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Nearly 70 new exhibiting companies will feature among the more than 400 suppliers and manufacturers showing their wares at Labelexpo Americas 2012 during 11-13 September

Labelexpo Americas 2012, the major US-based label and narrow web converting industry show, will be more than 5% larger than its last edition in 2010. Once again, the Donald E Stephens Convention Centre in Rosemont, Chicago, will be the place where label converters and printers from across North and South America can see the latest technology available. This year, the many exhibits and conference programme will be complemented by a digital printing master class aimed at converters looking to invest in digital for the first time; as well as a dedicated stream for getting started with cartons and flexible packaging. Several manufacturers will stage a live comparison of their machines in the Laser Die Cutting Workshop, run by a neutral moderator.

Many exhibitors will debut technologies as part of the new Package Printing Zone; and another new attraction will be the Ecovillage, highlighting the latest products and services for “a better performing, more environmentally conscious label industry”.

The first night of Labelexpo Americas will also host the Label Industry Global Awards, which honour companies and individuals for excellence and best practice in the labelling industry.

Along the aisles

Among the many exhibitors, Atlantic Zeiser (booth 6411) will feature the Digiline system, which offers integrated solutions for printing, coding, serialising and verifying of roll materials and labels. “Outstanding high secure production control and real-time reporting capabilities” will be presented in combination with advanced software such as PMP (Production Management Platform) to control the entire production and identification process. The company’s Smartcure Air and Smartcure UV-LED curing systems “for virtually every printing width and speed” are said to cure UV inks in an environmentally friendly manner, through their low energy consumption, absence of ozone emissions and an operating life said to outlast lamp-based systems by a factor of one to 10.

In booth 711, AVT will include its PrintVision/Helios II 100% inspection technology with the new SpectraLab add-on module, featuring in-line spectral measurements according to ISO standards. SpectraLab provides absolute colour measurements to match with brand owners’ colour standards and is said to be the only ISO compliant spectrophotometer available for on-press in-line measurement of absolute colour and density values of colour-critical packaging. Also new is the PrintVision/Helios Sense 100% inspection platform, to inspect and verify print and transparent varnish faults simultaneously. It can also inspect braille in parallel to print.

Clarifoil (booth1550) will show its range of cellulose acetate films for pressure-sensitive labels. Produced from sustainably sourced wood pulp, and biodegradable and home compostable to EN13432 and ASTM 6400, the films are said to have excellent transparency with low haze that will not distort print or images. The latest addition to the range is Clareflect, a biodegradable metallised film in 50 micron with a mirror-like finish.

Also showing is Integuard, destructible film for tamper-evident labels and seals. Its special formulation is said to deliver high tensile strength and stiffness to overcome the difficulties of matrix stripping and high speed applications associated with other tamper-evident films. Available in ultra-clear and white, the film is suitable for transparent security labels and can combine with other customised ingredients and additives to offer new options for designers of anti-counterfeit packaging.

Codimag (booth 3429) will demonstrate the Viva 340 Aniflo “keyless” anilox offset system for short run label production. With Equinox prepress by Esko, the press will print four jobs using an expanded gamut 7-colour process (CMYKOGB). Visitors will see four complete job changes live each day, and a wide variety of labels, including a technical sheet with 116 PMS colours separated out of CMYKOGB.

Now available within Esko’s (booth 5202) workflows, PantoneLive support delivers an end-to-end colour management and communication solution that “for the first time, addresses the needs and requirements of every single discipline within the packaging supply chain”. Esko recently developed an improved ink model which is a critical component to the definition of colour from the PantoneLive cloud. It is said to help users to predict how Pantone colours interact, and overprint on press. Using spectral analysis, the technology will produce an inkjet proof that shows an accurate representation of what the result of two overprinting spot colours will look like on the press.

For when labels are produced with hybrid printing – typically a screen or flexo press in tandem with a digital press – Esko will introduce new automated production software that requires just one workflow to drive all the stations. Many new solutions launched earlier this year at Drupa will also be shown for the first time in North America, including the Kongsberg XN digital finishing table.

Visitors to booth 840, the Flint Group Narrow Web exhibit, will learn about EkoCure, “the first-ever UV LED ink technology for both UV flexo and UV rotary screen applications”. For those printers who run both, Flint will introduce to the North American market the “Flexo to Screen” concept, taking a UV flexo ink and converting it to a UV rotary screen ink, which allows printers to reduce inventories. Flexocure Ancora is a “true low migration” UV flexo ink designed specifically for food packaging applications. Flint claims it will ensure that final packaging construction “passes the most stringent migration tests with absolutely no compromise in performance”.

A show highlight for GSE Dispensing (booth 551) will be improvements to the Colorsat Match dispenser, for flexo, gravure and screen label printing. They include a new air bubble mixer said to keep consistent viscosity throughout the container and ensure a stable ink flow. Another new feature is an automatic wet/dry cleaning unit, containing a roller for quick changes and easy maintenance.

GSE’s Colorsat modular gravimetric ink dispensing units are said to eliminate waste and improve yields by up to 30%, dispensing the exact amount needed for each job and calculating excess ‘press return’ inks into new recipes. The Colorsat can prepare colours for all flexo, gravure and screen label and packaging printing situations. It caters for water, solvent and UV-based ink sets and dispense volumes from less than 5kg to more than 200kg.

Martin Automatic (booth 811) will demonstrate the latest versions of its MBS splicer and LRD rewinder. The MBS now features ultrasonic side-lay sensors and spiral grooved rollers, for unwinding and splicing many clear film structures. It also now has a touchscreen control, similar to that of the LRD rewinder, with which the MBS is often paired, for ease of operation with expanded diagnostics. The latest version of the LRD accommodates 800mm diameter rolls as standard, with larger diameter models available. The inline slitter package now offers quicker set-up, fine tuning and changeover between jobs.

Visitors to the Nuova Gidue booth (5722) will learn about its new Digital Flexo 3.0 technology, said to deliver excellent production output compared with other digital printing technologies, and to be ideal for print runs of all sizes. Matteo Cardinotti, operations manager, comments: “Digital Flexo 3.0 on the M5 press beats digital printing technologies over 1,000 linear metres of production and, in many jobs, it can compete – and win – well below 1,000m. Plus it is also profitable for medium and long runs on any substrate, with multiple in-line converting solutions.”

The exhibit will feature an M5 430mm, 8-colour UV flexo press with three diecutting units, Digital Flexo 3.0 displays, and Gidue HD PrintTutor cameras, which read the printed image on each print unit, and automatically adjust the print pressure, register and density. Fully automated adjustments are performed by seven servomotors per print unit. The operator has no need to make adjustments, while print quality and set-ups are ‘digitalised’ and fully automated in a closed-loop, digitally controlled print unit.

As well as a new static bar designed specifically for the labelling market, Meech International (booth 1240) will exhibit its entire range of contact and non-contact web cleaning systems. These include the TakClean, designed to remove particles as small as 0.5 micron. Simple to install, with continuous single or double-sided cleaning capabilities, it suits web widths up to 2,100mm and speeds to 250m/min.

Meech’s ShearClean non-contact technology is suitable for cleaning scratch-prone or sensitive surfaces such as special coatings or decorative labels. ShearClean is available for web widths up to 2.1m and speeds of 450m/min. It incorporates static control technology and can be tailored to customers’ requirements.

The show will also be the stage for the launch of the XFlex X6 “all-in-one-pass”, multi-process 530mm width press from Omet (booth 3123). The larger width is Omet’s response to a need felt on the market: such a press can be highly competitive for packaging printers, and particularly label converters, needing to increase their productivity without affecting overall costs. “Whatever the necessity – to print higher volumes of labels or to cope with a high job turnover – XFlex X6 is the press to have,” argues Omet sales and marketing director Marco Calcagni. “We have been working hard on this project from the moment we felt the necessity among customers to capitalise on the high level productivity and low wastage benefits of the XFlex X6 on a larger width.”

Primera Technology (booth 6517) is presenting its CX1000e colour label printer at the show. Designed for in-house production of professional-quality product labels, the CX1000e is said to be ideal for short to medium run jobs in various sizes, with 2,400dpi print resolution at a speed of 5m/min. The machine will print on many laser-qualified label materials, including pressure-sensitive plain papers, and white and clear polyesters. A wide range of matte, semi-gloss, high gloss and speciality food and beverage label materials is available, plus new eco-friendly substrates made of up to 100% post-consumer waste.

A core product of the Rotoflex (booth 319) inspection/slitting/rewinding equipment range for many years, the VLI has been redesigned “from the ground up”, impacting material and time waste, operator interaction and web path access. The new eDrive 2.0 web handling system is claimed to increase production speeds, give more precise speed control and accurate stop/start ability, and provide better tension management. Rotoflex business director Kevin Gourlay states: “By implementing equipment like the VLI into the finishing operation, converters can realise an increase in capacity of more than 300 additional jobs per shift, per year.”

Schobertechnologies (booth 719) will focus on the model RSM-IML/MX rotary diecutter. Available in working widths of 260, 330 and 410mm, the MX features most of the proven technologies in the company’s high capacity models. Another highlight will be a high speed, heavy duty rotary diecutting module. These have a working width up to 1,000mm and top speed of 300m/min. Their drive concept is claimed to offer higher precision and flexibility due to a precise, electronically synchronous run and digital servodrives.

In booth 5102, Webscan will demonstrate two new barcode verifiers. The TruCheck Optima is said to deliver accurate and repeatable results for all 1D and 2D barcodes with an advanced field of view. The TruCheck 2D UV will be presented as the first commercially available hand-held verifier for invisible ink barcodes used in security applications such as track and trace.

Debut for Kongsberg XN digital finishing table Esko GSE Dispensing’s Colorsat Match with internal containers for base inks GSE Aniflo unit on Codimag’s Viva 340 press Codimag Gidue’s Digital Flexo “beats digital printing” Nuova Gidue Many applications for Clarifoil films Clarifoil

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Labelexpo Americas
Atlantic Zeiser
Flint Group
Nuova Gidue
Martin Automatic