By Cassandra Balentine
As digital print technologies spread into new markets, this year’s PACK EXPO International was one to watch. Celebrating the 60th anniversary of its debut, the trade show was held from November 6 to 9, 2016 in Chicago, IL. The event was co-located with the Pharma EXPO.
The show’s producer and owner, Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI), reported that the trade show was the largest in its history; attracting 2,512 exhibitors over 1.25 million square feet of exhibit space and 46,000 targeted buyers.
In addition to exhibits, the show provided a range of educational offerings, including three Innovation Stages at PACK EXPO and one at Pharma EXPO, which offered free on-site education and relevant topic tracks.
Among the thousands of exhibitors, we pulled together a few highlights from the 2016 PACK EXPO event.
Accraply, a manufacturer of automated labeling and converting systems, demonstrated the recently introduced Stanford 438 slitter/rewinder. The device features ultrasonic unwind measurement, adaptive tension control, single or dual shaft winding, an onboard drive processor, and an intuitive 12-inch touchscreen.
Epson showcased its full lineup of ColorWorks on demand inkjet label printers, including the ColorWorks C7500G with Wasatch SoftRIP, the newest addition to its line. The company also showcased how various partner solutions are used with its lineup of desktop label printers in the label and packaging industry.
Hop-Syn highlighted its printable white opaque polypropylene plastic film that offers extreme tear resistance for anti-theft packaging. The product is made in a range of thicknesses in both rolls and custom sheet sizes and is printable by offset, screen, flexo, and UV inkjet.
HP Inc. announced the commercial availability of the HP Indigo Pack Ready Coating and HP Bulk Solvent Ink System as well as new worldwide customer installations of the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press. Helping flexible packaging converters address high-performance packaging applications, such as retort pouches, Pack Ready Coating is the first commercially-available solution from the HP Indigo Pack Ready ecosystem. Additionally, OEMs can leverage the HP Bulk Solvent Ink System to develop printers for the coding and marking sector, with the new system offering superior print quality, low cost per copy and minimal user intervention in high-volume production environments.
HP also announced several recent installations of the HP Indigo 20000 including U.S.-based ColorMaster, a flexible packaging converter, Japan-based Seikou, a flexible packaging converter; China-based Green Love, a candy manufacturer; Mexico-based Nanogruppe, a flexible packaging provider for food and medical industries; and South Africa-based REN-FROM, a commercial print house.
ID Technology announced the availability of the latest update to its ciSeries range of continuous inkjet printers from Citronix. The ci5000 series builds on the success of previous ciSeries machines. One of the greatest enhancements includes a touchscreen built for industrial environments. Additionally, the ci5000 series features ciEasyServ, a tool-free service module that combines all of the serviceable fluid filters into one, self-enclosed module that can be replaced in less than one minute.
Kluge demonstrated its newest generation folding and gluing system, the OmniFold 30000. The machine is a completely modular system that offers synchronized touchscreen controls, interchangeable feeding units, modular alignment system, modular pre-break device, interchangeable bearing bed transports, and interchangeable vacuum transports. The solution converted various folding cartons. The company also demonstrated—through a strategic partnership with LasX—an innovative laser converting technology featuring the CartonsInMinutes laser processing and converting solutions for folding cartons and other folded and glued products.
Memjet OEM partners showcased a range of packaging solutions that helps manufacturers. Digital press manufacturers on display at PACK EXPO featuring Memjet inkjet technology include Afinia, Colordyne, RENA Systems, TrojanThree, VIPColor, and Xante.
RENA by Neopost, a brand of Neopost, showcased its new from-the-ground-up digital color printer. The all-new MACH 6, coming in 2017, is based on Memjet technology and utilizes the new Sirius platform. The MACH 6 offers a six-inch color touchscreen interface, an open throat and straight paper path that accommodates 10×13-inch envelopes and two print modes.
Xerox highlighted its ability to provide a solution perfectly packaged for business, including folding cartons, flexible packaging, corrugated, direct to object, coding and marking, and smart packaging. In its booth, the company featured live demonstrations of a Direct to Object printer that prints on demand, personalized on three-dimensional objects on a variety of substrates.
See you in 2017
Next year, PACK EXPO is headed to Las Vegas, IL from September 25 to 27, 2017. dps