Gain an unfair advantage

4 September 2017

Gain an unfair advantage

On 25–28 September, more than 650 exhibitors will be in Brussels for Labelexpo Europe 2017. Converting Today takes a look at what delegates can expect from the trade show, from masterclasses and expert workshops to a brand new automation arena.


This has been an exceptionally busy year as consumers continue to demand clear, visible labels that inform and engage them, and companies continue to aim to develop the best product in the shortest time at the highest quality attainable through their lines. At Labelexpo Europe in Brussels this September, visitors will be able to gain expert knowledge and trade insight to help them come up with these products. Converting Today offers a list of exhibitors and events that will hopefully provide a start to delegates planning their trip.

UPM Raflatac, at stand 5E37/5D41, will showcase its latest self-adhesive labeling materials for various end uses, including wine and spirits, craft beverage, food, logistics, home, pharmaceuticals and healthcare. Kocher & Beck, at stand 11C30, will demonstrate an upgraded version of its established GapMaster die pressure adjustment system with new external oil lubrication units for automatic maintenance that are now mandatory for all new installations. In addition, thermal behavior is improved and the associated change in gap size is minimised.

IEEC, at stand 7A22, will display its latest model of corona treater for the narrow web segment. It features a pullout cartridge of ceramic electrode that is designed for web threading and easy maintenance, reducing downtime. The compact design of the treating station allows it to mount in a limited space on any narrow web press. IEEC corona treatment systems are CE-marked and conform to US and European safety standards. The company was awarded the India Design Mark award from the Indian Government for best design in the narrow web treater category.

At stand 6A37, AB Graphic will present its new flatbed screen printing unit for the Digicon Series 3, with a significantly increased running speed. The new module has full rotary web motion while still using a flatbed screen. The quality of UV curing is said to be improved by the rotary web motion, ensuring consistency along the whole web. Motorised lateral and skew adjustments for the screen image position, plus on-the-run servo adjustment of the squeegee and scraper position, are said to make for easier set-up. The physical size of the module has been reduced by over 20%, while the repeat area has increased to 410mm in the web direction, making it compatible with the Big Foot 50 hot foil stamping unit. A chill roller option is available for delicate substrates. Also new is in-line integration of Digicon with non-stop turret rewinder, 100% camera inspection and workflow link.

DPR, at stand 9C55, will exhibit the Taurus roll-to-roll system for digital laser cutting applications, which is capable of converting preprinted media into die-cut labels. It is a laser system equipped with three-axis control and laser technology that allows auto adjustment on the X, Y, and Z (depth-of-cut control) axes. It is powered by a galvanometric scanner, 120W, carbon-dioxide sealed laser source that keeps the laser beam constant. A cutting file library saves jobs with previously set values for speed and laser power so they can be reused at any time.

Orthotec, at stand 7B17, will show its new SRFD3030 screen printing and hot stamping machine, which uses a new design of dual sliding shafts for the squeegee blade to achieve steadier squeegee pressure and speeds that are three times faster than before. The hot stamping station is servo-driven with recallable parameters.

Also on show is the CPK4040/3030 high-speed hot stamping machine, which can operate either stand-alone or in-line with any flexo press. The CFT3536 intermittent offset press features a new four-section design that gives more consistent inking and dampening balance. 

SPGPrints, at stand 4C20, will provide a video preview of a new press that combines high-resolution digital capabilities with extensive pre-treatment and added value finishing processes, in a single pass, at up 70m a minute or 2,980sqm an hour. The 700mm-wide roll-to-roll press based on Archer technology features up to 10 inkjet positions in a central cylinder configuration, with CMYK plus white standard, using SPGPrints’ own inks that are optimised for the printhead and the machine’s treatment processes.

With maximum resolutions of 1200 DPI, the PIKE 700 is claimed to print excellent vignettes while producing consistent colour uniformity within 1.5 DeltaE, on both supported and unsupported paper and film materials of up to 450μm thickness. Wide substrate versatility is enhanced thanks to extensive in-line web-cleaning, corona treatment and flexo priming options. The optional integration of rotary screen printing units, seamlessly in-line, enables inclusion of high-impact, ‘look and feel’ effects.

Also on the stand is the rotaLen 7511 direct CO2 laser engraving system for imaging rotary screens with resolutions of up to 5,080dpi, and the variLex hybrid CTP processor digital imaging system for flexo, dry-offset, screen and letterpress plates.  

Michelman, at stand 5D20,  will introduce a new primer from its JetPrime brand created for inkjet printing applications. This line of water-based primer technologies is available for film and paper substrates. The new primer JetPrime UV 100 offers improved adhesion and print quality when printing with UV inkjet on paper substrates (particularly for wine labels) as well as for coated, uncoated and direct thermal paper. This primer reduces bleed and mottle. Michelman also will introduce Michem Flex Barrier 3510, a water-based coating that provides a transparent high-oxygen barrier and is better at withstanding fractures and pinholes than traditional oxygen barriers. The Flex Barrier 3510 can be used to achieve a high-oxygen barrier compostable package. 

Voyanic, at stand 9A18, will present the improved Reelsurance Dual Frequency, which enables testing of both RAIN RFID (UHF) and HF/NFC tags. It is optimised for dual-frequency tag testing and uses the Voyantic Tagsurance UHF and HF testers to verify the RFID tag operation sensitivity. This is done using communications tests at several frequency and power level combinations with high resolution, stability and speed. Two separate Voyantic Snoop Pro coupling elements for dipole type UHF tag antenna and a coil type HF tag antenna provide the coupling to the two tag types.

Calor (stand 7E32) will introduce its durable thermal transfer ribbons for security labeling applications and brand protection, in which the authenticity of a product must be verified. The use of such fluorescent thermal transfer ribbons increases significantly the protection against counterfeiting.

Meanwhile ACE, at stand 11C18, will be showcase its newest developments in web cleaning which are dedicated to digital and non-digital label printing presses. The DM1000DG no-contact web cleaning system is its newest contactless web cleaner dedicated to narrow web. It has a 100% no-contact cleaning head HC11, the innovative SPB70 filtering unit and 24V Iondual static elimination bar. It is highly efficient, capable of removing particles that are less than one micron, and has limitless operational speed and a self-cleaning filtration system. It can be operated automatically by the printing press itself. The same cleaning head, coupled with a SPB60 filtering unit and 24V Iondual antistatic bar, becomes an efficient solution for non-digital, high-quality labels printing press.

ACE will also be displaying its new AR700 contact web cleaning system that can be wired to narrow web consoles. To perform web passing at start-up, the pneumatic inner device automatically lifts up rollers. With slide-out rollers carrier, the adhesive rollers can easily be replaced.

Sun Chemical and acpo will showcase their expanded offering to promote smart and cost-efficient solutions for narrow web, flexible packaging converting. The two companies have worked together to develop coated films and will show the jointly developed films for the first time at stand 5E45.

Asahi Photoproducts, at stand 5A34, will show an addition to its water-washable AWP portfolio featuring Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer. The AWP-DEW plate solution, incorporating the renowned properties of AWP-DEF plates with the addition of a faster plate processing speed, makes this plate ideal for labels and packaging operations with higher plate throughput looking to achieve significant quality and OEE benefits.

Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer is a feature of many of Asahi’s flexographic printing plates. It enables a clean ink transfer and prevents ink accumulating on the plate surfaces and shoulders in screen areas. This leads to fewer cleaning intervals and reduced press downtime, as well as significant quality improvements. Precise plate register achieved with Asahi plates ensures very high quality process printing with a fixed-colour palette, minimising the need to use and manage spot colour inks.

Avery Dennison, at stand 5A31, will introduce a number of significant innovations designed to drive sustainable growth. The exhibition stand will feature five interactive zones, focusing on the key benefits of enhanced shelf appeal, performance, sustainability, intelligent solutions, and compliance and services. Avery Dennison will demonstrate solutions including MC FSC recycled paper facestock, the Sensorial Collection of textured label materials and Clear Hotmelt adhesive for chilled food labels.

Thanks to a careful selection from postconsumer waste streams, and modern paper manufacturing processes, MC FSC Recycled facestock enables label converters to help customers meet sustainability targets while still delivering exceptional print results. Offering similar whiteness, brightness and opacity to conventional facestock, it converts fast and is manufactured without chlorine bleaching.

The shelf appeal of chilled food applications has been limited when using clear films, largely due to the inherent ‘yellowing’ effect of hot melt adhesives. The ultra-clear, non-yellowing S2405C hotmelt adhesive offers the tack and application temperature of a conventional hot melt adhesive without the yellowing.  Offering a straightforward and competitive solution for a ‘no label’ look for chilled foods, the S2045C adhesive also delivers a lower total applied cost as it does not require a barrier-film facestock. 

Flint Group will exhibit a wide range of solutions for labels and packaging. Combining industry strengths, several of its divisions – Flexographic Products, Narrow Web and Digital Solutions (Xeikon and ThermoFlexX) – will showcase solutions that enable label printers and converters to better position themselves to address emerging market realities.

Also on display at stand 5A41 will be Flint Group’s patent-pending, state-of-the-art rotec Eco Bridge for use in flexographic printing presses and on plate-mounting equipment. The rotec Eco Bridge is an adapter with a breathable metal ring that creates an air pillow to allow easy and fast mounting of sleeves. This bridge reduces up to 90% of the air volume requirement and up to 30% of noise, significantly improving ease and speed of mounting all sleeves.

Flint Group Narrow Web will demonstrate its comprehensive range of food packaging compliant printing inks for all major printing technologies: UV mercury flexo, UV LED flexo, water-based flexo and UV and EB offset. Flint will also present its latest innovations in low migration – with a special focus on the ground-breaking UV LED low migration technology, EkoCure ANCORA. 

Toray Industries will be launching its new IMPRIMA line of waterless offset printing plates that are specifically targeted for the label and narrow web market. The IMPRIMA LA and IMPRIMA LB plates, respectively, are optimised for increased durability and high-resolution imaging, providing exceptionally consistent and high-quality prints. The current commercially available plates can be an important aid in brand protection and counterfeit prevention due to their resolution and reproduction characteristics. Toray is at stand 11D02.

FAG Graphic Systems at stand 8A45 will launch a new spectrophotometer, PRESTO DX. The FAG PRESTO DX measuring device is designed for the press room and its pocket size makes it easy to use.

Ricoh Industrie France, at stand 6C28, will highlight two new thermal transfer ribbons at this year’s show. The B120BG completes Ricoh’s TTR range as a low end, near-edge wax-resin ribbon with all the resistance properties of a classical wax-resin and an improved optical density. The B120CG is a flat head resin ribbon that is resistant to scratching and heat.

Karlville will be exhibiting the new PackReady solution at HP’s exhibition stand in the patio, between halls eight and nine. PackReady is designed specifically for HP digital printers and will help reduce the complexity and investment involved in entering the flexible packaging market.  The new market approach will allow digital converters to carry out reverse printing and thermal lamination with PackReady film structures designed for high bond strength with HP inks. By combining PackReady laminates with Karlville’s new thermal laminator, digital customers can transition into the flexible packaging market. The new approach will allow digital converters to ‘bury’ the ink into the inside layer for protection as well as to eliminate cure time for instant converting and shipping. 

Bar Graphic Machinery will be launching five new systems at Labelexpo Europe. The 450mm-wide BGM Elite 450 Ecoflex is a full servo multiple substrate inspection slitter rewinder for unsupported and supported materials from 11 micron upwards. BGM will also unveil the latest A4 laser label sheeting machine, the Sheetflex. Making its debut, the machine will be demonstrated die-cutting and sheeting onto a sheeter delivery table with batch step and count facilities.

BGM’s latest eDSR easy load die-cutting slitter rewinder will also be on display, showing the very latest fully integrated rewind support attachment. By keying in the rewind size, the machine will automatically adjust the acceleration times, optimising efficiency. Also being launched is a new entry-level inspection slitter rewinder shown with standard high specification features including HMI operator touch screen interface. BGM’s re-register die-cutting slitter rewinder will show re-register die-cutting speeds of up to 250m a minute and is fitted with BGM’s easy load die-cutting station. The weight of the die is supported by the bottom guide rail, improving the operator’s set up time and handling, and reducing damage. 

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