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FLEXO FESTIVAL – the flexo 2005 show promises a feast of innovation

As we move close to flexo 2005 I would like to take this opportunity to encourage as many of you as possible to visit the show. There are a number of technology advances that make it essential visiting to view the cutting edge of the flexo process. For the first time you will also have the opportunity to attend a variety of workshops run by industry professionals – adding value to your visit and increasing your knowledge. The key industry suppliers are all present at the show, and you will have the opportunity to meet all your contacts under one roof and in one day. The Annual EFTA Print Awards Gala Dinner will be taking place on March 16 and you will be able to view the best flexo printing in the UK at the show. We look forward to seeing you there. Lesley Hide Managing director, EFTA (UK)

Over 100 exhibitors will show equipment, materials and services from prepress to printing in flexo 2005, at the NEC, Birmingham, UK. This year the event (March 15-17) includes flexoplus to incorporate digital printing and converting technology.

Flexoplus will feature a Time 2 Market Advisory Centre on digital technology for real-time applications and a Networking Lounge that will allow visitors to learn more about the supply chain.

A special feature being organized by EFTA is a Best Practice Theatre offering free sessions on common industry problems, and discussions on how companies can get the maximum performance from their printing operation. Experts in their respective fields will present the sessions. Candidates who successfully take part in this programme will be given a certificate of attendance to acknowledge “their continuing professional development”. Advance booking is said to be essential – at www.flexoexpo.co.uk/bestpractice

Around the aisles

In the show, Agfa is to present the benefits of its Value Added Tools in screening and colour conversion. Sublima Screening is said to allow users to reach new levels of detail reproduction, extended tonal rendering with standard film to plate production and more stable printing. Alterno is a colour conversion technology to simulate spot colours. Also to be demonstrated are new Sherpa Proofing solutions for screened proofs, Pantone matching based on spectral colour measurements, and remote proofing. Visitors will also learn how Agfa’s The.Factory digital printing solution can help them print specific packaging jobs in a more economic and efficient way. Stand 1326.

ALE will exhibit its range of laser engraving machines for printing, coating, etching and surface treatment applications. Security or commercial engravings can use graphic resolutions up to 10,000dpi. ALE’s machines can engrave flexo plates, sleeves or rollers. Embossing rollers can also be made and fine metal engravings directly engraved. The machines are available for maximum roller sizes of 0.6, 1.2, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6m. Roller diameters up to 1m may be engraved on the larger models. Machines can be upgraded by adding extra laser beams, enabling higher productivity. Stand 1319.

New ink systems from ANI Printing Inks will include Flexocure Ivory, Flexocure, CombiWhite, and HolographINK. Flexocure Ivory is a novelty UV Flexo concept “ready to challenge UV screen printing, increasing the opacity of UV flexo to another dimension,” says ANI. Flexocure Sigma, is the next generation UV flexo ink designed to improve printers’ productivity, whereas CombiWhite is said to be an easily overprintable opaque screen white ink. HolographINk is a special imaging process which provides an ‘eye catching’ holographic effect. Stand 1515.

Asahi Photoproducts will show AFP-DHS digital material for printing films, paper and board and APR liquid plate making products. Addressing the quality issue surrounding liquid plate production versus sheet, the company will demonstrate its F400 resin for high quality work on corrugated board. Stand 1250.

The Bobst Group will feature multimedia presentations on presses for flexible packaging, corrugated and cartonboard. These will include the Lemanic 82-F, and the new Schiavi EF4040 press with Universal Deck application that allows post-installation changes to the number of colours and web widths. The new Martin 924 FP flexo folder gluer capable of fine printing up to 2.4m wide, as well as the Rapidex for larger format corrugated board applications will also feature. Stand 1008.

CFM will feature the new MicroKote 11 coated doctor blade from Swede AB and the new Dual Chamber system and GripTite blade holders from FlexoArt. DCM will also be represented with emphasis on laminating and slitting machinery and shrink sleeve technology. Stand 1021.

Cheshire Engraving is showing a complete range of ceramic and chrome plated Anilox rollers. The company’s improved channel link and double helix screens will feature along with a range of anilox cleaners. Also on show will be Cheshire’s specially developed new ultrasonic anillox cleaning system, Flexonic, that is fully automatic with coarse and fine screen settings. Stand 1236.

Creo will be exhibiting with partner Litho Supplies. Litho Supplies will be showing MacDermid Printing Solutions’ Thermal Lava Plate System for the first time in the UK. Creo’s next generation digital imager, the ThermoFlex Mid II, will make its UK debut. It is said to reduce the time required to image a plate by up to 28 per cent. Plate loading and unloading processes have been improved “dramatically” and a new TIFF front end provides a simplified user interface. The footprint has also been reduced, taking 24 per cent less space. All of Creo’s flexo screening features can be included with the purchase of any ThermoFlex device. Prinergy Evo is said to provide a more affordable PDF workflow solution for smaller packaging businesses such as tag and label printers. Stand 1206.

Drent Goebel says its VSOP technology overcomes the traditional barrier to web offset in packaging – the high cost of shape/size variation. “With the VSOP the carton printer now has an affordable offset alternative to higher cost cassette type web offset presses or slower sheet-fed offset and flexo web presses without compromising sheet-fed offset quality standards,” the company states. In addition to its affordable variable size and repeat length, fast makeready and change-over capabilities, the VSOP is designed to offer high offset print quality and high efficiency even on short runs, as well as user friendly, ergonomic operation. Stand 1315.

Esko-Graphics will introduce the MultiCUT multi purpose toolhead for the Kongsberg XL22 sample making table, showcase the CDI Spark XT CTP for flexo, and demonstrate Scope packaging workflow solutions. The Kongsberg XL22 is suited for cutting, creasing and scoring low volume corrugated and folding carton jobs. The MultiCUT toolhead features two configurable tool stations and a milling spindle. Targeted materials include plywood, acrylics, polycarbonates, Dibond, rigid PVC, wood, and high pressure laminates. The focus will be on the CDI (Cyrel Digital Imager) family: the CDI Advance with the first automatic plate loading system; the new Sleeve Option on the CDI Compact offers a cantilever arm – a system that allows one person to easily change a sleeve without additional tools. New software updates to enhance quality and productivity of CDI flexo platesetters include Optics 80, Grapholas, Superskip and PlatePatcher. The company will demonstrate its Scope workflow environment, covering a wide range of functions, from job and product specification, through graphic and structural design and expert pre-production operations, to plate making for printing and tool making for converting. Stand 1130.

Fischer & Krecke will present its new Flexpress View option for all Flexpress series CI flexo presses. Flexpress is an internet based service and maintenance tool that works with extremely high transmission speed and allows information to be exchanged and operations executed from remote locations to any F&K service engineer or head office. Also to be presented is the latest Flexpress control system developed with AVT. In this version of the system, print and anilox impressions can be automatically set within linear 180m of web, generating minimal waste, it is claimed. Stand 1440.

New from Focus Label Machinery is the Proflex compact flexo press. The press incorporates Rapid Change Print Cartridges, automatic plate throw-off, constant rotating anilox rolls and a new, ultra efficient inter-station drying system that enables higher press speeds, claims Focus. Also on is show the latest version of the Centraflex CI press, with the Platemate video plate mounting system and Compact Profile for flexo plate making. Stand 1106.

GEW (EC) will feature the e-Brick modular, space saving electronic power supply “with less than 30 per cent of the volume and 20 per cent of the weight of conventional systems”. High frequency square wave electrical output is said to increase UV output by 10 per cent. Also on show will be the JetCure compact UV lamphead for curing inkjet applied inks; and the NUVAplus N2 modified atmosphere system for faster curing of free radical silicone release coated liners and reduced photoinitiator inks for food packaging applications. The NUVAplus high performance UV system for wider web applications will also figure, along with the VCP Film system for heat sensitive and unsupported label and packaging films. Stand 1026.

Johnson Matthey will feature its Vertec range of adhesion promoters that enable printing inks to bond with polymer surfaces and withstand chemical and physical abrasion. Stand 1320.

MPH offers a range of origination and prepress services to packaging printers and manufacturers. CDI plate imaging and “Fast” thermal processing facilities complement Gallus and Stork rotary screen production, as well as WebFlow artwork communication and data basing, and extensive, multi process wet proofing and mock-up facilities. Stand 1418 .

An FA3300 flexo press is to be shown by Nilpeter. A modular press of up to 14 colours, the FA3300 can be supplied with a full range of processes for the production of labels and flexible packaging. Options include rotary or flatbed die cutting, hot or cold foil, individually adjustable UV curing lamps, chill drums and gravure cassettes. The flexo printing units can be converted tool-free, into screen printing units with the Nilpeter Drop-In screen cassette. Conventional flexo plates can be used together with sleeve technology for easy plate handling, seamless printing and instant register. Stand 1404.

Pamarco will demonstrate its total print solution packages, including anilox, repro and plates, Care cleaning solutions, tapes, and proofers. This is further strengthened with the announcement of the exclusive Rotec product agency for the UK and Ireland. Visitors can view Pamarco’s latest ThermaFlo anilox engraving, incorporating improved cell shape, toughness of land area, resistance to scoring, better ink release, higher volumes at finer screens and an overall improvement in print control. The stand also incorporates two technology areas where the company will be demonstrating CellBase and Prima. CellBase is said to be the new standard in anilox measurement and control, with accuracy of within 0.5 per cent, and software allowing the user to create a total roll database, life cycle analysis of each roll, an early warning of potential print problems and ultimately extend anilox life. The Prima software offers the printer a paperless solution to integrate design, print management, and quality control throughout his operation. Stand 1448.

UK debut

The FlexiProof 100 with integrated UV from RK Print Coat will have its first UK showing. This version enables manufacturers of inks, adhesives, substrates, anilox/doctor blade producers, and printer/converters to simulate UV printing for all prepress applications from computer colour matching to customer samples, and from quality control to R&D, printability and testing. Information will also be available on the new VCM machine for developing coated products. Stand 1150.

Saueressig will show a range of new products including IFD (In line Flexo on Demand) and the Infinity ITR in the round endless-seamless printing form for production of seamless flexo raw sleeves on existing sleeves in less than 60min. Stand 1129

Sericol will launch Flexo JD, a new set of UV flexo inks from its Uvivid range designed to offer solutions for the narrow web label and flexible packaging markets. Stand 1426.

TecScan will exhibit its range of print inspection systems, and repeat length measurement equipment, and will also be introducing a new concept in active inspection. These precision systems incorporate the latest camera technology with TecScan’s own in-house hardware and software development. New products on show are the Box Gap Detector and the Board Watcher. Stand 1335.

On show from Tectonic International are the company’s latest of web inspection systems, including the Jaguar. This features passive and active inspection and colour monitoring, job history, downloads required statistics taken on-the-fly and on-line or off-line information storage through any remote PC or by use of the factory SPC system. Stand 1124.

3M will feature the latest in its range of plate mounting tapes with microchannel liner that is said to virtually eliminate trapped air, speed up mounting procedure, and improve print quality. New products are in the pipeline timed to be available by show time. Stand 1230.

Van Son Liquid Inks offers a wide range of solvent and water based flexo printing inks and overprint varnishes. The Aqua Base Plus series is a selection of pigmented water based ink systems each one formulated for a specific application, like envelopes, labels, paper drink cups, flower wrapping paper and multiwall bags. At flexo 2005 two new additions to the range will be shown – the Aqua Base Plus NK and AP formulation. The NK formulation is suitable for printing napkins, paper towels and other tissue stocks, whereas the AP formulation is designed for use in on-site ink dispensing systems. The AP inks are basic concentrates that, in combination with specially prepared additives, can be adjusted for a wide range of applications. Stand 1330.

Digital debut

IIR’s recent initiative in expanding the remit of flexo 2005 further along the digital route has been met by a positive response. Four major digital press systems suppliers: Agfa (dotrix), HP Indigo, Scitex Vision, and Xerox are represented at the show for the first time. ‘”Whilst flexo is very much the dominant packaging print process with a 40 per cent market share, converters are also acutely aware of a growing requirement for cost effective short run added value applications,’ says IIR md Nicky Mason. “Digital print can service that demand and could soon become an essential complementary production component within the flexo sector. Our objective is to provide the show’s core visitor base the opportunity of assessing and comparing the fitness for purpose capabilities of both technologies to better inform their future investment plans.” Agfa will be demonstrating its dotrix digital inkjet solution by an interactive satellite link to an established user company, enabling visitors to observe jobs in real-time. “We’re delighted to have this opportunity of introducing our proposition for short run production to high end packaging and POP/POS displays producers,” says Scitex Vision sales & marketing director Ronen Zioni. In addition to supporting its partnering relationship with Esko-Graphics, HP Indigo will focus on the flexible packaging capabilities of the recently launched ws4050 press – “a tailormade digital solution for both labels and flexible packaging,” says UK industrial division sales manager Roger Bottomley. In addition to around 20 per cent of exhibitors at flexo 2005 showing digital solutions, the T2M Advisory Centre will feature a time to market themed programme of supplier-led seminars and presentations, as well as providing free consultation to pre-registered visitors on existing and prospective print production issues.



Contacts

Agfa-Gevaert
Tel: +32 3 444 9434
Flexo 2005
Tel: +44 (0) 207 915 5687
EFTA
Tel: +44 (0) 1458 241455
ANI Printing Inks
Tel: +44 (0) 1617 767600
Applied Laser Engineering
Tel: +44 (0) 208 941 1101
Asahi Photoproducts
Tel: +44 (0)1277 232877
Bobst Group
Tel: +44 (0) 1527 519 700
CFM
Tel: +44 (0) 1635 37232
Cheshire Engraving
Tel: +44 (0) 161 344 5558
Creo UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7836 719 650
Drent Goebel
Tel: +31 313671911
Esko-Graphics
Tel: +32 (0) 9216 95 79
Fischer & Krecke
Tel: +49 (0) 521 30480
Focus Label Machinery
Tel: +44 (0) 1949 836223
GEW (EC)
Tel: +44 (0) 1737 824500
Johnson Matthey
Tel: +44 (0) 207 269 8400
Litho Supplies
Tel: +44 (0) 1179 724455
MPH
Tel: +44 (0) 1255 240444
Nilpeter
Tel: +44 (0) 1482 629600
Pamarco
Tel: +44 (0) 1925 456789
RK Print Coat
Tel: +44 (0) 1763 852187
Saueressig
Tel: +49 (0) 2564 12 0
Sericol
Tel: 01992 782619
TecScan
Tel: +44 (0) 1443 821 552
Tectonic International
Tel: +44 (0) 1685 722225
3M
Tel: +44 (0) 1344 858499
Van Son Liquid Inks
Tel: +31 35 6884411





External weblinks
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Agfa-Gevaert
ANI Printing Inks
Applied Laser Engineering
Asahi Photoproducts
Bobst Group
CFM
Cheshire Engraving
Creo UK
Drent Goebel
EFTA
Esko-Graphics
Fischer & Krecke
Flexo 2005
Focus Label Machinery
GEW (EC)
Litho Supplies
Johnson Matthey
3M
MPH
Nilpeter
Pamarco
RK Print Coat
Saueressig
Sericol
TecScan
Tectonic International
Van Son Liquid Inks