can also use it to order brochure and product sheets. The platform triggers a fully automated Print On Demand production process, using our digital presses, after which our direct mail services are set in motion," explains Montigny.

Last year, Arvato decided to invest in a web-fed Xeikon 8500 system with online cutting and folding units. "Until then, our digital production equipment was entirely sheet-fed,” says Montigny. “We wanted to draw on the new possibilities a roll-fed unit offers, such as scalable print media widths, and be able to produce leaflets in unconventional formats, as well as letters with folds and coupons. We also required a press that would fit our printing quality standards, especially on photo quality documents. Xeikon was the best option for us."

Also finishing played an important role. "We didn't want to compromise on inline finishing options. Xeikon offers a large selection of finishing modules. We now invested in cutting and folding but if one day we want to add gilding or film coating, we know Xeikon will have a solution for us,” explains Montigny. "Xeikon's involvement in package printing was another decisive aspect. Producing point of sales material and boxes for product sample mailings is an area where we are gradually gaining momentum. Our decision to work with Xeikon is fully consistent with this."

A winning partnership
Arvato is very satisfied with its investment: “Xeikon have proved to be reliable, reactive, and demonstrated an ability to understand our needs and requirements and adapt accordingly. They were able to think outside the box to find the appropriate answers to our requests," comments Montigny.

"We can offer our customers other, original printing formats that opened up new possibilities for designing direct mail pieces. We streamlined our production processes, by printing the various documents involved in a direct mail campaign one after the other in one production stream, even in varying formats. This eliminates the need to produce these documents separately and bring them together later on in the production process – which is a lot more effective,” Montigny states. “The Xeikon 8500's print width also opened up new possibilities in terms of media optimization. We can set-up two A4 pages side by side with folding coupons at the bottom of the pages. This is not so easily done with an extended A3 sheet-fed press”. Today, Arvato is saving 30 to 40% on printing budgets, thanks to the flexibility of the Xeikon roll-fed digital printing press.

“In the ever evolving direct marketing business, quality, creativity and flexibility are key to success. The internet and digitization have opened up tremendous opportunities, particularly for digital printing. We are proud to be working with a market leading company like Arvato Services whose strategy is entirely in line with Xeikon’s vision,” concludes Danny Mertens, Xeikon’s Director Marketing & Business Development Document Printing. “We are dedicated to deliver total solutions, enabling our customers to produce not only high quality prints but fully finished direct marketing projects. Our dedicated Suites introduce a new level of end-to-end efficiency and cost-effectiveness to direct mail production. Combined with our Xeikon 8500 and inline finishing they provide the flexibility to create almost any type of mailing. Arvato’s investment is a firm confirmation vertical solutions are what companies look for to remain successful.”

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Toyo Ink to Host Pantone LIVE Color Management Seminar at Tokyo Pack

Toyo Ink Co., Ltd. (President: Katsumi Yamazaki) announced today that it will be sponsoring a special seminar on the topic of “a global approach to color management that addresses today’s packaging needs and enhances brand value” at this week’s Tokyo Pack 2014, Asia’s largest packaging trade exhibition. Toyo Ink has partnered with X-Rite/Pantone to promote the use of Pantone™ LIVE, a cloud-based color management and color communication system, to the Japan market.

Special guest Dr Sonia Megert, Vice President of X-Rite Europe’s Pantone Digital business unit will lead the seminar on October 8 at 1:30 p.m. on-site at the Toyo Ink booth 2-28, East Hall 2. Dr. Megert will introduce Pantone LIVE case studies and solutions to help address color and brand management challenges brought about by globalization.

Tokyo Pack kicks off tomorrow October 7 and runs till October 10 at the Tokyo Big Sight in Japan. At its booth, Toyo Ink will showcase package processing innovations based on the concept of “Total Packaging Solutions of the Future”. In line with this, the special Pantone LIVE seminar reinforces Toyo Ink’s commitment in providing innovative solutions that address the important topic of color and brand management for the packaging sector.

Passes to this free event will be available at the Toyo Ink booth reception counter on October 8, from11:00 a.m., on a first-come, first-served basis.

Nominations Open for TAPPI's 20 Under 30 Contest

TAPPI is requesting nominations for the Young Professionals Division’s Top 20 Under 30 Award. The contest is intended to recognize individuals under the age of 30 who stand out as emerging leaders in the global pulp, paper, packaging and related industries. The deadline to submit nomination forms is Dec. 1, 2014.

“Young Professionals are the future of our industry and we’re excited to give them individual recognition,” said Larry N. Montague, TAPPI president and CEO. “The YP Top 20 Under 30 achievement is one way we can emphasize the creativity we see from this generation of driven and innovative minds as well as encourage them to become more personally involved in the industry.”

In addition to being recognized throughout 2015 in TAPPI’s various publications and online, winners will be invited to attend their division-specific TAPPI conference during 2015 to receive their award.

Nominations can be submitted by completing the online form or by downloading the form . To complete the submission process, both the completed form and and a copy of the nominee’s resume must be emailed to YP@tappi.org.

Nominees do not need to be TAPPI members, however, winners must be a member of TAPPI. To Join TAPPI or renew your membership for award eligibility, visit TAPPI’s membership site.

The Young Professionals Division is composed of TAPPI members that are college undergraduates, recent graduates and young professionals in the industry. The division provides a wide range of products, services and educational opportunities, as well as a means for experiencing different professional areas, resources for career advancement and the chance to network with peers and industry professionals. 

Open House at new Toray plate manufacturing site: European region is an important driver for growth in waterless printing

Toray Industries Inc., a leading manufacturer of waterless offset plate technology, invited customers from the European newspaper industry and representatives of the trade press to jointly celebrate its Open House event on 24 September at the new state-of-the-art plant in Prost?jov (Czech Republic): “We firmly believe in the future of waterless printing and the future of print.”

“We built this new facility in order to meet the growing global demand for waterless printing plates and to better serve Europe, the Middle East and the Americas,” explained Takayuki Kamei, director of the graphics division at Toray Textiles Central Europe (TTCE), to his visitors. Waterless printing plates are part of what Toray considers its ‘Strategically Expanding Businesses’ that drive revenue and profit growth. Indeed, since 2005, sales and turnover for the printing plates have increased fivefold and the Toray market share is growing year over year.

Driver for growth
The European region is an important driver for the growth of Toray’s waterless printing plates business. Especially the successful introduction of the waterless Cortina web press by KBA in 2004 – which now has 19 installations with a total of 85 print towers across Europe and the Middle East – boosted sales of the Toray plates, as no other manufacturer provides waterless printing plates for this segment. 

Toray choose its existing TTCE-site at Prost?jov - in the heart of Europe - for a 6,000 sqm new building to facilitate its new plate manufacturing location. The 140 meters long production line now produces waterless printing plates – from the aluminium coils, through washing, coating and laminating, up to cutting the finished products - that exactly match the high quality standards from the manufacturing plant in Japan.

Stability and reliability
Visitors to the Open House were given the unique opportunity to tour the facilities and take a close look at the highly automated production process, and also at the final manual inspection taking place to ensure quality. According to Mitsunori Hayashi, general manager for sales in the graphic materials department at TTCE, it is exactly this highly complicated production process that sets Toray apart from any competition: “Stability and reliability in production are the most difficult parts of what we do here.”

More than 50 per cent of all plates produced at the TTCE-site are tailored for the Cortina-presses installed in Europe and Dubai. Waterless printing offers these printers many advantages: it is an environmentally friendly printing process that delivers higher quality and reduces waste. Also, it increases the productivity of newspaper and semi-commercial printing operations, as Mitsunori Hayashi explained: “Printers that only print newspapers will face a difficult future, as that market continues to decline in Europe. However, the KBA Cortina and Toray plates offer printers the opportunity to produce semi-commercial jobs as well. This allows them to utilize their presses much better, by printing newspapers at night and producing high quality brochures, supplements or magazines on improved paper stock during the day. In that way, they can expand their portfolio and their customer base.”

‘Reinvent print’ at WAN-IFRA Expo
“Newspapers need to change their game. They should stop chasing the news and instead become the new ‘weekly’, on a daily basis.” Toray treated its visitors to the Open House on an inspiring and thought-provoking presentation by Samir Husni from the USA, also widely known as ‘Mr. Magazine’. He urges publishers and printers to make print ‘necessary and relevant’ again: “We have to reinvent print”. And that, Mitsunori Hayashi says, is exactly what Toray is supporting printers to do: “If the good attendance at our September Open House for the new facility is any indication, we can expect to see even more interest at the WAN-IFRA World Publishing Expo 2014.”

“We encourage show attendees to stop by our booth (Stand 11.565),” Hayashi concludes. “Customer stories, advice from our experts and our showcase of a variety of product possibilities waterless offset printing affords adopters of the technology, will help visitors gain the facts they need when considering making a waterless printing decision. We expect it to be a busy and exciting show.”

For more information on the Expo and Toray’s participation, please click www.toray-intl.com and www.waterless-print.com/en/

Bosch spotlights complete packaging systems competence

At Pack Expo International 2014, Bosch Packaging Technology, a leading supplier of processing and packaging solutions, will showcase its complete systems competence, from processing to primary and secondary packaging to end-of-line technologies. Two high-speed Seamless Systems designed to maximize Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) will be featured, including the global launch of the enhanced blow-fill-seal (BFS) packaging line. Also displayed will be the company’s Module++ capabilities, which link Bosch’s proven standard modules for customized processing and packaging solutions. To create each line, Bosch draws from its local support combined with a global knowledge network.  

“Whether searching for high-end systems from processing to case packing, or taking the first steps with packaging automation, food and nonfood manufacturers are seeking a single-source solutions provider,” said Paul Garms, marketing manager, Bosch Packaging Technology, Inc., New Richmond. “Bosch’s wide portfolio of systems technologies ensures that manufacturers are equipped with the right solution to stay competitive in a constantly evolving market.” 

Seamless Systems to take manufacturers to the peak of productivity
Developed with high productivity in mind, the Seamless Systems from Bosch feature a streamlined design for OEE. The speed of all line components is balanced to eliminate bottlenecks, minimize downtime and optimize product flow. In addition, the Seamless Systems are designed for ease of use, with the same look and feel across the entire line. This makes operation as simple as using a single machine, reducing the risk of operator error and increasing uptime.

At Pack Expo International 2014, Bosch will launch its enhanced blow-fill-seal (BFS) packaging line, featuring new high-speed vial separation capabilities. To give pharmaceutical manufacturers the flexibility to adapt to changing market demands, the BFS packaging line can package vial cards with multiple units or single vials. The BFS line is also capable of handling varying vial thicknesses, helping prevent jams and maximizing uptime. The system features a Sigpack HCUL flow wrapper with hybrid sealing technology: heat sealing on the cross and ultrasonic sealing on the length seam. The long-dwell heat sealing technology allows for extended sealing time, ensuring that thicker films are hermetically sealed for high product protection. Due to the low heat emission, ultrasonic sealing technology is ideal for products such as vials, which are heat sensitive and could be damaged during the process.

Bosch will also present its Seamless System for cracker packaging, designed for the gentle handling of delicate products at fast speeds. The cracker packaging line features tandem slug portioning technology, which generates slug and half-slug pack size configurations with the same process speed. After portioning, the crackers are sent to a flow wrapper that can easily handle both formats and ensures hermetic sealing. With speeds ranging from 120 slugs to 250 half slugs per minute, the cracker packaging line is designed for optimum flexibility, OEE and robustness.

The system will include the Sigpack TTMC case packer, which is making its debut in North America and can handle both regular slotted and half slotted cases (RSC and HSC, respectively). The Bosch booth will also display all of the company’s core competencies via an interactive platform. This includes the handling and packaging of biscuits, an overview of different sealing technologies for horizontal flow wrappers, as well as an introduction to sachet and stick pack packaging capabilities.

Versatile end-to-end solutions with Module++
For ultimate versatility and adaptability, Bosch will highlight its Module++ lines, which integrate the company’s proven modular machines for adaptable and scalable end-to-end line solutions. From processing through case packaging, Module++ allows for easy upgrades for manufacturers either taking their first steps with automation or bringing automation to the next level.

Through local support combined with global consultation services, Bosch tailors each line to meet individual manufacturer needs. This ensures that manufacturers will be quickly equipped with the ideal solutions to realize fast time-to-market. All machines are also available as stand-alone modules designed for simple integration with existing Bosch technology.

At the show, there will be three distinct lines including modules for processing, gentle product handling, distribution and feeding, as well as horizontal flow wrappers, vertical baggers, robotics, cartoners and case packers. For processing technology, Bosch is launching its new roller former designed to minimize trim when processing masses for cereal, candy, protein and fruit bars. The Bosch roller former is the only machine of its kind currently available on the market capable of width adjustments without machine stops, maximizing uptime and output.

In addition, Bosch will exhibit a bar wrapping line featuring its product distribution system that utilizes a touchless transportation concept to gently handle even the most challenging products, whether sticky, soft, top-heavy or fragile. Machines from its Pack Series of horizontal flow wrappers, which range from entry-level models to fully automated technologies, will wrap the bars and a Presto top loading delta robot will load the wrapped bars into cartons. The delta robotic technology ensures high-speed carton packing with the ability to accommodate flexible pack patterns.

A second line will display a vertical bagger featuring Bosch’s patented four-corner seal module. The vertical bagger is designed to produce a variety of different pack styles, including pillow, block bottom, four-corner seal, doy and doy zip, with reclosabilty and opening features at high speeds. To complete the line, Bosch will exhibit its CCM 3100 case packer for flexible case packing. The CCM 3100 features quick changeovers between vertical (stand up) and horizontal (lay flat) bag presentation. The case packer is designed to meet manufacturers’ demands for shorter production runs with a wide format range in both bag and case sizes and styles, including RSC, HSC and other shelf-ready packaging styles.

The final Module++ line will package a medical test cartridge and showcase a robot distribution system with an integrated vision system. It is ideal for feeding irregular and random product flows into precise and consistent order. In addition, the new robotic technology features an open-frame design for expedited cleaning and simplified operations, which increases efficiency. The robot will feed a horizontal flow wrapper featuring long-dwell sealing technology that is capable of sealing times up to one second. This produces a hermetic seal to protect the product and extend shelf life.

Food and pharmaceutical manufacturers can learn more about Bosch’s latest system solutions in the South Hall, booth S-3514 at Pack Expo International in Chicago, Illinois, United States, November 2 to 5. Additional pharmaceutical solutions from Bosch can be seen at Pharma Expo, co-located with Pack Expo, in the West Hall, booth W-603.

Technicote expands digital product line to include ink jet offering

Technicote has introduced the addition of Six New Products to its Techni-Jet line of pressure sensitive label materials to support the quickly growing digital label market. The Techni-Jet product line consists of premium label materials for print-on-demand digital print technologies, featuring both paper and film constructions each compatible with one or more types of digital printing such as toner-based laser, UV ink jet and aqueous ink jet. These products are ideal for short to medium sized print runs, and can be used in variety of markets including health and beauty, food and beverage, and wine label, among others. The below new products are intended for use with aqueous ink jet label printers, and are stocked for quick turnaround.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Multi Packaging Solutions launches Spotlight Package

Multi Packaging Solutions, a leader in the printing and packaging of value added consumer markets and healthcare market announces its latest innovation in retail solutions card software download. Its retail-ready 'Spotlight'package debuts with the launch of 505 Games PayDay2 by software publisher 505 Games. This unique approach to merchandising allows download cards to stand alongside physical, rather than compete for attention on retail peg boards.

The patent pending package consists of a paperboard tray containing cards securely and clear plastic sleeve that allows full product visibility. Both components can be customized with an array of decorative technologies to coordinate with the download card and provide additional messaging services to attract consumer interest. With this innovative approach, publishers can now display game features that would not otherwise fit in the footprint available on a single download card alone. In addition, the package is recyclable Spotlight, adding sustainability benefits that retailers want.

"With the shift in software game format from physical media for downloadable content, maintaining a strong presence at retail can be challenging," said Erin Willigan, Vice President of Global Marketing for Multi Packaging Solutions. "We've created the Spotlight package download cards with more visual impact alongside console game titles, where consumers are most likely to discover them while browsing for entertainment options."

Nic Ashford, Consultant Vice President for 505 Games, recognized this need for a new alternative  and approached MPS solution. "505 Games continually strives to find new ways to cross-promote and bridge the gap between physical and digital titles. Our success has come in many forms, but the buzz being generated by the Spotlight package in stores has been phenomenal”.

"With this innovative package, retailers can now successfully merchandise digital-based products, finally solving the age-old problem of how to tap into the ever-growing digital revenues," Ashford said, "I personally like that the Spotlight package has a smaller footprint, is fully recyclable, and is relatively inexpensive. Logistically, it is cheaper to move around, rounding out an overall better package for the environment - a benefit we should all be striving for. "

Upgrading to full HD Flexo imaging plate technology delivers quality rivaling that of gravure

Esko reports that Brazil-based Clicheria DP Studio has recently upgraded its investment in digital flexo imaging from HD Flexo to Esko Full HD Flexo, becoming the 100th installation, worldwide. DP Studio is reporting exceptional package printing results – even replacing gravure at times.

HD Flexo, with nearly 1.000 installations, brought to flexographic printing a quality level that could previously only be achieved with offset or rotogravure printing processes. It evolved to become the new standard in flexography. The impact on the label and packaging industry of HD Flexo cannot be underestimated. Brand managers now have the option of producing shorter runs of packaging and labels more affordably, and in a more environmentally friendly manner, without any compromise in quality, giving them more freedom in terms of production technology.

Building on that, Full HD Flexo has grown in popularity and is quickly becoming the flexo quality standard for more applications and more substrates. “Esko Full HD Flexo, a 2014 Printing Industries of America InterTech Technology Award recipient, is being quickly adopted throughout the world,” notes Thomas Klein, Vice President Flexo Business at Esko. "Launched just 18 months ago, a hundred customers worldwide have already adopted the technology to achieve excellent – and at times, award-winning – flexo print quality results. With Full HD Flexo we broaden the range of substrates and applications upon which flexo printing can truly compete against any other print process. This is continuing evidence of Esko’s leadership in setting new flexo printing standards for quality and consistency.”

A number of Full HD Flexo users have received noteworthy awards over the past year, including gold EFIA Print Awards, the Supreme Award at the FlexoTech International Awards, DFTA Awards and a Best of Show at the FTA’s annual Excellence in Flexography Awards.

Replacing different print processes with Full HD Flexo
Clicheria DP Studio was founded in 1990 in Londrina-Paraná, Brazil. Its owner, Domingos P. Rocha, has always sought the latest technologies. Operating for 23 years as a flexo printer, the company has built a solid reputation for high quality work. It has become one of the largest in the country with Esko’s platemaking system, working with the best photopolymer plate brands in the world “We have strong partnerships and technology. With this, Clicheria DP-Studio has become a well-known printer in Brazil due to our experience in the most diverse areas of flexography,” says Agnaldo Moraes, technical commercial manager at DP Studio.

While DP Studio was very happy with Esko HD Flexo, they upgraded to Esko Full HD Flexo. Full HD Flexo combines all the benefits of HD Flexo, offering print results similar to gravure. Full HD Flexo technology combines high-resolution 4000ppi imaging and special imaging software, along with a digitally controlled LED UV main exposure within the Esko CDI flexo plate imager. With Full HD Flexo, flexo platemaking has become a true “Computer to Plate” process: no lamination, no films, and no extra steps with light tables. Plates are ready for processing after unloading. No special consumables are needed, and it works with all popular digital flexo plates and sleeves. Press changeovers are faster and downtimes are reduced. “Full HD Flexo’s digital Inline UV exposure delivers quality and consistency, with no surprises. Plate imaging is extremely consistent from side to side, and human errors are reduced," says Moraes.

“We created several Full HD Flexo samples and we were amazed with the quality of printing that we could offer the flexo market, meeting the needs and the increasing demands of our customers. Full HD Flexo plates can digitally control the tops of dots, with exceptional 'round top' highlight dots along with the solid ability and stability of applying ink to flexo plates with 'flat top dots', all on the same plate,” adds Moraes. “Full HD Flexo delivers superior quality highlights combined with exceptional solid ink printing that you see in gravure. We are able to offer our customers strong, vibrant colors in contrast with lighter shades with smooth transitions to zero.”

On flexible materials, DP Studio gets improved quality from solids and whites. With paperboard and corrugated stocks, along with better coverage and increased highlight stability there is a reduction of patterning caused by the flutes. With higher line screens, they are able to migrate jobs from rotogravure printing, delivering excellent details and exceptional, smooth gradients when they print with special colors.

“What does Full HD Flexo mean to us? We always strive for superior quality and innovation. With Full HD Flexo we are able to provide the packaging market a product that exceeds all expectations from the moment of printing – minimizing makereadies and resulting in fantastic products. Today, we can print high quality projects with flexo. We are able to reproduce standard images at very high resolution – allowing us to produce deep, crystal-clear images, brilliant colors, and unique sharpness. For us, it’s been a true visual revolution. Surely, Full HD Flexo certification is just a matter of time,” concludes Moraes. “With Full HD Technology, image quality is very impressive. We can print photos and gradations with a quality we have never seen before. It really is something close to the quality of gravure. We can see why Full HD Flexo is being adopted quickly worldwide. The technology is catching on quickly with our customers.”

With the experience of 24 years in the flexographic business, DP Studio built with a solid ethical framework, currently ranks among the largest trade shops in the country. Has strict control over the equipment, in order to ensure reproducibility, recording and printing. The technical team has excellent education and professional training, to ensure peace of mind and satisfaction of customers and employees.

Pharmaceutical Packaging Innovation Advances Quality, Speed & Efficiency

This image is for representational purposes only
As pharmaceutical manufacturers aim to combat counterfeiters and speed time to market, new package printing technologies are making it easier for them to overcome these hurdles without sacrificing the bottom line. Pharma Expo, co-located with Pack Expo International (Nov. 2–5, 2014; McCormick Place, Chicago) will serve as a resource for the latest in innovations in marking, coding and package printing. The show, a joint venture of PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, and the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), will help pharmaceutical manufacturers discover the solutions they need to significantly raise printing speeds, increase efficiency, decrease downtime and reduce operating costs.

On the show floor, exhibitors will display several next-generation systems to meet changing production demands and advance anti-counterfeiting measures. These include ink-less UV marking systems that allow manufacturers to print on larger surfaces, with the added benefit of eliminating thermal denaturation on tablets and cleaning processes.

Also at Pharma Expo, attendees will discover laser marking systems that allow pharmaceutical manufacturers to produce high quality marks on moderate- to high-speed production lines. Such technologies have virtually no font, code or graphic restrictions and are ideal for marking complex codes - offering complete marking flexibility and delivering many spot size variations to cater to a broad range of marking effects.

With changing regulations and the prevalence of short batch label runs creating challenges for manufacturers in the pharmaceutical, chemical and industrial sectors, Pharma Expo will feature new labeling solutions that grant manufacturers the flexibility to scale up to production demands. Designed to deliver greater efficiency, productivity and cost savings for a higher volume of industrial and manufacturing applications, these technologies can dramatically elevate printing speed — enabling efficient and reliable production of high mix label requirements and variable printing demands.

“Pharmaceutical manufacturers are subject to some of the most rigorous standards for package printing and labeling,” says Jim Pittas, vice president, Trade Shows, PMMI. “Maintaining high print integrity, including the necessary counterfeit prevention and security features, while accommodating the industry trend for short batch label runs, all while keeping up with today’s ever-changing regulations — means brand owners must keep informed in order to succeed.”

In addition to the wide range of solutions on display, Pharma Expo's Innovation Stage, located in the West Building, near the entrance to Pharma Expo, will offer a series of 30-minute educational presentations on breakthrough technologies. The talks, taking place right on the show floor, will include topics such as package design, packaging plant failures and resolutions, authentication technology, quality management systems and many others.

To register for Pharma Expo, visit www.pharmaexpo.com A discounted registration fee of $30 applies through Oct. 3 and increases to $60 thereafter.

Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging London closed its doors with record numbers

Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging London closed its doors on October 1st to record numbers. Over 3,930 visitors, an increase of 10% on last year, 180 exhibitors, 80 product launches, 50 seminars and two new show features all packed into the Business Design Centre in London to celebrate the most innovative in the world of packaging.

The event, which took place on 30 September & 1 October 2014, witnessed a hugely successful fifth year with the likes of Johnson & Johnson, Hotel Chocolat, Tommy Hilfiger, Molton Brown, Harrods and Procter & Gamble walking through its doors. Alison Church, Event Director for easyFairs’ packaging events, comments:

“The attendance figures are absolutely spectacular and we couldn’t be more delighted with how this year’s show turned out. Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging combined have truly established themselves as the exclusive event for branded and inspirational packaging, attracting world-class visitors, speakers and international exhibitors from all corners of the globe. Each year to date the show has grown exponentially, but now with a sold-out venue we are focusing on delivering the utmost quality of events to both our exhibitors and visitors in the coming year.”

Maria Almeida, Exports at Leca Graphics, visiting the show, remarked: “Great show, very well organised, much bigger than last year with a huge variety of exhibitors. It’s great to see the luxury side expanding, definitely a packaging show worth attending.”

The sell-out show featured a packed learnShops programme, with speakers from DHL Supply Chain, Taylors of Harrogate, Kimberly-Clark, Unilever, Tesco and many other leading brands.

Among the speakers was Stirling Murray, CEO and Founder of The Red Tree introducing the Beauty Symposium, who commented: “We are delighted that The Beauty Symposium is back at Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging London for a second year. In such a crowded and competitive market, anyone launching a beauty brand needs to get the branding and packaging absolutely right. They need to make their product look distinctive - and that requires innovation. That's why a visit to the show is so valuable, it's an incredible way to get a real injection of new ideas and possibilities."

Also speaking at the show on day two was Christine Mau, EMEA Design Director at Kimberley-Clark who discussed the importance of no boundaries – transforming ordinary products into extraordinary brand experiences. “We are becoming so good at our jobs, packaging is become formulaic – we need to break the boundaries and think outside the box. Setting your vision further out will help you reach additional innovation. You can sit behind the glass and listen to the consumer, but it will prevent innovation. You learn from consumer research, you win in the market – Dream, Dare and Dance.”

This image is for representational purposes only
In addition to more exhibitors, visitors and world-class speakers, the successful complement of The Luxury Packaging Conference, sponsored by Raison Pure NYC, provided an illuminating insight into the world of luxury brands. Expert speakers from industry leaders including Godiva Chocolatier, Diageo, Harrods and Procter & Gamble explored the vital role packaging plays in positioning and promoting luxury and prestige brands.

Bruce Langlands, Director of Food at Harrods stated: “Packaging is always overlooked in comparison to the product, but unless you get the packaging right the product will fail. Every discussion should start with the consumer, if you think about your customers’ needs you’ll start ticking the right boxes.”

If that wasn’t enough many of the exhibitors used the show to launch products or services: Solutia Packaging unveiled its 100% recyclable folding eyewear cases; SACO lifted the lid on its new Jar Cap range; Airpack Systems its new beer bottle inflatable packaging solution; Benson Box debuted its revolutionary meal solutions carton packs; and SERAM launched a service to help its customers decorate shop windows according to their packaging – the list was never ending!

Stewart Serls, Commercial Director at Label-form, exhibiting at the show, said: “This is the first time we have exhibited at Packaging Innovations London and it has been a great way to celebrate our 50th anniversary, in one day we received 72 potential enquires from the likes of Harrods, Birds Eye, Games Workshop and Johnson & Johnson.”

Also exhibiting at the show was David Lowry, Operations Director at Fleet Luxury who remarked: “It has been brilliant! It has exceeded all expectations, so many people have come onto the stand and we’ve made some great contacts. As first time exhibitors we couldn’t be more delighted.”

Plus the inaugural Drinks Symposium saw an erudite panel outlining case studies on how original thinking and creative packaging design can create a strong brand identity and build desirability, which was a hit with attending brands from the drinks industry.

Speakers featured: Felicity Murray, Editor of The Drinks Report: Daniel Szor, Owner of the newly opened Cotswolds Distillery; Craig Mackinley, Founder of Breeze Creative; Stephen Marshall, Bacardi Global Marketing Director for single malts; and Sharon Crayton of Ardagh Glass, who commented: “Personalised products have raised the emotional appeal in the eyes of the consumer. It is a growing phenomenon and the progress in digital print means it is going to grow even further.”

The show also provided a mass of interactive show features including the Innovation Gallery showcasing the top ten packaging innovations at the show, the Marketing & Brand Directors’ Networking Breakfast, the Lions’ Lair competition, and the Packaging Consultancy Clinic.

A show favourite was The BIG Packaging Debate, where a large audience gathered to hear a panel of packaging experts discuss: Is Legislation stopping you innovate?’ This year’s panel, chaired by Kevin Vyse, Head of IoPP UK, who remarked:

“Currently EEC legislation is a drag on innovation so in the short term both graphic and structural packaging is going to have to work harder than ever before; eventually the use of technology will prevail and smart technology solutions will become normal to every consumer. In a few years’ time we won’t need to put all this legislation on the packaging - the technology will be there and change the way we give consumers the essential information.”

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ten Reasons to choose Image based ID readers

Image-based code readers stand poised to replace laser scanners in a wide range of industries including food, beverage, consumer goods, pharmaceutical and automotive, but when considering a transition from laser scanners to image-based barcode readers, many think that the is cost too high. Today's most advanced image-based readers have overcome the technical and economic hurdles and now offer a more attractive alternative to industrial laser scanners on the factory floor.

Thanks to advances in microprocessors, imaging sensors and decoding algorithms, image-based ID readers have become not only more affordable, but also more powerful. The logistics barcode-scanning market breaks down into three segments. At the entry level, a mix of conventional area-array imagers and laser scanners read codes on slow moving or stationary objects. At the high end of the scale, fixed line scan image, based systems handle high-speed, multi-sided barcode tunnel applications. Situated between these two extremes, is an entire range of applications that currently rely on an increasingly challenged generation of laser-based scanners.

Today’s most advanced image-based ID readers have overcome the technical and economic hurdles and now offer a more attractive alternative to industrial laser scanners on the factory floor. A laser scanner reads a barcode by measuring the size of the printed modules using light reflected from the code. One of the method's advantage is its simplicity as it is easy to set up, connect, aim and can read codes fast enough to accommodate high speeds.

An unread code requires diverting the package to a manual station where an operator directs the package to its destination or replaces the defective barcode and resends package back through the sorting system. This failed condition increases the labor material costs and reduces the efficiency of sorting equipment because packages are handled more than once.

To cope with these limitations, the logistics industry has designed special labels that maximize read rates and equipment specifically optimized to handle high numbers of reads.

Image-based readers have several significant advantages to traditional laser scanner technology, such as:
  • An image-based reader can find and locate a barcode regardless of its orientation. This can also provide a major advantage for set up, record keeping, and diagnostic purposes.
  • Imagers can use advanced software, to read 1D barcodes with significantly less contrast, which is critical for poorly printed codes or for 1D barcodes not printed on a standard white label, for instance on a corrugated box for an example.
  • Imagers provide the ability to overcome the issues presented by damage or reflections in the code since the imager software can use just portions of the code to ‘reconstruct’ the data.
  • The ability to use the entire 1D barcode for reading instead of just a single laser line enables image-based readers to read a code despite low resolution, voids in portions of the code, distortion, and other defects.
  • Another advantage from a reliability perspective is that image-based readers have no moving parts.
  • An image-based system can display the scanner image on a monitor or industrial display in real time.
  • As the user sets the system up, the display shows exactly what the scanner sees, ensuring that the images will be in-focus and that the image will include all codes on any package that comes down the conveyor.
  • Area array image-based readers also offer better uptime because laser scanners use motors and other mechanical mechanisms to `move' the laser spot across the code.

The logistics industry is also into the introduction of two-dimensional (2D) codes like Data Matrix. The amount of information that 2D codes can store makes them very attractive for a wide range of applications and image-based scanners are required to read these symbologies. As large retailers and internet fulfillment centers, consider capital equipment purchases to add capacity or increase throughput, raising barcode read rates by just one per cent could significantly shorten payback schedules and increase ROI.