Some 33,500 participants attended the first Total Processing & Packaging Event held at the NEC, Birmingham, UK, from March 29-April 1, says organizer Reed Exhibition Company. About 17 per cent of attendance came from director and senior management levels, while "another notable highlight was the 20 per cent figure for those with job titles related to the marketing, brand and design communities; a success story that can be directly linked to the Packaging Innovation Show and seminar programme", adds Reed. Some 10 per cent of the visitors cited print as part of their business.
Clever chemistry coding
Combining chemistry, substrate conversion and laser energy, Datalase was heralded as a new generation coding, marking and printing technique by colour change specialist Sherwood Technology.
The Datalase non toxic formulation is used by the converter to print or coat an area of the substrate. After packing, a low power CO2 laser is used to mark the area, which undergoes a simple colour change to produce a stable black image that has high contrast.
David Miller, business development manager at Sherwood told Converting Today: “This process requires far less laser power than conventional laser marking. And this means that when coding flexible plastics material there is no holing.” It also allows a wide variety of substrates to be coded, including metals, paper, board and plastics. At the moment, the colour change is to black, but red and blue should be ready by the end of the year, he revealed. “Cost of the coating is less than a half of using an inkjet,” he added.
The image can be made through PP or PE films, by reverse coating and lamination at the converting stage. The laser energy passes through the surface web at the packer filler and the image is permanently embedded or sandwiched within the laminate. This provides for interesting security features.
“I believe that this technology will really enable the laser market to expand significantly this year, ” said David Miller.
The magic of RFID system
Responding to customer requirements to introduce RFID technology selectively, Cobalt offered the Alchemy Print Encode Apply approach. This involves on demand, in-line lamination and is said to eliminate some 30 per cent of RFID label cost, by managing transponder and labelstock independently.
This separation has two major benefits, it says. The clarity of bar coding and human readable data is protected. It is printed and verified before lamination. And the transponders are separately encoded and validated before lamination, with reject and recode functions.
Zippers to stand up on pouches
Converters are now able to access Zip-Pak resealable profile products from the ITW group company’s recently opened plant in Winschoten, The Netherlands. Director of sales and marketing Robert Hogan said: “The location reduces many costly import tariffs for our European customers and allows just in time deliveries.” The plant produces Transverse Direction (TD) press to close zippers and a zipper profile for Hudson Sharp Inno-Lok pre-zippered film technology.
Robert Hogan also stressed the importance of its AMI Equipment division which “works closely with packaging machinery companies to develop market driven zipper options”. He was particularly excited about the latest equipment announced by R A Jones, which takes the production of pre-made or filled stand-up pouches up to speeds of 500/min (3,000in/min). “This is a most significant development in stand-up pouches.”
The high-speed Stand-Up Pouch King is said to be the industry’s first true ultra high speed, continuous motion form, fill and seal machine which is also available for converters to produce pre-made stand-up pouches at high speed. Based on the field proven Jones Pouch King platform, the stand-up model more than doubles the output of current technology, says the company.
“The machine responds to strong food industry shifts to self standing pouches. It removes compromises in line speeds, manpower and floor space to usher in a new era of production efficiencies and economy,” claims R A Jones. The continuous motion machine can accommodate a variety of films from OPP to retortable materials. The Stand-Up Pouch King produces pouches up to 8in wide x 10in high x 4in bottom.
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