By DPS Staff
Labelexpo Europe 2017 was held at the Brussels Expo center from September 25 to 28, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. According to show hosts, it was the event’s biggest-ever edition with record-breaking exhibitor and visitor figures and show floor occupying nine exhibition halls.
The show brought more than 679 exhibitors, including 198 new companies. Visitors and exhibitors alike enjoyed an enhanced experience thanks to the recent refurbishment of Brussels Expo. Attracting professionals from Brazil, China, India, and Japan, the show reported 37,724 visitors—an increase of 5.6 percent on 35,739 visitors in 2015.
According to show hosts, labels remained the event’s central focus, however the show floor reflected diversification into flexible package printing with a wider appeal for brand owners and wide web converters. Additionally, growth in the digital printing technology sector was noticeable, attracting many high-profile launches and product demonstrations, detailed below.
On the Floor
A variety of print, finish, and workflow providers came to the event with products targeting digital label production environments.
Arconvert U.S. featured the latest additions to its flagship Manter and Adhoc product lines. The company launched its Black Label Creative Club. In conjunction with this initiative, Arconvert exhibited an exclusive selection of labeling applications from around the world. It also featured its latest collection distinguished by its earthy character, Organic, The Nature Label Collection. Based on natural shades and colors, the products in this series are inspired by nature.
Arconvert’s new offering of Manter labels for the cosmetic sector were also featured. The label materials in this offering are designed to infuse products with elegance and luxury.
Rounding out its new developments, the company featured its Wine & Spirits Label Collection, a new swatchbook created specifically for the North American market. This swatchbook features over 100 different Manter self-adhesive labels that inspire creativity and stimulate the senses.
AVT is an inline inspection and color management solutions provider recently acquired by Danaher PID group. The company demonstrated existing and newly integrated solutions such as X-rite’s ColorCert connectivity to AVT’s SpectraLab, and an integrated, automated quality workflow solution with Esko Automation Engine.
It highlighted the Helios D automatic inspection system; the iCenter Platform cloud-based workflow and automation solution; SpectraLab II, an inline, automatic spectral measurement device complaint with the XRGA standard; and Jet-IQ closed-loop quality measurement tool demonstrated in action on a Mark Andy digital press and a Gallus Labelfire.
Bobst and Radex introduced Mouvent digital printing technology developed by Radex. Mouvent, which is comprised of 80 employees in Switzerland, focuses on inventing and delivering the future of digital printing.
BST eltromat International showcased web guiding and web monitoring systems as well as package printing solutions, such as the iPQ-Center.
Another highlight was its partnership with Nyquist Systems for 100 percent inspection systems for narrow web and the cooperation with Carl Ostermann Erben, Colorware, and Colorbreeze in the field of color.
Additionally, the company highlighted its new ekr commander for the ekr 500 digital controller. Under the motto “Touch it!” the company features intuitive operation and a completely revised hardware. The new software with a higher-resolution graphical display and the flexible touchscreen of the new ekr commander offers maximum operating convenience.
Last but not least, BST highlighted the modular iPQ-Center. Featuring four modules—iPQ-Check for 100 percent inspection, iPQ-View for web monitoring, iPQ-Spectral for inline spectral color measurement, and iPQ-Workflow as the connective element—this high-end solution covers special customer requirements for quality assurance in narrow-web processes such as label printing.
Color-Logic showcased samples with the new HP Indigo ElectroInk Silver for the HP Indigo WS6800 press. In addition, Color-Logic demonstrated the possibilities on metallic stocks for label and folding carton applications using HP Indigo ElectroInk White and CMYK.
Color-Logic develops color communication systems and software tool sets for a variety of special effect printing applications. The company provides brand owners, product managers, corporations, and advertising with agencies the ability to differentiate themselves and their clients with a simple print production process that yields dramatic results.
Dalim and MGI demonstrated new, integrated production solutions to serve a range of print and content users from label creation to digital printing. MGI digital presses and finishing systems produced labels generated from DALIM ES, demonstrating how projects progress from brand owners to designers and into digital production.
For MGI, the partnership with Dalim presents an opportunity to emphasize the added value of flexible labels and packaging thanks to digital technologies.
Dalim ES is a collaborative solution that follows label and packaging projects from concept through production. It offers complete brand management, with approval cycles for all marketing efforts required for a product launch, including point of sale displays, marketing collateral, and promotional items, print advertising campaigns, social media, and video. With Dalim Software solutions, users possess tools that enable them to simplify and automate their marketing workflow while keeping everything under control under a centralized content management system.
Durst presented its latest development, the new digital high resolution, high speed, eight color label press Tau 330 RSC inline with OMET’s Xflex X6 hybrid solution as well as its new Web2Print workflow.
The Tau 330 RSC is a UV inkjet label and package printing press featuring 13-inch print width combined with leading-edge print speed of up to 245 feet per minute at 1,200×1,200 dpi printing resolutions.
Inline with Durst’s customer claim Configure Your Digital Future, the new Tau 330 RSC is available as stand-alone version or can be combined with inline digital laser die cutting LFS 330.
Also showcased was the flagship Tau 330 with Low Migration ink for primary food and pharmaceutical packaging as well as the economic entry model Tau 330E with its specially developed high pigmented UV inkjet inks.
Durst also introduced its new Web2Print solution for online design, preview, and ordering packaging products like labels and folding carton.
Also displayed was Durst’s own Workflow-Label Application Suite, a modular, expandable prepress software for order entry, prepress, RIP, color management, ink costing, and production data management.
EFI’s booth featured the new version 5 of EFI’s Packaging Suite workflow software. The company also showcased the enhanced EFI Jetrion 4950lxe LED inkjet narrow-web press with white ink, driven by advanced EFI Fiery digital front ends (DFEs) for digital label production.
The new version 5 of the EFI Packaging Suite gives label and packaging converters comprehensive business and production workflows that increase enterprise-wide profitability. The Suite, which features EFI Radius as its core ERP software, includes workflow enhancements in estimating, job planning, and shop floor data collection, as well as new digital print workflows and additional tools that enhance user productivity and collaboration.
Other new Packaging Suite workflow enhancements include online packaging procurement with EFI Digital StoreFront web to print software; automated planning optimization with EFI Metrix software; global resource scheduling with EFI PrintFlow software; dynamic, rich multi-channel marketing campaigns with EFI DirectSmile software; centralized, role-based productivity widgets with the Suite’s Productivity Workbench; and simplified, highly accurate estimating and planning.
Additionally, EFI’s Jetrion 4950lxe LED inkjet narrow-web digital label press helps customers create new opportunities with its expanded capabilities. Converters extend food packaging applications into digital label production thanks to the press’ new low-migration ink for non-food-contact surface production. The press also offers higher end imaging, plus users can achieve increased durability and gloss level control using EFI Armor UVF and UVR coatings.
This Jetrion press offers extended versatility as it includes media compatibility profiles for a broader range of label stocks, including Avery Dennison substrates used for durable labels and wine applications.
Optional inline finishing equipment available from EFI makes Jetrion one of the only digital press brands that enables users to take in blank substrate rolls on one end and receive complete, die cut, slit, and back-scored rolls at the other.
Esko launched two simplified turnkey workflow solutions, Automation Engine QuickStart for Labels and WebCenter QuickStart for Labels. These pre-configured, easy-to-use workflow solutions address many challenges that constrict throughput and cause inefficiencies in label manufacturing.
Esko WebCenter QuickStart for Labels is an out-of-the-box solution, either cloud-based software as a service or deployed on premises with pre-configured process flows. A built-in graphical viewer is coupled with collaborative approval tools for the review and approval of both 2D and 3D assets. The software manages a database of these centralized digital assets, allowing easy asset search and re-ordering of existing labels. It also comes with a dashboard and built-in operational reporting. Once installed, WebCenter Essentials for Labels drives a true paperless process, making it easy for both converters and their customers to know exactly where jobs are in the process.
Esko Automation Engine QuickStart for Labels immediately increases production capacity to deal with the growing number of smaller jobs without adding extra headcount. It offers most of the essential label prepress tasks, including preflighting, adding, and checking barcodes and content, trapping, step and repeat, and inserting marks and control strips—no matter what printing technology is used. Automation Engine QuickStart for labels is also scalable and can be upgraded with more functionality, such as automated quality control, color management, and output device control. According to the company, the software can be installed and put into action with full operator training in as little as three days.
Esko Automation Engine QuickStart for labels has been specifically designed to include digital label printers in a seamless workflow process, particularly HP Indigo label presses. An extended cooperative effort between HP Indigo and Esko was announced at the show.
The new DFE, HP Production Pro for Indigo Labels and Packaging, was unveiled for the first time at Labelexpo Europe 2017, demonstrated in conjunction with Esko Automation Engine QuickStart for Labels, tightly integrated with a Cerm MIS to enable determination of the most cost effective way to print, including suitability for Enhanced Productivity Mode printing (CMY) on HP Indigo presses.
Gallus unveiled the prototype of its new digital finishing technology. This innovation is a joint development by three Swiss companies, Steinemann Technology AG and Gallus Ferd. Rüesch AG, both from St. Gallen, and Schmid Rhyner AG from Adliswil. Using inkjet technology, this newly created Digital Embellishment Unit is able to carry out inline coating digitally and apply matte, gloss, and tactile spot coating effects to the substrate web in various thicknesses.
HP Indigo unveiled the GEM digital decoration system inline with a WS6800 digital press. The HP Indigo GEM is a fully digital one-pass printing press for embellishing with foil, screen, tactile, varnish, and other special effects, using one workflow, one operator, and one design file without the need for tooling. The HP Indigo GEM utilizes GEM Coat and GEM Clear, sold by HP Indigo. Developed with JetFX, shipping of the GEM is expected to begin in the spring of 2018.
Industrial Inkjet Ltd UK (IIJ) is a manufacturer of custom digital print engines, development tools, kits and equipment based on Konica Minolta inkjet printheads. The company showcased its three main strategic market zones, featuring dedicated areas for security, flexible packaging, and pharma and personal care products. The company’s booth featured space models of the latest streamlined high-speed print engines.
Sakata INX and INX International Ink Co. highlighted narrow web label, sleeve, and flexible packaging solutions. In addition to UV, electronbeam (EB) and low migration inks and coatings and digital printing technologies were showcased.
INX Digital’s expertise was demonstrated with the introduction of GAIA, the first industrial end-to-end inkjet production line with inline ebeam curing for indirect food packaging and labels. GAIA is driven by the JetINX Printhead Drive and Ink Recirculation system. The four-color printer offers resolutions up to 720×360 dpi, throughput speeds of up to 25 meters per minute, and uses photoinitiator free inkjet, EB-curable inks from INX Digital.
JetINX is a unique and valuable commodity that also powers INX’s NW210 UV digital label press, which was demonstrated at the show. The NW210 delivers single pass output up to 24 meters per minute. By combining printing and conversion, the end result is vivid, colorful labels at a maximum width of 210 millimeters.
The INX Group continues to respond with products to keep ahead of the demand for high-speed UV flexographic printing. INXFlex UV LM inks are premium, UV-curable flexographic products that are formulated to have low migration characteristics for indirect food packaging applications. Designed to feature exceptional adhesion to a variety of synthetic stocks, they are compliant with Swiss Ordinance 817.023.21, the EuPIA inventory list, commission regulations (EC) 1935/2004 and 2003/2006, and the Resolution of Council of Europe on packaging inks AP(2005)2.
The INX Group also has plans for the increasing growth of LED and EB technology. On display was food-compliant UV LED offset and flexographic inks for packaging applications, in-mold labels, and EB curing inks for shrink sleeve applications. The UV LED inks are Swiss Ordinance compliant and cure with as little as one LED UV lamp. As the technology evolves, these inks consume less electricity and significantly reduce the heat and odor associated with UV curing.
Label Traxx highlighted Siteline for Label Traxx, which enables users to give customers the ability to access all their pertinent label business information online and place reorders from any connected device.
According to the company, Siteline for Label Traxx is the equivalent of hiring a dedicated resource to process all the administrative tasks keeping your customer service team from building more and deeper relationships with customers.
Label Traxx partnered with Jennifer Matt and Web2Print Experts, Inc, to build Siteline for Label Traxx because the product required a combination of deep label and packaging industry knowledge and the expertise to develop a modern, mobile-ready, solution that is brilliantly easy-to-use for the brand owners. The result is a cloud based, software as a service module built exclusively for Label Traxx that provides an optimal user experience for the brand owners while simultaneously interfacing with Label Traxx to automate many of the administrative tasks currently being done by your customer service team.
Mark Andy featured both digital and flexographic options in its booth. Additionally, the company featured live demonstrations of the Digital Series and Performance Series presses, which allowed potential customers to see in-action the updated capabilities of each press.
Demonstrations of the enhanced Performance Series P7 were well received by attendees during the four-day show. Two designated demonstrations were run on the narrow-web platform, showcasing flexible packaging applications and true hybrid production with Digital Plus Screen. Digital Plus Screen, an inline digital print bar launched at the event, serves as a cost-effective alternative to traditional rotary screen.
Utilizing the same printheads and ink chemistry as Digital Series, the new unit delivers richly pigmented output with the added capability of printing reverse text, barcodes, and sequential numbers in a single pass. This new product reinforces the core message of Mark Andy’s Digital Plus program—that the benefits of digital printing are accessible to any converter, even those who primarily run flexographic equipment.
Memjet OEM Partners showcased the latest Memjet-powered, high-quality color label systems. These solutions, ranging from desktop printers to narrow-web press applications enable the fast on demand production of color labels, giving manufacturers, printers, and brand owners greater flexibility and cost savings.
Visitors saw demonstrations of Memjet-powered labeling solutions in many stands, including Afinia, Astro Machine & Tasco, Colordyne Technologies, Digikett, Lemorau, New Solution, Printing Innovation, Trojan Label, and VIP Color Technologies.
Memjet shared resources to help printers understand the opportunities of the modern label market.
Michelman introduced visitors to JetPrime UV 100, a new primer designed to improve ink performance and print quality on challenging paper substrates when used for UV inkjet printing applications. JetPrime UV 100 enhances the ease of printing because it is formulated for use with multiple paper types including coated, uncoated, as well as thermal paper substrates. It is an effective primer for label printing, particularly wine label applications. This new primer enriches shelf appeal because of better image quality through improved hold out and reduced bleed and mottle. It can also be applied via flexographic or gravure printing methods.
The company also launched two new barrier coatings. It offered a first look at its water-based Michem Flex Barrier coatings, which are formulated to create an oxygen and mineral oil migration barrier on flexible packaging film and paper.
Michem Flex Barrier 3510 is a transparent, high oxygen barrier coating that extends the shelf life of oxygen sensitive products. After being applied to either polymer or preferably polyester substrates in packaging laminate structures used in food packaging applications, it can reduce oxygen transmission rates.
Formulated as a single component, ready to use coating, Michem Flex Barrier 3510 is easy to apply inline or off-line, and without a primer. Because it requires no mixing, it exhibits excellent shelf life.
Michem Flex Barrier 1000 offers brand owners the latest in food safety innovation. This new coating acts as both an oxygen and mineral oil migration barrier, making it ideal for numerous food packaging applications. It is formulated for use on paper substrates, where it reduces mineral oil migration to less than 0.6 mg per 1 kg of food.
MPS launched an innovation aimed at promoting interaction between MPS printing presses and Management Information Systems (MIS). Labelled “talk to me,” the new MPS connectivity technology allows for real-time data exchange and control at any given moment. Ground-breaking connectivity technology, process advancements in job automation, and the new Semi-Rotary Quick Change Die solution were shown at the company’s booth.
In addition to a new flexographic press, Nilpeter showcased its newly upgraded PANORAMA Hybrid to the show. Since the launch of the PANORAMA digital product line at LabelExpo Europe 2015, the Danish press manufacturer has made major enhancements, including a re-design of the PANORAMA’s converting and flexographic printing units, as well as updates of the press software.
PPG showcased its portfolio of durable TESLIN label stock solutions for packaging specialists and label converters.
Durable, secure, and easy to print, Teslin label stock ensures printed data remains on labels through demanding use and extreme environmental exposure. Due to its reliability, the label stock is used extensively in security, medical, and food and beverage applications. It is also used in the chemicals industry for labels that are compliant with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals and British Standard 5609.
Available in both standard label configurations and custom-designed options, Teslin label stock offers bubble-free application and is widely compatible with print technologies, such as inkjet, laser, thermal transfer, flexographic, and offset. Additionally, it reduces the potential for static discharge when label liners are peeled from label stock—a process known to ignite chemical vapors in some manufacturing environments. The static-dissipative nature of Teslin label stock also helps minimize static buildup during digital printing, thereby improving throughput and print quality.
RotoControl, a wholly owned subsidiary of EMT International, unveiled a new corporate branding and showcased its lineup of high-speed label finishing machines.
RotoControl highlighted four finishing machines and provided live demonstrations of production, finishing, and converting of booklet labels and digitally printed labels. The equipment shown includes the BL 440, built with register laminating, labeller function, and a curved booklet option for the high-speed production of booklet labels; the DT 340, integrated with a new semi-automatic dual turret, a specially designed backside die cutting unit and a delam/relam function for finishing and converting of digital labels; the RSC 440, with a WorkflowLink and the new fully automatic slitting system, RotoCut, featuring less set-up and changeover times; and a RSC 540 wider width high speed slitter/rewinder.
Screen staged the official commercial launch of its Truepress Jet L350UV+LM printer with Low Migration inks. The machine is designed to break new ground for digital inkjet within the food packaging space. The new label printer was previewed at Print 17 in Chicago, IL prior to its official commercial availability.
The Truepress Jet L350UV+LM responds to the growing trend toward labels designed for a variety of substrates and corresponding converter demand for capitalizing on the sustained growth in small- to medium-run work in the food label printing market.
The Truepress Jet L350UV+LM joins the Truepress Jet L350UV+, another new high-end model developed for standard label applications. The system offers superior productivity, substrate compatibility, color reproduction, operability, and other advanced features that provide a significant edge in functionality over conventional models in a range of fields. Its ability to maintain both exceptional speed and quality make it ideal for label printing.
Sistrade, as a supplier of MIS/ERP software for the label and package printing industry, highlighted the new S10, a solution that provides a better response to the dilemmas of the new industrial era. MIS/ERP Sistrade is an innovative solution enabling users to make faster, more sustainable decisions, ensuring higher levels of competitiveness and productivity for their companies.
Visitors had the occasion to see the latest version of MIS/ERP Sistrade, which delivers a number of enhancements and new features, enabling enterprises to become part of the 4.0 Industry transformation, contributing to improved automation and increased productivity, efficiency, and quality in business operations.
Sun Chemical introduced its range of water-based, UV-based overprint varnishes (OPVs) and solvent-based varnishes for the production of labels, flexible packaging, and folding cartons on HP Indigo digital presses.
Following the collaboration agreement signed with HP Indigo at interpack 2017 to develop cost-effective digital coatings, the company has advanced the relationship by introducing a comprehensive range of both water-based, UV-based OPVs and solvent-based varnishes to be used with HP Indigo ElectroInk and compatible with a range of media.
The OPV range also includes high performance water-based protective coatings developed to enhance the resistance of outdoor print as well as a range suitable for embellishment, including stampable and soft touch.
With this collaboration Sun Chemical brings its wealth of expertise to enhance the value proposition of HP Indigo jobs.
Xeikon featured the global launch of its Panther PX3000. The Xeikon PX3000 is a digital UV inkjet label printing press. It is designed to deal with short runs, more demanding customers, and ever higher creative expectations.
Looking to the Future
Labelexpo Europe returns to Brussels in 2019. The U.S. audience looks forward to Labelexpo America, which will be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, in Rosemont, IL from September 25 to 27, 2018.
Oct2017, DPS Magazine