By DPS Staff
Digital print has its eye on packaging. From labels to corrugated, new technologies are emerging to make it easier and cost effective to order shorter runs, ideal for personalization, new markets, special promotions, and start ups. To meet this demand, traditional converters are adding digital services, while commercial printers from other areas go after short-run digital print as a new revenue stream.
While label and packaging technologies have been making an appearance at traditional print trade shows, such as Graph Expo this October, PACK EXPO is dedicated to the packaging realm.
PACK EXPO International took place from November 2 to 5, 2014 in Chicago IL. The show is hosted by PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, which is a trade association representing over 650 packaging and processing supply chain companies that provide a range of packaging and processing machinery, materials, components, and containers. The association is charged with actively bringing buyers and sellers through programs and events, including the PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows.
Here are highlights from familiar players showcasing at the recent event.
ACTEGA Coatings and Sealants
ACTEGA develops and produces specialty coatings, sealants, printing inks, and adhesives for the rigid and flexible packaging and the graphic arts industry. The company highlighted its overprint coatings, narrow web inks, and sealing compounds for closures and glass containers. ACTEGA is a technical leader for water-based can sealants and flexible packaging coatings.
Datalogic held demonstrations of new products and solutions for the packaging and pharmaceutical industries, which showcased cutting-edge, live demonstrations on a working conveyor designed to simulate real pharmaceutical and food and beverage production environments. PACK EXPO served as the official launch for Datalogic’s new smart camera, ideal for pharmaceutical and packaging applications. The company also highlighted its patented solution for packaging graphic recognition, as well as the latest innovation in image-based identification and purpose-built safety products.
Domino showcased a variety of new products and featured the North American debut of its A520i Continuous Inkjet printer. The A520i features innovations yet to be seen in Domino’s A-series continuous inkjet printers including a marine grade stainless steel exterior, three stage fluid management system, and a remote user interface touch panel.
Additional products include a new addition to the company’s i-Tech laser family, the F220i fiber scribing laser and the D-Series i-Tech 15; the latest additions to its thermal inkjet G-Series range; enhancements to its common platform software suite, Quick Design; and the new V230i Thermal Transfer Printer.
The company also introduced a series of hardware and software enhancements to its M-Series range of print and apply labelers, designed to delivery maximum productivity and meet secondary and tertiary packaging demands across a range of sectors.
Esko offered a number of design and production tools for brand owners and package designers at PACK EXPO International. The booth featured a café theme and showcased K-cup boxes designed, created, and cut with Esko tools. Visitors were invited to brew their own coffee, picking their favorite box from an Esko-designed and created display. Additionally, a Kongsberg V for packaging finishing table—a tool for creating packaging prototypes—cut the K-cup sample boxes.
Esko tools allow brand owners to design and create packaging and participate more actively in the packaging supply chain. Esko Suite 14 was featured along with four popular components, ArtiosCAD structural and Studio 3D graphic design tools, WebCenter collaborative tools, and Cape Pack palletization software.
HP’s Graphic Solution businesses provide a variety of digital print solutions for labels and packaging, enabling converters to produce labels, folding cartons, flexible packaging, and shrink sleeves to satisfy a range of customer requirements.
INX International Ink Co. directed attention to its Low Migration inks and coatings expertise, special effects, and digital printing technologies. INX Low Migration inks and coatings for non-food contact surfaces are created in a dedicated, state-of-the-art facility to meet stringent government regulations and compliance requirements. Experts were in the booth to discuss various energy curable flexographic and offset inks; UV hybrid inks for flat sheet metal decorating; high-performance sheet-fed inks; energy curable and FDA approved water-based coatings; and oil-resistant gas barrier coatings.
Nordson Corporation demonstrated its expertise in adhesive application solutions. Its global team was on hand to help attendees get the most from their packaging lines. The company’s latest tankless technology with Freedom Hot Melt Adhesive System were highlighted, along with its OptiBond Solution for packaging sealing applications, and the new ProBlue Fulfill System.
QuickLabel Systems, an Astro-Med, Inc. business unit, released a full line of pigment ink digital color label printers for printing ultra-durable labels, the Kiaro! D family. Available in three different models, the Kiaro! D family of label printers is designed to fit any labeling application where the labels are subjected to harsh environments in shipping, storage, or point of use. The Kiaro! D family will be ready for customer shipments in January 2015.
The company also launched a narrow format label printer specifically designed for customers with small labeling applications—the Kiaro! 50. The device printer is a miniature color label printer designed for printing small, high-quality labels in moderate volumes of one to 2.16 inches in width.
RENA Systems, Inc., a Neopost brand, showcased its printing systems. Among its products, the company demonstrated the new Mach X Digital Color Label Printer. It is a digital inkjet label that allows users to print short runs to save time and money on stock and eliminate waste.
Roland showcased its digital printing technologies at PACK EXPO 2014, including the new VersaUV LEF-20, a UV LED device capable of printing directly on virtually any substrate—including 3D and curved objects. Also on display was Roland’s VersaUV LEC-330 wide format printer/cutter that enables users to create realistic package prototypes fast and cost effectively.
UPM Raflatac launched VANISH, a new range of ultra-thin, clear films for beverage, personal care, and food package labeling in the Americas. These products challenge current industry standards for the no-label look on glass and other clear rigid containers. UPM Raflatac’s new VANISH range of clear PET films redefines how companies can maximize brand representation while boosting quality and performance to new levels. Featuring a 0.92-mil face stock, these thin, yet robust products are well suited for innovative imagery previously considered unattainable by creative designers. Additionally, their dimensional stability, excellent ink reception, and dispensing properties allow manufacturers to embrace new productivity gains and realize packaging material reductions throughout their processes.
After wrapping up its international event, PMMI announced the launch of its newest event within the PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows, PACK EXPO East, which is scheduled to run from February 16 to 18, 2015 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA.
PACK EXPO International is scheduled again for November 2016. dps
Nov2014, DPS Magazine