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Labelexpo Americas: Die manufacturers on the cutting edge

RotoMetrics won the Label Industry Global Award for Innovation

Die manufacturers grabbed plenty of headlines at Labelexpo Americas 2018. 

Kocher+Beck launched the TecScreen Processing Unit, a compact and economical wash device for fully automated washing and drying process of all nickel based screen-printing plates. The company also offered a full range of screen fabrics, flexible dies including laser long life flexible dies and chrome coated dies, as well as UR Precision for nonstop feeding of materials to the printing and in-line converting process. 

In the Automation Arena, a Kocher+Beck non-stop butt splicer was linked to a fully automated press and converting process to demonstrate how label and packaging will evolve over the next decade. 

‘The integration of our non-stop winding equipment at the Automation Arena at Labelexpo in Brussels has created a hype within our customer base and led to an overflow of orders toward the end of 2017, which still keeps up extremely busy today,’ said the company’s Karin Enderle.

The company showed in the booth its quick change die-cutting station, magnetic cylinders and flat bases, print cylinders, hot stamping cylinders, flexible cutting dies for the sheet-fed industry and KMS2 and KMS3 pressure gauges.

To say RotoMetrics was thrilled to win at the Label Industry Global Awards was an understatement. Keith Laako and Butch Schomber spoke excitedly with L&L after their win for the company’s RotoRepel product.

The company also showcased its Electro Optic die-cutting technology that enables enhanced die levelness, consistency and longevity for optimal performance on the thinnest films and the most abrasive materials. RotoMetrics also presented its online quoting and order website,, that has enhanced features to better track and manage die library. 

New products 
Agergaard Graphic Supplies presented AkeBoose chamber doctor blade systems to the American industry. These chamber systems are designed for high precision doctoring and easy, mostly tool-free handling. 

Alunetic showed a re-engineered magnetic cylinder and a printing plate mounting device and demonstrated the weight difference between conventional magnetic cylinder and HMT magnetic cylinder. 

Applied Laser Engineering featured laser engraved Functional Topography, which describes a surface that has functionality provided to the surface by the laser. This functionality could be to hold ink, for flexo, gravure or anilox rollers, or to create a surface used for embossing or imprinting a substrate. 

Daetwyler offered everything that goes into maximizing print performance including doctor blades, anilox rollers and sleeves, end seals and other accessories, press set-up and troubleshooting, maintenance, and more. 

Harper Corporation of America displayed its award-winning QD ink proofing and flatbed printing system, which uses flexoand gravure processes. The maximum travel speed is 150 ft/min (45 meter/min), and travel distance can be adjusted anywhere from 12 to 33 inches in one-inch increments. It is also available in either a 2.75-inch or 5-inch proofer width.

Harper also launched Performance Wash, a fast-acting, low foam, highly alkaline-based anilox roll cleaner that is effective at removing water-based, UV, and solvent inks and can penetrate through multiple layers of ink. 

Flexo Concepts promoted its improved TruPoint Orange doctor blade. Featuring new MicroTip technology, Orange delivers high-precision metering and helps printers eliminate pressroom issues such as UV ink spitting, start-up waste, short blade life and operator injuries. Orange had been selected by a number of OEMs at the show, including AB Graphic, Cartes, Domino, Edale, Etirama, Fujifilm, Gonderflex, Kurz, MPS, Nilpeter and Tresu. 

Flxon launched a new ink metering technology for metering white inks. A new smart blade option has been developed to resist blade and anilox wear at high speeds – even on white inks. 

Interflex Laser Engravers showed high definition anilox engravings and custom cell engravings.

Universal Engraving showcased NW SpeedChase NXT system that improves die lock-up for engraved hot stamping and embossing flat dies and counter forces on a flatbed narrow web press. This system features quick, precision, magnetic mounting of the dies and counters so die changeover can be accomplished, on average, in one minute. The system works on existing presses.

Wilson Manufacturing exhibited a complete line of flexible dies designed specifically for aggressive adhesives.

Wink launched the SmartGap adjustable anvil system with the new digitally controlled touch version. The cylinder gap (clearance) can be adapted precisely to different liners and fluctuating liner thicknesses. The newly developed digital version SmartGap Touch is patent-pending system that allows for gap adjustments steps of only half a micron and comes with many enhanced digital features. 

Wink also presented various SuperCut flexible die versions and finishing options for a wide range of label applications, and new ForceControl pressure gauges for optimum control of the die-cutting process.


Chelsea McDougall is North America editor for Labels & Labeling.

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