By Cassandra Balentine
Digital is making an impression at this year’s InfoFlex 2023. One of the first and largest North American exhibitions of 2023 focused on the entire package printing industry. The event attracts package printers in every segment from around the world featuring companies covering the end-to-end package printing workflow.
Hosted by the Flexographic Technical Association, the event took place in Columbus, OH, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center from April 17 to 18, 2023.
Here are a few highlights from the show floor.
All Printing Resources Inc. demonstrated its FlexoAcademy online training platform, the all-new ServiceSentry, as well as the latest advancements in SupplySentry and SpotOn Color. The company also had representatives on hand to discuss the many other technology solutions it provides.
Ashe Converting Equipment highlighted its CleanPrint product, designed to improve process efficiency, reduced cost, and a sustainable environmental business solution in flexographic plate making without volatile organic compound-based washout solvents. Asahi’s range of flexographic plate solutions offer winning solutions for all types of substrates and label/packaging applications.
Baldwin Technology Company Inc. demonstrated the level of perfection achievable with its inspection and LED technologies for narrow and wide web print. Baldwin solutions on display included Defender and PQV inspection, offline proofing, web viewing, color measurement with DeltaCam, and LED UV technology. In addition, Baldwin’s AMS Spectral UV-brand LED UV technology offers the highest curing intensities available for printing.
BOBST North America Inc. featured integrated solutions and advanced automation technology for flexible packaging production. Among products shown was the BOBST VISION central impression (CI) flexographic press, which delivers efficient operations for all production lengths on a wide range of film, paper, and laminated substrates.
BST systems shows how its products ensure consistent, first-class production results in web processing industries and contribute significantly to accelerating production processes and achieving long-term productivity increases. The company assists customers in improving product quality and increasing efficiency throughout the entire manufacturing process.
Comexi North America highlights its equipment for the flexible packaging industry, ranging from flexographic CI, offset CI, and digital printing presses to slitters, laminators, and all related services needed to achieve maximum profit and performance.
DIPCO showcased its disposable ink pans, fountains, and catch tray liners for the print industry. It provides solutions to cut downtime and streamline production operations. Its product offerings eliminate reliance on harsh chemical cleaning agents, expensive cleaning equipment, and excessive support personnel while practicing and encouraging environmental stewardship.
Dri-Tec Converting Systems highlights is experience in coating/laminating, rotary/flatbed die cutting, unwinds/rewinds, flexographic printing/drying and peripherals including nip units, chill rolls, dancers, turn-bars, slitting, delivery and stacking equipment in web widths up to 120-inches. Its services include troubleshooting, maintenance, refurbishing, repair, and control upgrades for existing OEM equipment.
Edale Ltd, recently acquired by Canon, highlights its technology from narrow, mid web flexographic and digital printing presses and converting equipment worldwide. Among products shown, the FL5 Carton Production Line. Its latest high-volume carton line gives ultra-value as it’s up to 40 percent more productive.
Epson showcased its leading digital label press technology at the event, as well as offering a live remote demonstration of the SurePress from Epson’s Carson Technology Center.
Energy Sciences Inc featured its electron beam (EB) systems and solutions. The company offered GelflexEB CI Flexo EB-cured inks are ultra-high solids, gel-based inks, which are fluid enough for CI flexographic printing, but thicken rapidly, providing effective high-speed ink trapping in the wet state.
FUJIFILM Graphic Systems Division showcased the Illumina LED Curing System. Transform virtually any flexographic press with this LED retrofit system. Illumina is a two-part system consisting of an LED curing unit and specially formulated LED inks that easily convert existing water-based or UV flexographic presses to boost productivity and reduce cost.
GEW Inc. highlighted AeroLED, which is GEW’s latest UV LED product. Based on the same reliable build as GEW’s LeoLED, AeroLED lets printers upgrade their press to LED simply by adding a fan, ducting, and the cassette(s). AeroLED also offers a 50 to 70 percent energy savings compared to arc lamps, ensuring the customer’s costs are kept low.
GMG featured the newly released OpenColor 3.0, containing the next generation of its award-winning Spectral MX color engine.
GTI Graphic Technology Inc. displayed the CVX family LED lamps and CVX viewing stations, which are offered in four model sizes. Viewing areas range from 29×52 to 48×130 inches. Each includes D50 LED lamps, LiteGuard lamp monitoring, side walls, and a floor stand.
Heidelberg USA / Gallus highlighted its 100 years of label expertise and sophisticated engineering. Gallus One offers a complete digital label solution, including all the software and hardware necessary to produce high-quality, profitable digital labels.
HiFlow Solutions featured its latest software release at InfoFlex. Visitors to the booth will also be among the first to experience first-hand a brand-new, free entry-level imposition application, including download information and/or a flash drive containing the application and other valuable information.
HYBRID Software featured PACKZ, HYBRID Software’s PDF editor, which has been growing with efficiencies due to Pactions and MARS for distribution. In its version 8.5 release and Advanced Color module, color output prediction visibility has taken the next step forward.
Industrial Inkjet USA highlighted its digital print modules, which can be mounted to almost any existing press, flexographic station, or conveyors.
Interactive Inks & Coatings showcased how its inks provide heat resistance up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and eliminate pick-off or ink transfer to printheads. Excellent ribbon transfer allows this system extreme versatility for both direct and indirect imaging applications.
Interflex Laser Engravers highlighted its Blömker Hybrid Sleeves. This premium sleeve uses the same technology as the original robust sleeve design. The addition of a stronger than steel, carbon fiber technology inner cord makes it 20 to 25 percent lighter than the standard sleeve, and 40 to 45 percent lighter than the standard competitor sleeves.
INX International Ink Co. highlighted how its INXFlex Contour inks are specifically engineered for tried-and-true adhesion to shrink sleeves with heavy ink coverage and can be cured with either traditional UV or LED technology.
Koenig & Bauer featured the XG, a highly automated press for processing all substrates at production speeds of up to 1,969 feet per minute (fpm). In the XG LR, this press is available with a printing length of 49.21 inches. With the XG 12, Koenig & Bauer can manufacture a CI press with 12 printing units.
manroland Goss Web Systems Americas LLC featured after-market support for production equipment. Backed by deep engineering expertise, highly trained technicians, and the largest spare parts inventory in the industry, the company is poised to support equipment with solutions that ensure you remain productive. The company supports obsolescence management, enhancements, and service of all brands and models.
Mark Andy Inc displayed its PRO Series. It is a modular, full-servo flexographic press that enables converters using legacy presses to reap the productivity benefits of P Series tooling and setup. Pro Series offers low waste, quick changeovers and pre-registration, reducing time and materials for every job.
Nilpeter showcased the FA-26. Using water-based and solvent inks, with UV, LED, and ebeam processes—in any combination—the FA-26 is a game-changer in short-run flexible packaging, from pouches and sachets, to wrap-arounds, shrink sleeves, labels, and more.
Omet Americas Inc highlighted OMET KFLEX, a flexible and versatile printing press that is available in two web widths—16.93 and 20.87 inches. It has a maximum print speed of 656 fpm. Its SWITCH system allows printers to adapt the press configuration to their current and future production needs, maximizing productivity and quality.
Paper Converting Machine Co (PCMC)’s Meridian Elite provides some of the fastest cleaning cycles in the industry, without the use of water, chemicals, or damaging heat.
Peregrine Machine’s hybrid stack/CI combo four-color stack features a common impression for the top two stations and driven impressions for the lower two stations. The frames are available with or without the CI and in multiple configurations.
Phoseon Technology’s featured how its Nexus ONE premium UV LED curing lamps deliver maximum power and dose of UV energy for the flexographic markets where high performance is a key requirement. Nexus ONE enables quality applications at faster press speeds.
Prime UV-IR Systems Inc. showcased the IR/AK HYBRID Dryer, which combines the best of two drying technologies to produce superior drying of water-, soy-, and solvent-based chemistry. Add Prime’s Hybrid IR Dryer to existing lines to double process speeds or replace other drying technologies to improve speed and operating efficiencies, as well as educe energy usage.
Printco Industries showcased its wide web two-sided wax coater with servo drive, heated components for maximum web coverage and speed, inline with multi-color press.
Retroflex Inc featured the Fox-Series flexographic presses, which are designed to handle large repeats at high speeds while maintaining the precise register and product quality you demand. Available for 60 to more than 120 inches wide webs running speeds faster than 3,000 fpm.
SEI Laser USA-Matik displayed the Packmaker laser system for flexible packaging applications, which provides highly accurate micro-perforations along with macro-perforation and windowing capabilities.
SGK Elastomers focused on how its solutions help commercial printers improve quality, productivity, and efficiency while assuring brand consistency for brand owners.
Siegwerk discussed how it provides customers worldwide with tailored inks, coatings, and supportive services. The company’s offering combines in-depth ink expertise with an extensive knowledge in safety, technology, efficiency, and sustainability.
The CMM Group highlighted its robust and reliable regenerative thermal oxidizers and catalytic oxidizers with low operating costs and very high heat recovery.
Techkon showcased its latest color management solutions for flexography, including its handheld and automated inline systems, as well as advanced color management software.
TRESU Americas introduced the H5i G3 for high-performance circulation in special applications. This third-generation L-series coating circulator is targeted at high-performance circulation with high flow, viscosity, speed, temperatures, and pressure.
Uteco North America Inc demonstrated how the strong bond between brand values and industrial design creates and enhances the perception of Uteco’s brand and values. Designed according to principles that are functional to the greatest productivity.
Vemax featured VREX, the company’s premium entry for the 32- to 60-inch web width market. This machine combines speed, ease of use, flexibility, and price. It works well for narrow web, wide web, digital, and finishing needs.
Wikoff Color Corp discussed the development and manufacturing of water- and solvent-based inks and coatings. This new 40,000 square foot facility includes manufacturing, R&D, and the Wikoff Graphics Innovation Center with Asahi and Esko equipment.
X-Rite Incorporated and Pantone LLC displayed a connected ecosystem of color measurement solutions to transform the flexographic and packaging color workflow process. Attendees experienced firsthand how the next-generation eXact 2 handheld spectrophotometer connects to a software ecosystem, including InkFormulation Software and ColorCert Suite, to bring the print and packaging workflow together in one device for improved quality control and productivity.
Digital, Flexo, and More
InfoFlex equips package printers, converters, and consumer product companies with the tools and solutions that help to build their business’ future.
May2023, DPS Magazine