Saturday, January 6, 2018

Vacuum Coated & Metallized Products: A new market evaluation from AWA

The lower basis weight, ease of recycling, and high yields of recovered base material have made vacuum coated papers and films valued alternatives to the functional barrier properties offered by alternative materials such as aluminum foil, coated films, and extrusion-coated papers. The newly-published AWA Vacuum Coated & Metallized Products Market Review 2017 provides an accurate in-depth global guide to this healthy and growing industry, for all involved or interested in the value chain at every level.

Healthy global growth
Featuring up-to- the-minute data on global and regional volumes; market structure; raw material trends; market characteristics by substrate; and projected future growth, the report forecasts growth in global production in the short- to medium-term at between 4 and 5%. Regional differences are, however, noted and documented.

The developing economies
The Asian region is today the key driver, as its countries – particularly China –  continue to develop packaging sophistication to meet increased consumer buying power. There is now significant demand for flexible packaging, which is complementing continuing interest in labeled premium products. Growth in metallized papers and boards – essentially focused on transfer metallizing – also remains relatively strong, driven by cigarette packaging and by exports of material such as holographic giftwrap and label papers. China and India are major producers and exporters of vacuum metallized materials, both for domestic regional use and for low-cost exports to North America and Europe.

In South America, the economic instability of recent years has led to major GDP growth declines, but GDP is now forecast to recover at a rate of 1.6% in 2017 to 2.6% in 2019, with healthy 2016 growth in vacuum-coated products fed by continuing investment in vacuum coating technologies and end-use markets.

Africa and the Middle East offer considerable potential for further development - currently frustrated by local economic and political considerations, except in the major, more developed label markets of Israel and South Africa.

North America and Europe
The markets in North America and Europe are certainly maturing. In 2016, they grew respectively by 3% and 2%. In both markets, metallized paper is experiencing serious competition from alternative materials and packaging styles. Metallized film growth is, however, healthy, with developments in higher-value- added coatings and coating combinations. Turkey is now a strong producer of metallized films – especially OPP -- and a key supplier to the wider European market and for exports to USA.

In North America, there is a particular trend towards the use of vacuum coated films in technical applications such as aerospace, window films, and security, as well as in flexible packaging. Metallized papers remain focused on labels, and both North America and Europe are experiencing a slowdown in the production of metallized paper for giftwrapping.

A growing technology choice
Overall, the AWA Vacuum Coated & Metallized Products Market Review 2017 documents the fact that vacuum coating and metallizing remains a growing technology choice around the world, with plenty of future opportunities for new applications. Full details are available via the AWA Alexander Watson Associates website, where the report may also be ordered online.

Flint Group launches the new rotec ULW Bridge

With increasing demand in the printing industry for equipment that enables more frequent and faster job changes on press, Flint Group officially launches the new rotec ULW Bridge to join the lightweight family of sleeves and adapters.

The rotec ULW Bridge is an ultra lightweight polyurethane adapter offering up to 65% reduction in weight compared to similar products in the market – a significant weight decrease improving safety and handling for press operators. Developed together with customers, this new generation adapter has been validated in applications on plate-mounting equipment and on presses running up to 450 m/min for the last 1-2 years. Ralf Venema, Flint Group General Manager explains: “Our Product Development Team is focused on developing products to help the customer work smarter, faster and easier. The rotec ULW Bridge is an excellent solution for improved safety and easier handling at the printer.”

The rotec ULW Bridge is suitable for all press widths and offers particular benefits where higher wall thicknesses are most commonly used, such as in cantilevered mounter applications and unusually large print applications, including corrugated pre-print.

This ultra light weight adapter is currently available with two different air supply systems – air sourced from the air cylinder (Unifit version) or from an external air source (Airo version). This new generation adapter is available with a wall thickness starting at 30 mm and face lengths up to 2000 mm. Additionally, the rotec ULW Bridge can be custom-made with special features such as the rotec Eco Bridge technology with a breathable metal ring which creates an air pillow for easier and faster mounting, or the rotec Omega technology for conductivity properties.

Flint Group understands the industry requirements for products that accommodate more frequent job changes and increased efficiency as run lengths for print jobs continue to decline. The lightweight family of rotec Sleeves and Bridges, including the rotec ULW Bridge, are just some of the latest solutions from Flint Group that make the work environment more productive and safe.

Digital Packaging Summit 2018 to take place from November 5 - 7, 2018

After a successful 2017 event for both attendees and sponsors, the Digital Packaging Summit 2018 will take place from November 5 - 7, 2018 once again at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

The Digital Packaging Summit 2017 that received excellent reviews from both attendees and sponsors is unlike other events. It is an invitation-only, hosted summit designed for senior managers and business executives who want to understand how current and future digital production printing technology, software and solutions will impact their business and investment decisions. This summit offers strategic level insights into what printing and converting industry leaders should do to improve and optimize their business.

The Digital Packaging Summit provides a unique and valuable experience for attendees to acquire this knowledge.  Pre-qualified attendees will meet and learn from the "who's who" in the label and package space as well as users who have or plan to install digital solutions.  They will discuss the successes and challenges encountered when implementing this new technology.  This unique format provides sponsors with 1:1 meetings with executives intimately involved with strategy and purchasing across major industry segments including Labels, Folding Cartons, Corrugated and Flexible Packaging.

Attendees will have access to the industry leaders and experts covering the topics they need to hear about -  all to help them make better decisions when looking at solutions in these major segments as well as segments such as Corrugated and Flexible Packaging.

The Impact of Technology
The Digital Packaging Summit focuses on how widespread changes taking place today are redefining the future of label and package printing. In labels, folding cartons, and corrugated, run lengths are shrinking even as overall volumes are growing. Yet, even as shorter runs become increasingly commonplace, the workflows and economics of traditional offset and flexographic printing severely limit converters' productivity and profitability. Inkjet and electrophotographic presses offer the versatility, print quality, operational economics, greater automation, reduced waste, and substrate flexibility to make short-and medium-length runs profitable, forward-looking offerings for label and folding carton converters seeking to grow their businesses.

Similarly, demand for short runs is also impacting converters of corrugated substrates, especially retail display and point-of-purchase materials. Large format flatbed inkjet presses, paired with fast, computer-driven cutters and trimmers are meeting the growing demand for full-color, short-run, fast-turnaround jobs on cardboard and synthetic corrugated substrates. Short-run capabilities, especially for customized displays, are expected by brand owners.

Agenda Highlights
The Digital Packaging Summit puts users and suppliers together to show how digital printing technology in labels, folding cartons and corrugated materials can deliver a bottom-line difference. With compelling presentations by leading analysts and industry experts, in-depth real-world case studies in intimate boardroom settings, and focused one-on-one meetings, the Digital Packaging Summit is a unique venue that defines the agile, responsive and profitable future of label and package printing.                       

Hot topics to be covered include:
  • Economics & Implementation Challenges
  • Process & Market Transformation
  • Which solution is right for you?
  • More Than Print Technology
  • Future Markets
  • The Power of Digital Print in Packaging
Interested in Attending? You can qualify for a fully-hosted conference package including airfare, hotel, meals and all Digital Packaging sessions if you are a Senior Printing or Packaging Executive. To qualify, submit your interest at https://www.eiseverywhere.com/esurvey/index.php?surveyid=55287

AWA to conduct its South East Asian Release Liner & Converting Industry seminar in Bangkok

The AWA is all set to conduct its South East Asian Release Liner & Converting Industry Seminar on May 9, 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand – a day prior to the launch of Labelexpo Southeast Asia event in Bangkok. To be held at the Westin Grande Sukhumvit in Bangkok, this seminar creates a platform for national and international organizations to inform, educate and network with their partners and customers on subject matter of release liners and its application areas.

This seminar will give you and your colleagues the chance to update your knowledge on the release liner and application markets, both globally as well as locally with in-depth industry updates. Seminar supporters will share developments, innovations and trends in their respective area of expertise: paper and filmic release liner, silicones and release liner production. In addition they will provide insight on the products and services they deliver within the industry.

In addition to the program, the seminar allows you the opportunity to network with other executive and management level decision makers from organizations throughout the value chain, from supplier to user, representing departments such as Sales, Marketing, Engineering, Research & Development, Sustainability & Business Development in a unique peer-to-peer networking program.

The participants include professionals from within the release liner and associated industries including Tape, Labelstock, Hygiene, PSA Label and others. The participants are anywhere from material producers of paper, film, silicones, resin, chemicals and adhesive, release liner producers, commercial and in-house siliconizers, label converters/ printers, machine manufactures, associations, users and others.

Confirmed seminar attendance includes seminar attendance, lunch, coffee & light refreshments, cocktail reception and digital seminar proceedings. For more details and or registration, log on to www.awa-bv.com or E-mail: conferences@awa-bv.com

Friday, January 5, 2018

Uflex focusing on resource optimized packaging for essential Indian staples

India’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and Solution Company Uflex in an endeavour to extend the very use of flexible packaging is particularly paying a lot of emphasis on developing resource optimized packaging for essential staples like Pulses, Wheat Flour, Sugar, Salt and Oil.

Talking more about this initiative, Mr. Jeevaraj Pillai, Joint President, Packaging and New Product Development, Uflex Limited pointed out, “Flexible Packaging sector in India will get the real boost when high volume (bulk) commodity food items like Pulses, Wheat-Flour, Sugar, Salt and Oil are marketed in packaged form. In India, almost 80-85% of unbranded food products are still sold loose without pre-designated packaging. With steadily increasing demand from urban consumers for branded high volume commodity food items, we are now getting a lot of enquiries from popular food brands for developing cost-effective packaging particularly for the essential staples category. We have recently developed a 2 ply laminated packaging for wheat flour comprising a specialised Polyester(PET)/ specialised Polyethylene (PE) structure.

Two rather dichotomous situations had to be addressed in manufacturing this packaging solution for Wheat-Flour (in the 5 Kg Segment). In order to restrict the pricing within 2.5-3% of the total MRP of the 5 kg Wheat Flour Pack, we had to optimally downgauge the packaging. Downgauging cannot come at the cost of functionalities and strength of the pack. Therefore to ensure that the wheat-flour packaging is sturdy enough with good mechanical properties to withstand the weight of the product being packed as well as to sustain the rough supply chain conditions, we adopted a three-pronged approach. We modified both the Polyester Film and the Sealant PE Layer to optimize the overall characteristics of the packaging. Both the layers were rendered special high dart impact resistant to pass 5 drops from 1.2 m height as per the ASTM standards. We were able to reduce the thickness of the PE by almost 38% which substantively downgauged the overall packaging. This reduction makes the packaging light-weight/resource optimized and far more sustainable than its erstwhile version.

The third and the most important modification has been registered nano-perforation on the laminate for which we installed a new machine with the most contemporary software. No other flexible packaging company in India has this capability.

The nano-perforation helps dispelling the air while filling the flour inside the pack and also ensures that no infestation by mites and other micro-organisms takes place resulting in spoilage of the wheat-flour packed inside. In fact, the perforations are designed just enough for removing the air and restricting the passage of mites. Further, the nano-perforation on the pack also imparts anti-skid properties to the bag paving way for easy stacking all through the supply chain.”

Expressing delight over the new development,  Mr.  Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman & Managing Director, Uflex Limited said, “Resource optimized packaging for bulk commodities, particularly high consumption commodity food items as the name suggests, entails significant reduction at source. Since the target market consumption of this product category in a country like India is fairly large, resource optimized packaging for this segment beholds tremendous potential in overall reduction of polymer consumption. I am glad that my packaging engineers have been able to develop this packaging solution which is light-weight, sustainable and significantly contributes towards extending the use of flexible packaging for this volume driven food category. Considering that the per-capita packaging consumption in India is just about 4.5 kg currently, whereas that for countries like Taiwan, Germany and US is around 19, 50 and 71 kg respectively, resource optimized packaging for essential Indian staples is a tangible and definitive step in making flexible packaging a more popular option in India.”

Michelman strengthens its commitment to the Indian market

Michelman continues to strengthen its commitment to the Indian market with the launch of a new website www.michelman.in. The site focuses specifically on the needs of the Indian packaging market and highlights its major investment, the Michelman Innovation Centre for Coatings.

Visitors to the site will be introduced to Michelman’s new Packaging Incubator, which is the focal point of the Centre. Strategically designed to facilitate fast and efficient development of sustainable packaging solutions, the incubator was built around a state-of-the-art, dual-station pilot coater laminator that allows manufacturers to test new product concepts without having to stop their own production lines for R&D purposes.

The Packaging Incubator, outfitted with training and conference rooms, is staffed by Michelman’s application and materials experts, who work closely with the entire packaging value chain. Users of the facility also have access to Michelman’s technical, marketing and regulatory experts, to aid in the development and commercialization of new and improved products.

The website also introduces visitors to Michelman’s line of cutting edge and water-based coatings formulated for the Indian flexible packaging market. Various grades are available for heat seal, oxygen barrier, print receptivity, and overprint varnishing applications.

Michelman has made it easy to request facility and product information, schedule a tour, and inquire about career opportunities on the new site.

Michelman is a global developer and manufacturer of environmentally friendly advanced materials for industry, offering solutions for the coatings, printing & packaging and industrial manufacturing markets. The company’s surface additives and polymeric binders are used by leading manufacturers around the world to enhance performance attributes and add value in applications including wood and floor care products, metal and industrial coatings, paints, varnishes, inks, fibers and composites. Michelman is also well-known as an innovator in the development of barrier and functional coatings, as well as digital printing press primers that are used in the production of consumer and industrial packaging and paper products, labels, and commercially printed materials. Michelman serves its customers with production facilities in North America, Europe and Asia, product development and technical service centers in several major global markets, and a worldwide team of highly trained business development personnel.

Wipak Group acquires 4 slitters Comexi S1 DT

Comexi, specialist in solutions for the flexible packaging industry, and Wipak Group, manufacturers of highly innovative premium-quality packaging solutions, reinforce its strategic alliance. Wipak Group has just acquired 4 Comexi S1 DT slitters, which joints the rest of Comexi’s slitters and laminators that the firm has already installed at its several productive plants all around the world.

The alliance between Wipak and Comexi dates back to 2005 when the global group purchased its first Comexi slitter. Nowadays, with these new acquisitions, the firm doubled its confidence in Comexi. Three of the new S1 DT will be integrated with the other Comexi’s slitters that the group has already working in its Walsrode plant, in Germany, in order to complete the automation project in its slitting section. The fourth slitter Comexi S1 DT will be installed in the Wipak Group plant in Poland.

“They are slitters completely automatic, with high added value, dedicated to the conversion of flexible laminates and semi rigid materials such as the ones used for the food packaging. Materials that only innovative enterprises like Wipak develops”, explains Comexi’s Key Account Manager, Agustí Combis. In this sense, Combis ensures that with this new agreement, Wipak puts in value Comexi’s capacity to offer innovative solutions and its flexibility to adapt to any requirement and improve clients’ competitiveness. Besides, Combis also highlights that another Comexi’s slitter and rewinder, purchased earlier by the group, has been recently delivered to Wipak Nastola.

The Comexi S1 DT slitter ensures excellent results, both in quality and productivity, even in the most challenging jobs. Is a top-of-the-range double turret slitting machine with regulating and control elements that allows high production rates in the most demanding jobs or jobs that have many output reels, such as those intended for the labels market. It also handles easily thicker structures, aluminums, or non-woven materials.

This slitter also provides a real reading of the tension since it has independent motors for each turret. Searching for quality does not mean compromising productivity, and that is why this slitter provides high production rate thanks to the spectacular acceleration ramps, which enable working with higher average speed and reduce downtimes.

In this sense, it is ergonomic and easily operated thanks to its PC Touch-Panels that set the machine’s pace and store production data. This slitter can be adapted to each client’s need with several automation options such as automated reel unloading, splicing tables, print mark counters and the Comexi Laser system that mark the difference and multiplies the range of possibilities and applications.