By DPS Staff
The print industry is evolving with the availability of digital printing technologies and automated finishing equipment. The packaging segment is experiencing exciting developments as technology advances. Within packaging, the label sector is already strongly influenced by digital print and finishing solutions.
This year, Labelexpo hit the Americas. The recurring event took place from September 25 to 27, 2018 at the Donald E Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. The trade show encompasses both traditional and digital printing technologies for label production, as well as finishing, workflow, media, and other tools that influence its continued growth and evolution.
More than 500 exhibitors displayed products over five halls for the three-day event. In addition to the exhibit floor, attendees were treated to 45 speakers, several educational conference sessions, and a new Automation Arena.
Here we provide a few exhibitor highlights from the recent event.
AB Graphic International (ABG) exhibited 14 machines over four booths covering a range of finishing applications, demonstrating its continued commitment to finishing. The Digicon Series 3 is ABG’s flagship product, which showcased a monster beverage specification with the new fast flatbed screen printing module; BIG FOOT 50 tonne flatbed hot foil unit; and its little sister, the 25 tonne flatbed hot foil unit. Additionally, ABG’s Digilase laser solution was launched at the show. Visitors could also see the Digicon Series 3 with the Jetfx digital embellishment module—an offline, fully digital system creating varnish and foil effects. The company also announced the ILC760, a solution for fully integrated inline coating on the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press.
BST North America showcased its range of quality assurance products for label printing and the narrow web market in a shared booth with its subsidiary, AccuWeb. Visitors were treated to a comprehensive portfolio of solutions responding to numerous technical and economic challenges that arise with the web-oriented manufacture of labels.
CGS Publishing Technologies International demonstrated the latest in ORIS technology. Presenting its packaging- and label-centric portfolio of software, equipment, consumables, and services, the company showcased all-in-one solutions for prototyping and color control within the packaging market.
Color-Logic demonstrated how its Design Suite and color communication system help take the guesswork out of designing for metallic and eliminates the trial-and-error approach normally associated in working with print embellishments when producing labels, shrink sleeves, flexible packaging, and cartons in metallics.
Epson announced the Epson SurePress L-6534VW. Designed for label converters investing in a digital label press for the first time or looking to expand production facilities, the SurePress L-6534VW delivers three print speed modes to meet a range of converter needs including high-density white at 49 feet per minute (fpm), standard at 98 fpm, and productivity at 162 fpm. The new press joined the SurePress L-6034VW and L-4533AW on the exhibit floor. In addition, Epson featured its line of ColorWorks on demand inkjet label printers.
Esko shared a stand with Danaher sister companies AVT, Pantone, and X-Rite. It showcased its ability to work together to integrate automation and collaboration solutions with the X-Rite and Pantone color technology and AVT’s camera inspection solutions. The integrations are designed to preserve the digital flow of data across connected systems, addressing market demands for faster time to market and ‘Right First Time’ production in smaller lot sizes while taking cost and waste reduction into account. In addition to its own booth, Esko solutions were found in many partner stands throughout the show floor.
Gallus and Heidelberg highlighted their strengthened integration. The two companies exhibited jointly, unveiling the new Gallus Smartfire digital label printing system to the North American market. Additionally, the companies demonstrated the Heidelberg 4D Omnifire 250 inkjet digital printer.
GMG featured predictive, multi-channel profiling and proofing tools. The company highlighted GMG OpenColor 2.2, a new version of the FTA Technical Innovation award recipient, GMG ColorProof 5.10 and GMG FlexoProof, and color-accurate prototypes created by an Epson SureColor S80 Series printer. GMG OpenColor is a proofing technology that predicts the color appearance of printed inks—particularly overprints—without requiring extensive fingerprinting. Additionally, GMG ColorProof and GMG FlexoProof are enhanced to support GMG OpenColor capabilities.
Hop Industries announced the availability of its 2019 product guide and samples book. The Hop-Syn resource features its range of environmentally friendly synthetic paper grades. It now includes a companion guide with how-to articles that address the multitude of processes and applications for the durable substrate. The 24-page resource also includes samples of Hop-Syn synthetic paper grades and gauges.
Konica Minolta demonstrated the AccurioLabel 190 dry toner electrophotographic digital press, which prints CMYK at 1,200×1,200 dpi. The engine supports a new un-winder/re-winder design allowing larger diameter roll media to be used. Feeding speeds range from 31 to 62 fpm. Compatible print substrates include pressure-sensitive paper, BOPP, PET, and wine stocks in gloss, semi-gloss, or matte finish. Further, the MGI JETvarnish 3DW allows label printers to go digital for spot UV coating and embossed hot foiling without dies, screens, or expensive tooling on narrow webs. Konica Minolta also exhibits the Precision Label Series 475i light-production inkjet label press. Designed with the latest Memjet printhead and ink technology, the 475i provides the ease-of-use, quality, and speed convertors need to fulfill short runs and fast turnarounds. A matching near-line finisher was also exhibited.
Mactac showcased several solutions for refrigerated and frozen foods. Each product in Mactac’s cold temperature bundle is available on a variety of facestocks to meet specific application needs. Products included Glacier 733, CHILL AT, 640 AT, and 710 DL.
Mark Andy has more than doubled its supply and service operations and expanded workflow offerings in recent years.
Six new innovations were unveiled and eight technologies were demonstrated throughout the three-day event. Among the products showcased, the company’s Digital Series HD digital hybrid technology made its formal trade show debut. Introduced in March, the true hybrid printer runs 240 fpm at all covers with a visible print quality of 1,200 dpi.
One year after the launch of DuraLink, Memjet announced the company has signed new OEM partners, formed alliances with strategic primer and integrator companies, and hired new personnel to support the demand from OEM partners around the globe. The DuraLink Platform combines long-life printheads, pigment ink, and flexible modules to give OEM partners an easy way to develop solutions for high-volume commercial, packaging, and industrial printing markets.
Michelman showcased solutions for HP Indigo Pack Ready for labels. DigiGuard 901 is a post-print UV OPV strengthener, designed to improve the performance of HP-validated OPVs used in combination with Michelman’s inline primers. DigiGuard 901 is applied post print by mixing with many off-the-shelf UV overprint varnishes, and provides further versatility as it supports the entire portfolio of HP Indigo’s existing label press solutions including HP Indigo 6000 series presses, the HP Indigo 8000, and the HP Indigo 20000.
Nilpeter showcased the FA, PANORAMA Hybrid, and FB-350 label presses. The FA and PANORAMA Hybrid were in its own booth, while the FB-350 was found in the KURZ booth. All three presses made their U.S. debut at the show following the worldwide launch at last year’s Labelexpo in Belgium.
OneVision Software presented, along with Screen GP Americas, a holistic production workflow covering prepress to post press. The seamless integration of OneVision’s automated label printing software Label Automation Suite and Screen’s Equios Workflow is designed to simplify the daily production of label converters.
Phoseon Technology introduced TargetSure Technology, a patent-pending technology that monitors UV irradiance in real time. TargetSure provides integrated real-time irradiance and Semiconductor Light Matrix monitoring for the family of Phoseon UV LED products. The device detects if UV output is within the expected defined range and immediately notifies the user of UV output degradation and inconsistencies. The company also launched FireEdge FE100, the first natural convection UV LED light source for industrial curing.
Screen Americas showcases its L350UV+ and L350UV+LM label presses. Both solutions deliver the same run speeds of up to 60 meters per minute and both feature Screen’s three-picoliter drop size and four-level grayscale technology for unmatched print quality and brilliant and wider color gamut achieved with SCREEN’s CMYK+W+Orange inks.
SEI Laser demonstrated True Digital Finishing on its Labelmaster digital finishing machine in Matik’s booth. SEI Laser’s Labelmaster digital finishing machine delivers a cutting and finishing solution that fits the complete digital workflow process. The SEI Laser Labelmaster is a modular machine with many finishing options, such as semi-rotary flexo varnish—spot or flood, semi-rotary hot foil stamping, lamination, slitting, label shifter, cut to part, and servo sheeter. Laser options of 150w, 300w or 500w are available in single, double, or quad laser configurations with speeds up to 330 fpm.
Valloy unveiled the BIZPRESS 13R, a 13-inch, single-pass LED roll-to-roll label printer. The digital roll-to-roll label printer uses an LED production printing engine. The device offers a printing speed of up to 7.26 meters per minute and handles 1,000 square meter jobs easily by changing rolls three to four times with up to 1,200×2,400 dpi. Valloy displayed the BIZPRESS 13R high-speed economic digital roll label finisher DUOBLADE S and digital sheet-fed dual-blade sticker die-cutter DUOBLADE F together at the show.
DPS Magazine focuses on digital printing’s impact on a range of industry markets—including labels. We look forward to offering continued coverage of the segment’s advancement. Next year, Labelexpo is held in Brussels for Labelexpo Europe 2019. dps
Oct2018, DPS Magazine