7th Annual Innopack Pharma Confex 2018

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Inspection on the line: Quality control for packaging

The food and nutrition industry is facing increasingly stringent requirements relating to product quality and safety. Extensive regulations govern the legislative rules that manufacturers must currently meet.

For instance, both the German Food and Feed Code (Lebensmittel- und Futtermittelgesetzbuch, LFGB) and the IFS Food Standard stipulate that food must be free of contaminants. These rules seek to protect consumers and guarantee product quality. Good manufacturing practice rules under Regulation (EC) No. 2023/2006 also stipulate that a self-monitoring or quality control system shall “monitor use of good manufacturing practice” as part of efforts to safeguard consumer protection. Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) are another key point here. On this issue, the German Federation of Food Law and Food Science (Bund für Lebensmittelrecht und Lebensmittelkunde) writes that “hazard analyses falling under the scope of the food packer within the meaning of the HACCP concept requires a safety assessment relating to the entire packaging system, an evaluation of the influences on packaging and packaging components as well as their interaction.” Packaging lines use special sensors, scanners and inspection systems to guarantee the product safety required under national and international law, depending on their task. The latest trends in quality control will be showcased by exhibitors at FachPack 2018.

Quality control in the packaging process
Food packaging primarily serves to protect its contents against environmental impacts and damage during storage and transportation. This packaging ensures that food has a longer shelf life by gasifying it in a protective atmosphere. In modern production facilities, the packaging line can automatically check whether packaging reliably satisfies all requirements for this task. Quality is generally safeguarded at the packaging line using non-invasive systems. This term refers to inspection processes taking place at the line without individual pieces of packaging having to be removed for this purpose. These integrated control systems support the food industry’s mostly high production cycle times while simultaneously ensuring implementation of all food safety requirements.

These systems allow damaged or rejected packaging units to be easily ejected without manual intervention by connecting them with upstream and downstream components in the packaging line. At the same time, these systems can provide feedback to upstream machines, such as filling robots, sealing machines and labellers, which can then directly respond to any identified deviations.

Reliable air-tight packaging for food
A variety of technologies are available to inspect different packaging materials and processes. One particular option for primary packaging is leakage tests. After all, if perishable goods, such as sausage and cheese, are not packaged in air-tight packaging, this can not only lead to the product spoiling, but also might even damage the manufacturer’s reputation and lead to costly recalls. Inline leakage tests are carried out when packaging using protective gas, for instance employing devices that make use of test gas. They have sensitive gas sensors that detect even the smallest leaks. Carbon dioxide, helium and hydrogen are used as test gas.

In addition, sealed seams in packaging, such as trays and tubular bags, can also be checked using visual inspection systems. These devices also detect contaminations in the seams and check the position of labels. Visual inspection systems generally consist of cameras that compare certain parameters in combination with evaluation software. To this end, packaged products are guided past cameras during the packaging process. If the image recognition system detects a deviation from a previously defined condition, this information will be passed on in the system and defective packaging will be automatically ejected. The previously defined parameters include untight packaging and optical defects. The benefit of these systems is that they are suitable for especially high line speeds.

Detecting contamination
No manufacturers can fully rule out the possibility of contaminants finding their way into end packaging during comminution and processing of food. However, bone fragments in sausage, metal parts from broken-off blades or plastic pieces of packaging and transport cases are a worse-case scenario for any food producer. If this happens, entire batches have to be recalled to avert any detriment to customers. A recall also requires inspecting the entire line until the source can be clearly identified. This scenario can be prevented in the first place by using metal detectors, for instance, which are fitted after the packaging process. Packaging goes through devices at the end of the process chain and is x-rayed. Metal contaminants are identified and defective units are ejected.

X-ray technology is used if other types of contaminants, such as stones, plastic or bone fragments are detected. X-ray inspection systems identify deviations in product density. X-ray systems can identify of all kinds of unwanted materials through predefined settings. Therefore, they are suitable for detecting contaminants and for carrying out other quality control tasks: clumps of salt can be identified, as can deviations in product composition. The x-ray device can even determine if the meat in a ready meal does not correspond to the recipe.

The product and required cycle speed determine which systems are best suited to perform quality assurance. Many exhibitors at FachPack 2018 offer stand-alone solutions for these tasks or integrate quality control into their lines.

Treofan launches new IML label film EWR50 to the market

The new version of the IML label film EWR from BOPP specialist Treofan is now even thinner. With a thickness of 50μm, it offers greater efficiency and larger surface yield – with the same product properties. This greatly benefits brand manufacturers and converters in the food and packaging industry.

The new EWR50 film has a thickness of 50μm. The average surface yield significantly increases to 20.8 m²/kg. By comparison, the previous EWR57 film with 57μm thickness provided a surface yield of 18.3 m²/kg.

Just like the EWR57, the solid white EWR50 enables the efficient production of labels. The IML decoration with EWR labels gives packaging the desired high gloss look. EWR is specifically developed for in-mould labels for PP and PE injection moulding. With good antistatic properties, web flatness and machinability, it is ideally suited for offset sheet-fed printing with UV curing and oxidative drying inks, as well as for gravure and UV-flexo printing.

With the introduction of this new film type, Treofan - a pioneer and market leader in the IML field- continues to expand its product portfolio in close cooperation with partners and customers. “The new EWR50 is geared towards the increasing market demands in terms of efficiency and yield combined with excellent quality,” says Joachim Jung, responsible for Product Management and Business Development at Treofan.

First customer reactions to the new product are very positive. Mark Taylor, Manager of UK label printer “Reflex Labels”, comments: “The new EWR50 impresses with superior production performance: The moulding reject rate is significantly reduced compared to competitive IML products.”

Fisher launches company rebrand to PPC Flexible Packaging

Fisher Container Holdings LLC (Fisher), a leading provider of custom flexible packaging for food and health care industries, announced the rebranding of its subsidiaries Fisher Container LLC and Packaging Products Corporation LLC (PPC) into the new entity PPC Flexible Packaging. The comprehensive rebrand follows Fisher’s 2017 acquisition of PPC and aims to reaffirm the company’s strong market presence while unifying the corporate identity of the two subsidiaries.

As part of the official rebranding launch, Fisher unveiled a new logo for PPC Flexible Packaging and outlined the proposed scope of work for the campaign. Fisher plans to incorporate the new logo across print and digital collateral, including a re-designed website. Fisher CEO Kevin Keneally indicates the rebranding efforts signal the next step in the company’s growth within the packaging industry.

“Fisher Container and PPC are both successful leaders in the packaging industry,” said Keneally. “After the merger, we knew we had an opportunity to create a new brand identity that would showcase our innovation and speed to market. PPC Flexible Packaging now has a visual identity that captures our quality, service and technology in a bold way and we’re very proud of that.”

In addition to creating a new visual identity for the company, the rebrand will highlight PPC Flexible Packaging’s focus on two primary market segments—consumer packaging and precision clean packaging. The consumer division focuses on food, “better for you,” organic, snack, produce, bakery, and pet food retail packaging, while the precision clean division focuses on health care, clean room, critical environment and microelectronic packaging. Fisher will visually display the names of the two segments in conjunction with the new logo in internal and external communications. Keneally believes this will further strengthen brand presence within the packaging industry.

“We are committed to providing speed to market, value and quality in a highly diverse industry, and our well-defined focus helps us achieve this goal,” said Keneally. “We look forward to seeing our company grow and thrive through acquisitions and organic growth as our rebranding vision materializes in the coming months.”

Fisher plans to launch PPC Flexible Packaging’s re-designed company website later this year.

Presstek Launches DI University: Trains Master DI Operators in 3-Days

Presstek LLC, the leading provider of eco-friendly printing solutions, today introduces DI University, a free, advanced learning resource for the waterless digital offset press. Starting June, 2018, Presstek’s DI University is offering a Master DI training program for beginner and intermediate press operators. Operators will receive hands-on experience to learn the skills to produce high-quality print — consistently and repeatedly. Operators will also learn how to improve job throughput, minimize make-ready, and maximize operational and environmental efficiencies. The program also includes DI maintenance training, which will help customers maximize the performance of the press and save money in the long run. Additionally, DI University offers customers access to Presstek’s advanced technical and support information.

“Our customers asked for advanced training, and we are delivering. DI University is a free resource to all users, and provides invaluable training and knowledge-sharing to help our customers make the most of their DI investment,” comments Ralph Jenkins, Director of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at Presstek.

Three-Day Master DI Training
Master DI Training is available to Presstek DI 34 and 52 press operators, at locations in the U.S. and globally. It is a 3-day offsite training for intermediate operators, and 5-days for beginners. The course includes the following:
  • Roller/blanket maintenance and adjustment
  • General machine maintenance procedures
  • PDSE / densitometer usage
  • Ink management
  • Papers, envelopes and setup
  • Real-world pressroom strategies to reduce make ready, improve turnaround times and improve overall production figures
DI University is part of Presstek’s myDI, a free program to DI owners worldwide. The program is led by a global team of DI experts that provide DI University training and one-to-one consulting to improve press utilization and reduce operating costs. Program members also receive exceptional pricing for consumables, parts, and services.

For more information, please visit http://www.presstek.com/mydi-training.htm.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

HP Introduces the World’s Most Advanced Digital Labels and Packaging Portfolio

HP Inc. expanded its labels and packaging portfolio with solutions to drive the printing and converting toward more flexible, productive and profitable digital printing of any application. New solutions include the HP Indigo 6900 Digital Press for labels and packaging and HP PageWide C500 Press for mainstream corrugated production.

“The expansion follows the largest packaging deal ever for HP Indigo with ePac. Our customers are growing fast across all segments and are experiencing massive success. They are leveraging HP technology to innovate and deliver on brands’ evolving needs,” said Santi Morera, Global Head of Graphics Solutions Business, HP Inc. “These new technologies we are launching are needed now more than ever and will allow our customers to be more productive.”

Innovations increasing digital production profit
The new HP Indigo 6900 Digital Press increases the addressable label market while offering higher revenue per meter, including:
  • Pack Ready for Labels for the production of high-resistance labels for food, household, chemical, and pharma labels. Four beta sites are producing commercial jobs.
  • New HP Indigo ElectroInk Silver, now commercially available, delivers metallic effects across a wide color gamut, similar to Pantone 877.
  • HP Indigo ElectroInk Invisible Blue and Yellow visible under UV light for brand protection and promotional labels
  • Integration with the HP Indigo GEM embellishment unit, the first fully digital, one-pass label printing and embellishment solution for spot, tactile, foil, holograms, mini textures and lamination.
Additionally, the high-performance HP Production Pro for Indigo Labels and Packaging is now included in the HP Indigo 6900 and rolling out this year to HP Indigo’s entire Labels and Packaging portfolio. Featuring five times faster RIP power and the Esko Color Engine, the powerful Digital Front End provides extensive productivity and scalability for continuous digital production, to allow converters to scale and manage their digital production across multiple presses and multiple sites, increase the number of jobs per day, and shorten delivery cycles.

Pack Ready Laminator commercially available
For the HP Indigo 20000 flexible packaging press, the HP Indigo Pack Ready Laminator is now commercially available. A pioneering technology, Pack Ready Lamination allows for immediate time-to-market of HP Indigo digitally printed flexible packaging by eliminating the use of adhesives. The Pack Ready Laminator is manufactured and supplied by Karlville.

Extended capabilities for the HP Indigo 30000
The HP Indigo 30000 Digital Press offers converters an opportunity to build new profitable businesses that leverage cost-effective short runs and added value long-run production. The new capabilities and improved performance include:
  • Increased productivity to enable dozens of folding carton jobs per day and up to 1 million B2 sheets per month.
  • The widest folding carton application span on one press, leveraging wide media range from paperboards to metalized, synthetic, and transparent media, new security features like micro-text and micro QR-codes, and new automatic mass customization and personalization capabilities.
  • The Tresu iCoat 30000, sold and serviced by HP Indigo, for one robust folding carton production line.
Digilinck, a folding carton converter based in Deinze, Belgium, is adding a second HP Indigo 30000 digital press. “The Folding cartons market is changing and our customers expect speedy delivery and lower inventory levels. The HP Indigo 30000’s high flexibility and offset matching quality allow us to seize this opportunity and build a new profitable digital business, offering short turnaround-time and economic production of short-run healthcare packages,” said Vincent Oosterlinck, Owner, Digilinck. “Since installing the press, our business grew by 66% in the last three years.”

Addressing the dynamic corrugated packaging market
HP also announced that Kiwiplan, a leading MIS/MES software solutions provider for corrugated and rigid packaging, will be fully integrated, keeping the HP PageWide C500 presses running at optimum capacity, while helping customers to save time and costs through production and supply chain efficiency. Five customers in Europe and the US have already purchased the groundbreaking PageWide C500 Press for direct-to-board post-print corrugated production. The first unit will ship next month.

Utilizing HP’s high-performance single-pass Thermal Inkjet technology, the HP PageWide C500 provides a cost-effective digital alternative for offset lamination and flexo production. The press delivers offset quality direct-to-board with mainstream productivity on both coated and uncoated papers, delivering packaging with vibrant graphics that preserves even the finest details.

The HP PageWide C500 utilizes HP CV150 Water-Based Inks, which contain no UV-reactive chemistries. These true water-based inks allow corrugated converters to print primary and secondary food-related packaging without an additional barrier. This robust and trusted solution enables compliance with the most stringent global food safety regulations and industry guidelines.

Sun Chemical launches SunCure Accuflex UV Flexo Ink System for various food packaging applications

Sun Chemical has launched SunCure Accuflex UV, a new UV ink system for primary and secondary food packaging that is not manufactured with Bisphenol A (BPA)-based materials and meets low migration specifications.

Compliant with the strictest global standards in the marketplace, including Nestlé food packaging requirements and Swiss Ordinance chemical composition requirements, SunCure Accuflex UV flexo inks meet the latest photoinitiator safe packaging guidelines and provide low odor and very low residual extractables characteristics, while maintaining the highest standards of pressroom performance.

The ink system specifically addresses concerns that brand owners face due to strict labeling laws like California’s Proposition 65, which require businesses to provide warnings on their packaging for products that could expose consumers to BPA. BPA and certain photoinitiators are chemicals that have been identified as carcinogens and reprotoxins. 

Designed for both folding carton and flexible film packaging applications where high press performance, color vibrancy and regulatory compliance are critical, SunCure AccuFlex UV flexo inks offer good adhesion to a variety of film substrates, provide great flexo viscosity stability under high shear conditions, and exhibit excellent UV cure response. Available in North America, SunCure AccuFlex UV inks can be used for a variety of paper packaging applications and feature low post-odor properties that are essential to many brand owners.

Toyo Printing Inks to highlight full line-up of packaging solutions at Propak

Toyo Printing Inks Inc., a member of the Toyo Ink Group of Japan, is exhibiting at Propak East Africa 2018, one of the biggest and most comprehensive trade fairs for packaging technology in the region. The trade fair kicks off tomorrow 27 Feb and runs until 1 March at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

At Stand F2, Toyo Printing Inks will showcase a wide array of packaging solutions that address the product, regulatory and efficiency requirements of brand owners and packaging companies in Africa. Featured products include high-performance inks and coatings for nearly every substrate or packaging type, flexible or rigid. Moreover, the company will introduce other packaging innovations from around the Toyo Ink Group, such as lamination adhesives and plastic masterbatch for food, beverage and industrial applications.

“We are excited to make our first showing at Propak East Africa,” said Yakup Benli, CEO of Toyo Printing Inks. “Building on a successful exhibit at last year's Propak West Africa, we aim to reinforce our commitment to the area as we look to raise our brand awareness and open new markets in this strategic region for us. Propack East Africa provides an ideal platform on which to highlight our diversified portfolio of packaging solutions that are tailored to the needs of the region and manufactured at our factory in Turkey.”

Toyo Printing Inks Inc., a member of the Toyo Ink Group, has been one of the leading brands in Turkey's printing ink sector since its foundation in the country in 1968. The company is a leading manufacturer of printing inks and auxiliary products for virtually all printing techniques, such as web offset inks for publications, offset sheetfed inks, serigraphy inks, flexo and rotogravure inks, laminate adhesives and metal can coating systems. Toyo Printing Inks is committed to meeting the needs of the packaging and printing industry by adhering to the highest production standards, with importance given to quality and innovation. The company operates a Colour Making Centre in İstanbul and state-of-the-art production facility in Manisa, while maintaining a network of 36 dealers and sales offices in 4 cities in Turkey. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

HP launches High-Definition Digital Press for Commercial Printing

HP Inc. announced commercial availability of its HP Indigo 12000 HD Digital Press with breakthrough high-definition imaging, the next step in the evolution of HP’s market-leading1 Series 4 large format press platform with more than 700 units installed worldwide.

The High Definition Imaging System for the B2-sized HP Indigo 12000 HD Digital Press doubles image resolution, delivering sharper, smoother, finer print, enabling print service providers (PSPs) to surpass offset quality and open new digital possibilities in high-end commercial and photo applications. The press uses an all-new High Definition Imaging System, using 48 parallel laser beams and high screen sets up to 290 LPI.

“HP print service providers are experiencing unprecedented growth and momentum as print buyers, agencies, and brands are looking for ways to connect the online world with the physical world,” said Alon Bar-Shany, general manager, HP Indigo, HP Inc. “HP's digital print technologies are blending these realities, providing amazing new application opportunities, alongside higher productivity.”

Following successful beta testing at ORWO and CEWE in Germany and Italy’s New Print, HP Indigo is now starting commercial shipment of the press.

Ongoing innovation for new digital printing applications
The HP Indigo 50000 Digital Press, the most productive digital press on the market, is now accompanied by a robust finishing solution for cost-effective printing of offset jobs.

HP also announced new color gamut technology and new inks:
  • ColorUP! delivers an extended color gamut using color profiles to expand the on-press color gamut using additional hits of CMY inks.
  • HP Indigo ElectroInk Vivid Pink and HP Indigo ElectroInk Vivid Green, a new set of brighter inks for high-end photo applications including wedding photography, allow printers to reach more vibrant pink, green and blue shades.
  • Commercial release of HP Indigo ElectroInk Fluorescent Green, Yellow and Orange, in addition to the previously available Fluorescent Pink. The inks are already in use by PSPs to produce commercial applications.
  • Creating a more efficient production floor with workflow and end-to-end solutions
The powerful apps running on the PrintOS platform bring cloud advantages to enable PSPs to automate production, optimize their presses, and grow.

New HP PrintOS apps available include: 
  • An optional OEE app for efficient and automatic measurement of Overall Equipment Effectiveness, providing value-based on-press data to ensure press excellence
  • Color Beat, enabling color tracking and reporting to ensure color standards are reliably and consistently achieved.
  • A new version of HP Site Flow enables customers to effectively fulfill hundreds or thousands of online orders per day. With fast and easy startup, and instant scalability, PSPs can take on new business, and handle tight deadlines, while increasing productivity from order to delivery.

Mercian Labels consolidates on success

Following a record January sales month, Mercian Labels are pleased to announce that it has also completed its plans for consolidation having successfully transferred its Derby-based operations into their Burntwood (UK) site, thereby bringing all of its manufacturing processes under one roof.

‘The transition to a single-site operation has multiple benefits’ said Dr Adrian Steele, MD of Mercian Labels.

‘Cost savings and economies of scale are obvious, but with sales and admin now all under one roof, our communications and cross-training benefits will improve considerably. IT issues have been dramatically simplified, in fact we are already seeing advantages throughout the business.’

Mercian Labels employ a broad range of print technologies which allow them to offer a very wide range of self adhesive products. 8-colour high speed flexo and the latest in digital printing can be combined to produce multiple layer products in industry-beating lead times, and further enhancements are possible with rotary screen printing and foiling.

‘There isn’t much we can’t do now’ points out Steele, ‘and with a robust NPD strategy coupled with some exciting R&D, we will continue to push the boundaries of specialised embellishments so that our customers enjoy the finest labelling available. Manufacturing of flexible packaging in short and medium runs is now also possible, with very exciting developments on the horizon’.

‘We have developed a dynamic and very knowledgeable sales force’ adds Hugo Gell, Director of Sales and Marketing. ‘This consolidation and their expert advice will allow our customers to see our wide range of capabilities operating under one roof. Designers and buyers will be able to make exciting branding decisions and add value to their product portfolios, no matter how large or small their business’.

Examples of Mercian Labels’ capabilities will be on display next week at the Packaging Innovations exhibition at the NEC.

New Roland 900 keeps packaging printer on top

Scatolificio del Garda, a leading Italian manufacturer of packaging for food & beverage products, has installed a Roland 906 press with coater unit and LED technology to meet the increase in production demands.

“The proven reliability and flexibility of the Roland 906 are just two of the reasons we chose this press" said company chairman, Mr. Luca Sandri.

The new press with LED technology allows the company to meet all of the safety and hygiene requirements for food and catering products such as paper cups, plates, food containers and disposable cutlery. Included in the supply is an automatic pallet transport system (Aupasys) at the delivery end, which automatically loads pallets of printed sheets .

Mr Sandri: "As we handle around 300,000 sheets per day, the Aupasys ensures smooth printing throughout the entire run. It also saves on time and operating costs. Thanks to its modular system, Aupasys provides high productivity and flexibility; its concept covers material flow in production areas as well as allowing for design and future investment planning and to provide increased net production output with less waste. We are ISO 9001, BRC, FSC certified and produce tens of thousands of products a day; our motto is customer satisfaction and we keep a total hands-on approach during the entire production cycle, from the purchase of raw materials to delivery of the end product both at home and overseas".

"La priorità è il cliente" is more than just a slogan for Scatolificio Del Garda. It means that we are attentive to our customer and the market needs; in fact since 1990 we have been pioneers in our sector with the  Bioplat brand of biodegradable and compostable products. We are flexible to meet all requirements and requests and turn round high-quality customized work at the shortest time possible" concluded Mr. Sandri.