Window on narrow web3 August 2006
Over 450 industry suppliers will be exhibiting to nearly 13,000 visitors at Labelexpo Americas 2006, the largest event for the label and narrow web converting industry in the USA. Venue is the Donald E Stephens Convention Center, Chicago, September 11-14. Converting Today is a media partner for the show
AB Graphic International is to show the latest models from its Digicon range of converting lines, with emphasis on wine label converting and sheeting and stacking of finished labels. The company will show three new Vectra turret rewinders running in line with Omega unwind and blank label converters.
An inspection rewinder from the company’s Omega range equipped with a Flytec 2000 Vision System for 100 per cent pharmaceutical label inspection and rewinding will also be introduced, along with an SR1300 slitter/inspection rewinder with the latest AVT Helios camera full web visual inspection system.
Visitors will also see the Omega Ti150 RFID and Converter, designed to incorporate RFID or electronic article surveillance inlays into a preprinted and die cut self adhesive label. Also featured will be a purpose built Omega Digicoat 1300 coating system for priming and coating master rolls of labelstock in preparation for subsequent digital printing, a GM ETV 330A off-line sheeter, and a PNTS160 automatic core cutter. Booth 939.
OPP film manufacturer AET’s portfolio of label and tag materials includes roll-fed shrink label films said to deliver superior performance for today’s complex converting operations. Also showcased will be expanded cut and stack label films and information about applications with the TOppCure labelling system. New uses for durable SynCarta synthetic media for digital print surfaces will be highlighted. Booth 1029.
Manufacturer of bespoke ultrasonic cleaning equipment Alphasonics is showcasing its full range of equipment to label printers for the first time. On display will be the “cleaning ladies” Megan, Mia, Melissa, Melanie; “totally non contact” plate cleaner PC500; the AS100 ultrasonic parts washer for UV which treats the wash water; and the AS80/AS200 parts washer for water based inks. Booth 1240.
Manufacturer of cold foil and hot stamping foil Amagic is featuring its range, including numerous colours of metallized material decorative holographic patterns and security foils, with the capability of originating custom holograms. To be introduced is an exclusive foil mock-up service – claimed to be the only one of its kind in the printing industry.
The company promises quick delivery, full technical support and an off-cut stock programme, “while maintaining a competitive price”. Booth 853.
AM Engineering will feature its Paper-TT CO2 laser system for die cutting, creasing, cutting, piercing, engraving, fading and marking small lots of paper and board, with “perfect register”. New will be Nexus, a laser system with an automatic feeder for label punching, and Nexus Vision, featuring a self learning capability. Booth 6010.
Two flexo presses are to be shown for the first time by Aquaflex. The first is a six colour machine running shrink sleeve material in UV, the second a full servo press with speeds of up to 300m/min. The system also uses full sleeve technology on both the plate and anilox for exceptionally fast job change-overs.
Aquaflex will also demonstrate the new ELS Servo press. Designed to make servo technology “accessible and affordable” to label printers, it comes in widths of 10 and 13in, with closed loop tensioning zones, and is capable of running very thin films. Both new platforms were designed jointly by Aquaflex and FL Smithe. Booth 343.
Asahi Kasei will present its latest flexo plates. The SF is designed for analog use while the DSF is for digital work. The SF polymer was created according to stringent guidelines and, it is claimed, will perform superbly in high end process printing as well as combination and solid reproduction. JV Imaging Systems and CT Graphics, who represents Asahi in the US, will showcase other technologies such as PEC, from NTC, the HTD dryer from Mekrom, and CTP from Creo. Booth 1929.
Avery Dennison’s Fasson Roll North America division has developed technology to provide hotmelt products on high performing PET liners. This “breakthrough development” is being launched in response to the demand for high speed labelling, “enabling converters to purchase previously unavailable constructions at very cost effective price levels”. The company promises on-press reliability with outstanding print quality and graphics, along with superior high speed dispensing performance. Some constructions are available with the Fasson Exact – a custom service programme sizing products to the exact width converters require, said to result in total order cost savings through reduced trim waste. Booth 119.
Axicon Auto ID will be demonstrating its latest PC and MAC based bar code quality verifiers for prepress and post printing quality control. The models 6500 and 7000 verifiers will be operating in conjunction with on-demand thermal printers. Booth 6032.
Designed to bridge the gap between narrow web inspection systems that sample the web and those that perform 100 per cent inspection, BST Pro Mark’s new Premius digital Lex is said to combine the advantages of both technologies. It will: perform automatic print defect detection on the entire print repeat about every second and a half; monitor colour; verify bar codes to international ISO or ANSI specifications; document the entire quality assurance process and generate roll or job reports; and provide web viewing with a graphic touchscreen interface. Standard features include positional memory, quick zoom and Electronic Loupe.
The Shark system is for use on a rewinder or narrow web press and features a defect management software package, an all-icon driven user interface, (patent pending) lighting technology, and image acquisition said to be 50 per cent faster than competitive systems. It will perform 100 per cent inspection of webs up to 500mm, and identify missing print, reverse type fill-in, splash, spots, mis-register, hickeys, dirty print, web crease, haze, scumming, smudges, streaks, hairs, die cut variations and incorrect matrix removal.
BST says the Shark will identify random and repeating defects and is suitable for use on all kinds of substrates, including highly reflective materials. Booth 5703.
New from Double E is the DRS-4000 differential rewind shaft, which is said to simplify loading and unloading, and accommodates narrow slit widths down to a half inch. Various ring widths are available to suit every application. The DRS- 4000 is said to overcome load capacity issues common with other differential shafts, and offer better core gripping performance. Booth 200.
UK based narrow web flexo press manufacturer Edale will be attending the show with its new US arm, Edale America. The exhibit will also promote two of its presses: the Alpha, with its small footprint print stations and “relatively low price”, and the Lambda. Each is bespoke and built with the ability to reconfigure each module infinitely along the press. Applications include RFID insertion, intelligent labels, and security work. Booth 3123.
Featured by Bunting Magnetics will be Impression Series magnetic embossing cylinders, Gold Series magnetic rotary hot stamping cylinders, and X-treme die cutting cylinders.
The Impression Series offers “an economical alternative” to solid embossing/debossing dies – featuring precision ground surfaces, hardened removable bearers, and powerful ceramic and/or neodymium rare earth magnets to lock dies in place. The close tolerance cylinder surface is said to ensure sharper, cleaner impressions.
Gold Series cylinders (patent pending) are made from solid brass and said to achieve the ideal heating characteristics for foil stamping. They are fitted with premium ceramic magnets to hold economical, steel backed flexible dies securely and are suited for high temperature, high volume applications.
Machined from solid metal to resist deflection, X-treme die cutting cylinders are claimed to increase die life, reduce false starts, and make clean cuts even on one mil stock with one mil liners, on “no-look” labels, and synthetics. They are said to handle high press speeds, eliminate conventional makeready materials, and reduce hard tooling and labour costs. Booth 5600.
AutoProof Pro, from Complete Inspection Systems, is claimed to be the most advanced document verification and proof reading system for high resolution electronic inspection of packaging materials. Offering full press sheet scanning and verification up to 54 x 54 size in a single pass, it compares incoming materials to proofs and PDFs. Also available is a range of bar code inspection and reading systems. Anti counterfeiting systems for product identification and tracking include covert micro-markers that can be applied to almost any surface. Booth 3517.
A range of complete coating lines for all release coatings, and label and tape PSA adhesives is to be featured by Faustel. They incorporate coating methods to suit specific products. Cartridge coaters provide the means to change coating methods quickly. Drying technology can be roll support or flotation type.
The patented PerfectStart, no-fold transfer system is said to assure perfect roll build-up on the core. A computer system logs production data and stores machine set-up data for every job. Optional features can include coating thickness measuring, and re-moisturizing.
Information will also be available on the company’s pilot coater. Booth 2027.
Gallus will present a selection of presses at the show, demonstrating a job change and a substrate change using a wide range of printing techniques. Visitors to the stand will get the chance to see “in only a few minutes how to provide a superb end result: profitability, success and security for the label printer”. Booths 5901/5803.
For a limited period, Gerhardt USA will be offering its magnetic cylinders at 50 per cent of list price to all American customers. In addition, it will guarantee its flexible dies to be the lowest price on the market.
According to president and ceo Bill Reichard: “Many label converters have postponed making the switch from solid rotary dies to flexible dies because of the high initial investment in magnetic cylinders. With this offer there is no better time to make the change. We are also offering an audit service to US customers to see just how much money they could be saving.”
The company estimates that, on average, the lower cost of flexible dies will pay for the magnetic cylinder by the third job a customer runs on it. Booth 1539.
GEW (EC) will unveil ISO-cure - UV curing with a fully water cooled reflector profile for processing a variety of substrates on presses from 450-1,450mm web width. ISO-cure features the energy saving e-brick electronic power supply and new lamp reflector design with all-electric shutter operation for maximum performance and cure efficiency. ISO-cure options include an inert gas atmosphere curing system, UV monitoring online or through a docking station with hand-held monitor, and a dedicated refrigeration system.
The company will also introduce its e-system mini electronic UV lamp head featuring a 3.6kW e-brick suitable for use with standard single phase factory outlets, for maximum flexibility and use of space. Also new is the Mini Laboratory Unit for curing UV inks, coatings or adhesives. It provides the ability to work away from the production line to produce or test small lots or sample preparations on a variety of substrates. Booth 3505.
Gidue will introduce its Xpannd UV offset hybrid press (launched at Converflex, in Milan) to the US market. On show will be a 370mm wide printing unit from the new press to demonstrate that this machine can be equipped with any combination processes including UV flexo and screen printing. See feature in this issue for more on the Xpannd. Booth 1241.
Global Vision is to launch the new generation of its automated artwork comparator, Digital-Page 3.0. The company says “hundreds of companies” rely on its automated proof reading system to eliminate printed artwork errors on items such as labels, cartons, inserts, and press sheets. These include colour differences, font changes, location changes, dropped or added text – in any language. Booth 1721.
Both label converters and consumer products packagers can benefit from the stiffness and conformability of the new FlexiClear and FlexiWhite pressure sensitive BOPP label films from Green Bay Packaging, the company states.
The new films are said to offer strength and stability to maintain print registration and allow high speed die cutting and stripping. Both films provide excellent squeeze conformability, it is claimed: “in wall-to-wall flex tests, the bottles failed before the label showed signs of darting, lift, or fracture”. Packaging companies are also said to appreciate the stiffness for high speed label dispensing. Booth 911.
J M Heaford will again be exhibiting its range of plate mounters for the narrow web industry. New this year is a 'through the lens' target illumination system. The small circle of LED light projected onto the cylinder from each camera provides a pre-positioning guide and improves the image clarity of the register marks on the plate, resulting in faster and easier mounting, the company states. Booth 5900.
According to AB Kelva, the CC-Plus Corona cleaner is the best narrow web cleaning, corona surface treatment and static neutralization combination on the market. Designed for complete machine integration, this system is said to reduce space requirements drastically and increase functionality.
Technology from Kelva and Vetaphone is integrated in one system, “securing higher overall print performance through efficient web cleaning and high surface adhesion”. The unit can be mounted cantilevered and has all connections at the back. No doors or parts need to be opened for easy film thread-up. An “easy to use” operator system provides set-up features, overview and maintenance information. The CC-Plus is available for film widths of 300, 450 and 600mm. Booth 3905.
Kodak says its new Thermoflex hybrid platesetters provide the flexibility to image offset, flexo, and letterpress plates, as well as film – all on one device. The company will show visitors how platesetters can image multiple plates in one pass, allowing converters to enhance print results, reduce cycle times, and improve process control.
Combined with the Prinergy Powerpack workflow system, colour proofing systems, and tools for internet connectivity, the Thermoflex is part of a complete Kodak offering said to deliver quality and fast payback. Booth 1639.
Kurz will highlight its cold stamping foil process - decorating a colourful label using the Light Line Designs holographic cold foil on a Nilpeter web FB2500 rotary flexo six colour press. Also in the booth a hot stamped foil label will be produced on a DMS machine. In addition the company will have examples of printed labels
detailing its complete range of graphic foils for brand promotion and brand protection. Booth 1817.
Latran Technologies is introducing Dalmatian software that “significantly extends the accurate, seamless proofing of spot colours” on its Prediction digital half tone proofing system. The new software is said to retain the exact screening and match the colour using the required combination of CMYK and spot colour ink sheets. No changes in the prepress workflow are required: spot separations are sent to the Prediction front end workstation and processed by Dalmatian “for seamless output”.
Also new is a purple ink sheet which, when used with Dalmatian, is said to expand the Prediction spot colour proofing gamut even further. Booth 6411.
Comco, Mark Andy’s specialist packaging division, will launch its C2 series of flexo presses featuring the new I-Drive - Intelligent Drive System. This is said to provide print quality, productivity and flexibility “never seen before on an in-line web flexo press, combined with measured print quality comparable to sheet-fed offset at running speeds of over 300m/min”. In addition, the sleeve system and ‘plug-n-play’ technology are promised to set the Comco C2 apart from its competitors. Mark Andy will also feature the VSR line of inspection rewinders, more than 20 of which have been sold since it was launched at Labelexpo Brussels in 2005. Booth 319.
“The most successful RFID ticket, tag and label manufacturing system worldwide” is to feature in Melzer’s booth. The Smart Label/Smart Ticket machine replaces a defective transponder “within a fraction of a second”, before it is attached to the product – an in-line feature said to be available only on this machine. The inevitable rejects within the transponder reel are sorted out fully automatically at the highest speed possible. Expensive pre-selected transponders or the extremely slow, time, space and labour demanding pre-selection processes on other equipment are said to be eliminated.
Versions are available from single track to four track, covering volume requirements from 10,000-40,000pph, 65-260m/min, respectively. Booth 6434.
Nilpeter will be showing it latest range of narrow web label and packaging presses for converters of all sizes and types. Booths 3105/3205.
The Flexy-S narrow web press will be the focus of Omet’s booth. This machine has two brushless servomotors for each printing unit, said to provide quality and reliability for label, shrink label, film and folding carton production. It can be equipped with the Twin-Cut die cutting unit for production of self adhesive labels in all the printing formats without the need to change magnetic cylinders – “providing significant cost and time reductions”.
The established Varyflex model will also be featured - a ‘one shot’ production system, where all operations are carried out in-line, from roll to finished product. In addition to producing folding cartons, with just a few minutes to change over, it is capable of printing other materials such as shrink labels and film “with supreme print quality”. Booths 3007/3009.
The new Prime UV S-2100 MiniScan 3C is claimed to provide high speed cool cure of all UV chemistries – “installing easily on all new and existing narrow web label presses and converting lines”. Maximum airflow and low substrate temperatures while curing heavy ink densities at maximum press speeds are promised.
The Smart 2100 Control Platform controls the MiniScan UV processors. It features on-screen system diagnostics and remote diagnostic capabilities through direct access with Prime UV service technicians. Booth 3701.
Sharing a booth with its North American distributor Testing Machines Inc, RK Print Coat will unveil a new version of the EsiProof, a compact portable hand-held unit for the production of solid or half tone flexo proofs. This now incorporates a spring arrangement instead of micrometers, and employs a doctor blade on a miniaturized anilox roller, which enables proofing of fine tones and higher viscosity inks such as UV.
Visitors will also see the FlexiProof UV, a compact bench top system that enables users and producers of UV flexo inks to undertake a variety of quality control and colour communication procedures, “cost effectively and with great precision”. Booth 1620.
The Rogers Corp will be exhibiting its R/bak SA 3000 cushion mounting tape. Said to offer consistent print results, higher print quality and easier handling, this product is aimed at the 0.51mm thin tape market, primarily wide web flexible packaging printers, the company says. SA 3000 combines Rogers’ open cell urethane cushion technology and special acrylic adhesives in a product construction designed to handle easily while providing the most consistent print results and superior print quality in any printing environment. It has a transparent liner, which is textured for easier mounting – minimizing air bubbles and making the task of tape laydown easier. This liner is also claimed to make seam formation “effortless”. The high performance adhesive system allows for quick repositioning of both tape and plate in the printing process. Booth 3134.
Rotoflex International will demonstrate its latest digital web finishing technology. The new Configuration 2 Vericut offers the company’s latest advances in semi rotary spot coating, cold and hotfoil and embossing. Also to be displayed is the Model HTI computer controlled bidirectional processing machine for the automatic, high speed verification and certification of products such as pharmaceutical labels and leaflets.
The exhibit will additionally offer the latest inspection, die cutting and vision integration technology from vision partners AVT and Nikka Research. Booth 329.
Manufacturer of precision rotary dies and tooling RotoMetrics will feature its RD200 machine finished dies, adjustable clearance anvils and multi port air-eject dies. Visitors can learn about the new MyRoto.com on-line ordering and tracking tool. Additionally, the company will display rotary dies and accessories, including flexible dies, magnetic cylinders, CNC and EDM solid dies, print cylinders, speciality dies, sheeters, hot stamping and embossing tools, and pressure gauging systems. Booth 129.
Vetaphone will promote a new special coating for its Corona-Plus equipment for label and narrow web applications. The coating is said to make it easier to clean the corona station, and “will lighten the maintenance process in general”. Booth 3905.
Union Chemicar America (UCA) recently introduced US140, a premium thermal ribbon for “mission critical” RFID printing. Its special composition is said to completely dissipate static and will not hold a static charge. It prints at speeds up to 10in/s, provides “excellent” optical density, and offers good scratch/smear resistance. The ribbon is said to be compatible with a wide range of receiver materials, including coated/uncoated papers, synthetics, and many thermal receptive film stocks. Booth 5201.
Pressure sensitive labelstock supplier Raflatac and UPM Rafsec, manufacturer of RFID tags and inlays, merged this year to form a new business entity, UPM Raflatac. The company says the merger reflects its strong commitment to the labelstock and RFID business areas. Booth 1339.
AB Graphic International