Tuesday, February 20, 2018

All American Label targets the wine and spirits market with a New Nilpeter MO-4 Offset Press

All American Label, with facilities in Dublin, Calif. and Memphis, Tenn., has installed a new Nilpeter MO-4 offset combination press and is slated to install a second by December of this year. Nilpeter’s revolutionary platform-based offset press, which just reached 100 worldwide installations, offers premium quality combination printing based on lightweight sleeve technology. The MO-4 offset press can be configured according to customer needs, and is ready for seamless integration of future applications. The MO-4 integrates proven easy-load sleeves for both offset and flexo printing.

“Since day one, All American Label has been known as “More Than Just Labels™”. We have successfully become a company you can depend on. With a highly skilled and dedicated team and our state-of-the-art equipment, we continue to produce unparalleled results in the wine and spirits industry. The new Nilpeter MO-4 platform is ideally suited to meet our goals and exceed our expectations of excellence,” says Brad C. Brown, Owner, All American Label.

Robert Wray, Nilpeter West Coast Sales Manager states that the All American Label and Nilpeter partnership is a perfect fit, “A key strategy for All American Label was to aggressively service the wine and spirits market which has shown considerable growth. The MO-4 offset combination platform will support this objective, offering the most sophisticated solution for this market, with the highest quality and ease of operation. Furthermore, the MO-4 will help All American Label improve on efficiency and flexibility in production. In short, the MO-4 is a perfect fit.”

Nilpeter is proud to welcome All American Label to the family - their focus and attention to detail have been a key driver in this project, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds.

Get Label Smart at Finat’s Technical Seminar

The age of smart products is happening now. That is one of the main messages being shared by Andy Hobsbawm at next month’s biennial Finat Technical Seminar, 7-9 March 2018, in Barcelona.

The founder and Chief Marketing Officer of IoT smart products platform Evrythng will give his insight into the technical side of the way smart products can transform brand relationships, business operations, and service experiences. He will also explore how labels and packaging are the digital bridge between the physical product and a cloud-powered universe of real-time data and software applications.

This is just one of the many dynamic, emerging and hugely engaging topics that will be explained, analysed and discussed at this year’s event. Others include the impact of end-to-end connectivity on optimising the production chain, the gains possible with workflow automation, the ways of tackling issues in digital automation and the importance of real-time data collection and communication.

Finat President Chris Ellison, who will give a presentation on the logical, fool proof way to target processes, print needs and timescales, states: “The seminar has been curated to help companies understand the technical challenges and improve their organisational efficiency, service and profitability by implementing new techniques, methodologies and by employing the workers’ skills and knowledge to the fullest."

“The papers being presented will show, from a technical standpoint, new features and requirements in printing, converting, and processing that keep the labelling industry moving forward and help to add value in the supply chain. There will also be an update on the latest status with regards to materials science, converting technology as well as application requirements, and the seminar is targeted at all levels of the technical community from research and development or production to technical directors and executives."

Day two will start with in depth overviews of inks, varnishes, facestocks and finishing, plus recent advances in PSA label films. It will also look more closely at value-added options for labels through the use of hot and cold foiling, embossing, and adding texture. Günther Dieroff, Sales and Marketing Manager for Beneli will close the event by demystifying IoT technologies.

Full details of the Finat Technical Seminar 2018 can be found on the Finat website, www.finat.com, where it is also possible to register online.

Label Traxx MIS partners with Flexo Label Advantage Group (FLAG)

Label Traxx, the management software (MIS) specialist for the label converting industry has announced its appointment as a vendor partner to the Flexo Label Advantage Group  (FLAG).  Label Traxx is an end-to-end management software system designed and built specifically for the label and packaging industry.  The company aims to help label converters streamline their operations, improve productivity and quality, and ultimately increase profitability.

 “We are delighted to join with FLAG as a vendor partner,” says Dorothy Asboth, North American Sales. “The organization provides a large amount of value to its converter members and we have a mutual goal in ensuring their success.”

 “Label Traxx is unique in that it provides a central system to manage your entire workflow from first customer contact right through to accounting and management metrics. Label converter businesses that thrive in this data-driven world are the ones that are working smarter, not harder. Label Traxx has worked with over 600 label converters worldwide and our industry-specific label software is designed to streamline operations and offer faster and more accurate access to business data.”

"It is tremendous when industry leading companies like Label Traxx recognize FLAG as a valuable community of label converters,” says John McKay, FLAG President and Founder. “Having Label Traxx join our team of world class Vendor Partners provides the exact kind of products and resources our converter members need to be more competitive in the marketplace, while helping them become stronger companies, all without sacrificing their independence”.

Monday, February 19, 2018

UniNet to conduct free educational sessions about short run digital label printing at GOA

UniNet, worldwide Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of on-demand digital print technology, will be presenting a series of free educational sessions titled “Innovations in Short Run Digital Label Printing” at Graphics of the Americas 2018 (GOA) from February 22-24th, 2018 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Taking place in Booth #327, UniNet will cover the diverse aspects of the short run digital label printing industry – from substrates and finishing to the upcoming trends in the digital label market space. Hosted in both English and Spanish, there will be the opportunity to talk to the experts and see live demonstrations of equipment, including the newly released iColor 200 Inkjet Label Printer.

Also being presented will be various transfer printing solutions from the iColorline, including the iColor550 White Toner Printer, an all new toner-based digital transfer system for the production of garments, labels, stationary, banners, hard surfaces, marketing customization and more.

Nestor Saporiti, CEO at UniNet, says “We are excited to get the opportunity to share our industry knowledge and educate GOA attendees on the exciting business opportunities in the digital market space. Graphics of the Americas draws a diverse group of people from North, South, Central America and the Caribbean, and we look forward to educating fellow members of the print and graphics industry.”

Color Label invests in their 10th Nilpeter flexo press

Danish label converter, Color Label, is one of the leading Danish suppliers of self-adhesive labels for the food industry and the chemical industry. The Aarhus-based company was established in 1980 by Erik Grønning, who continues to be in the forefront of the company.

Since 1980. when Color Label was first established, labels were printed on a Nilpeter press. Owner & CEO Erik Grønning explains, ”Well it’s quite simple. Nilpeter is the Mercedes of label printing presses, and we have never considered investing in anything else. At Color Label it is essential that our equipment is highly reliable, as it is in our DNA to always deliver on time”.

With the purchase of a newly refurbished FA-2500, the total number of 250 mm wide presses is brought up to 8. “The latest addition to our production floor is not considered a used press. The refurbishment job done by Nilpeter UK Ltd. is remarkable. It is really as good as new”, states Erik Grønning. He goes on to explain the rationale behind the investment, “With Color Label’s production setup, it makes perfectly sense for us to have an even number of presses. That way we eliminate the risk of bottlenecks and we are fully flexible: All tasks can be run on all machines”. The Color Label philosophy of twin presses allows them to use existing tooling, and there is no new learning curve for the company printers.

In addition, Color Label has two Nilpeter FA-4200 sleeve-based servo presses. They are tailored to run a wide range of tasks ranging from classic labels to film, flexible packaging, and carton. The machines can print films down to 15 micron and cardboard up to 350 g.

Visitor registration opens for first Labelexpo Southeast Asia

Trade visitors can now register online for Labelexpo Southeast Asia 2018, the newest event in the Labelexpo Global Series event portfolio. Focused entirely on label and package printing in the region, Labelexpo Southeast Asia debuts at BITEC in Bangkok, Thailand on May 10-12.

Aimed at printers/converters, brand owners, label and packaging technicians, buyers and design specialists, the event's organizer expects visitors to attend from across Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea and Australasia. Supported by the Thai Screen Printing & Graphic Imaging Association (TSGA) and the Department of Industrial Promotion (DIP) under the Minister of Industry, the event will cover over 3,500 sqm and host 200 of the global industry’s principal manufacturers and suppliers. Confirmed exhibitors so far include HP Indigo, Bobst, Epson, Flint Group, Konica Minolta, Lintec, Omet, UPM Raflatac, Xeikon, Yupo Corporation and Zhejiang Weigang Machinery.

As with all other Labelexpo trade shows, the show floor will feature live machinery demonstrations and multiple product launches. Labelexpo Southeast Asia will also offer a variety of educational opportunities. Running alongside the exhibition, visitors will be able to attend a range of topical conference sessions, or register for access to two exclusive workshops being held in association with the Label Academy covering shrink sleeve technology and die-cutting and tooling.

Jade Grace, project director for Labelexpo Southeast Asia, commented: ‘Southeast Asia has a population of over 646 million people and label consumption growth of around seven percent, making it hugely significant as one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

‘This show is set to be a game changer for the region’s printers as it brings together both supply chain companies and key clients. Many of the west’s big international manufacturers are now setting up shop here so the days of sourcing from overseas and enduring slow shipping are numbered. The exhibition will be invaluable for sourcing new contacts and partners who will be able to help printers improve profitability, quality and efficiency whilst helping them to grow their capabilities and shield their businesses from competitors.’

Prapaporn Narongrit, TSGA president, said: ‘As the representative association of industrial print in Thailand it is our pleasure to extend our support to this inaugural event in Thailand and also welcome that of the Department of Industrial Promotion, under the Ministry of Industry, and the Thailand Exhibition and Convention Bureau (TCEB), under the Office of the Prime Minister.’

Labelexpo Southeast Asia is free to attend and visitors can register for their full exhibition pass by visiting www.labelexpo-seasia.com

Labelexpo Southeast Asia 2018 follows hot on the heels of record-breaking editions of Labelexpo Europe and Labelexpo Asia in 2017, with the next installments of Labelexpo Americas and Labelexpo India to follow later in 2018. The next Label Summit Latin America is scheduled for Guadalajara, Mexico in April.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Durst launches P5 Next-Generation Technology Platform

Durst, a manufacturer of advanced digital printing and production technologies, has launched a new printing platform – the P5 series. The first member of the family is the large format printing flagship, P5 250 HS, with shipping starting from April. The P5 250 HS is targeted towards high volume industrial production, as well as one-offs in offset quality. P5 relates to five core features at the heart of this technology: productivity, reliability, workflow, versatility and print quality. The P5 technology consists of a series of new generation printers along with newly, in-house developed software and workflow solutions. 

The family also has state of the art, touch operation-based user-interfaces and leading-edge remote service capabilities. Everything is aimed and streamlined to maximize performance and uptime of the printing family, along with unparalleled flexibility in media and job handling. Durst’s iconic industrial design, which was originally developed by the famous Ottl Eicher, has gone a further step with the P5. 

A design studio from Munich canvassed opinions from many customers and operators with a view to integrating their wishes into a new concept. This has been achieved for the P5 and feedback will be incorporated into many Durst product lines in the future. When compared to the industry benchmark – Durst P10 250 HS – the new P5 is 70% more productive. Featuring latest MEMS nozzle plates powered by Durst proprietary data-path and electronics, the result is a high-speed printing system with ultra-precise drop placement and industrial level reliability.

Durst P5 technology features:
  • Print volume capability in two-pass mode up to 240 sqm/h and high-resolution modes of 1200 dpi 
  • Offset printing quality with a drop-size of 5 pcl 
  • Durst Analytics information platform for pre-emptive maintenance and detailed machine and consumption data to guarantee maximum uptime
  • Durst Workflow, which provides an in-house developed suite of applications custom tailored for Durst printers and with unique features - beyond ripping.

Christoph Gamper, Chief Executive of Durst Group, said: “The new P5 platform, including workflow software and advanced service tools, represents our key strategy to further invest into large format printing technology and further afield. We believe that there is a lot to explore in this market space and the P5 250 HS is our first statement. In an integrated world, printers need to change as well. With the P5 family we provide tools for change and profit and our firm commitment to continue to lead the innovation in the large format market.”

A Durst P5 introduction video is available at:

GMG brings consistent Color to Anything in Print during ExpoPrint 2018

GMG, the leading developer of high-end color management solutions, will be demonstrating its complete product line of color management solutions at stand 1833 during ExpoPrint, March 20-24, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

With GMG, wherever a color goes, it stays that color
“This year’s ExpoPrint will have an extensive focus on all areas of print, from commercial print and digital or wide-format print, to packaging and labels,” notes Paulo Monteiro, VP Sales, GMG Americas. “Our customers cover a wide range of industry and application areas including advertising agencies, prepress, offset, flexographic, packaging, digital and large format printers—as well as rotogravure printers. They are often involved in more than one application. It is now even more important that they can match colors for all jobs, no matter the process. This is where GMG excels.”

Packaging: Accurate color where it's needed the most
With the increasing use of multi-color printing and different combinations of inks, substrates, screening, and other variables, packaging printing involves a lot of color fingerprints and profile tweaking. GMG OpenColor software, a recipient of a Flexographic Technical Association Technical Innovation Award is a highlight on the GMG stand. GMG OpenColor provides a proofing technology that precisely predicts the color appearance of printed inks, particularly ‘overprints’—inks printed on top of each other without requiring extensive fingerprinting. GMG OpenColor can also create multichannel separation profiles to separate jobs from a certain number of colors to any other number colors; for example, from RGB to 7 colors. GMG OpenColor's rapid adoption by major suppliers and brands worldwide is unprecedented and a strong endorsement of this exciting technology.

GMG will also be highlighting how it can connect to the new Epson SureColor S80 series digital printers to produce exceptional, color-accurate prototypes on a wide variety of substrates. “Between the digital printer and our GMG color proofing software, we believe we are offering, for the first time, color-accurate package press proofs,” comments Monteiro. “Rather than providing clients a rough prototype, they can see exactly, with accurate color, what the final product will look like.” GMG can take a comp and apply a press fingerprint. In doing so, they are delivering a proof, matched to the printing press. GMG can deliver the complete package: the digital printer, the software, the substrate, inks, and installation along with a choice of 26 different materials including shrink film, folding cartons, and metalized board.

GMG ColorProof: The contract proofing standard
For years, and for any print sector, GMG ColorProof has been the preferred solution for efficient and safe contract proofing. GMG ColorProof offers uncompromising color fidelity and is compliant with globally accepted printing standards. Its reliability and remarkable performance make it an indispensable tool among leading color management experts. GMG ColorProof comes pre-loaded with color profiles of all common standards, so users can get started right away. To print the first proof, users just select the printer, calibrate it, and they are ready in just a few seconds. 

“GMG continues to offer impressive solutions for print companies of all kinds throughout Latin America. And, we continue to work on new ways to assure accurate color, such as creating a unique packaging press proof with the Epson RC 80 inkjet printer,” explains Monteiro. “We look forward to making color management easier for our guests at ExpoPrint.”

Flint Group Narrow Web introduces EkoCure XS

Flint Group is proud to globally launch EkoCure XS – a UV LED ink series with the best adhesion and post shrink performance on shrink substrates, that is also dual-cure, and provides consistent cure at the highest printing speeds. The Best in Class, UV LED Flexo Ink System for Shrink Sleeves, that delivers the highest converter yield at the fastest printing speeds and is Dual-Cure, EkoCure XS is specifically designed for the demands of shrink sleeve applications.  

“We knew from interviews with clients specializing in the short run shrink sleeve market, that they want a UV dual-curable ink with better adhesion and increased curing speed to boost productivity and reduce yield losses” states Kelly Kolliopoulos, Global Marketing Director for Flint Group Narrow Web.  “Our experience in LED and conventional mercury curable ink system technology, combined with our understanding of the shrink market, enabled our R&D team to develop this best-in-class system.”  She concludes, “EkoCure XS combines the latest ink chemistry including novel binders that provide perfect cure and sufficient flexibility of the cured ink allowing the adhesion to remain fool-proof – especially after post shrink processing is completed.  The full range of pantone shades and opaque white are available."

“EkoCure® XS is the first Shrink Sleeve System that is dual-cure.  “Our scientists have developed a unique combination of photo-initiators and binders allowing the ink to cross link from top to bottom and therefore cure fully when exposed to the UV wavelengths from either Mercury or LED lamps” explains Dr. Paulo Vieira, Director of Research and Development, Narrow Web NA. “In depth tests comparing EkoCure XS with existing UV curable inks on the market show that EkoCure® XS exhibits the best adhesion performance at the highest printing speeds when run using standard 355 W/inch mercury lamps.  This is in addition to having the best performance when compared to other LED curable products.”

EkoCure XS inks enable converter productivity, yield and finished product quality:  Recognized as a pioneer in the Canadian market, Groupe Lelys is an early adopter of the EkoCure XS ink series.  “We provide our customers with high quality sleeves and labels,  and impeccable service, and we needed a shrink sleeve ink series that would improve our production rates and meet our high quality standards,” said Mr. Aureo Azevedo, Groupe Lelys Procurement Leader.  “Overall adhesion and capacity release have been our biggest concerns.  EkoCure XS by Flint Group Narrow Web eliminated our adhesion issues, and significantly increased the satisfaction of our customers.  Additionally, we are able to run at 15-20% faster press speeds now that we print with EkoCure XS.  Our colors are brighter and our products are more appealing.  We anticipate the expansion of our business via the high quality shrink sleeves our customers expect from Groupe Lelys.”

Xeikon Celebrates 30-Year anniversary

Xeikon, an early innovator in the realm of full color digital printing, marks 30 years since its founding with a series of educational blogs chronicling the history of digital printing. The series, dubbed Triple-X, will be authored by industry experts Laurel Brunner and Ed Boogaard and will run between now and November, when Xeikon will celebrate its 30th anniversary.

“The year 2018 marks an important milestone in the history of digital printing. It has been 30 years since Xeikon, one of the earliest pioneers of the direct digital colour press, was founded,” Brunner said. “And it’s been 25 years since the Xeikon DCP1 and the Indigo E-Print 1000 were introduced at IPEX 1993. The Agfa Chromapress, based on the Xeikon engine with an Agfa front-end system, one of the first integrated digital production systems on the market, was also introduced at that time. The digital printing industry has come a long way over these years, and it is a good moment in time to explore digital printing’s evolution and what it can tell us about the possible future of media and communications, especially the printed variety. We hope it will be beneficial to those who are relatively new to the industry, and a walk down memory lane for veterans who have been around for a while.”

“It’s quite special to be part of Xeikon, a company that was a key player in giving birth to the era of full-color digital printing and a company that continues to innovate as digital printing evolves,” said Danny Mertens, Corporate Communications Manager for Xeikon. “Of course, none of this would have been possible without the knowledge, expertise and dedication of our talented employees. We had the right people in the right place at the right time – and still do. This 30-year anniversary is the perfect time for a shout-out to all of the Xeikon family that made this achievement possible.”

The Triple-X series begins with a discussion of the desktop publishing revolution and how that led to the birth of full-color digital printing. “In addition to strolling down memory lane,” Boogaard stated, “we also invite readers to sharing their stories, successes and expectations, and to join us in celebrating the present while exploring the roads to the future of print as well.”

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Its time to reach out to the Indian Label industry

CSI becomes first to purchase complete EFI Nozomi Digital Press and ERP Workflow Ecosystem

As North America’s first dedicated sheet feeding company, Corrugated Synergies International, LLC (CSI) is accustomed to setting new industry trends; the company did just that at the recent Electronics For Imaging, Inc. Connect users’ conference when it became the first company to purchase the full ecosystem of EFI technologies for corrugated packaging, featuring EFI Corrugated Packaging Suite manufacturing execution system (MES) software for business ERP and production management integrated with an EFI Fiery digital front end (DFE) and the breakthrough Nozomi C18000 ultra-high-speed single-pass LED inkjet press.

“CSI has pioneered many things in our industry,” according to CSI Vice President of Manufacturing and Print Jeffery Dumbach, noting that the Nozomi installation means CSI can address the need for analog-to-digital transformation in corrugated print supply chains that often suffer from excess production, storage and obsolescence costs. “With the existing processes, people carry an excess of inventory. But using the Nozomi press, our customers will purchase precisely what they need when they need it,” he said.

A complete inkjet print, Fiery DFE and Corrugated Packaging Suite workflow 
The Renton, Washington-based company, which manufactures corrugated sheets for box manufacturers, will be the first dedicated sheet feeder to install the Nozomi press, an award-winning, ultra-high-speed production system that redefines the role of digital print in the corrugated packaging space with throughput speeds up to 6,600 2.6x3.3-foot (800x1,000-cm) boards per hour. The 71-inch (1.8-meter) wide LED inkjet device being installed early this summer will include the complete EFI ecosystem of corrugated production options and products, with six-color plus white ink installed on the press and fully integrated top- and bottom-feeding units.

That ecosystem of advanced technologies coming to CSI includes the fast, efficient job-processing and color management capabilities of the EFI Fiery NZ-1000 high-performance DFE. The Corrugated Packaging Suite MES workflow coming to CSI facilitates plant-wide management and integration of digital production for a full, end-to-end business and production framework to handle the company’s digital, analog flexo, single-face litho-lam and litho label operations.

“We are excited to have the first ‘all-in’ move to digital in corrugated with both the new Press and the full production workflow from EFI for corrugated packaging,” said Dumbach. “The market will move and grow quickly with digital so there are benefits for us and our customers being ahead of the curve.

“The Corrugated Packaging Suite is a real advantage,” he added, “because it is fluent in everything we do as a company, so it can change how we manage production as our product mix shifts from analog to digital.”

Game-changing quality and efficiency for warehouse club and retail packaging
CSI’s new Press provides high-quality output with resolutions up to 360x720 dots per inch with four-level grayscale imaging. A 100% in-line inspection system on the Press is tied to robust print optimization technologies, including inkjet nozzle, alignment and uniformity correction. CSI executives, according to Dumbach, were “blown away” by the high quality of print the Press provided. Last year, those executives also visited the first Nozomi installation in Spain, where Dumbach said he observed long, uninterrupted production runs and seamless, end-to-end production on multiple jobs without downtime for cleaning printheads, stitching or other common changeover issues.

Digital printing will add significant value for CSI customers, including box manufacturers serving companies that sell their products at big box and warehouse club retail stores. Digital printing’s benefits in quick time-to-market for different designs creates opportunities for regional, customized packaging strategies that boost sell through.

“There are particular advantages with digital for selling new products through warehouse clubs,” Dumbach noted. “Oftentimes, a club might order two pallets of a product as an initial order to see how it sells, and that requires a huge upfront investment with analog printing.” Using the EFI Nozomi press, on the other hand, makes it easier and faster to create and launch new, superior-quality packaging for those initial club launches – without the minimum run-length requirements, larger prep expenses, make-ready waste and inventory costs required with analog print.

HP announces Major Digital Packaging Expansion in US

HP Inc. announced that ePac Flexible Packaging, an all-digital flexible packaging converter, purchased 10 additional HP Indigo 20000 digital presses to expand operations across the US through mid-2019. The new order quadruples production capacity for ePac and is the largest packaging deal for HP to date. 

The purchase is ePac’s second expansion with the high-capacity HP Indigo 20000 flexible packaging press since launching just 18 months ago with one HP Indigo unit. ePac currently uses three HP Indigo 20000 digital presses in Madison and Boulder, and the 10 new units will be deployed coast-to-coast in new facilities opening in Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, and Miami.

“ePac helps simplify how brands of all sizes buy flexible packaging. Rapid turnaround time, low minimums, customization, graphics quality, and the ability to print to demand differentiate ePac from conventional flex pack converters,” said Jack Knott, CEO, ePac Flexible Packaging. “Printing is the core enabling technology we have built ePac on, with the HP Indigo 20000 serving as the foundation of our manufacturing platform. ePac’s  collaboration with HP is fundamental to our growth strategy, as we look to adding ePac sites in the months ahead.”

The HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press provides converters the freedom to produce nearly any flexible packaging application, in addition to labels, and shrink sleeves on film or paper – all with the proven quality to help meet strict brand requirements.

“HP Indigo digital printing technology means greater flexibility for brands and entrepreneurs, and a more meaningful connection for their consumers,” said Santi Morera, Global Head of Graphics Solutions Business, HP Inc. “HP is thrilled to play an integral role in ePac’s rapid rise to success over the past two years – and with today’s purchase, it’s a  relationship we support proudly in the months and years to come.”

Growing market for flexible packaging
Smithers Pira forecasts growth in flexible packaging, with digital forecast to increase at more than 17.1% CAGR in the five-year period to 2022, when this market is expected to reach more than $750 million. “High-quality printing allows converters to offer new features and functions in flexible packaging to brands and retailers with economic short runs and faster turnaround key advantages. Innovative campaigns are boosting end user engagement and experiences, opening new business opportunities for the early adopters,” said Sean Smyth, Smithers Pira.

Since its release in 2014, converters around the world have purchased more than 115 HP Indigo 20000 digital presses. The 30 inch (76 cm) HP Indigo 20000 can print virtually any sized flexible packaging application with unlimited variation and support demand for growing SKUs, alongside benefits of reduced waste from minimal setup and production of only the quantities needed.

The HP Indigo 20000 is connected to HP PrintOS, allowing PSPs to monitor the press performance in real time anywhere and anytime, and thus continuously optimize operations. Powerful apps running on the cloud-based PrintOS platform offer advanced capabilities that simplify and automate the print operations. In addition, by connecting their brands directly to PrintOS, PSPs can efficiently produce large jobs’ volume and be part of a global print network.

The HP flexible packaging ecosystem has grown to include end-to-end solutions including HP Indigo Pack Ready Lamination for immediate time-to-market with high-performance laminates. The system consists of the Pack Ready Laminator, supplied by Karlville, and Pack Ready Film. In addition, eBeam is offering a solution for surface print protection.

Kocher + Beck Introduces New Regional Sales Manager David McLaughlin for the Southeast

Kocher + Beck USA, is pleased to announce that David McLaughlin has accepted the position to become the new Southeast Regional Sales Manager. 

David comes to Kocher + Beck with an extensive background, knowledge and expertise in the Flexo and Digital industry with an emphasis in production, management, technical support and R & D.

David is excited to start working closely with customers and using his background to provide technical support and service.  He will be responsible for Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, North and South Dakota. David will be based out of his home office in Alabama where he resides with his wife and son.

Monday, February 12, 2018

UPM Raflatac introduces new high performing adhesive for chilled food labeling ​

UPM Raflatac has expanded its range of adhesives for food labeling with the launch of its RP48 AT (All-Temperature) acrylic adhesive for the European market. With good adhesion across a wide temperature range as well as good clarity, water resistance, and smooth convertibility, RP48 AT is an attractive alternative to hotmelt adhesives for labeling food packages stored in moist and chilled conditions.

Food packaging that will be labeled and stored in chilled or moist conditions, usually at 10°C or colder, often presents challenges for brand owners and packers. Hotmelt adhesives are typically used to label foods stored in these conditions, but can suffer from limited clarity and convertibility. RP48 AT performs well at a wide variety of temperatures, and excels at chilled conditions in particular, ensuring labels on food packaging remain firmly in place and retain their shelf appeal. Furthermore, it offers good clarity when used with clear film faces and improves the stability and efficiency of the converting and dispensing processes. RP48 AT can be paired with UPM Raflatac’s PP White FTC 60 or PP Clear FTC 50 film face materials.

“For food labeling applications, RP48 AT combines the best properties of hotmelt and acrylic adhesives,” says Päivi Knihti, Segment Manager, Films, EMEIA, UPM Raflatac. “The adhesive performs extremely well in moist and chilled conditions, while also offering good performance in converting and dispensing, as well as high clarity for clear film faces,” Knihti continues.

Esko and MediaBeacon publish digital maturity model for Brand Packaging

Esko and MediaBeacon, along with Pantone, X-Rite and AVT released a new white paper, “The Digital Maturity Model for Brand Packaging,” highlighting the levels of digitization within the brand packaging process.

Consumer packaged goods companies (CPG) today experience pressures to produce products quickly, forcing them to gain deeper insights into the importance of consumer packaging processes. Senior leadership at many CPGs are adopting digital technologies and implementing digital automation to cultivate packaging as a core business capability.

“Brands today realize the benefit of streamlining packaging processes in order to expedite the speed-to-market,” says Esko’s Senior Director, Global Brand Owner Sales John Elworthy. “Our digital maturity model for brand packaging is a tool that brings more clarity to many major CPG companies. Brands can identify their level of maturity within the context of digital capabilities and define a future vision that increases their ability to drive both revenue and efficiencies.”

The “Digital Maturity Model for Brand Packaging” defines five levels of maturity: Reactive, Organized, Digitized, Connected, and Intelligent. In the white paper, each of the five stages is clearly described, as well as 14 dimensions that comprise the maturity levels. For each level, there are descriptions of what motivates a business to level-up their capabilities. The five main levels of the maturity model are listed below:

REACTIVE: Manual, offline tasks and processes are triggered by external pressures.
ORGANIZED: Tasks are triggered for established stakeholders by defined processes, timelines and physical quality measures using basic computerized tools.
DIGITIZED: Projects, tasks and processes are increasingly completed and measured digitally using configured hardware and software.
CONNECTED: Packaging software and hardware is continuously integrated with other business processes and systems of record.
INTELLIGENT: An integrated ecosystem of full product information and imagery automatically improves and synchronizes across internal and external interfaces.

Tracy Askam, Global Director of Strategic Accounts at MediaBeacon, adds: “While many of the tools discussed in the white paper serve to streamline the packaging industry, marketing departments within the brand organizations also benefit from the tools used – allowing for deeper collaboration and simpler approval processes through digital asset management solutions.”

A prestigious line-up of packaging designers and international brands has been unveiled for The Pentawards Conference, which takes place at ADF & PCD Shanghai 2018. The major names include Shiseido, Herborist, ForceMajeure, Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts, BETC, Yang Design and Centdegrés.

The high-level, design-focused conference, will run throughout the event, which takes place on the 28 & 29 March at the Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Center of International Sourcing. The leading brands taking to the stage, will draw on the very latest thinking, design trends, real-life examples and current news agenda during their talks. 

Paul Macdonald, Global Brand Director of the Easyfairs Packaging Portfolio, comments: “Having The Pentawards Conference at ADF & PCD Shanghai is a major coup for the show and will be a fantastic experience for our visitors. It provides them with the perfect platform to learn from some of the best and brightest minds from the packaging design world. Secondly, the names we have managed to secure are phenomenal. Anyone with an interest in packaging design will not want to miss The Pentawards Conference at ADF & PCD Shanghai 2018.”

‘Designing for Millennials’ is unarguably one of the most hotly debated topics within the packaging design community. With this in mind, Ippei Murata, Art Director of Packaging Design at Shiseido, will take to the stage on day one to look at Millennials as a consumer group, and explore how packaging designers can better understand them.

Laurent Hainaut, President and Founder of forceMajeure, will also be headlining the programme on day one of the show. Hainaut will focus specifically on packaging design within the retail sector, exploring why the future needs to be both interactive and responsive. Hainaut will return to speak on day two as well, where he will look at how companies can connect to the online world via smart packaging design.

Sustainable packaging is one of the most talked about subjects in the world at the moment, so attendees with a sustainability interest will not want to miss the talk by Pradere Christophe, Design CEO & Founder at BETC, who will be exploring ethical and sustainable packaging.

Also speaking on day one will be Gu Chuanxi, Professor at Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts, who will talk about luxury packaging, helping attendees turn their already luxury packaging designs into a total brand experience.

Day two will see MS Xiaojing Huang, Strategic Director at Yang design, analyse the latest design trends from the Chinese market. She will explore the consumer maturity within the region and review the impact this is having on cosmetic brand identities. Also concentrating on the cosmetics industry will be Matthieu Rochette-Schneider, Designer and General Manager Asia at Centdegrés, who will look at how companies should be designing for fast growth sectors, and in particular children’s skin care.

Mr. Xu Jun, Chief Designer at Herborist/Shanghai Jahwa Corporation, is covering the consumer behaviour trends within the Chinese market, analysing the cultural and societal differences in packaging.

The dedicated packaging design-focused conference will be hosted and chaired by Rhonda Jiang, Editor-in-Chief at Package & Design Magazine, with a panel discussion closing both days of the show. The debate will consider ‘What are the challenges and opportunities facing the global packaging design industry over the next 5 years?’, with each speaker from the day taking part.

In addition to The Pentawards Conference, ADF & PCD Shanghai will also host The Pentawards Exhibit. This will showcase a selection of 2017 award-winning packaging, offering visitors the unique opportunity to gain a global perspective of the best and most creative packaging designs from the last year.

Complexity and Functionality drive label development, reports Finat Radar

Prime labels are becoming increasingly complex and non-prime labels are becoming increasingly functional. They are among the key trends dominating the label industry according to the latest Finat Radar. 

Published twice a year to its members by the international label association Finat Radar is a unique, in-depth profile of the complex and diversified European label industry. The report brings together focused research and analysis, conducted by market research company LPC Inc.

The eighth edition of Finat Radar provides a unique perspective on the European labelling sector, and on the trends and forces that are driving brands to adopt and implement specific labelling technologies and decoration formats. Current marketplace factors considered include the impact on the label supply chain, from raw material suppliers to label converters, and industry customers.

It also reports that the Eurozone economy continues to perform robustly and a recovering labour market and healthy external demand continue to support ongoing label sector growth. This is encouraging brands to seek more ways to connect with their customers – among them is via the types of package decoration they conceptualize and push through the supply chain.

Finat President Chris Ellison comments: “Finat's Radar gives us a unique perspective on the European labelling sector, and on the trends and forces that are driving brands to adopt and implement specific labelling technologies and decoration formats. More and more, we are seeing labels become a way for brands to achieve a market-specific approach late in the supply chain. This means shorter runs as SKUs proliferate, and the ability for a label converter to turn around a job quickly given late-stage new design and/or label functionality requirements.”

He explains that this remains one of the forces driving digital press adoption and influences the ways marketing and R&D departments create campaigns and strategise ways to speak to, and captivate, consumers.

He continues: “When asked which printed packaging sector delivers the most innovation, again and again brands claim their label suppliers offer more innovation and agility over their flexible packaging, carton and corrugated suppliers.” Concludes Ellison: “Ours is an industry of change but the future remains bright for labels.”

The Finat Radar is an in-depth, reliable portrait of current status in the label industry. It is now recognised by members as a valuable complement to the association’s extensive portfolio of industry-standard technical publications and its programme of annual events. The latter include the top-level Finat European Label Forum (June 6-8 2018, Dublin) for which the programme will be announced and the registration will open mid-February 2018.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Flint Group announces new name for partner company – Eston Chimica

Eston Chimica, a leading supplier of inks and coatings to package printers in Italy and Southern Europe, announces a change in its company name and logo. Effective February 1, 2018, the new company name is Eston Chimica, a Flint Group Company.

In December 2017, Flint Group, a prominent global supplier of inks and coatings to the printing and packaging industry, announced the acquisition of Eston Chimica which manufactures and sells water-based inks for flexo and gravure applications. The company supports key Paper & Board applications, such as corrugated, shopping bags, paper bags, and various other water-based print jobs.

Doug Aldred, President Packaging Inks for Flint Group, comments, “Flint Group is extremely pleased, and proud, to add Eston Chimica to their family and understands the importance of the Eston Chimica brand. The respect, customer loyalty, and name recognition of Eston Chimica weighed heavily on the company’s decision to retain the Eston Chimica brand alongside the Flint Group name. The identities, presented together, highlight the new and combined strength of the companies.”

Mr. Nicola Mellon, General Manager Paper & Board Italy and former CEO of Eston Chimica, says, “Flint Group recognises the strong value in the Eston Chimica name. The entire team of Eston Chimica has built an organisation which has grown, prospered, and is well known in the Paper & Board business segment. We look forward to a strong relationship going forward – one that benefits our internal staff and provides best in class products, services and solutions to the packaging industry in Europe and beyond.”

Starting from early February, customers and industry partners will see the new look of the Eston Chimica brand as the partnership between the two leaders continues to grow and strengthen.

Remarkable wins for Bobst customers and its technology partner Graphilabel at FlexoStars 2017

The inventor of the revolutionary THQ printing technology took away the Prix de l’Innovation at the competition for the best work in flexographic printing. The jury also gave awards (FlexoStars) to four Bobst Group customers for the quality of their work in the corrugated cardboard category.

“Before THQ technology was invented, printing professionals using flexography couldn’t reproduce an image’s full richness and emotion on a product package. The color range was restrained and ordinary printing on corrugated cardboard was impossible due to the fluting. Reproducing a motif in color necessarily meant reducing quality. THQ has changed all of that,” said Didier Guenu, founder of Graphilabel, in Rheims, France, who received the Prix de l’Innovation on behalf of the company during the FlexoStars competition on December 14, 2017, in Saint-Malo, France. Organized by ATF Flexo (the French flexography association), the awards honor the best flexographic printing work every year.

Dubbed THQ, the technology developed by Graphilabel produces printed images with reproduction quality unequalled in the packaging market. Bobst has partnered with Graphilabel since 2015 and holds exclusive rights to this process for corrugated cardboard. Under the name BOBST THQ FlexoCloud, Bobst markets a flexographic post-print solution devoted to corrugated cardboard and available on a wide range of the brand’s new flexographic post-print machines.

Thanks to the exceptional quality of the images it can print, Bobst THQ FlexoCloud technology is opening flexography to markets previously restricted to offset and photogravure. The rendering can reach very high definition far greater than 350 lines per centimeter, and the cheaper tools associated with the flexographic process allow very competitive production costs for short and medium runs.

Nano messages and traceability
“Thanks to the THQ process, now flexography can also meet brand owners’ new needs for package authentication and traceability,” said Didier Guenu, whose company has been active for more than 30 years in encryption of fiduciary documents and security documents. A color separation algorithm allows very effective anti-counterfeit printing using “nano messages” invisible to the naked eye.

Bobst THQ FlexoCloud technology, which can be installed on several of the brand’s flexographic press and combination models, relies on three key elements: the THQ ceramic cylinders (supplied by Bobst), the THQ CMYK inks and the varnishes for very demanding jobs (supplied by Siegwerk exclusively for THQ FlexoCloud customers) and the THQ printing plates (supplied by Graphilabel).

“It’s a flexographic solution that’s very easy to use on corrugated cardboard and provides crucial advantages for users of flexographic equipment,” explains Dominique Ravot, Sales and Marketing Director at Bobst Lyon. These advantages include:
  • Print image quality as good or better than offset.
  • Four-color reproduction with a wider range of tones, thanks to an algorithm that covers 65% of the color gamut.
  • Special THQ CMYK inks that can be used throughout the printing process, ensuring shorter machine calibration times and substantial savings (up to 30% on ink, on average, compared to the standard flexographic process).
  • A high-performance flexographic post-print technology for reproducing images on corrugated cardboard without “rib” effects and in one pass.

Remarkable wins for Bobst customers at the FlexoStars 2017
In addition to the Prix de l’Innovation, the FlexoStars competition awards the best flexographic printed work in 15 different categories of packaging and labeling. For this 31st edition, 124 works were submitted for assessment by the jury. This year, Bobst flexographic machines racked up a remarkable record of achievement. Of the six awards presented for printing on corrugated cardboard, four were awarded to Bobst customers. 

Launched by the Group during a technical seminar held by Bobst Lyon in spring 2017, BOBST THQ FlexoCloud technology immediately impressed flexography experts and the brand’s customers with its high performance. Promotion of this process has stimulated a great deal of interest on the market, and several orders are in process. In 2018, Bobst will deliver to its first customers, who will then have the opportunity to take home awards from the next FlexoStars event, thanks to their work done in THQ.

Durst and Omet unveil XJET Hybrid Printing Solution at Durst Digital Days

Durst, manufacturer of advanced digital production technologies, together with Omet, manufacturer of printing and converting machines, have strengthened their collaboration with the introduction of the new Omet XJet. Powered by Durst, the integrated hybrid solution for a wide range of high-performance labels and packaging printing guarantees flexibility and cost savings.

The jewel in the crown of the Durst and Omet partnership, the new Omet XJet, is being officially presented to more than a 100 customers from across the globe at Durst’s Digital Days at its Italian headquarters in Brixen, northern Italy. The three-day event is dedicated to the best digital label and packaging printing solutions. 

The Omet XJET is the new hybrid printing platform integrating Durst’s Tau 330 digital inkjet system with Omet X6 flexo stations and converting units. It can offer an unlimited flexibility and a wide range of final applications with a consistent cost reduction thanks to the in-line multi-process configuration. Durst inkjet technology together with Omet X6’s finishing and converting units like cold foil, hot foil, lamination, varnishing, die-cutting and slitting assure reliability and excellent results at every run, with the advantage of obtaining the final product in one single passage.

The Omet XJet is powered by Durst Tau RSC, the high-performance UV inkjet printing press featuring 330 mm (13”) print width with maximum print speed of 78 linear meters/min (245 ft./min) at 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution. Thanks to its eight color stations (CMYK+W+OVG) with new designed high pigmented inks it delivers outstanding print quality with 98% Pantone color gamut coverage.

The hybrid solution broadens the opportunities for label printers thanks to its flexible configuration. It can be seen as three presses in one as it can be used as hybrid solution, flexo stand-alone or digital stand-alone according to the length of the run or the level of personalization required. This concept can help optimize production time and costs, getting faster ROI and open new market opportunities.

Helmuth Munter, Segment Manager Labels & Package Printing at Durst comments: “We are very pleased to partner Omet in the launch of this highly professional hybrid printing solution. It combines the best technologies of both, the digital inkjet printing and conventional pre- and post press printing and finishing world, offering our common future customers a highly cost effective and complete “all-in-one” printing process.”

Marco Calcagni, Omet Sales and Marketing Director, added: “We managed to create a complete Made-in-Italy printing solution that meets the market trends of personalization, just-in-time deliveries and final product variation, but also maintaining all the capabilities of a conventional press. I believe that Durst is the right partner for such a challenging project because they have deep knowledge and the best digital inkjet technology acknowledged by the international market.”

New research highlights personalised packaging trends

Demand for personalised packaging is becoming an industry norm
New research suggests that demand for personalised packaging is becoming an industry norm and is increasingly being integrated into companies’ packaging strategies. 66% of packaging professionals who took part in the study stated that the personlisation of packaging is something they are currently implementing into their offering, or at least considering. In addition to this 89% of those questioned believe that this trend will only increase over the next two to three years.

Over 335 leading brand owners, retailers, suppliers, agencies and packaging professionals took part in the study, which was commissioned for a report by Packaging Innovations, the UK’s largest annual event for the whole packaging supply chain, and ThePackHub, the leading UK packaging innovation consultancy.

James Drake-Brockman, Divisional Director for the Packaging Portfolio at Easyfairs, said, “Our show provides a place for suppliers and the buying community to meet, network and do business, so we need to have our finger on the pulse in terms of industry trends, especially if we want to make sure we have the right mix of people and innovation at the show. In order to generate some industry intelligence, we teamed up with ThePackHub to better understand the dynamics of the personalisation market, and explore the influences and challenges facing this sector.”

When asked how involved in personalisation projects the packaging professionals were, 66% stated that they are currently undergoing ventures or are considering projects that have a personalised packaging element. When these statistics are broken down further, it highlighted that nearly three quarters (73%) of brand owners and three fifths (60%) of suppliers have either done or were considering doing a personalised packaging project within the past year.

The survey identified the main benefits of undertaking this type of packaging activity, with increasing consumer engagement (87.9%) and brand awareness (86.1%) both selected as main impacts. The data also showed that nearly two thirds (63.7%) felt that personalised packaging increases sales, while over half (52.8%) felt that personalisation projects have a positive impact on consumer loyalty.

In terms of challenges, financial factors topped the list, with 73% of those surveyed stating that financial constraints and the perceived on-cost of personalised packaging activity would hinder their willingness to undertake personalised packaging projects. This number actually rose to 80% when brand owners were questioned specifically. Interestingly, the data also suggests that technology is advanced enough to withstand this type of project, with only 29% of professionals highlighting technology as being a potential issue. Demand also seems to have increased, with a mere 17% selecting it as a challenge facing them.

Each respondent was also asked to identify a personalised packaging campaign that has stood out for them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Coca Cola ‘Share a Coke’ campaign topped the poll, followed by KitKat, with Marmite also receiving several mentions. 

James Drake-Brockman, concludes: “There have been several high profile personalised packaging initiatives to come to market in recent time. I would agree that the Coca Cola campaign jumps straight out to me. We have already seen more interest from our attendees this year looking to identify suppliers and opportunities within the personalised packaging market. This coupled with the recent advancements in digital print for packaging technology, spells a really exciting time for the industry. With all of this in mind, we designed our show to help educate the packaging community through a conference programme, at-show features and leading international suppliers.”

For further information about Packaging Innovations, which takes place at Birmingham’s NEC on 28 February and 1 March, please visit www.easyfairs.com/PIUK