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September’s CPP Expo, which is co-located with Print 13 in Chicago, is set to pack in more content than ever before, with more than 500 exhibitors and a fully-fledged conference programme awaiting visitors

It is testament to the ongoing worldwide growth of the packaging print and production sector that an increasing number of trade events and shows have broadened their footprints to include packaging as part of the exhibitor mix. The 2013 iteration of the CPP Expo takes place in Chicago and is co-located with Print 13, following on from an incredibly successful event last year in Ohio.

Taking place from 8-12 September 2013 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, more than 500 exhibitors have signed up across both shows. However, what is important for packaging firms in attendance is that more than half of these companies will be present with capital equipment, software and ancillary services designed to improve business within the converting production space.

Selling point
But why attend CPP Expo 2013? In what is still a challenging economic environment, time spent at trade exhibitions is an investment in time as much as an opportunity to improve your business.

"There will be no greater opportunity to see the innovation than at these shows. The innovations in prepress and digital that will transfer into package printing will provide an edge to the converters looking to innovate," Leo Nadolske, president of CPP Expo tells Converting Today. "And, conversely, commercial printers who are immersed in digital are looking to expand into package printing."

While Nadolske is optimistic about the upcoming events, he is also cautious about the challenges that lie ahead for converters. "After speaking with so many packaging converters, the consensus is that they are busy but it is imperative that they remain in tune with what is projected over the next 24-36 months," he explains.

Challenging environment
"Projections show a steady increase across specific sectors for the next few years. So, the challenge is time that is necessary to network and discuss potential and existing customers’ future business," says Nadolske. "The key in this challenging scenario is to provide quality. For instance, new barrier films now available for flexible packaging allow for much more vibrant graphics, and address safety concerns, especially in food packaging."

According to Nadolske, showcasing such capabilities creates a "great opportunity", especially as consumers continue to demand source reduction in the packaged goods they invest in. "So in this one sector of flexible packaging, converters/package printers can supply a product that is not only eco-friendly, but eliminates contamination issues and could afford their consumer packaged goods customers with cost reductions," he adds.

Show highlights: CPP Expo
Goss International
is using the September event to showcase the latest developments taking place on its Sunday Vpak web offset presses for packaging production. Commercially available in web widths up to 1,905mm, the manufacturer will be demonstrating the capabilities of its Vpak 500 press as well as the wide 3000 model.The machines can reach a maximum print speed up to 457m/min and are suitable for flexible packaging, label and folding carton applications.

Inspection, slitting and rewinding equipment manufacturer Rotoflex is to focus on its offline finishing products. This includes the launch of the Rotoflex Tracker, a slitter rewinder that features a horizontal web path. This machine is available in widths up to 559mm and is suitable for applications such as pressure-sensitive label finishing, film packaging and pharmaceutical production.

Tianjin, China-based Masterwork Machinery Co has a presence in a range of sectors, including printing, diecutting, folding and foiling. The company has committed to a major stand at the event and will present an array of converting equipment including its new 21060STE Duopress automatic foil stamping and diecutting machine, the FBII800 automatic folder gluer, and its 420 mini inspection machine.

CPP Conference: some of the key seminars taking place across the event’s comprehensive conference programme

What: Did Tension Control Mess Up My Registration?
Date: 9 September
Time: 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Host: Timothy J Walker, TJ Walker + Associates

Many printed products have tolerances on colour-to-colour and print-to-cut machine and cross-web direction registration. There are at least six different ways to lose registration and one of the first suspects is loss or variations in tension control.

What: Inline vs. Offline Carton Manufacturing
Date: 10 September
Time: 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Host: Doug Weiss, business development manager – packaging, Muller Martini

These days it is essential that every advantage is taken to produce jobs quickly and at the lowest possible cost. Mistakes must be avoided, as any error is the difference between profit and loss on a job, and could spell disaster for a company.

What: Digital Printing for Packaging and Labels
Date: 10 September
When: 3:00 PM
Host: Dene Taylor, PhD, principal and founder, SPF-Inc

Digital printing has opened new markets for commercial printers, and is doing the same with labels and packaging. The adoption is faster here because many brand- owners have seen the potential value with their advertising and promotions; a demand exists – it does not have to be created.

What: Emerging Technology in Barrier Coatings
Date: 11 September
Time: 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Host: Bob O’Boyle, product manager of coatings, Sun Chemical

This session will enlighten attendees on how barrier coatings are designed to enable light weighting of packaging by removing the metal foil and one layer of adhesive from packaging, as well as offering improved laminate flexibility. Barrier coatings are cost-effective, recyclable, biodegradable and press-ready, allowing for lighter-weight packaging, a reduced carbon footprint, and easy application with few changes to current equipment.