By Cassandra Balentine
Labelexpo Europe celebrated its 40th anniversary show from September 24 to 27, 2019 in Brussels Expo in Belgium. The show is organized by the Tarsus group, and the event boasted more than 600 international exhibitors, nine halls, and 37,903 attendees representing 140 countries. It centered around the label and package printing industry, showcasing a range of technologies, including hybrid, flexible, and digital printing and finishing as well as automation tools.
In a post-show press release, the show organizers points out that major press and finishing manufacturers announced multiple sales on the show floor, including HP, Domino, Lombardi, Gallus, Konica MInolta, Grafisk Maskinfabrik, Grafotronic, and Screen.
Among the hundreds of companies that exhibited products on the show floor, here are some notable highlights.
Afinia Label, the first HP OEM partner to adopt the HP SI-1300 print engine, demonstrated how desktop label printing offers brands the ideal solution to engage consumers.
AMS Spectral UV announced that its internet of things capability is now available on the X Series product lineup for wider formats and its Blade Series products for narrow and digital web applications. The technology enables real-time system performance data to be continuously sent from a press’ UV LED system to a secure cloud storage system, where imperative parameters can be trended, visualized, and documented across the lifetime of the machine.
AVT displayed its workflow automation and quality standards control solutions with AVT’s AutoSet Module, the innovative iCenter, and AVT’s Spectralab inline color measurement device, advanced inspection systems for narrow-web applications with AVT’s Helios Turbo HD+ and Helios S Turbo+ inspection systems, as well as digital inspection and press control with Helios D and Jet IQ.
BOBST announced the world premiere of a hybrid label press. The MASTER DM5, which has Mouvent inkjet digital technology inside, is associated with total flexibility for high added value labels,with extremely short job setup and fast return on investment. The company also offered demonstrations of the LB702-WB and LB701-UV digital label printers.
BST eltromat and Nyquist Systems presented the initial results of its collaboration with Hybrid Software for quality assurance in narrow-web production processes. Hybrid Software provides solutions for PDF-based, prepress-stage workflows and linkups to management information systems. The collaboration enables the two companies to simplify and speed up setup processes in label printing—including quality assurance. The latest options for the QLink workflow were also shown. The solution integrates quality assurance into the prepress stage, printing, and assembly. Alongside 100 percent inspection, the BST eltromat booth also presented the company’s entire range for quality assurance in narrow-web processes—from web guiding, web monitoring, and register control to color measurement, color management, and workflow solutions.
CHILI Publish demonstrated CHILI publisher, the software for smart artwork and marketing material creation. The company also showcased the creation of a personalized beer label at its booth.
Codimag introduced the enhanced Viva 420 Aniflo press, featuring increased productivity. With a new web motion system, Codimag improves the speed and has eased web guiding, thus reducing set-up time and waste for all jobs, even on the most sensitive substrates. The Viva 420 Aniflo press machine is an alternative to flexography (flexo) in terms of productivity. The company has already installed several of these new presses in Germany. Codimag also reprised its Aniflolive experience. Visitors were invited to print their own jobs on the press.
Creative Edge Software launched the iC3D 6.0 packaging design software. With a direct appeal to print service providers considering new commercial opportunities, the solution was developed through close cooperation with the API Group. It is focused on specialty, high-end print finish materials such as foils and laminates, including holographic and Fresnel Lens effects.
Dalim Software presented the many advantages of its solutions for the production of labels, packaging, and marketing materials. One product demonstrated, Dalim ES, is designed to simplify workflow. A primary feature of DALIM ES is its ability to simultaneously manage labels and packaging, as well as promotional marketing projects. It also offers an API to seamlessly integrate and communicate with existing ecosystems, such as corporate PIM, PLM, MIS, and ERP.
Epson America announces four new additions to its ColorWorks on demand color label printer lineup—the ColorWorks C6000A, C6000P, C6500A, and C6500P. The new ColorWorks models deliver on demand, four- or eight-inch color labels. The printers enable industrial and commercial organizations to produce high-volume color labels for production use. Featuring up to 1,200 dpi resolution, the new models produce crisp images comparable to pre-printed labels. The new ColorWorks C6000 family delivers a comprehensive range of capabilities to meet the requirements of the most common thermal transfer applications.
Flint Group Narrow Web demonstrated the latest advances to the VIVO Colour Solutions, showcased its newest inks and coatings for food packaging applications, and unveiled recent developments in the UV LED cured portfolio, including its Dual-Cure technology. Also displayed were several examples of flexible packaging constructions as well as prints made from its full portfolio of UV curable inks.
Focus Label featured live demonstrations of several machines, showing attendees how its new print technology can enhance existing production, improve market flexibility, and reduce operational costs. Machines on the show floor included the d-Flex digital printing press, the REFLEX servo-driven converting system, the Proflex series of modern flexo presses, and the e-Flex high-speed twin serve flexo press.
GMG displayed its Calibration Creation Wizard, which is designed to enable color-accurate and reproducible proofing on different substrates.
Graymills formally unveiled its Smarter Ink Pump Family. The Smarter Ink Pump Family is the company’s newest innovation in Peristaltic Pumps. Smarter Pumps have a new physical appearance and smaller footprint than previous Graymills models and can be mounted vertically or horizontally and easily adjusted in the field. They feature Graymills’ quick-disconnect removable head technology, which allows the pump head/tube changes to be accomplished in seconds without tools.
HP Inc. showcased a range of capabilities. At its booth, visitors could see the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press in action. The digital press produces labels, shrink sleeves, and flexible packaging. The HP Indigo Digital Pouch Factory debuted at the show, demonstrating how to expand businesses beyond traditional flexible packaging applications using the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press, Pack Ready Lamination, and Karlville pouch-making machine. Another highlight was its digital embellishment portfolio, including ElectroInk Silver for a rainbow of metallic colors; HP Indigo GEM for digital embellishments including foil, spot, tactile, cast, and cure in single-pass printing; and a print-over-foil solution using the HP Indigo 6900 Digital Press inline with the KURZ DM-JETLINER. In the security area, HP showcased its brand protection offerings including HP Indigo ElectroInks Invisible Yellow and Invisible Blue coupled with software and cloud-based solutions that allow anti-counterfeiting marks, and protected track and trace solutions.
HYBRID Software demonstrated variable data printing (VDP) software, which is available as an option for HYBRID Software’s native PDF editors—PACKZ and Stepz—with accelerated processing available through HYBRIDs CLOUDFLOW workflow. HYBRID Software’s VDP implementation is an easy-to-use solution for labels and packaging that changes text, images, barcodes, colors, and other elements linked to variable data sources, producing an optimized file for fast printing on all digital presses. HYBRID VDP is applied at the prepress stage, not in the pressroom, eliminating the up-front template creation that slow down other VDP solutions.
INX International Ink Co. displayed a full range of conventional and digital products, including sustainable and dispensing solutions. Through the support of Sakata INX and its global R&D capabilities, INX International offers color management expertise, a high level of technical support, and a full portfolio of high-quality and cost-effective products designed for the narrow web market. The company was front and center with digital ink products and technology. UV LED and water-based inks for various printers and printheads were showcased in addition to EB inks for the FUJIFILM Dimatix Samba printhead. INX also promoted its latest EB Low Migration Solution.
Label Traxx, the management software specialist for the label converting industry, announced key new features and capabilities including dedicated, flexible packaging workflows for companies selling unsupported film, sachets, and pouches by weight. It also showcases the Siteline online interface. Additionally, HP Indigo press users can now retrieve actual clicks by job from the press for accurate job costing purposes. Label Traxx connects to HP’s PrintOS Jobs API and accesses the clicks and production details and then includes these clicks as part of the Label Traxx job costing analysis. Further integrations highlighted include Esko QuickStart for labels and Herma.
Lecta showcased new products and innovations in specialty papers for labels and flexible packaging, offering this sector the deep versatility and all the high-quality adhesive possibilities of its Adestor, Metalvac, Creaset, Termax, and Eurokote ranges.
Matik exhibited the latest enhanced version of the SEI Laser Labelmaster. The product was shown in two models with web widths of 350 and 600 millimeters (mm). With full digitalization—from order receipt to shipment—converters using the new Labelmaster reach a new level of speed and productivity. Labelmaster is a complete and professional modular system for roll-to-roll and roll-to-sheet digital die cutting and finishing. It is the perfect solution for the production of self-adhesive labels in all sectors: industrial, wine, food & beverage, beauty, textiles, flexible packaging, promotional, and converting. At the show, visitors had the opportunity to see the laser processing different types of labels and special finishes on different materials such as paper, PP, and textile.
Memjet and its OEM partners highlighted the latest developments in inkjet production. The company showcased the features of its third-generation printing technology, DuraFlex. In addition, Memjet OEM partners demonstrated an expanded range of Memjet-powered printing solutions that enable the fast, easy production of high-quality labels and packaging. DuraFlex is a modular, single-pass print solution that combines Memjet’s signature features of speed, simplicity, and affordability with new attributes such as enhanced durability, A4 and A3+ widths in a four-color printhead, a high-speed data path, and modules that control all printhead functions.
MGI and Konica Minolta had a united show presence and an integrated solutions portfolio, highlighted by the JETvarnish 3D Web Color + digital print enhancement press. The JETvarnish 3D Web Color + is the world’s first inline label and flexible packaging solution for high-definition digital CMYK color printing, personalized 2D/3D dimensional textures, and variable embossed foiling applications. Also shown, the AccurioLabel 230 digital color press, which succeeds the AccurioLabel 190 press, which fueled Konica Minolta’s rise to becoming one of the key players in the global digital label marketplace. Additionally, the JETvarnish 3D Web Color + digital print enrichment press features semi-rotary cutting and slitting functions, as well as both corona treatment and flexographic primer coating stations for maximum substrate diversity and print surface flexibility.
Michelman featured a selection of water-based inline and offline primers and overprint varnishes (OPVs). Offering digital versatility for an array of end-use applications, its range of brands for digital presses include DigiPrime primers and DigiGuard for OPVs. For HP Indigo digital press owners expanding into markets like home and personal care, Michelman featured DigiGuard 901 for Pack Ready for Labels, a strengthener for HP Indigo validated UV OPVs used with Michelman’s inline primers that enables enhanced water, chemical, and thermal durability. Mixed with off-the-shelf UV overprint varnishes, it allows label converters to achieve higher levels of durability. The company also showcased its newest inkjet technology, it has expanded the JetPrime brand to include JetPrime WB 1100, a solution for pigmented water-based inkjet printing applications. This technology, for coated offset substrates, is useful for high-speed printing applications such as folding cartons and corrugated. JetPrime WB 1100 enriches image quality through improved hold out and reduced bleed and mottle.
Nilpeter exhibited two of its FA-Line flagship flexographic presses. The FA-Line presses featured a number of new, groundbreaking technologies. The first FA-Line press on display was a 17-inch wide press with cold foil and lamination, as well as Nilpeter’s new high-speed Semi-Rotary Die-Cutting unit. Introduced to the market for the first time, this press runs combination with two new technologies—the High-Build InkJet Varnish and High Opacity White InkJet units. The second press on the show floor was the all-new multi-substrate 22-inch FA-Line, which features a new 22-inch Quick-Change Die station, UV-lamination, and UV-LED drying. With this press, Nilpeter demonstrates how to effectively print various food and beverage flexible packaging applications throughout the show.
OneVision showcased two partnerships, one with Cerm and another with Screen. The technical partnership between OneVision Software and Cerm provides traditional and digital narrow web label printers with a consistent automation of their label production. Through the Screen partnership, label converters benefit from shorter preparation times, higher throughput, and increased profitability with the seamless integration of OneVision’s automated label software Label Automation Suite with Screen’s Equios workflow. At the show, OneVision software and Screen presented a holistic production process from incoming orders over automated print file preparation in prepress and production planning to finishing preparation and machine actuation.
Phoseon Technology introduced the FireJet FJ645 UV LED self-contained, air-cooled curing lamp for flexographic applications. With a 40 mm wide emitting window, the FJ645 provides longer UV exposure time and greater dose, improving through-cure, and adhesion of difficult to cure materials—especially OPVs and dense blacks. The increased dose allows for higher speed without the need for additional facilities requirements, such as exhaust blowers or water chillers. The company also introduced the new FirePower FP401 LED curing solution for mid and wide-web curing applications with high power output to enable faster print speeds. The new FirePower FP401 delivers a peak intensity of 24 watts per square centimeter and sizes ranging from 750 to 1,500 mm.
PPG showcased durable PPG TESLIN label solutions. PPG Teslin is a durable, secure, and easy-to-print synthetic material that excels in applications that demand a tough, high-performance label solution. It contains micropores that absorb inks, toners, adhesives, and coatings, locking them into its structure for long-lasting durability and security with no additional processing or expense. PPG Teslin substrate is compatible with a range of print technologies, from digital inkjet, laser and thermal transfer to flexographic and offset. It offers bubble-free application and provides a long-lasting adhesive bond that can endure extreme conditions. The static-dissipative nature of PPG Teslin substrate helps minimize static buildup during digital printing, improving throughput and print quality.
REFINE Finishing made its official Labelexpo debut in 2019. Following the company rebranding from Werosys to REFINE, the Danish machine manufacturer introduced a new, streamlined product program with smart, software-based converting solutions. REFINE Finishing displays two converting machines from the user-friendly and efficient Compact product line; Compact 1, a complete die-cut solution for finishing of digital and conventional printed labels; and Compact 2, a die-cut and flexographic solution with a fully automated flexography station, cold foil, and lamination capabilities. Both machines excel in high-speed converting, up to 80 meters per minute (mpm) in semi-rotary, with power consumption on the Compact 1 below 2,000 W at maximum output—typical usage around 1,000 W.
Screen Americas showcased the finalized development of its new Truepress Jet L350UV SAI inkjet system for label printing. The press features improved color reproduction as well as superior scalability, enabling it to meet a variety of market needs. The company plans to launch the system worldwide in January 2020.
Spande presented the S7 Series flexographic press, launched at a large event at Spande’s Shanghai factory in May 2019. The European introduction of Spande and the S7 Series comes just four months after launching in China, but following great success in the home market, Spande is ready to start the next phase of its global market strategy. The S7 Series is available in 370-, 450-, and 520-mm web widths, with printing speeds up to 200 mpm. S7 Series presses have eight servo motors in each printing station and feature the i-Pressure system, which automatically recalls and loads precise printing pressure. Further, the i-Vision intelligent registration and impression system ensure registration corrections at each printing station, independently, and at any moment.
Techkon showcased the ChromaLT. Designed to improve print process efficiencies by removing the color matching guesswork, cutting makeready times, and ultimately increasing profitability, ChromaLT provides press operators color matching feedback that is easy to understand, actionable, and with clear pass/fail indications. Operators are easily guided on how to obtain a match with either specific ink density adjustments or by toning the ink when density adjustments alone cannot get you there. When the job is done, measurements are saved and a report is generated for the quality department or the end customer to show that colors were printed in tolerance and the job was a success.
Tilia Labs, Inc. launched a new solution designed to reduce time and costs in label production. Tilia Aries is a cross-platform, step-and-repeat tool for label printers that enables quick-and-easy layout for preprint, cutting, and finishing.
The print capabilities and versatility of the Xaar 1003 and Xaar 2001+ printheads for label and packaging applications were demonstrated by a number of Xaar partners. Building on the launch of Xaar’s High Laydown (HL) Technology, the Xaar 1003 and Xaar 2001+ have been integrated by a number of leading OEMs to add customization capability and high-end features to their label presses, including Nilpeter’s 17-wide FA-Line flexographic press, which combines two new technologies—the High-Build InkJet Varnish and High Opacity White InkJet units—both utilize Xaar 1003 printheads. Ultimate Solutions launched the new Star Inkjet System for label embellishments and tactile effects. The modular Inkjet system from Ultimate Solutions is driven by Xaar 2001+ printheads and is available for printing UV varnish and UV white in widths of between 70 and 350 mm. The recently launched Canon Océ LabelStream 4000 targets the production of high-quality, self-adhesive labels. The press, which incorporates Xaar 2001+ printheads, was displayed in a fully integrated single-pass hybrid label conversion line with up to 75 mpm, flexographic stations, cold foiling, and semi-rotary die-cutting—all tightly integrated to deliver a new level of single-pass production efficiency. The Océ LabelStream 4000 has been developed in collaboration with label industry specialist, and long-standing partner of Xaar, FFEI. The Dantex PicoColour UV inkjet label press, which uses Xaar 1003 printheads to combine fast and easy label production with superb printed results, was also shown at Labelexpo.
Xeikon participated in the Flexible Packaging Arena and presented new fleXflow for pouch production. Designed to create new business opportunities for label converters, fleXflow was one of four of Xeikon’s full production lines at the show. Xeikon’s X-800 Digital Front End printing drives the pouch production line on a Xeikon CX500 dry toner, an industrial digital press with inline thermal lamination on a Xeikon LCoat500 and inline packaging construction. The company also showcased the PX3000 UV inkjet press using the Color-Logic Metallic Color System.
The combined creativity of Xeikon Prepress and Flint Group Flexographic has delivered a revolutionary integrated prepress solution for highly automated imaging devices. These two businesses are excited to share the details of the expanded ThermoFlexX brand across all products. This offering builds on the outstanding success of ThermoFlexX digital imagers and Woodpecker Nano screening technology and the highest quality flexographic plate, nyloflex. This innovative solution will combine Xeikon’s comprehensive imaging expertise and Flint Group’s long experience in the development of flexographic plates to provide significant increases in productivity in the press room; a solution that is better, faster, and easier to use.
Coming to America
Labelexpo Europe 2019 demonstrated the strength and evolution of the package printing market. Embellishment and digital print capabilities took center stage. We look forward to attending Labelexpo for the first time in 2020 as it co-locates with APTech’s PRINT trade show in Chicago, IL next Fall.
Nov2019, DPS Magazine