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We round up the latest advances and innovations in label printing and converting technology

New from Atlantic Zeiser is the Vericam E high speed camera, which is claimed to offer 100% data verification and print quality control. Featuring an intuitive easy to use touchscreen, the self-explanatory interface enables the confi guration of a wide range of regions of interest – all of which can be set up individually and independent from the context. The most commonly used fonts are available, as well as the most widespread 1D and 2D barcodes.

The new camera delivers automatic learning functions and plausibility checks, online comparison with the production fi le, 100% OCR/OCV verifi cation, and fast realisation of customer-specific extensions to standard fonts and barcodes.

ThinStream, a “revolutionary” new diecutting technology developed by pressure-sensitive (PS) label material manufacturer Avery Dennison, not only allows the diecutting of labels with a liner as thin as 12 micron, but is also claimed to eliminate die strikes.

The technology for ThinStream has been licensed to the Gallus Group, which has developed a cold die unit for it. This separates the facestock from the liner before diecutting, cuts the label shape through the adhesive and then reassembles the label. To make a clean cut, the machine uses a die which is kept below freezing temperature to prevent the adhesive from sticking to it.

Even on small systems, such as sensors, using graphical interfaces has become a standard, but existing solutions all share one major disadvantage: the operator has to work in two different places to set up one system.

Erhardt+Leimer’s solution is its new Elpad, which combines a line sensor and graphical interface in one system. Two menus – web guiding and line sensor – allow easy setup by the operator. In particular, the graphical representation of the line sensor menu simplifi es learning of the criteria to be scanned. Three learning manual) provide additional support.

The whole system can be set up from one location and operated with one set of cables and one display. This saves resources and reduces susceptibility to errors, according to E+L.

Solutions to release liner wastage are offered by Canada’s ETI, whose Cohesio technology allows converters to manufacture their own PSA construction inhouse – as well as printing and diecutting PS labels all in one process. This provides both flexibility and substantial savings on raw materials costs, the company promises.

ETI claims that its Liner Less release liner technology will maximize label productivity and is 40% cheaper than a conventional labelling process, as well as being eco-friendly. Being more compact, Liner Less has twice as many labels per roll, resulting in fewer changeovers as well as less weight. The label applicator can be adapted to any existing labelling line, it is claimed.

Another new concept is the Miniliner: instead of the widely used 30 micron PET release liners, this is a 12 micron alternative suitable for conventional diecutting methods.

Printers typically leave the UV on stand-by for long periods, so that it is always ready to run as soon as the they are ready to re-start the press. To combat this energy wastage without making printers waste time, GEW has developed GreenTimer, a simple, user-friendly software package which allows the operator to program the system to start automatically after the desired amount of time – and to power down after a predetermined duration on stand-by.

The total number of hours the system has been ‘intelligently’ switched off are logged, so that managers can quantify the savings easily.

A new high intensity focused reflector based on GEW’s existing retractable cassette system not only delivers a boost in UV output together with corresponding energy savings, but also incorporates a number of heat management features to allow a wider range of substrates to be processed. The new reflector incorporates specially developed, multilayer dichroic coating which will last “for years”, claims GEW.

IST Metz and Integration Technology’s MZero is said to be an extremely compact and light (130g) UV system for coding and marking in narrow web applications. It has two interesting features that are said to be set to have an impact on future LED UV systems: the LED Zero Solidcure for more sophisticated applications, and LED Zero Pincure for the pinning (precuring) of inkjet ink.

Kodak’s Spotless Flexographic Solution is a new software and measurement device package to help flexo printers maintain impactful product pack appearance, cut costs and increase production efficiency through the reduced use of spot colours. It is said to be user-friendly, intuitive and includes specific features for recipe generation that accommodate the unique minimum dot characteristics of flexo printing.

“Users enjoy the production benefits of replacing more spot colours with 4-colour process printing than previously possible with flexo,” says Emma Schlotthauer, packaging marketing manager, prepress solutions, Kodak.

Recent developments by Prati include the Digitplus modular line featuring the latest in laser technology. Said to be ideal for short runs, it includes a Flower UV flexo head for full varnishing or spot varnishing, along with laser diecutting, matrix stripping, slitting, counting and rewinding of digitally printed labels.

Jupiter HMI is the latest version of the Italian manufacturer’s label inspection solution. It features a new graphic touch HMI and Proxima advanced detecting system for improved operator usability and job integrity. A key benefit of Proxima is said to be its ability to detect both opaque and clear labels.

RotoMetrics has launched the AccuStar range of flexible dies, the first product line to be fully developed since the company’s merger with Gerhardt in 2011.

The AccuStar is claimed to offer more accurate perforation and die strike, combined with a longer life. This has been achieved by a new technique that uses lasers to harden the dies (for longer life), and precision machine finishing, which offers greater accuracy.

More acute blade angles and a range of optional surface treatments are said to make the dies suitable for, amongst other applications, diecutting of abrasive thermal transfer products.

New from Smag Graphique of France is a high speed screen printing unit capable of operating at up to 30m/min. The SGV screen head features a cylinder to support and drive the web underneath a flat screen. High speeds are possible thanks to servomotors that power the cylinder, paper web and screen, as well as the web’s limited contact area with the screen.

With a maximum print width of 340mm and a 250mm repeat length, the new unit is claimed to be compatible with all UV screen inks, and it offers a competitive screen printing alternative for longer label print runs.”

Danish company Tresu has introduced a lightweight, easily changeable chamber doctor blade system for narrow and mid-web flexo applications.

The new FlexiPrint IMW E-Line is claimed to ensure smooth, defect-free results with solvent, water or UV inks on most paper, folding carton and film substrates. At less than 10kg, its compact, lightweight design requires no tooling and offers fast changeover, low maintenance, as well as predictable, splash-free results. Flexible rubber seals form a barrier at the chamber sides to minimise the possibility of leakage.

Tresu says the blades can be replaced safely in less than one minute, and a quickload system allows the chamber to slot into a position that can be adjusted in fine increments, to compensate for blade wear.

Two textured PP overlaminating films for labels – Linen and Pearl – were recently introduced by UPM Raflatac. Laminated over silver and gold films or over white and coloured papers, the embossed films are said to create a new look and feel with enhanced standout. The overlaminating also adds an impression of higher print contrast and colour intensity.

Also new from UPM Raflatac is Optimum Extra, a mid-gloss paper label face for HP Indigo and digital UV inkjet printing. It covers all mid-gloss end-uses from food and drinks to home care, retail and logistics, and has a specially adapted surface said to provide optimum colour saturation and consistently crisp resolution, without the need for an additional primer before printing.

A ‘plug and play’ retrofit module to revitalise older narrow web presses that are without a corona treatment system is now available from Vetaphone. Then “simple and compact” module can be mounted inline, “taking up virtually no space at all and requiring only a few cables and an ozone extraction hose”, according to the Danish company.

Vetaphone says the module can be designed to fit almost any narrow web press. Versions are already available for several Nilpeter press models.

Avery Dennison’s new diecutting Thinstream In-house production from ETI ETI GEW advances UV reflector capability GEW Smag’s high speed screen printing system Smag Vetaphone retrofit revitalizes older narrow web presses Vetaphone

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Avery Dennison
IST Metz
UPM Raflatac