By DPS Staff
The Labelexpo Global Series hit Rosemont, IL from September 9 to 11, 2014 with Labelexpo Americas. The event is dedicated to label, production, decorating, web printing, and converting. With increased interest in digital label and packaging production, many familiar companies from the digital production print industry exhibited at the event.
New this year, Labelexpo Americas featured the Inkjet Trail, which put four of the leading inkjet press manufacturers in the limelight as they used their respective technologies to each produce otherwise identical label designs. The Inkjet Trail showcased Domino, Durst, EFI, and Epson. Using the same paper, film, and foil substrates provided by Avery Dennison, FLEXcon, and UPM Raflatac, show attendees collected samples and compared the results for themselves.
Throughout the expo, main conference presentations took place to cover everything from business strategy to the Internet of Things. Breakout sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday featured digital printing, design and branding for the converter, label trends and technology, and package printing.
On the Floor
The following exhibitors and more highlighted the latest in digital label printing and packaging applications.
Allen Datagraph Systems, Inc. displayed two complete digital label systems at Labelexpo Americas, the iTech CENTRA HS Digital Label System and iTech AXXIS HS Digital Label System. The iTech CENTRA HS Digital Label System combines the iTech CENTRA HS Digital Label Printer with the iTech CENTRA HS Digital Label Finisher. It’s a complete roll-to-roll solution along with low, ongoing operational expenses. With the iTech CENTRA HS Digital Label System, label convertors can lower production costs and waste created by smaller quantity jobs, while offering new capabilities to their customers. The iTech AXXIS HS Digital Label System combines the iTech AXXIS HS Digital Label Printer with the iTech AXXIS HS Digital Label Finisher. It’s a complete roll-to-roll table-top solution with low, ongoing operational expenses. The LED toner iTech AXXIS HS Digital Label Printer images consumer-quality labels with consistent color at 1,200×600 dpi, at speeds up to 25 fpm (fpm). INFO# 900
Colordyne Technologies (CDT) exhibited its complete product line and unveiled new 3600 Series Digital Label Printing Press. Powered by Memjet, the CDT 3600 provides the latest in proven closed loop tension control technology and is available with low-cost inline finishing options and configurations. It also brings several benefits to the Production Class Digital Color Printing System including, but not limited to, enhanced print quality; increased resolution of 1,600×1,375 dpi; reduced RIP times; speeds up to 225 fpm; and a more user-friendly interface. Show attendees witnessed displays and demonstrations of CDT’s products, including the new 3600 Series, throughout the floor including its own booth as well as partner booths including Styers Equipment Company, AzTECH Converting Systems, and Avery Dennison. INFO# 901
Dainippon Screen’s Media And Precision Technology Company announced that it is scheduled to commence the sale of its new JetConverter L350 digital label finishing line in October. This system can be used with Screen’s existing Truepress Jet L350UV inkjet label printing system to enable the construction of a fully integrated production line, spanning from data input to printing, processing, and finishing. Displayed at Labelexpo Americas, the JetConverter L350 delivers throughput of up to 164 fpm. The JetConverter L350 digital label finishing line offers similar high-speed processing of 209.9 fpm, allowing it to be used with the Truepress Jet L350UV. Throughput may vary depending on factors such as the type of media and repeat length used. Together, these systems allow the construction of an integrated production line that runs from data input through to label finishing. INFO# 902
Durst features the Tau LFS 330 (Laser Finishing System) UV Inkjet Digital Label Press, a complete workflow solution for digital labels and specialty packaging. Also displayed was a standard-configuration Tau 330, which is a UV inkjet digital imager that prints on a 13-inch web. Both utilize Durst’s low-migration/low-odor inks, which are developed for the industrial label, primary food packaging, and pharmaceutical segments, but optimal for any application that benefits from high-quality, precise imaging. INFO# 903
EFI showcased its products, technology, and services leading the transformation of analog to digital imaging. The company’s integrated product portfolio includes digital front-end servers; superwide, wide format, label, and ceramic inkjet presses and inks; production workflow, Web to print, and business automation software; and office, enterprise, and mobile cloud solutions. These products allow users to produce, communicate, and share information in an easy and effective way, and enable businesses to increase profits, productivity, and efficiency. INFO# 904
Epson America showcased its full range of prime, sub-prime, and GHS label solutions, as well as a laser finishing unit. The company also participated in Inkjet Trail, which challenged five of the leading inkjet press manufacturers to produce identical label designs. Epson also displayed upgrades to the SurePress L-4033A/AW digital label press, including a clear sensor that allows for printing on a clear substrate with a clear liner, as well as improved variable data printing processing for maximum label customization. INFO# 905
Esko offered its complete preproduction solutions for label production. Highlights include the first official North American viewing of Suite 14, along with Equinox and Full HD Flexo technologies. Suite 14 is a complete collection of preproduction software tools for labels and packaging. It supports and manages the packaging and print processes at brand owners, retailers, designers, packaging manufacturers, and print service providers. Suite 14 focuses on five key directions supporting the future of packaging workflows, quality, task-driven interactive editing, improved workflow automation, smart templates, and online supply chain integration. Esko’s booth also featured CHILI Publish and its professional online document editor. INFO# 906
FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division featured Graphium, a UV inkjet press. INFO# 907
GMG showed a complete complement of color management and proofing systems for label printing. On display, GMG OpenColor, which is designed to precisely predict the color appearance of printed ink. The spectral color engine of GMG OpenColor 1.1 is now capable of creating up to 15 channel profiles without fingerprinting the press. The software automatically averages data, especially helpful when importing data collected at different press run times. As a result, any possible deviation is included in the final profile calculation. Flexo prepress companies will particularly profit from the new color intensity and dot gain adjustments. Also shown, GMG ColorMaster 2.1, which keeps images in an RGB space until they are needed. The company notes that RGB data storage and workflows have become increasingly popular, particularly with the use of a wider variety of media and print processes. By viewing images in the GMG ColorMaster color space, content originators—typically photographers—can make image adjustments early before storing files into the database. Unlike other RGB workflows, GMG ColorMaster offers viewing on a virtual CMYK color space, which guarantees WYSIWYG for print—either previewed on a monitor, or a GMG ColorMaster hard proof. Other solutions demonstrated include GMG ColorProof 5.5, ColorServer 4.9, and GMG CoZone. INFO# 908
Hewlett-Packard (HP) debuted the HP Indigo WS6800 and 20000 Digital Presses for the first time in the U.S. The HP Indigo WS6800 Digital Press is the third generation of the HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press. Delivering breakthrough productivity, versatility, and color management, the press introduces advanced digital performance for a variety of applications, including pressure-sensitive labels, in-mold labeling, and shrink sleeves. The company notes that it is experiencing strong market acceptance of the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press since its commercial availability in May 2014, ten worldwide customer site installations already completed. Also featured in HP’s booth, was the new patent-pending Mosaic application of HP SmartStream Designer, which offers the fast turnaround of highly customized campaigns where every copy is different. With a high degree of automation and tight integration with the converting process, this new design software recently powered a localized label campaign for one of the world’s largest beverage brands. This campaign generated two million variations from 23 original label bottle designs for a unique consumer experience. The company also exhibited a new self-sustaining imaging oil kit for HP Indigo digital presses, which reduces waste by generating distilled imaging oil sufficient for the printing process and maintenance with no external oil needed. Additionally, encouraging customers to look beyond traditional packaging applications, HP highlighted its complete portfolio of digital packaging solutions at the show, including the HP Indigo 30000 Digital Press for high-quality folding cartons as well as corrugated packaging applications including the HP Scitex 15000 Corrugated Press for direct printing on corrugated media and the HP high-speed inkjet corrugated packaging solution, which is based on the T400 Simplex Color Inkjet Web Press for high-volume corrugated package printing. INFO# 909
INX International Ink Co. introduced a new and larger digital narrow web press, a new small batch ink dispenser, and new flexographic and gravure label inks. New equipment includes the Komori NW210 inkjet UV digital narrow web press with inline laser and the HMJ-200 small batch ink dispenser. The HMJ-200 small batch ink dispenser from HMJtech Dispensing Solutions is unique for the tag and label market. A cost-effective solution for small-to-medium sized batches, it is manufactured to North American and European safety and compliance standards. Requiring little space with a compact footprint, it comes fully assembled and ready to dispense ink. Additionally, three AquaTech premium quality water-based flexographic ink formulations were displayed. INFO# 910
iSys Label showcased the EDGE 850, a roll-to-roll digital label printer for printing full color BS5609-compliant chemical drum labels on demand. With recent “BS5609 Section 3 Certification” by the Print Industry Research Association, the EDGE 850 makes easy work out of printing GHS-compliant labels. Die-cut labels printed on the EDGE 850 deliver stability and resistance to water, chemicals, fading, and smudges when exposed to the harshest of elements. Developed for the short-run label market, the EDGE 850 prints on a variety of substrates in die-cut, kiss-cut, or continuous rolls for the label market. In addition to the EDGE 850, iSys Label also showcased its flagship product, the APEX 1290—a digital label press for short to mid run production. INFO# 911
Komori America Corporation co-exhibited with INX International Ink Co. The companies introduced the NW210-E intuitive inkjet UV digital narrow web press. Adaptable and compact, the NW210-E is designed to cost effectively meet the growing need for both label and commercial print providers looking to expand their business opportunities. Komori is the sole national dealer for INX International in the U.S. Built in collaboration with Spartanics and powered by the JetINX printhead drive and ink recirculation system, the NW210-E press is flexible and easy-to-use. It incorporates a low-heat UV-LED pinning and curing system for single pass output at up to 80 fpm on a variety of label materials. The NW210-E combines printing and conversion by using the Spartanics X210 200W laser die-cutting station to generate brilliant color labels with basic to complicated die designs in just seconds. INFO# 912
Label Traxx unveiled Version 7.1 of its MIS system. Visitors had the opportunity to experience the beta model of the software. Version 7.1 builds upon the success and performance of Version 7, which uses the latest 4D database technology. For this latest update, Label Traxx is focused on advancing the paperless office, with a new external document system that can store multiple document types, including PDF, .MOV, .DOC, .and XLS. The storage system has been added to all areas of the program for storing the paper trail, proofs, and ISO. INFO# 913
Lake Image Systems released the latest in its range of digital imaging technologies, including unique scanning and imaging hardware aimed at narrow web and label inspection, traceability, and brand protection print applications. INFO# 914
MACtac focused on the power of its performance adhesives including its broad digital offerings for the latest and most placed OEM technology, including INDIE, MACcopy, and MACcopy JR. INFO# 915
Muller Martini spoke with visitors about the quality, flexibility, and proficiency that make Muller’s web presses ideal solutions for label, flexible packaging, folding carton, and other packaging opportunities. Highlighted was its Variable Sleeve Offset Printing (VSOP) web press technology, which delivers a one-stop solution for a variety of packaging needs, including shrink sleeves, wet-glue, wrap-around, and in-mold labels; films, laminates, and food packaging; and folding boxes, liquid packaging, and carton printing. Additionally, information about Muller Martini’s other mid- and narrow-web offset offerings—the Alprinta and Concepta—were available. INFO# 916
Schober featured its rotary die-cutting technology, which is designed for converting of digital or conventionally printed film and foil, laminates, coated paper laminates, and composite materials. The Spider high-speed programmable robotic stacking and counting system combines acceleration, velocity, and precision at speeds of up to 164 fpm—allowing stacking of various types of products within the same print image. Ideal for digitally printed in-mold labels, this technology allows nested product configurations with a combination of large/long and small products. The RSM-Digi/VS is ideal for use with OPP, PE, PS, and PET. The technology is available with web widths to 33 inches and die cutting repeat of up to 48 inches. A 100 percent product inspection system with defective product discharge is available. In addition to the robotic Spider delivery, other proven stacking/delivery devices available include “M” stack for short runs, “S” stack for longer runs, “SM” for awkward products, and “SMA” a fully automated solution. INFO# 917
TOSHIBA TEC showcased an array of innovative solutions for the label market and other narrow web industrial markets. The company’s drop-on-demand piezoelectric inkjet printheads are designed for a range of application. The advanced design of TOSHIBA TEC inkjet printheads ensure high reliability and high-quality print at competitive prices. INFO# 918
Xeikon demonstrated pressure-sensitive label and folding carton production solutions as well as samples of IML and heat transfer applications. Furthermore, Xeikon experts discussed the capabilities of digital printing technology and the distinctive attributes of Xeikon 3000 Series of presses. The Xeikon 3000 Series represents a range of digital label and packaging presses available today, with entry-level as well as high-productivity models. All the entry-level models can be field-upgraded to higher-productivity models as the user’s business grows. In partnership with its Xeikon Aura partners, the company also offers a series of complete solution suites for specific applications, including pressure-sensitive labels, folding cartons, IML, and heat transfer labels. The Xeikon Aura partners include leading suppliers of print media, equipment, software, and consumables. INFO# 919
Digital print technology is heating up the label production space. As new technologies hit the scene, those that have been on the market for a few years continue to evolve. Whether a traditional converter would like to take on digital, or a company is starting from scratch, LabelExpo provides an excellent outlet for education across the board. dps