Monday, March 9, 2015

Etirama signs M-Tech Print Solutions as exclusive distributor for its products in India and Sri Lanka

Etirama has signed M-Tech Print Solutions Pvt Ltd as an exclusive authorized distributor for its products in India and Sri Lanka, with its narrow web flexo label presses – FIT, Super Print, ES 3500 and central impression cylinder types – to be made available in both markets.

Based out of Chennai, M-Tech Print Solutions Pvt Ltd has a trained workforce to provide sales and service support in the region under the supervision of an Etirama support team. Etirama, based out of Latin America, is one of the leading flexo press manufacturers in the world. It has more than 60 years of experience and global presence in over 30 countries. M-Tech Print Solutions is also in discussion with other manufacturers in Europe, US and India to partner allied products for distribution in India.

Ronnie Schröter, commercial director at Etirama, said: ‘With manufacturing and export of labels and packaging products growing at an annual rate of 28 percent in these countries, the new partnership will bring the quality products to the right printers and converters in India and Sri Lanka.’

N. Abu, Director and Business head at M-Tech Print Solutions, said: ‘Etirama is our first partner company. We signed the agreement in December last year and are currently working on more than ten serious leads from India and Sri Lanka.’ 

E.Neelakandan, Executive Director, M-Tech Print Solutions, added, 'We are focusing on Etirama CI and Etirama FIT presses for offset printers and for those entering the flexible printing business. Etirama Superprint and ES 3500 are highly configured label printing presses. We, as a company, are also concentrating on providing good after sales service to our customers.'

HP and KBA to transform corrugated packaging printing with 110-inch-wide color inkjet web press

Two companies’ first co-developed solution fills unaddressed need in high-volume digital pre-print applications
HP and KBA announced plans to develop the HP T1000 Simplex Color Inkjet Web Press, a high speed, high volume, 110-inch -wide (2.8 metre wide) simplex inkjet web press for pre-printing of corrugated top liner. This will enable corrugators to combine many individual jobs together on a roll or across rolls for short, mid or long runs. Unlike traditional analogue pre-print, every box can be different.

Planned to print at speeds of up to 183 metres (600 feet) per minute and produce up to 30,000 square metres (300,000 square feet) per hour, this inkjet press will print corrugated liner rolls that can then be placed directly onto existing industry-standard 2.5 or 2.8 metre (110 inch-wide) corrugators.  This press will be the first solution co-developed by the two companies since the announcement of their strategic collaboration at Graph Expo 2014 in Chicago on 28 September 2014.

Centralised corrugated box plants serving major retail brands will especially benefit from this digital pre-print solution for all corrugated print applications. Brands are increasingly requiring just-in-time inventory, shorter runs, and faster turn-around time. HP’s inkjet technology enables significant time, material, and shipping cost advantages when compared to analogue processes. Digital preprint is more efficient than post-print alternatives.

“Addressing the enormous digital opportunity in the corrugated market requires best-in-class technology innovation, a portfolio of solutions, scale, and a market vision,” said Aurelio Maruggi, vice president and general manager, Inkjet High-speed Production Solutions, HP. “The new press will transform the short and mid-range corrugated packaging market, dramatically disrupting operating models and costs and more importantly create new value for brand customers.”

HP and KBA both bring proven legacies of endurance, scale and innovation to their joint initiative. This year, HP celebrates its 76th anniversary and its 31st year of Thermal Inkjet innovation. KBA is a 197-year-old company and the second-largest offset press manufacturer worldwide.

“KBA has a rich heritage of developing innovative solutions that meet or exceed customers’ quality expectations,” said Christoph Müller, executive vice president for the Web Press Product House, KBA. “In working with HP, we will combine our complementary technological strengths for the needs of packaging converters.”

HP Thermal Inkjet Technology helps meet converters’ needs for high-quality print, along with high-volume productivity, reliability and versatility. Ultimately, it opens the way to game-changing value chain cost savings and capabilities for brands and packaging converters.

HP’s accelerated entry into corrugated packaging
At drupa 2008, HP announced its first Inkjet Web Press. Since then, the company has expanded its portfolio to its current lineup of ten presses across five web-width platforms transforming the publishing and production mail market.

In May 2014 at Interpack, HP announced its intent to enter the corrugated packaging market. In June, the company announced its first web-press offering for this market. Fewer than 90 days later the first HP T400 Simplex Color Inkjet Web Press was installed at Obaly Morava – Czech Republic. At Graph Expo, in September 2014, HP announced its partnership with KBA. The new web-press offering is in addition to the HP Scitex sheet-fed corrugated solutions offered by HP.

Xeikon Café highlights innovative folding carton opportunities

Latest trends and developments put forward at global networking and educational platform
Demand for a greater variety of products, more frequent seasonal promotions and shorter runs are the over-riding market trends shaping today’s folding carton market. That is why Xeikon, together with its Aura partners, is hosting the Xeikon Café Packaging Innovations at its premises in Belgium, from March 10 to 12. During the three-day event, visitors will learn more about the latest digital trends and innovations in folding carton production and have the opportunity to get up to speed with the newest technologies and share insights.

"Brand owners do not want to make any compromises on their profit margins, on the image quality of their packages, or on the protection against counterfeiting and we will be demonstrating how we can help them meet these expectations while delivering a flexible, creative and cost-effective route to market,” explains Filip Weymans, Xeikon’s Director Segment Marketing Labels & Packaging.

Integrated solutions dedicated to folding carton production
At the event, Xeikon and its Aura partners will showcase their industry expertise through a number of folding carton applications produced using the Xeikon Folding Carton Suite. The tailored combination of a Xeikon 3000 Series digital press, a range of substrates, specific workflow and software components, toners and consumables as well as auxiliary equipment enables print providers to deliver packaging applications with a unique look and feel as well as build new revenue streams with higher profit margins.

“Today’s brand owner requirements have evolved,” continues Weymans. “With our Folding Carton Suite, we can help them achieve a quicker time-to-market and more intensive test marketing. This enables them to be more responsive to change – whether that is the result of legislation, marketing or design requirements.”

The suite is also supported by Xeikon’s extensive network of Aura partners which are all leading suppliers in their field. The collective knowledge base covers all aspects of digital production and offers visitors unique access to information to help deliver tailored solutions that address the customer’s specific production needs.

Creative folding carton applications showcasing state-of-the-art technologies
The spectrum of solutions and profitable possibilities digital print is capable of supporting will be showcased by four different applications. Visitors will also have the opportunity to talk with leading experts and collect a detailed brochure detailing the range of technologies and configurations that are available through Xeikon and its Aura partners.

In a world that is evolving and where brands are looking for protection against fraudulent businesses, security features play a vital role. Xeikon along with partners Metsä Board, Meech, Actega, Kurz, ATT Software and Bograma will be looking into addressing these specific security issues.

Personalisation is a growing trend that also fosters greater customer loyalty. Xeikon will be showcasing personalised pastry boxes for children facilitated by CHILI Publish and produced on a Xeikon 3500 digital press. A food safe odourless varnish from Actega will be applied to a Stora Enso substrate with finishing completed by Zünd. The whole process will be automated by the Xeikon Vectorizor.

The typical chocolate box will be made picture perfect by the Xeikon 3500 with QA-I and SuperBlack toners. Printed on a Stora Enso substrate and varnished with food safe water-based Actega, its golden elements will be applied by a unique digital foiling equipment Kurz DM-liner. It will be finished by Highcon’s digital converting unit for cutting and creasing folding cartons.

Last but not least coffee lovers will appreciate a high quality box with foiling and raised varnish produced on a Xeikon 3500 digital press. Actega varnish will be added on a Metsä Board substrate and the box will be finished by Zünd’s cutting table to complete the final look.

A Xeikon 9800 digital press will also demonstrate booklet and leaflet production on 40gsm uncoated roll-to-roll stock. The printed rolls will then be converted into leaflets by MBO finishing solutions.

Addressing the challenges
The leading market trends and the resultant influences on brands and print buyers are among the topics being discussed during the Xeikon Café’s business programme. This includes:
  • Bob Leahey, InfoTrends, expanding on brands and packaging in Europe: The Digital Print Advantage;
  • Corey Reardon, AWA Alexander Watson Associates, talking about the global labeling and product decoration market;
  • Mieke Hovens, Freelance graphic designer, presenting highlighting security design considerations;
  • Nico Potvin, Kadanza, highlighting future proof, sustainable label and packaging management;
  • Guy Colebourne, C&P Packaging, Carton printer presenting their business model driven through web2print
In addition to the extensive range of on Folding Carton applications on display, visitors to the Xeikon Café will also learn more about the dedicated solutions for Self-Adhesive labels, Heat Transfer and In-Mold Labels.

The Xeikon Café Packaging Innovations is a platform offered by Xeikon and its Aura partners, offering the opportunity to understand, evaluate and experience digital production, and enabling printers and converters to consciously make a business decision. Through demonstrations, presentations, workshops and discussions, participants receive first-hand actionable information and advice on industry innovations and trends.

Printed electronics for the label printer

Updates on the added-value sector of functional printing for labels and packaging, by Finat
Packaging has been a prime driver in the development of printed electronics, from RFID to QR codes and other digitally ‘readable’ data. The printing expertise, specialist materials, and conductive inks required to reliably create these ‘intelligent’ functions have long been a specialty of the label production chain – an extended value chain which is supported by a single umbrella organisation in Europe, FINAT, the international association for the self-adhesive label industry. Proactive participation in educating and supporting its member companies as well as the industry in general in newly-developing territories such as the printed electronics arena is an ongoing focus for FINAT, as innovation continues apace. A recent members-only expert webinar on printed electronics provided a valuable update on existing applications and potential opportunities for printers in the narrow-web flexo market – not just in packaging or labels.

New directions for label printers
Presented by Chris Jones of Novalia, a conductive print and capacitive touch specialists based in the UK, the webinar encouraged label industry delegates to think ‘out of the box’. “By combining extant mainstream equipment, consumables, and expertise, they can create state-of-the-art printed electronics that, in addition to scannability, bring the dimensions of touch, sound and vision into play to add real additional functionality or even ‘must have’ desirability to a product or its packaging,” explains Mr. Jones. “Today, as well as printed circuit boards and transistors, print can deliver a variety of other mainstream applications – including lighting, LEDs, photovoltaics, and even skincare patches, and features strongly in automotive, aviation, architectural and military applications and in pharmaceuticals and healthcare, toys, music, and of course brand protection and anti-counterfeiting.”

The world of the smartphone
In a world where the majority of the population has a smartphone, the opportunities to link up such instruments to interact, via printed electronics, with what would appear to be simple printed posters or other items is now attracting more and more interest internationally. Outdoor advertising and displays are good examples. As part of the launch for their new Flavour Shots herbs and spices range, Schwartz used a ‘sonic poster’ featuring Novalia’s capacitive touch technology. The paper poster, when touched, plays music wirelessly through a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet. Touching the artwork on different spots triggers musical chords that are meant to add an extra level of engagement with the new Schwartz products. It is conductive inks that turn the surface area of the paper into an interactive interface. Adding new dimensions such as sound or movement to display print is certainly an innovative way to enhance a consumer’s perception of, and interest in, a product.

Added-value packaging
There are also creative examples from the extended world of packaging Mr. Jones illustrates: “For example, a box of tissues that featured a playable piano keyboard on the side of the packaging, and multiple-pack secondary packaging for beers and cigarettes that also carried special printed ‘touch’ and ‘connectivity’ features. What consumer could resist the added value of such packaging?”
On a more serious note, pharmaceutical and healthcare applications add user-friendliness to alert a patient to the need to take his blister-packed medication – and enable the pharmacist/dispenser to check, thanks to a microprocessor in the pack, that the drugs were in fact taken at the right time in the right quantities.

The winning features of flexo print
For volume production of printed electronics, narrow-web label printers are particularly well positioned as providers. “While screen and gravure have their place in certain application areas,” Mr. Jones explains, “flexo has proved itself the most attractive print process for the job. Its combination of good print speeds and ease of repeatability; the high, consistent application weight of wet ink that flexo achieves; and the good range of available flexible, inexpensive substrates (paper, PP, PET), constitute an ideal combination. The conductive pigments themselves represent an additional consideration for the flexo printer – both in practical and cost terms – and, additionally, drying the ink is a key factor. Currently, evaporative solvent and water-based drying provide the desired characteristics. UV ink curing remains a challenge, because at this time it does not pack the ink particles together sufficiently. The process of printing conductive inks embraces, in summation, anilox specification, production speed, drying, and press consumables – all of which can affect the ‘sheet resistance’ of the conductive inks – the characteristic which is at the heart of a good result.”

Innovation beckons the brand owner!
“There is certainly a considerable and growing interest from narrow-web label printers in extending the range of specialist capabilities they can offer to brand owners. Their skills base and pressroom equipment can enable them to deliver printed items incorporating printed electronics in a variety of creative forms that go well beyond traditional functional/industrial applications and conventional label print,” Mr. Jones concludes.

Finat, founded in Paris in 1958 with headquarters in The Hague (The Netherlands), is the worldwide association for manufacturers of self-adhesive labels and related products and services. With more than 500 members in over 50 countries around the world, Finat has much to offer to label converters and all suppliers to the labelling industry in terms of information exchange and in terms of international networking.

The Pamex Core Group takes shape


The buzz has already started building up for Pamex 2015, as the event gears up for its next edition in Mumbai. The event Core Group committee is now taking shape with many important players confirming their support and participation. Companies like ACME Machinery (India) (P) Ltd.; Acme Machinery Company (P) Ltd; Advanced Graphic Systems; Canon India Pvt. Ltd.; Electro Mec; Epson India (P) Ltd; Grafica Flextronica; Insight Communication & Print Solution India (P) Ltd.; KOMORI; Label Planet; Monotech Systems Ltd; Nippon Color; S L Kulkarni Cyril Graphics Pvt. Ltd.; Suba Solutions; TechNova Imaging Systems (P) Ltd.; UV Graphics Technologies Pvt.Ltd. and Vinsak are  the leading players in their segments  that have already joined 'Core Group' team. Some other leading suppliers, printers, media companies and trade associations will complete the group that is slated to have its first meeting in Mumbai in April and will quickly be followed by another meeting in Delhi in the month of May.

The Core group will help hone the focus of the exhibition, the promotion campaign and the theme and structure of the concurrent conference.

To make PAMEX a truly international event, The All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP) and Print-Packaging.com (P) Ltd. (PPCPL) have come together to organize the tenth edition of the event at Mumbai from 9 -12 December 2015.