Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Uflex showcased Uflexo - its first CI flexo printing press at its Noida headquarters

Noida-headquartered Uflex showcased its first CI flexo printing press – the Uflexo on 8 March, 2018. Available in two models, Elisa and Valle, the gearless flexographic printing press has been developed in collaboration with Italy-based Comiflex SRL. The two companies signed a technology transfer agreement during Drupa 2016. The company showcased Elisa, an 8-colour press which can print upto 400m/ min. while Valle’s running speed is 300m/min. Both the models are available with six to ten printing stations and printing width of 800/1600mm.

Tandon says that Uflex is better equipped to develop such a machine because it’s the only machine manufacturer in India which has its own converting facility. The Technology Transfer Agreement which was signed between Mr. Gianfranco Nespoli, Owner of Comiflex SRL and Mr. Ajay Tandon, President & CEO, Engineering Business, Uflex Limited to market and sell these machines across the world were signed at drupa 2016.

Sanjay Malik Sabharwal, executive vice-president, engineering business, Uflex, said that the technology transfer from Comiflex was really helpful in developing the machine. The company has also used a patented technology to reduce the consumption of solvent in cleaning the press, bringing it down from 100% upto 10%. This not only saves on solvent but also on time and energy. In Uflexo there is no bouncing of plates and it’s easy to use the printing press. Tandon said the reduction in the bounce has been made possible because of the way the machine has been built. 

So far the company has received three orders - one for export and two for the domestic market. However, as a matter of practice, Uflex always uses the first batch of its newly developed machines in-house. Even the CI flexo machine showcased during the launch will go to its converting business.

Five cutting-edge technology developments for label printing

New demands from label customers and changing market dynamics will affect the choice of printed label type and influence new developments in label technologies over the next five years. The global market for label printing has been growing steadily in recent times, valuing at $36.98 billion in 2017. The market will continue to increase at annual average growth rate of 4.1% in value terms to reach $45.22 billion by 2022.

Asia is the largest geographic market for printed labels, having experienced annual growth rates of 8.0% in value terms from 2012 to 2017. North America and Western Europe are the next two largest markets for printed labels, and these three regions make up 85% of global volume demand and 87% of the global value.

According to a new report by Smithers Pira - The Future of Label Printing to 2022 - six major technology advancements and trends are emerging, having the potential to significantly disrupt the label printing market.

Lightweighting of label formats
The packaging industry and its customers are continually moving towards decreasing the weight of product packaging, either using thinner rigid containers, whether metal, glass or plastic; or by switching to flexible plastic formats.

Labels are also contributing to this drive for weight reduction, with product manufacturers either using smaller labels, or labels produced from thinner materials. Material science developments have aided the reduction in volume and thickness of label materials, while maintaining the strength for handling and printing processes. In addition to the reductions in material that will be used for the labels, thinner materials offer other advantages to both the label printer and its customers. Printers can use rolls with longer lengths so that there is less downtime to splice on a new roll, and label users will receive more labels on longer rolls that are lighter and easier to manage.

Nestlé Waters North America has reduced the size of labels on its bottles by 35%, in addition to using lighter weight bottles. These initiatives have resulted in an annual saving of nearly 30,000 metric tonnes of plastic and 4,500 tonnes of paper.

Recyclability of packaging materials is of growing importance globally, and local authorities around the world are introducing and improving recovery schemes for household and industrial waste. The label is a relatively small part of the packaging, but the choice of materials can play an important role in recycling processes.

Labels can affect the purity of the plastic that is recovered, or potentially make mixed plastic packaging unrecyclable. Most reclaimers pre-wash recovered plastic bottles with very hot water or steam, shrinking the bottle slightly to loosen dirt and remove as much of the labels as possible before granulation.

The purity of the recovered plastic granules will depend on how easily the adhesive can be removed. Development of new label adhesives have been introduced to ensure that the bond is broken completely, resulting in high purity reyclate. A practical example of this can be found in Avery Dennison’s CleanFlake, a water-based recyclable adhesive. The adhesive is designed so that the cohesive bond is only broken during the sink-float process, allowing the label and adhesive to cleanly separate from the granules to give pure PET flakes.

Greater automation in label printing
New demands on label printers for shorter print runs, faster turnaround, and greater flexibility and customisation is driving the label printing industry towards higher levels of automation. Printers are investing in sophisticated management information systems (MIS) that are integrated with specialised inspection and colour performance software and technology, and even fully automated press and finishing line set-up systems.

The ultimate objective is to establish a capability for running completely automated and streamlined workflows 24 hours per day, that receive job orders by electronic data interchange. The new automated systems can utilise the potential of Cloud computing and the Internet of Things to liaise with shipping carriers, set up invoices and receive payment advice, and use Wi-Fi for remote access and control of production processes. Automation is also being applied to warehouse management and the preparation of shipments to customers. Higher levels of automation mean that the role of the employees is changing, and new skill sets are required from those of traditional printers.

Digital print
With the end-users of printed labels requiring the ability to provide greater variety and opportunities for customisation from printers, developments in the digital (toner and inkjet) printing processes are attracting the highest levels of investment. The drive is to improve print run speeds and print quality, and reduce production costs. All these requirements require initiatives in developing new print presses, software and its compatibility with automated management systems, and better and higher quality inks.

Premiumising products
Premiumisation is the process by which the apparent quality of a product can be enhanced by using expensive-looking labels or packaging, without making any fundamental changes to the product itself.

There are a variety of new options available to the label printer to produce premium labels. In addition to presenting a higher-quality looking design, the printer can use different print effects to embellish the labels to give them a more ‘expensive’ appearance.

The substrate for the label can also play an important role in presenting a high-quality image, either from the appearance of the base colour onto which the details are printed, or by imparting tactile or haptic effects using a process like spot varnishing.

Anti-counterfeiting solutions
Counterfeiting continues to affect the pharmaceuticals industry, as well as other industries solutions that include electronics, food, wine, spirits and high-end cosmetics. It is estimated that it affects 5–7% of world trade. Manufacturers and customers may also need to cope with problems caused by package tampering and theft throughout the shipping channel.

Manufacturers and despatch companies have introduced a variety of security features onto product labels and packaging to reduce the effects of counterfeiting, and new measures are continually being introduced as the counterfeiters become more sophisticated. These methods include glues that make labels harder to remove and and sophisticated integrated designs.

The fine wine and spirits segments are seeing the arrival of a number of bespoke labels integrating a number of security features that allow customers to verify the authenticity of their purchase via QR codes linked to secure company websites. For more information on these trends and the market outlook for label printing, visit The Future of Label Printing to 2022.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Pidilite Industries and Germany's Jowat SE Enter into Collaboration Detmold

Pidilite Industries Ltd, a leading manufacturer of adhesives in India, has entered into collaboration with Jowat SE, a German family-owned enterprise and one of the leading suppliers of industrial adhesives worldwide. As part of the collaboration, Pidilite will now exclusively handle sales and distribution of the entire range of Jowat adhesives in India and other neighbouring countries including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal. In addition to this, the two companies have also entered into a technical collaboration encompassing the high growth, specialised category of Hot Melt adhesives. This will provide a comprehensive range of Thermoplastic Hot Melt adhesives for use in several industrial, and modular and other wooden furniture segments.

Mr. Bharat Puri, Managing Director, Pidilite Industries Limited, said, “The collaboration is in line with Pidilite’s ambitions to continuously improve its already strong market position in all the segments where it is present, and especially in adhesives. Pidilite’s leading presence in several consumer product segments, with hugely popular brands, is complemented by a large range of industrial products, developed and marketed to meet specific requirements in the country. The synergies between Jowat and Pidilite in terms of product range, customer segments served and technologies deployed are clear and visible. Both companies together are uniquely placed to capitalise on the healthy prospects for growth in the segments targeted.”

Mr. Klaus Kullmann, Member of the Board of Directors of Jowat SE, said, “We see a strong platform for sustained growth through collaboration with Pidilite. Jowat has pioneered the development of several high end adhesive products, and has constantly undertaken development work at the cutting edge of adhesive technology. The company’s core competence lies in innovation in both technology and R&D, and in delivering outstanding technical service to customers. There is an excellent value match between Pidilite and Jowat to meet the future needs of customers for quality products in all high-growth segments such as furniture, packaging, automotive, and textile, among others, where specialised adhesives are used.”

The collaboration is for the long term, and leverages the well-known strengths and capabilities of the two companies. It aims to provide best-in-class technology and products to customers, comprising of manufacturers of furniture and varied industrial products with requirement of adhesives.

Sun Chemical acquires PPG’s Metal Deco Ink Business

Sun Chemical has acquired the metal deco ink business of PPG, a U.S.-based global supplier of paints, coatings and specialty materials. PPG, with a well consolidated portfolio, and Sun Chemical are both long standing players in the metal packaging industry.

Through the acquisition, which reflects Sun Chemical’s strategy to grow by acquiring businesses that complement areas of its existing operations, Sun Chemical will expand both its operational territories and its overall position in the global metal deco market. By combining PPG’s complementary portfolio of metal deco products with those of Sun Chemical, customers will benefit from further innovative solutions and what will be the widest ink portfolio in the metal decoration market.

“With changes in consumer tastes and lifestyles across the world driving increased demand for canned food and beverages, brands are constantly seeking new ways of decorating the metal packaging of their products to differentiate them from the competition,” said Felipe Mellado, Chief Marketing Officer and Board Member at Sun Chemical. “The acquisition of PPG’s metal deco ink business means that Sun Chemical will now be able to offer customers an enhanced range of metal deco solutions to help them achieve their marketing goals.”

Almost a year ahead, PrintPack India 2019 operational work tenders are being floated

The Indian Printing Packaging & Allied Machinery Manufacturers’ Association (IPAMA) is organizing the 14th edition of PrintPack India exhibition at India Expo Centre, Greater from February 01-06, 2019.  To meet the requirements of international standards, timely completion of various operational activities and to keep transparency at all levels, IPAMA has already floated tenders and also uploaded the same on its web-site, inviting competitive bids from the reputed companies.  The selection process will be completed well in time to avoid any last movement rush or inconvenience to exhibitors, business visitors and other concerned parties.

Recently IPAMA has appointed M/s Elbon conference & Events Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi which is a Minar Group Company, as Travel Partner for PrintPack India 2019 exhibition. The company will arrange hotel accommodation to the exhibitors & business visitors at best rates preferably in close proximity of the Exhibition Venue ranging from Budget to Five Star categories.  It will arrange domestic, trans-border and international air travel bookings and seat reservations in trains for exhibitors & business visitors. It will also provide foreign exchange facility, Visa Services and Taxi Services during the exhibition at the venue.

IPAMA had also signed agreements with number of Associations for promotion and participation mobilization of their members in the Exhibition. Association of Label Printers & Suppliers (ALPS) has already booked six stands from the Label segment for their members.  Many more companies from different segments are in the pipeline.

IPAMA is making efforts to ensure that all the activities relating to PPI 2019 are processed and finalized ‘On-line’.  This will help in timely completion of all the activities in a smooth and hassle free manner. This will also help in taking prompt and timely action on various issues so that the exhibitors and business visitors could get international facilities.