With the industry preparing to head to Rosemont, Illinois for the key event of the year, we provide a rundown of the companies and technologies you'll see when walking the halls of Labelexpo Americas 2018

The L&L team rounds up what will be on display at the label and package printing industry’s key event of the year

With the industry preparing to head to Rosemont, Illinois for the key event of the year, we provide a rundown of the companies and technologies you'll see when walking the halls of Labelexpo Americas 2018.

As well as an extensive exhibitor list covering all steps along the label and package printing supply chain, this year's headline Labelexpo features the returning TLMI Ecovillage, the inaugural Automation Arena in North America and Labelexpo Connections, a never-before-seen attendee/exhibitor 1:1 appointment program, which aims to fast-track connections to new business in the label and package printing industry through opt-in meetings.

(Use the following headlines to navigate to specific categories) 

Conventional printing | Digital printing | Substrates and adhesives | Pre-press and platemaking | Inks, coatings and curing systems | Dispensing systems | Workflow | Inspection, web guiding | Finishing and converting | Dies and tooling | Ancillary equipment | Security and smart technology

Conventional printing

Bobst will run demonstrations on two production lines: the M6 Digital Flexo production line and the M1 in-line flexo press in its latest configuration. The M6 will highlight the advantages of its Digital Flexo and Digital Automation workflow technology, including Revo 7-color extended gamut printing. The modular nature of the press means it can be configured for production of labels, flexible packaging and cartons. The latest M1 IoT version is the first mechanical shaft connected label press in the industry and brings converters the benefits offered by connectivity. Both presses will display the capabilities provided by their remote connectivity IoT features to exploit data to improve the production process, workflow and press room organization. During the demonstrations, visitors will be able to view in real time on a large screen next to the press, the production data available on the presenter’s mobile phone. Mouvent, the digital competence center of Bobst, shows for the first time in the US its proprietary Mouvent Cluster printhead technology, as well as its range of systems for digital label printing.

Contiweb promotes its Contiweb Thallo hybrid web offset press, which can be combined with flexo and rotogravure systems. It will print on a wide range of substrates including film, foil, paper and cartonboard.

Etirama demonstrates a 6-color FIT model flexo press printing with Wikoff inks.

Lombardi Converting Machinery debuts at Labelexpo Americas 2018 through KPG, its official partner for the US market. Its presence will focus on the modular design of its equipment., including the Synchroline flexo line along with its Toro and Bravo finishing units.

Mark Andy unveils a new Performance Series press model specifically designed for high quality flexible package printing. Available in web widths up to 26 inches, this press can print film, shrink sleeves, flexible packaging and foil lidding. The new model is offered standard with motorized impression and automation and print speeds of 1,000ft/ min. The Performance Series P7 will be on display, equipped with additional press options available on new and existing press installments. The company also demonstrates Mark Andy AI – an end-to-end workflow for automation efficiencies from pre-press to equipment to finishing and technical support. Mark Andy also shows the Digital Series HD, a hybrid platform which pairs UV inkjet with advanced workflow and converting systems. It offers a modular configuration with 5-8 colors. Making its North American debut, Mark Andy Digital Plus Screen is an alternative to traditional rotary screen printing which integrates single-color UV inkjet printing onto high output flexo presses.

Nilpeter showcases the new FA and the Panorama Hybrid press, both manufactured in Cincinnati, Ohio, and both making their US expo debuts. The Panorama press includes a 5-color digital inkjet print engine, UV lamination, and a semi-rotary die station, among others value adding units.

Omet launches in the US the new hybrid Omet XJet powered by Durst, which can be configured with a range of X6 print and converting units along with the Durst Tau digital engine. The press is 330 mm (13 in) wide with a print speed up to 78m/min (255.1ft/min). Also on display is the latest version of the iFlex, now equipped with chill rollers. A standalone Durst Tau 330 RSC will also be on the stand.

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Digital printing

Afinia Label unveils three new label printers and a full-rotary digital label press. The L501 is a dual ink color label printer for low- to mid-volume printing with interchangeable dye and pigment inks. The low cost Memjet-based L701 is a mid-volume printer designed for the production line, including multiple-printer installations. The Memjet-based L901 is designed with on-the-fly printhead servicing for in-line and high-volume continuous applications. The DLP-2100 is a full-rotary, die-based digital label press with the new L901 printer in-line. It allows the user to print, laminate, die-cut, slit, remove waste, and rewind labels to finished rolls.

Anytron/Bitek introduces the any-Jet digital print system using Memjet technology with 1600 x 1600 DPI CMYK print resolution. It is capable of roll to roll printing by attaching any-CUT I laser die-cutter. The any-Blade roll-to-roll digital die-cutter is an A3-sized plotter die-cutter with flatbed cutting engine supporting a 350mm cutting width. It can be connected to other equipment and used in-line. An auto job change function enables unattended job-changeover.

Colordyne Technologies debuts the 2800 Series Mini Laser Pro compact digital inkjet system. The line includes full color print, lamination and laser die-cutting in-line. The 3600 Series UV – Retrofit is promoted, with print speeds up to 246ft/min.

Dantex demonstrates two UV inkjet presses. The PicoJet prints at a width of 13.78in at 250ft/min; with a drop size of 2.5pl. This modular system can be configured to include pre/post white, varnish or additional colors to give a wider color gamut, and multiple finishing options.The PicoColour press provides finished labels from a small footprint with a low cost of ownership.

Domino will exhibit the N610i digital UV inkjet label press shown in various configurations (roll-to-roll; in-line and near-line with ABG finishing) and K600i dual bar digital UV inkjet printer integrated on a Delta ModTech. The booth will host presentations from guest speakers and industry experts. Hybrid presses with integrated Domino units will be shown on the CEI and MPS stands.

Durst will show its Tau 330 RSC press, which features 330mm (13in) print width combined with print speed of up to 78 linear meters/min (245ft/min) at 1200 x 1200 dpi. The press achieves a production capacity of 1.485sqm per hour. 

Epson will showcase its full range of commercial label systems, from ColorWorks color label printers for independent businesses to SurePress digital inkjet label presses for large production. Epson ColorWorks uses pre-printed labels to increase productivity and decrease costs, delivering commercial inkjet printing with durable inks. Designed for higher-volume label production, the system delivers labels of superior image quality using PrecisionCore technology.

Flint Group demonstrates the Xeikon PX3000 for the first time in North America, a UV inkjet press which operates at 164ft/min, CMYK+W with 13in print width. A unique UV curing process ensures the lowest energy consumption, broadest substrate range and a longer lasting, more consistent UV curing. Xeikon’s X800 workflow will ensure that the Xeikon PX3000 performs at its maximum capacity. On the dry toner platforms a new dry toner will be announced, future-proofed for upcoming food regulations. Addressing the entry-level part of the market, Xeikon introduces a more economical converting unit geared for digital, including a semi-rotary die-cutting unit.

Fujifilm launches in the US its Samba 42000 inkjet Printbar system, adding digital capability to existing flexo presses or off-line label customization. Print resolution is up to 1200 DPI and line speeds up to 90m/min. When installed on standard flexo press rails, the print bar has a trigger and encoder to track and target the flexo print zone.

Gallus shows its recently launched Smartfire digital label press. You can read more about the machine here.

HP Indigo’s full line up of digital label and packaging printing technology is shown, including the HP Indigo 6900, 8000 and 20000 presses. An HP Indigo 20000 will be running in-line with a new 30in-wide unit designed especially for the press by AB Graphic for in-line coating and slitting. This exclusive end-to-end integrated solution will be shown for the first time at Labelexpo Americas 2018, producing shrink sleeves with finishing by Karlville on end products. The 30in digital press wil also be used to promot Pack Ready Lamination, while Pack Ready for Labels is featured elsewhwere. HP Indigo ElectroInk Silver, an ink that supports a wide range of metallic colors, makes its Americas debut. The HP Specialty Printing Systems area will feature Afinia Label’s L301 and L501 desktop color label printers. Hands-on demonstrations are offered of the new HP Production Pro for Labels and Packaging scalable print server, as well as HP PrintOS including the new PrintOS Site Flow for Labels and Packaging, OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency) monitoring, EPM Analyzer and HP PrintOS Marketplace. HP also gives a worldwide debut to SmartStream Collage, a new twist in automated, unique variable design for HP Indigo printing. Following on from HP SmartStream Mosaic, HP SmartStream Collage offers unique designs by manipulating elements randomly for unlimited brand impact using logos and symbols, creating never before experienced packaging impact. Visitors to the HP stand also have an opportunity for an immersive experience of the company’s security and brand protection offer in the first-of-its-kind ‘Security and Brand Protection Escape Room’.

Shenzen Handway demonstrates the LabStar330 drop-on-demand digital press with a print speed of 50m/min and resolution of 1200 x 1200 DPI. Available in 4-7 colors including optional white and spot color. Print width is up to 324mm (12.7in).

Konica Minolta demonstrates the AccurioLabel 190 dry-toner electrophotographic digital press, which prints CMYK at 1200 x 1200 DPI.  The engine supports a new unwinder/rewinder design allowing larger diameter roll media to be used. Feeding speeds range from 31ft/min to 62ft/ min. Print substrates include pressure-sensitive paper, BOPP, PET and wine stocks in gloss, semi-gloss or matte finish. The MGI JETvarnish 3DW allows label printers to go digital for spot UV coating and embossed hot foiling without dies, screens or expensive tooling on narrow webs up to 420mm/16.53in. The JETvarnish 3DW is designed for both 2D (flat)/3D embossed spot coating over flexo, offset or digital web-fed printed output. Hot foiling can be added with metallic and colored foils to embellish  label designs. Konica Minolta will also exhibit the Precision Label Series 475i light-production inkjet label press. Designed with the latest Memjet printhead and ink technology, the 475i provides the ease-of-use, quality and speed convertors need to fulfill short-run and quick turn-around jobs. A matching near-line finisher will also be exhibited. A digital packaging printer and laminator, the Precision Label Series, PKG-675i and accompanying PKG-675L printing on corrugated will also be shown.  These units provide an affordable, short-run system for manufacturers, brand-owners, and print shops looking to fulfill short-run and customized corrugated printing.

Rea Jet shows inkjet coding and marking systems for a wide range of applications, including backside numbering, unique 1D and 2D barcodes, data matrix codes, barcodes, alphanumeric codes and variable data customizations such as time, date, counter, shift code and database contents. Additional capabilities include lottery, gaming and promotional codes.

UniNet shows a range of digital print and finishing systems. The UniNet iColor 550 toner-based digital transfer letter/A4 sized printer features full color and white, combined with white overprint and underprint capabilities. Applications include garments, hard surfaces, marketing materials, cut-sheet labels and packaging. The UniNet iColor 200 is a desktop ink-based label printer for continuous roll-to-roll short run label printing. Dual Ink Printing Technology allows printing with either dye-based ink or pigment-based ink for maximum durability, Substrates capabilities include PET, polypropylene and vinyl face stock. The UniNet iColor LF700+ finishing system features lamination, contour cutting, waste matrix removal, slitting and rewinding in a compact footprint. The UniNet iColor 700, a LED toner-based press, has optional white and uses low fuser temperature technology.

Uteco, in partnership with ebeam Technologies, demonstrates the modular Gaia electron beam inkjet printer, suitable for food and pharmaceutical packaging.  It has the ability to print on aluminum, paper and films and can reach speeds up to 320ft/min. The Gaia can be configured up to 36 inches wide. This platform is ideal for short runs and variable personalized data. The company also shows a digital press developed in collaboration with Kodak, the Saphire Evo, using water-based inks to print on films and paper at speeds up to 900ft/min. Uteco also promotes its Onyx XS, the compact version of the Onyx gearless range designed to optimize short runs. In addition to conventional air drying for water-based and solvent-based inks, the Onyx XS can be equipped with UV lamps or an EB curing unit. Features include automatic impression setting and automatic wash system.

Valloy shows its Bizpress 13R 13in roll-to-roll single pass digital label printer powered by a Xerox CMYK toner engine. White can optionally replace the black, with black simulated by mixing CMY via the Rip software. It has pre-cut label support and a maximum print speed of 7.5m/min.  Use of low temperature fusing technology, media cooler and anti-static ionizer allows filmic materials such as PP, PET, PE and PVC to be handled as well as paper substrates. Also on display is Duoblade F digital sheet cutting machine. This incorporates two adjustable blades, allowing, for example, one pass to do a full-cut and kiss-cut at the same time. The Duoblade is the roll-to-roll version, including lamination, matrix removal, slitter and rewinder, again with a multi-cutting head.

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Substrates and adhesives

3M launches 3M wash-away label material FP0602. This product is FDA compliant for indirect food contact and features an acrylic adhesive combined with a polypropylene facestock, which can be cleanly removed with high-pressure water. It is suited to applications that require permanent adhesive performance yet demand clean removal at a future date. Markets that can benefit include food service, transportation and medical industries.

Achem Industry America displays coating technology, pressure-sensitive tape and self-wound overlamination products.

Actega showcases Rad-Bond L2001 RAAL10026, a UV-curable, laminating adhesive designed to yield excellent bond strength in various film-to-film and paper applications. Ideal for BOPP-to-BOPP and BOPP-to-paper applications, this product is BPA- & HDDA-free and offers excellent viscosity and press stability.

Ako Printing Technology Shanghai shows self-adhesive materials for printing and coating equipment, shipping labels, die-cutting labels and self-adhesive materials for supermarket, logistics, cold chain transportation and other industries. Products include semi-gloss label materials, direct thermal label materials and double-layer release paper label materials.

API launches TA-Plus cold foil that offers fine detailing, the capability to cover large packaging surface areas, as well as outstanding over-printability.  API will also reveal the 2018-19 API global trends, which discusses the creative packaging themes for the year ahead.

Appvion introduces Triumph digital thermal media, an expansion to its PolyTherm and Résiste product lines and linerless labels. The direct thermal label and tag facestocks are compatible with water-based inkjet technology. Appvion is also releasing the new Résiste B550 - 3.1, which offers robust performance in humid environments, making it ideal for weigh scale, food processing and retail applications. Also showcasing linerless labels and expanding its PolyTherm film-based products to broader applications, durability, resistance and sharp imaging required in end uses ranging from hunting/fishing licenses, ski-lift tickets and industrial labels to tamper evident labels.

Arconvert showcases its complete range of Manter and Adhoc branded self-adhesive products. The Manter offering includes a selection of luxury label papers and films for high-value labeling applications printed on flexo and HP Indigo digital presses. This collection encompasses the finest papers in an array of colors, textures, finishes and adhesive choices. The Adhoc collection of labels and films for flexographic printing is available in a variety of colors and finishes, with different adhesive options for a wide range of uses. Adhoc is marketed for labeling food and drinks, vitamins and supplements, cosmetic and healthcare products, and other products that fall within the fast-moving consumer goods category.

Armor introduces inkanto, the company’s new branded product and associated services. Inkanto is a complete range of wax, wax/resin and resin ribbons. Services include a lifetime warranty of the ribbons, a QR code on the labels embedding a certificate of conformity and a cleaning wipe to help maintain the print head.

Avery Dennison shows new heat-sealable film for reclosure, expanded intelligent label portfolio, and a growing ClearIntent portfolio of sustainability-oriented products. Avery Dennison has added to its ClearIntent portfolio, including the company’s first-ever linerless product, its new ThinkThin product range, and expanded CleanFlake adhesive offerings for increasing the recyclability of PET plastic packages. Avery Dennison’s heat-sealable film for reclosure features R1490, an FDA compliant adhesive for direct contact with food, as well as a heat-sealable film liner. Ideal for produce packaged in rigid containers, the new film turns the release liner into a functional part of the package, substantially reducing material. Intelligent labels also will be on display, include products enabled with UHF, HF and NFC radio frequency identification (RFID).

Beardow Adams shows BAMFutura ranges that provide thermal stability, low odor and light color. Releases the BAMFutura 805, a versatile hot melt product for use in end-of-line labeling processes, for both carbonated and still soft drinks and beverages. It can be used in combination with a variety of bottle and container types as well as label materials on both slow running and high-speed machinery. The formulation is clear/transparent and remains clear, even when left at elevated temperatures in the melting tank over several hours.

During Labelexpo Americas 2018, show attendees can view award-winning film casting applications as three exhibitors are running Breit Technologies’ cast and cure films on their printing equipment to create highly unique, decorative finishes – Grafisk MaskinfabrikXeikon/Flint Group (at its own stand ad in the Automation Arena) and Mark Andy. Breit Technologies also exhibits directly. Cast and cure films are used today on labels, cartons and flexible product packaging to create a variety of dynamic visual effects, including holographic patterns, matte, ultra-high gloss and textured surfaces.

Cyngient launches Hypercure cold foil adhesive designed for shrink sleeve, PET, PVC, BOPP, paper and all treated films. DIPCo presents the latest disposable ‘quick change’ ink liner systems designed for use on the Omet XFlex and ABG Series 3, as well as an updated design for the Mark Andy 2200-10. Each liner system provides a contaminate-free platform for the transferring of ink to substrate during press runs. Liners are manufactured using two-sided poly coated paperboard and incorporate sonic welded drains and fill indicators for use with water based, UV and solvent inks and coatings.

Dragon Foils offers hot and cold foil including: FXC metallic/holographic flexo cold foil with high holographic gloss and brightness for most UV adhesive and substrates; OSC metallic/holographic offset cold foil series that’s designed for sheet-fed offset cold foil stamping applications by conventional adhesive or UV adhesive; and DT series digital enhancement foil that’s suitable for digital printing application with excellent adhesion on SCODIX/MGI machine.

Dunmore shows new polyolefin label materials, a BOPP-based direct thermal printable film that provides high optical density printing for superior barcode and text readability, while offering low printhead wear. Dunmore has also added aesthetics to polyolefin films with new metallized polyolefin films. With Dunmore’s primer technologies, metallized BOPP and PE films are an option for labels exposed to various environmental conditions.

Durico shows direct thermal media film used as face stock. Its recent new development is tags for meat carcasses that can show individualized data such as the origin and content of the products, and are resistant to harsh environments including blood from the meat, hot water jet from the sanitization process, and low temperatures for long-term storage. Durico also has developed fruit labels capable of printing 2-D barcodes. The label that can print and show a barcode that keeps digital information, adheres to the various surface types of different fruits, is water and heat resistant, and is safe in the case it is consumed.

Elkem Silicones displays the Silcolease range of release coating solutions for non-stick, inert and heat resistant coatings for paper and film. Silcolease silicone release coatings come in a range of formats. These fluid systems coat quickly and efficiently and are transformed into a release surface via heat or UV light.

Fangda introduces various labels in US market including blank thermal labels and green products.

Far East Yu La Industry shows cold foil that is produced with stable overprint performance and workable on laminated OPP/PET film, UV varnish top for sheet labels, self-adhesive stickers, folding cartons and advertising materials.

Flexcon will show DPM UVIJ for narrow web UV inkjet printing, a pressure-sensitive product line available in white and clear polyester. Available in roll and sheet form, it is aimed at durable goods labeling applications. The polyester and polypropylene films feature a new UV inkjet topcoat which provides excellent ink receptivity for sharp vibrant graphics. Also on display will be digital printing materials for thermal transfer, liquid toner, dry toner and water-based inkjet.

IIMAK introduces iiColor Match thermal transfer ribbons, allowing label converters to supply brand owners with thermal transfer ribbons (TTR) in any color. This custom color program delivers fast turnaround with low minimum orders. Color matching complements IIMAK’s standard range of 50 colors and is available on all IIMAK ribbon grades, including wax, wax/resin and resin.

Inkstar shows thermal transfer ribbon, hot stamping foil and label applicators.

Innovia Films shows its expanded range of labeling products for the first time. Recent acquisition of manufacturing capabilities in the Americas means its technical expertise now covers both ‘Bubble’ and Tenter films. This allows Innovia to provide specialist products for pressure-sensitive, roll-fed wraparound, cut and stack wraparound and in-mold label applications.

International Media Products showcases its full range of ‘plug and play’ thermal transfer ribbons, including economy wax, premium wax, wax/resin, near edge and full resin ribbon formulations. Highlights include Z107plus high-speed resin enhanced wax, ideal for print/apply applications up to 16 inches per second.  Also introduces the Z212 premium near-edge wax/resin formulation designed for high speed printing directly onto flexible packaging and thermal transfer overprinting that is compatible with Avery, TEC, Markem and Videojet printers.

Jindal Films introduces Platinum Thermal Printing Technology as well as added ‘solid white’ face stocks to its range of high performance coated and uncoated white and metal films for pressure-sensitive markets. Jindal Films also introduces two new Label-Lyte metal facestocks for the ‘high sheen’ graphic look, as well as ALOX and Sealtough technologies. The Label-Lyte portfolio now includes both coated and uncoated cut and stack, three new injection mold films, and several new wrap around roll-fed film offerings. Jindal is also shows expanded Digi-lyte offerings with coated metal facestocks for HP applications, and barrier and/or pouch materials for flexible packaging.

K Laser Technology debuts its GEMfoils specially formulated for the HP Indigo GEM, a fully digital one-pass printing press for embellishing with foil, screen, tactile, varnish and other special effects, using one workflow, one operator, and one design file without the need for tooling. GEMfoils are available in 28 metallic colors and over 48 holographic patterns in silver or transparent.

Kurz introduces two digital foiling units to the narrow web market. Kurz will be demonstrating its built-on unit, which is connected to an eight station Nilpeter press. This DM-Liner UV-Ink Roll-to-Roll: Built-on unit is a retrofit module for flexographic and offset printing machines. It can be integrated into production line when required via the rail system and has impressive design freedom thanks to up or downstream color printing. Kurz is also partnering with the MLabel machine from MPrint to demonstrate digital printing decorated with Digital Metal. This is an in-line enhancement module for digital roll-fed presses that can be integrated directly into production chain.

Lichang Plastic specializes in BOPP synthetic paper for IML, PSL, and other label  and tag applications with thickness ranges from 20um to 300um. High and stable surface treatment gives superior anchorage to various inks and coatings. It launches a cost-saving model for PSL facestock and ink-saving model for IML applications.

Mactac shows its Chill AT product line, which covers all-temperature labeling applications, including cold temperature applications. Also debuts a new durable film line, silicone adhesive, cryogenic and security products, which were developed and initially sold by its parent company, Lintec.

Mega Source shows synthetic paper coating that is tree-free, 100 percent recyclable, waterproof, high tear resistant and durable. The water-based formulated coating contains no toxins, no heavy metals, and is not harmful to the environment. Also displays synthetic papers with enhanced printability, for labels, luggage tags, posters, banners, light boxes, badges, commercial printing and more.

Multi-Plastics offers a 45 micron PET high shrink PET. At 45 micron the 41SH has a 10 percent yield advantage over standard 50 micron products while offering both the stiffness needed to run at high speeds and recycle friendly characteristics of PET.

NAStar displays Print’N Stick linerless direct thermal. Three versions are available: Eco, Plus, and Universal. Also shows TwoFer shelf tags, which are two adhesive tags back to back (with no liner), allowing for twice the number of labels per sheet. Designed to be digitally printed, alternating adhesive and release-coated patterns hold labels together until application. Peel the converted product apart and the single tag becomes two useable shelf tags.

ND Paper presents its label and liner products including its Oxford C1S product line, Glide Graphics CCK release liner base papers, and Trident wet strength papers.  In June 2018, ND Paper became the owner of Catalyst Paper Corporation’s Biron, Wisconsin, and Rumford, Maine paper mills.

Polyonics shows its patent-pending ESD-Safe labels that are chemically engineered with static dissipative top surfaces and low-charging PSA and liners to protect sensitive ESDS devices from electrostatic charges. The PSA and liners generate less than 125 volts with removal or repositioning. The durable topcoats offer high and low temperature stability and chemical resistance. The materials comply with S20.20, IEC 61340 and JEDEC JESD625B standards for charged insulators used in the proximity of static sensitive devices.

QSPAC Industries shows self-wound overlaminates and a line of clear and matte BOPP and PET self-wound films coated with clear emulsion acrylic adhesives. QSPAC’s specialty products include extra clear, thermal transfer printable, release coated and UL recognized overlaminates for flexo, digital, ECL and flexible packaging applications.

Repacorp promotes its new 10-color flexible packaging capabilities that is safe food contact packaging manufacturing, and can fulfill short and long run demands for cheese and food industries. Repacorp also offers a stock label program with over 780 items, and shrink sleeve capabilities. Repacorp is a UL Certified label supplier, and specializes in wide format digital printing, short and long run digital labels, and RFID enabled labels.

Ritrama displays a full range of labeling with a special focus on direct thermal linerless products, which are continuous rolls of thermal paper with no liner (siliconized backing). Also on display are its ‘wine and spirits’ collection, which includes a special selection of products specifically designed for sparkling and fine wines; the GlobalFlex series, coextruded films for personal and home-care packaging products; and many other specialty products ranging from food application to home and personal care, pharma and industrial applications.

S-OneLP showcases its full primer, substrate and coatings for HP Indigo, narrow web label and flexible packaging printers. Products include in-line and off-line primers as well as customizable over-print varnishes that can be used to add creative spot varnish and proprietary solutions for label and package printing. Clear, metallic and white pre-laminate flexible packaging films, a variety of thermal laminates and customizable films for flexible packaging will also be displayed and can be ordered with no minimum quantities and delivered with quick turnaround times. In addition, S-OneLP will demonstrate VerifyMe RainbowSecure inks designed for HP Indigo machines that provide covert security measures printed on labels and authenticated with a smartphone app and Cloud-based server.

Shanghai Realtac Trading offers Rightint inkjet material that is suitable for printing small quantities of variable information. This delicate water-based inkjet coating makes materials quick drying, waterproof and non-toxic, and it applies to the most water based pigment and dye printers. The material has been tested and approved by Epson, HP, Canon, Neural Label, Astron Trojan.

Soontomax offers a series of clear on clear label products. The newest of which has higher transparency done by water-based glue. Different kinds of label materials applied on Clear (PET) liner are also available.

Spinnaker Coating highlights products for several key markets, including food packaging, health and wellness, chemical and industrial, as well as, security and brand protection. Featuring ScanTherm Industrial, a direct thermal paper with a chemically resistant top coating that provides exceptional image durability in industrial environments where chemicals and other cleaners may be present. This product also has a higher activation temperature of 205 deg F, which offers more durability, with additional resistance to light, heat and moisture. Spinnaker will also be highlighting the expansion of its digital media.

Tamerica offers Dura-Pap Synthetic Paper with a matte finish that is water, grease and tear-resistant. It’s dimensionally stable and can withstand temperatures of -60 to ±160 deg F for difficult applications in hostile environments such as outdoor and production signage. Dura-Pap Synthetic Paper is marketed for a wide range of applications where printed items are exposed to contamination, heavy handling or extreme weather conditions. Dura-Pap Synthetic Paper has a matte white finish that is suitable for use in dry toner applications such as digital laser printer and HP Indigo printers. This product is also suitable for use in offset lithography and flexo printing, however special fast drying inks may be required for these purposes.

Technicote launches new labelstocks that feature the latest coatings developed for UV inkjet receptivity on porous papers such as wine stocks, semi-gloss and films. These stocks have been tested in various constructions with the latest UV ink sets and printhead technology from UV inkjet printers such as Domino, Durst and Xeikon.

Tesa launches Softprint FE in FLEX Design (380µm thickness category) as an extension of its plate mounting assortment for flexographic label printing. Softprint FE in FLEX Design is especially developed for plate mounting on demanding cylinder and sleeve surfaces and if the customer requires the reusability of the tape.

Wuxi Heshuofeng New Material presents specialty BOPP, CCPP, PET and top coated and transparent films. The HSF facestock range includes, uncoated base films; matte coated synthetic papers of BOPP, CCPP or PET; acrylic coated BOPP and PET durable films; and metallized films. Also launches a direct thermal coated BOPP range that’s a UL969 approved top-coated PET range.

Xinxiang Fineray Tech shows different colors of wax, wax/resin and resin thermal transfer ribbons, including the YD series TTR and TTO, hot coding foils and hot ink rollers.

Yupo shows a line of IML products, including Yupo Sculpt. The Sculpt technology allows for decorated embossed surfaces and distinctive visual and tactile designs. Yupo is also under development with IML substrates that will be compatible with ISBM PET bottles.

Zhejiang Benyuan Plastic Paper Technology shows thermal transfer, direct thermal, glossy paper, offset paper, fluorescent paper, cash register roll, sticky notes, glassine, wallpaper as well as full sets of industrial adhesives.

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Pre-press and platemaking

AKK launches a flexo plate engraving system consisting of a two-beam fiber YAG laser capable of imaging up to 5.080 DPI (200 LPI). The system does not need any external gas bottles, cutting down on running costs.  A vacuum drum – optionally a magnetic vacuum drum – facilitates mounting of EPDM printing plates. This machine can engrave a range of different sleeve sizes. For the engraving of screens, AKK has designed a designed a 4- or 8-beam system, also with a resolution of 5.080dpi.

Anderson & Vreeland showcases a wide variety of flexographic products including the Flint nyoflex X-press thermal plate processing system, the Xeikon Thermoflexx platesetter, Hybrid Software technology, GMG color management technology, and quality control management software and devices from X-Rite and Techkon.

AWP, Asahi's latest development, is an alternative to conventional flexo plates. It is a water-washable plate technology that eliminates the need for high temperatures or VOC solvents in the washout process, delivering precise plate-to-plate registration with reduced odor in the plate making process. AWP plates save time and money, reduce waste and assist in preserving precious energy resources while delivering stunning quality with brilliant images.

Esko shows a narrow- to mid-web version of its award-winning automated flexo pre-press and platemaking system. With the Esko XPS Crystal 4835 UV exposure unit and the Esko CDI Crystal 4835 imaging unit, platemaking is a linear process from imaging to exposure. The automated process is supported by Esko’s new Print Control Wizard software. Automated flexo platemaking has also been integrated into Esko Automation Engine, allowing automated workflow, from RIPped plate files to the exposed plate on the Esko CDI.

Flint Group Flexographic Division presents a complete portfolio of nyloflex printing plates, plate processing equipment and rotec sleeves and adapters for narrow web printing. The nyloflex Xpress thermal processor features unprecedented control and more consistent and stable plate production. At the heart of the system lies the new nyloflex XVH Digital plate, a versatile, hard durometer plate with an inherently flat top surface, suitable for narrow web print applications on all types of substrates.  This thermally processed printing plate can be used as it is, or further tailored with the use of surface screening to provide detail that rivals the quality of solvent-processed plates. rotec ECO Bridge is a unique adapter for use on flexo presses and plate-mounting equipment. A breathable metal ring creates an air pillow around the circumference of the adapter to allow for easy and fast mounting of sleeves. The innovative design uses 90 percent less volume of compressed air, resulting in significant noise reduction and cost savings.

Fujifilm showcases Flenex plates, C-Touch processor, the new Illumina retrofit LED curing system and flexo inks.

Glunz & Jensen will present a new line of flexo plate processing technology with the introduction of the FlexPro 360. FlexPro 360 is 36x47 inch format flexo plate processor/washer featuring patented advances in solvent distribution, rotating and oscillating brush mechanics, and a unique new rinse/wiping section optimizing the FlexPro for producing high quality dot reproduction of analog and digital plates, including applications for flat-top dot and micro-screening technologies. FlexPro 360 also features a dedicated digital wash section, isolating the carbon mask laden solvent from the primary washout solvent. A new 10-inch HD touch-screen control panel provides the operator with simple programming of key operating parameters in a new graphical representation. Other new features include a SilentDrive system, easy access to internal tanks for maintenance and cleaning, a simplified pin bar loading system and a unique new ergonomic feed table configuration.

JM Heaford demonstrates its Label AutoMounter plate mounting system configurable for multiple presses and with options including pre-register compatibility, plate and tape cutters and a sleeve exchange unit, Also on display is the entry-level EES plate mounter and FTS plate mounter. The plate cutter option on the FTS allows savings on continuous print sleeves to be achieved.

MacDermid Graphics Solutions focuses on showcasing the recent expansion of its flat-top dot portfolio and thermal platemaking equipment.

Shurtape Specialty Coating demonstrates PillowMount flexographic plate mounting tapes, combining a specially formulated adhesive system with a high-performance foam carrier. PillowMount is available in 15 or 20 mil thicknesses with either soft (pink) or medium (white) foam hardness.

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Inks, coatings and curing systems

Actega North America, will introduce two new Aquaprint water-based, injection in-mold coating products that yield good appearance, proven value in the molding equipment and excellent scuff resistance. Actega will also highlight its ActDigi digital primers that work with in-line and near-line priming units for narrow web digital presses. The primers are designed to extend life of printing components and are FDA Indirect and California Proposition 65 compliant. Also showcased will be the next generation UV ink system, ActExact. This system is designed to offer a wider color gamut, improved press speeds and allow for crisper print details. Finally, Actega North America will feature its special effect coating line designed to give label printers and brand owners eye-catching shelf presence and tactile effects to enhance the consumer experience. The showcase will include the newest special effect product to the MotionCoat line.

Braden Sutphin Ink Company, an American family-owned ink manufacturer with 12 nationwide branches, is celebrating its 105th anniversary at Labelexpo Americas. BSI has a full complement of water-based and UV inks, additives and varnishes, including its line of FDA-direct food contact coatings. It’s EcoSmart eco-friendly formulations have less than 2 percent VOC’s and are formulated for narrow and wide web paper, film, and foil substrates and targeted at the tag and label, corrugated, envelope and packaging markets.

Eckart America shows new inks for label and folding carton applications, optimized as dual-cure systems for today’s UV LED curing technologies. Silver foil-effect inks Ultrastar UV LED Select, Ultrashine UV LED Select and Topstar UV LED Select are alternatives to cold foil, hot foil stamping and metallized substrates. Based on Eckart’s latest Metalure pigment technology, these formulations stand conform to the Nestlé exclusion list of raw materials. 

Excelitas Technologies shows its new OmniCure AC8-HD (High Dose) series of UV LED curing systems. Offering higher optical power and enhanced performance in the same air-cooled mechanical enclosure as its AC8 and AC9 predecessors, the new AC8-HD delivers more than 50 percent dose with optical uniformity. The patented control technology for addressing individual UV LED modules enables a tight irradiation across the UV emitting length, as well as between heads. With three standard cure widths – 6in (150mm), 9in (225mm) and 12in (300mm), these units can be adjoined to customize and achieve countless curing sizes without compromise of uniformity. Delivering over 15W/cm2 peak irradiance, the OmniCure AC8-HD is suitable for large-area curing of inks, adhesives and coatings for applications that demand high dosage, including print such as wide format graphics, labels, posters, signage and packaging.

GEW will show its range of UV curing systems comprising mercury arc, LED and hybrid systems. Alongside these will be the fully hybrid Rhino ArcLED electronic power supply, which has recently been awarded an ETL Listing for the North American market. The focus of GEW’s presence at this year’s Labelexpo will be its enhanced range of high-power LED UV systems. The company will also show its E2C model with Rhino electronic power supply. Safe for the widest range of heat-sensitive materials, with no heat transfer to the machine or substrate at stand-by through the use of actively air-cooled shutter technology, E2C Rhino systems come with the additional benefit of a five-year warranty. GEW will also display its new multi-point UV monitor (mUVm). This next-generation monitor continuously measures UV intensity across the web, which is vital to avoid the risks and consequences of undercured product reaching the customer. With this system it is now possible to attain 100 percent UV inspection and to generate a UV curing certificate for every batch, by recording live outputs for every lamp. Furthermore, the new monitor is designed to comply with a broad range of European legislation on food contact packaging.

Goodun shows UV LED curing lamps which are suitable for digital and inkjet printing. Features include wavelength ranges from 350-405nm, patented nano-air and nano-water cooling system, and digital drive technology. Various types of UV ink and printing media are suitable.

Interactive Inks & Coatings shows its water-based, UV and UV LED inks and coatings for the flexo and gravure industries, and ACT Ink System, the all-in-one tailored ink room specific to the user’s needs. The company also brings its Ink & Updates podcast to the show, which will broadcast daily interviews.

INX International Ink shows INXhrc, an extensive new product offering of finished inks, blending bases, vehicles and coatings for flexo, gravure and offset applications. These inks are formulated to replace petro-chemically derived raw materials at the highest degree possible, with clean, renewable and sustainable ingredients and without sacrificing quality, productivity and performance. INXhrc formulations are free of allergens, nanomaterials, fluorochemicals, fanal pigments, heavy metals, latex and PTFE.

Magnum Inks & Coatings launches a UV white ink for narrow web applications, claimed whiter and brighter than other products on the market. With strong adhesion and flexibility, it is suitable for shrink sleeve applications as well.

Michelman will offer a variety of water-based in-line and off-line primers, overprint varnishes, and functional coatings. Pack Ready for Labels is Michelman’s suite of pre- and post-print products for enhanced label resistance, including DigiGuard 901 UV OPV Strengthener (an OPV additive), DigiPrime 022 and DigiGuard 222. DigiGuard 901 is now commercially available through Michelman after successful evaluations by dozens of customers on a variety of applications including food applications, household and chemical and personal care. Because of the higher level of water, thermal, and chemical resistance this strengthener provides, HP Indigo press owners are now able to move further up into applications requiring the most stringent industry specification, specifically for the Home and personal care segment. It can be applied post print by mixing with many off the shelf UV overprint varnishes, and provides further versatility as it supports the entire portfolio of HP Indigo’s existing label presses. DigiPrime 022 is a water-based primer that enables superior resistivity such as required for pasteurization. As a pre-requisite, an in-line priming optional upgrade is required. DigiPrime 022 and HP Indigo’s in-line priming optional upgrade are both currently under beta-testing and are scheduled for release during Labelexpo Americas. Digiprime 022 can be used in conjunction with the forthcoming DigiGuard 222, a high resistance UV overprint varnish, available in matte or gloss versions, without the need for DigiGuard 901. Additionally, it is scheduled for release during Labelexpo.

Nazdar Ink Technologies will present its diverse range of inks developed for narrow web applications, including UV and LED flexo, UV offset and UV letterpress inks, durable UV coatings, water-based flexo, UV and LED rotary screen inks, and UV and LED overprint varnishes and adhesives. In addition to narrow web applications, Nazdar also manufactures screen printing and digital inkjet inks and coatings for specialty graphic applications.

Phoseon FireJet FJ605 is one of the latest extensions of the company’s FireJet air-cooled product range and combines Phoseon’s WhisperCure and TargetCure technologies. The FireJet FJ605 provides simple integration with advanced control features, plus high-power output for press speeds up to 1,000 ft/min. FJ605 is a low-maintenance system with simple air filter replacements. The FireJet FJ601 UV LED curing system simplifies retrofits with a self-contained air-cooled design. With a form-factor optimized for narrow web presses, the FireJet FJ601 is easy to integrate and suitable for a wide variety of flexo, web offset and rotary screen applications. The air-cooled system offers customers process stability as well as a consistent and precise UV curing output. Phoseon’s patented TargetCure technology also provides reliable results and increased yields.

Polymeric has historically offered a wide array of screen printing and digital inks, including UV curable as well as solvent- and water-based products. It also offers a variety of industrial coatings, including receptive clears and long-term outdoor weathering coatings. The company was purchased in 2016 by New Africa Inks, and since then has focused on entering the flexo market with its FlexoPro flexo ink series, designed to be used in producing high quality labels with cold foil adhesives and imprintable coatings for additional effects.

ProPhotonix will exhibit its complete range of UV LED curing systems, including the Cobra Cure FX series, a configurable platform that is customizable to user-specific UV curing applications. This platform includes compact, fan-cooled UV curing lamps at a range of power levels up to 16W/cm2 and delivers intensity and edge to edge uniformity for the optimum cure. UV LED lamps can be configured for pinning or full curing applications and can be further configured to include optimized optics, customized mechanics, and electronic options.

Wikoff Color shows the latest addition to its UV flexo Photoflex range. Photoflex LED is capable of running at speeds in excess of 750 ft/min on paper, paperboard and films. This durable set of process and mixing colors cures using 395nm LED lamp systems or traditional UV lamps. Photoflex LED is a dual-lamp series that can be used on multiple label types and exhibits excellent adhesion, flow and transfer. It is both UV and water coatable.

Ushio America introduces its new i150 III Series to the Unijet UV LED range. The company’s proprietary Master Peak Technology achieves 17.4 W/cm2 with a working distance of 5mm and is available at 395, 365, 385 and 405nm wavelengths. The i150 III series includes functions such as variable control output that ranges from 14-100 percent and features a user replaceable LED board. Window sizes range from 75mm to 525mm, making the i150 III series suited to use in a wide variety of applications for digital to conventional.

Zeller+Gmelin shows its complete range of flexo products: 30, 32, 36 & 37 Series UV flexo for labels, packaging, cartons, shrink sleeves and low migration applications; 17 Series LED flexo for this fast-growing segment; and 41, 42 & 43 Series water-based flexo inks for labels, film and direct thermal applications with the most pH-stable chemistry available.

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Dispensing systems

Southeastern Process Equipment & Controls (SPEC) shows new additions to its ink dispensing system and mixer line-up. The new small batch dispenser will be on display. The system is designed to dispense into 1-gallon jugs and other small containers to an accuracy of 0.1 gram. The system will display the company’s latest version of ink management software, SPEC iBlend 2.0, scheduled to be released this year. SPEC systems have advanced features that allow users to track, sort, select and re-use press returned ink. The company also offers a complete line-up of mixers for a variety of applications, including vibratory shakers, jug mixers, and high viscosity blade mixers.

Tresu Group will showcase systems for automatically regulating ink circulation on flexo presses, with its ancillary program of chamber doctor blades and ink supply systems that eliminate waste, reduce manual costs and ensure uniform, clean print quality at faster production speeds. Tresu chamber doctor blades are available for all printing widths up to six meters. The chamber program includes lightweight, corrosion-resistant carbon fiber and ceramic variants. The chambers include a patented seal system that eliminates leakage, and pressure control technology to prevent air contaminating the ink when entering the anilox cells, for blister-free printing and fast, safe blade-change. The stand highlight is the new FlexiPrint Reservoir SAVEink chamber doctor blade, for narrow web flexo applications up to 800mm wide. Its integrated reservoir contains a large ink volume, eliminating the need for a connected pump. The carbon-fiber MaxiPrint Concept chamber comes in 1600mm to 6000mm widths. Its integrated cleaning nozzle with low-pressure water-shot mechanism efficiently cleans the chamber and anilox roll, fast, with minimal water loss.

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Cerm introduces Live Monitor, which allows narrow web printers to connect their machines and get live data streamed to configurable dashboards. Cerm’s Live Monitor can be used for conventional presses, digital presses and finishing machines and gives real-time insight into the user’s production factory. Some of the streamed data include current machine status, current machine speed vs expected machine speed, totals produced (good/waste) and more. Live Monitor is accessible by browser, tablet and mobile device, and will be presented on several partner booths and in the Automation Arena.

Esko, teaming up with Danaher companies AVT, X-Rite and Pantone – along with many industry partners – offers ‘Packaging Connected’, a label production platform with a wide range of seamlessly integrated applications from design to press. The complete system preserves the digital flow of data, offering faster throughput, higher quality, and ‘right first time’ production. Esko Automation Engine QuickStart for Labels and WebCenter QuickStart for Labels are pre-configured, easy-to-use workflow tools which help label converters improve productivity. Automation Engine will also be shown as a browser-based application, for overseeing production from remote locations.

GMG ColorPlugin allows time savings in the pre-press stage, delivering precise conversions, efficient ink reductions and flexible separations – now also in Multicolor color spaces. Features include separation direct from RGB to Multicolor up to 7C; ColorBoost for saturated and vivid images; MinDot Adjust and MinDot Preview for process and spot colors; processing of complete images, individual selections or layers; and color-accurate conversions.

GSE will demonstrate its Ink Manager software for minimizing ink-related waste, enhanced reporting, improved ink yields and business planning, reduced set-up times and traceability. The software maximizes the reuse of inks returned from the press, by allowing them to be ‘clustered’ together into one component, which is connected to the dispenser and processed automatically. Alternatively, return inks may be reserved or prepared for specific, scheduled jobs. Other functions are real-time stock and consumption information, per-job ink costings, ink batch tracking; integration with ink formulation and management information software; Wi-Fi connection to the dispenser and cloud connectivity. Ink Manager can store recipes and corrections for new colors that are created with color formulation software, and dispense micro volumes for table-top proofing. Temporary and permanent color adjustments after dispensing can be made with color formulation software and stored via Ink manager. GSE will also present information about its Colorsat modular dispensing systems for fast, accurate mixing and dispensing of flexo, gravure and screen inks for label and packaging applications. UV, aqueous and solvent inks are covered. Benefits are reduced set-up times, 30 percent ink-yield improvements, a cleaner ink kitchen and better stock management. For labels, the Colorsat Switch (using exchangeable buckets) and Colorsat Match (fixed refillable storage tanks), dispense in 1-10kg volumes.

Integrated with Label Traxx MIS, Siteline allows label-buyer customers to view their order history via a mobile device – and place orders – at any time of day. Orders placed online drop directly into Label Traxx MIS and queue up to be scheduled. Siteline also includes a dedicated chat area for customer projects, helping service staff to manage customer interactions and track job status. Siteline gives the converter’s customers the buying experience they expect from a modern business and reduces the amount of time between initial inquiry and the order being printed in production. Due to customer demand, the latest release of Label Traxx also includes tools for the flexible packaging market. The new features help with the estimating of flexible packaging jobs, managing the multiple machinery passes and handling multi-laminate constructions. Label Traxx label converters who also manufacture both finished pouches and unsupported film will now be able to estimate and sell to customers in pounds.

Smartflow, Loftware’s new artwork management system, Smartflow is configurable, cloud-based workflow system, specifically designed to handle the complex business processes involved in artwork design, review and approval – from product concept to launch. Smartflow streamlines the packaging concept-to-shelf process by bringing accountability and structure to the process to lower costs, reduce mistakes, improve collaboration, ensure regulatory compliance and reduce time to market. The platform offers a digital asset library and phrase library, online proofing capabilities, translation management, version control, advanced insight into workflow and real-time tracking with audit history for complete control and visibility.

Madiwor, making its Labelexpo debut, launches an MIS designed specifically for label converters. Designed by a team with more than 30 years’ expertise in the label industry, Madiwor Cloud MIS is a SaaS (software as a service) focused on the core business processes of a label manufacturer or converter.  Madiwor will show its key features such as raw materials inventory, how intuitive and easy is to update the production plan, estimating, dynamically generated technical specifications, dies management, and a B2B e-commerce module that provides brand owners access to a personalized account. The new software is ready for decentralized and mobile teams, eliminates the need for updates and maintenance, requires minimum training and implementation time, is multi-platform and protects the user’s information.  

Techkon USA SpectroVision is a new color measurement tool that can be installed on flexo and gravure presses for real time color measurements during the press run. Its highly accurate, full 31-point spectrophotometer is guided by a high resolution digital camera to find the exact location of color patches, color bars, and specific in-image measurement locations. The spectrophotometer provides spectral, CIELab, density, and dot area information for color locations. The included Techkon ChromaQA color quality software allows users to create jobs that specify the exact measurement locations, color reference values, and customer specific tolerances. Press operators can then run jobs and get immediate, real-time, color results including density, CIELab, and tone-value, along with recommendations to optimize color matching results and live trend graphs of color performance metrics across the job. In addition, QA managers can create customized reports for customers and analyze the measurement data across press runs, shifts, operators, locations, etc, for further process improvements and increased savings.

Tilia Labs shows features of its forthcoming Phoenix v7.0 software for optimizing narrow web label production, with lane-based planning, standing die support and marks control among the highlighted developments. tilia Phoenix uses AI in automating planning and imposition for all types of print and post-press applications. Optimized lane-based planning automatically and dynamically computes millions of layout options, including combining items of differing sizes and shapes in the same lane, reducing substrate consumption. Custom properties and grouping rules give users greater flexibility to set combination preferences for lanes and standing dies, while fully dynamic planning automatically generates new layouts for die creation or digital laser cutting. Phoenix v7.0 also allows users to specify the required lead-in and lead-out for each label to be planned and apply dynamic marks such as barcodes and eye marks.

UpSoftware shows its SisPro PCP + KPI automatic planning and control software, which not only helps the user plan its production but also avoid wear and tear from repeated errors and achieve greater efficiency. Automation on the Factory floor is transforming various industry sectors, bringing more and better information to management and directors and allowing them to reach their targets and innovate their working processes.

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Inspection, web guiding

AVT will showcase digital press inspection and control, inspection for labels and packaging web applications, in-line spectral color measurements and next-generation automation systems.  As part of the Danaher Product Identification Platform, AVT – along with partner companies X-Rite and Esko will introduce joint workflows. Helios S Turbo+ and Helios Turbo HD+ enable operators to run at maximum press and rewinder speeds without sacrificing resolution and quality for inspection and barcode verification. For the digital sector, AVT’s Helios D is an automatic, 100% print inspection system designed specifically for digital printing needs. Helios D supports all stages of digital production workflow, including identifying missing nozzles, ink dripping spots, and color changes in real time. For digital inkjet press vendors AVT offers the Jet-IQ, a closed loop quality engine that works in synergy with press controllers to maintain exemplary print quality, offering full connectivity to all steps and solutions of digital inkjet printing. AVT’s Offline Setup enables enhanced set-up consistency, control over quality standards as well as time saving on press. AutoSet connects to Esko Automation Engine to allow connectivity from pre-press to inspection with close to zero set-up time or operator intervention.   Another show highlight is iCenter, a cloud-based web application for setting quality standards and automation of quality workflow process across multiple sites. Also presented at the show is the next generation of AVT’s in-line spectral measurements platform SpectraLab ll, which now includes enhanced in-line to off-line color measurement correlation, as well as connectivity to X-Rite’s ColorCert, color reporting platform. 

Baldwin Vision Systems (formerly QuadTech and PC Industries) presents its extensive product range for color management and defect detection, designed to ensure consistently high color quality, significantly lower production times, reduced waste and increased profits. On show will be Guardian PQV, a 100 percent inspection system developed for the most demanding print jobs. Offering complete inspection from pre-press through to shipping, this advanced inspection system is designed for all printing applications and works with almost any substrate. Guardian OLP verifies production proofs and samples against customer-approved master artwork, providing the pre-production tools needed to make sure products meet exacting customer requirements, reducing waste, improving bottom line margins and ensuring complete accuracy and control on every single job. ColorTrack ‘color expert in a box’ software for flexo and gravure packaging applications facilitates fast, accurate press-side correction of ink formulations. Color Measurement with DeltaCam provides advanced in-line spectral measurement, ensuring package printers can deliver products within their customers’ color specifications by utilizing accurate, automated measurement on film, paper or board.

BST North America shows its new QLink workflow, aimed at enabling printers to reduce their costs and improve product quality. While the TubeScan is scanning for defects on the printing press, the printer uses the touch screen of the QLink editor to classify the defects as relevant or not relevant. The information is considered in the net count of the inspected goods. At any given time, the printer knows the net count and can run the press up to the exact production amount required. With QLink the file size can be 90 percent smaller compared to usual rollmap files. Transfer of the inspection protocol within the customer’s network is now faster and less data storage hardware is required. Finally, the operator of the rewinder may also take care of the rollmap editing right before converting and finishing. The new QLink workflow offers a solution for packaging and printing companies independent of size and structure. CC1 introduces updates to its camera-based mark-to-mark Automatic Register Control system. The company’s DRC-6000Lregister control, designed specifically for in-line flexo printers, which uses a proprietary register mark pattern, allows the system to consistently provide start-up material waste reduction ranging from 40-70 percent. This system enables the cameras to automatically and quickly locate register marks, and simultaneously send corrections to side and circumferential motors, quickly bringing every new job into final register, even if marks overlap or are in the incorrect order. No operator intervention is required. Improved registration throughout the press run is also provided. For print jobs without marks, CC1’s newest feature, TouchPoint, allows operators to use the DRC- 6000L touchscreen to manually drag and drop print stations into register using a cross hair or other visual register reference point. Operators simply ‘show’ the DRC-6000L where each station needs to move on the touchscreen and the DRC-6000L takes it from there. Registration motorization is also available to allow the closed loop register control system to be added to legacy presses.

Coast Controls now offers electronic web guiding systems for the converting industry in conjunction with its All-Air web guide system. The electronic product line will allow Coast to offer customers a full range of guiding capabilities: line, registration, contrast, heavy unwind/rewind, and center guiding.  The company’s 100 percent pneumatic guiding system, which is based on a proportional pneumatic servo controller and operates on low pressure air, usually around 6psi, makes a strong argument for high-heat, wash-down, food/medical/pharmaceutical and explosion-proof applications. The All-Air system is covered by a 10-year warranty.

Electromatic Equipment Company shows the Checkline LS-3-LED stroboscope, which features a super-bright light source and adjustable controls, ideal for process and narrow web inspection in demanding production environments. Forty high-performance LEDs in a 10 x 4 matrix produce a peak brightness of 5,000 Lux over a 10in (25cm) wide area. The LS-3-LED can be used as either a fixed-mounted or hand-held stroboscope. The LS-3-LED has a large, backlit LCD with conveniently located control knobs that permit easy adjustment of the flash rate, flash duration, delay and more. The operator can select the optimal balance of brightness and image sharpness for each application. An external input allows syncing the strobe with a remote sensor. The LS-3 LED’s rugged aluminum housing and LED light source make it virtually maintenance-free. A tripod mount allows easy installation on a range of equipment. The strobe ships with a universal battery charger (100-240VAC) with USA, Euro and UK plug adapters. A screw-on handle, protective rubber bumpers and foam-fitted carrying case are optionally available. Mounting arms are also available for fixed-mounted use.

Erhardt+Leimer shows the brushless, thus wear-free, ELGuider DRB 23 web guider, which was developed especially for the label industry. Claimed more compact than competitor models, the DRB 23 is designed for Ethernet networking, making it possible to use web-based management. As an option it is also possible to integrate a splice table with a tape roll and pneumatic web clamps. Smartscan is an inexpensive, camera-based quality assurance system. In addition to a video function with zoom, it also enables unique 200 percent print image inspection for reliable defect detection, splice detection and detection of missing labels and unremoved matrix. It is easy to operate: only one button needs to be pressed in order to start the inspection. Also on show will be the ELScan OMS4 video system, which has received a recent makeover: the user interface can now be configured, making operation even easier; there’s a joystick keypad with an integrated wheel for navigation and zooming and quick selection function buttons, and from now on ELScan comes with a more powerful computer, offering a range of additional functions. Different flash systems, e.g. a UV flash, can be selected for various web surfaces.

EyeC will present its wide range of print inspection systems for label and flexible packaging. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the newest EyeC systems in action at both the company’s booth and at the Rotoflex booth.  EyeC will demonstrate fast and precise print sample testing on an EyeC Proofiler 600 DT. This system’s latest software version now offers combining print inspection and dimensional measurement capabilities in just one system. Furthermore, those customers associated with the pharmaceutical world can take advantage of EyeC’s new pharma workflow offering improved data integrity, data security, and an easier audit trail review.  EyeC will also display the EyeC Proofiler Graphic for automated PDF-checks at the pre-press stage. This system now includes optional Workflow Integration into existing workflow software such as the Esko Automation Engine.  An EyeC ProofRunner 100 percent print inspection system for labels and flexible packaging will be on display on an ultra-fast Rotoflex rewinder. This in-line inspection system checks the print quality of texts, graphics, color, and foil embossing over the entire production run. 

Grafikontrol has introduced new tools for efficiency such as automatic register for flexo presses and patented precision tracking systems. At Labelexpo, it presents Lynex-S, a 100 percent inspection system of the printed web, which enables automatic detection and classification of every defect.

Isra Vision NarrowStar is tailored for narrow web, with compact dimensions that allow it to fit into any printing line. With a choice of three different sizes for web widths of 330, 440 or 660 mm, all components integrate into a single enclosure. The system uses camera components Isra designed specifically for print inspection applications and Isra-made lighting components. Part of the Plug & Inspect product range, NarrowStar can be operated via conventional LAN or WiFi networking. Thanks to the pre-calibration and the intuitive touch-sensitive user interface, no expert knowledge is needed for commissioning or operation – inspection begins immediately after installation. The printer’s daily work is supported by a range of assisting programs: QuickProof ensures the correct job is being printed by checking the PDF approved by the customer. RegisterCheck constantly controls the synchronicity on both sides of the print web for possible defects. The advanced processor enables image capturing and processing in real time, at any web speed. At the same time, the deployed algorithms allow for powerful inspection performance by reliably differentiating between actual and pseudo defects.

Novation AF3 WebFlagger is a safe and reliable means of applying pressure-sensitive flags to webs moving at speeds up to and above 4,000ft (1,200m) per minute. Novation’s WebFlaggers have multiple inputs for manual buttons, machine signals such as splices, or for connection to any automatic web inspection system. They can also track defects from upstream locations on the line to the location of the flagger. The new AF3 model has been redesigned in stainless steel with a more compact footprint. The AF3 WebFlagger safely, accurately and automatically flags webs at all speeds. The new AF3 WebFlagger fits into tight spaces previously unable to accommodate its predecessor. There will be an operational WebFlagger in the booth, as well as samples of the various styles of flags Novation offers. RE will show web guiding systems, pneumatic brakes, load cells and tension controllers, 100 percent print inspection, safety chucks and expanding shafts. On display will be its complete range of web guiding systems, including the new WG.705 web guide, a compact system with the electronics and keypad integrated in the frame.

Roll-2-Roll Technologies’ Web Guide Retrofit or Replacement Kit enables easy upgrade of any existing web guiding system with the next generation sensing and control technology. Keep the existing web guide mechanical assembly and replace the sensor, controller and actuator with this retrofit kit. Displacement guides, steering guides, unwind stands and rewind stands can be upgraded with this kit by properly sizing the actuator. Existing pneumatic, hydraulic or electromechanical web guides get the benefit of the latest sensing and control technologies with this upgrade kit. OEMs also benefit from this replacement kit when they pair it with web guide mechanical systems. The advanced patented fiber optic sensor technology makes the web guide retrofit kit easy to install, simple to operate and maintain. The accurate and precise measurement technology adjusts automatically to the physical characteristics of the material, such as opacity and porosity. The benefits include reduction of waste, downtime and changeover time.

Unilux will unveil the new and improved LED12 inspection strobe. The LED12, a powerful portable stroboscope for print inspection, has been reworked to incorporate the company’s latest advances in user controls. Popular features make it easier to instantly synchronize the strobe flash rate and fine-tune the target inspection area for crisp, clear images anywhere on the press. Stationary LED2000 Series inspection systems with Smart Assist will also be on display for the first time in North America. These new strobes feature user-friendly controls in English, German, Spanish, French and Simplified Chinese to accommodate global operations. Unilux will give a pocket-sized LED1 inspection strobe to one attendee who participates in a demonstration of the new technology.

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Finishing and converting

AB Graphic launches the Jetfx digital embellishment module. This is an off-line, fully digital system to create varnish and foil effects. A beverage specification Digicon Series 3 features the company’s latest flatbed screen printing module and the Big Foot 50 tonne flatbed hot foil unit. A smaller 25 tonne flatbed hot foil unit, with new swivel head to allow foil to be fed both along and across the web like the Big Foot, is shown. Two beverage labels are run to highlight quality and embellishment capabilities. A Digicon Lite is shown with a sheeter and conveyor option. Turret rewinders are displayed in several different configurations, including AutoSet, which is shown as a stand-alone turret and integrated into a Digicon Series 3 line. AB Graphic’s German manufacturing division shows six different fleyeVision 100 percent inspection cameras, including two mounted on slitter inspection rewinders. A booklet machine is on show, capable of processing up to 36,000 booklet labels per hour. Via MIS software, live production data from the beverage specification Digicon, the AutoSet glueless turret rewinder and SRI slitter inspection rewinder is presented. Technology from AB Graphic is further shown on the HP, Domino and Rea stands. On the HP stand, an in-line, fully automated Digicon Series 3 is presented. This features the Fast Track die running at 150m/min in semi-rotary mode, and AutoSet glueless turret rewinder with quick change mandrels. This showcases printing and finishing ready-to-ship to customers in a single pass. In addition, there is the new Digilase laser machine running as part of a fully automated workflow, and a new in-line entry level 762mm wide finishing machine. The Domino stand houses a Digicon similar to that shown by HP, with the addition of a camera. On the Rea stand, an SRI runs mounted with an inkjet printer.

Bar Graphic Machinery will exhibit on the stand of Americas distributor J&J Converting Machinery. Two models from BGM’s Elite range will be demonstrated. BGM’s latest 16in wide label inspection slitter rewinder, by keying in the rewind shaft size the machine, will automatically adjust the acceleration / deceleration times optimizing productivity output at speeds of up to 984ft/min. Also shown is BGM’s latest 14.5in wide, high speed die-cut and perforation label slitter rewinder, incorporating BGM’s quick change die-cutting station converting at speeds of up to 820ft/min.

Berhalter presents the Label-light die-cutting tool for in-mold and polyester labels, said to offer the advantage of favorable tool costs in combination with short lead times. The Berhalter Label-light punching tool is a patented concept that features the benefits of flatbed die-cutting, such as unique print-to-die registration and handling properties. The cost for a Label-light punching tool is claimed as up to 70 percent lower compared to a traditional punching tool, even when allowing for label contour correction of +/- 0.5mm. Further, there is no need for regrinding of a Label-light tool as the cutting components can be easily exchanged by the machine operator.

Brotech shows the SDF Plus modular label converting and finishing system. This features flatbed hot stamping, flatbed screen printing and flatbed die-cuttin g, and can also be upgraded with a semi-rotary/rotary flexo printing unit, rotary die-cutting unit, IML/ sheeting collection unit and other finishing modules for efficient processing of digitally printed labels. The flatbed hot stamping module features a patented 90-degree rotatable stamping head.

Cartes shows a Gemini 360 Series in the configuration GE362ZL R-L, which allows customers to combine modules according to their needs. This includes flexo varnishing and laser converting.  A new laser version in right to left configuration features the patented ILC (invisible laser cutting) module, which makes it possible to die-cut dark printed label without white edges. A GT 360 Series machine is shown adding embellishments to a digitally printed substrate.

CEI shows the BossJet powered by Domino, which has been completely redesigned from the bottom up. Redesigned flexo stations and die stations now accept a much wider variety of tooling. Dual-servo printhead control, one for tension and the other to maintain registration, delivers precise web handling. A single integrated control panel combines the printing process with converting elements, making it even more operator friendly. New recipe management functions, combined with special memory management for substrates, are designed to make it easy to move between jobs.

Daco Solutions will exhibit a Daco PLD350 die-cut to register rotary die-cutter with a three spindle semi-automatic turret rewinder and the Daco DP350 UV inkjet digital label press. The PLD is an efficient rotary die-cutter with a semi-automatic turret rewinder for small roll production. It’s available in 10in, 13.75in and 17in web widths. The Daco DP350 inkjet label press, in conjunction with Inkjet Solutions, consists of an IS600 CMYK color unit incorporating Kyocera print heads and a GEW UV dryer. The press in its basic form has 700mm (30in) unwind and rewinds with the option to add in-line  slitting, die-cutting options (full and semi-rotary), Meech web cleaning and Vetaphone corona treatment.

Daven presents its portable pneumatic winder for winding any web including edge trim. Its rugged construction and efficient winding can be used on all converting equipment. The winder’s simple design allows its winding speed to follow the line speed of the material. A pneumatic drive system without gears or clutches allows for infinite stop-go or stalled motion. It is non-electric and is activated with a single line of negligible use of low air pressure. Micro-setting adjustments allow for infinite speed and torque control. The winder accepts any core width with quick core change or coreless winding. The sealed modular compact design can be used in any environment without OSHA-safety or lubrication issues and be mounted on or off of a machine on any surface or angle.  This makes it suited to clean room environments, according to Daven.

Davis-Standard presents its curtain slide coater, which applies a single layer coating at 2,800ft/min with expansion capabilities up to two additional layers. A five-roll silicone coater is capable of applying 100 percent silicone at 2,400ft/min.

DCM presents Serval, a cantilever type high speed slitter rewinder designed for the label printers for films, foils, papers and pressure-sensitive labels. Serval is driven by three motors, and is available with shear or razors, differential or lock core. It offers a production speed of 1,640ft/min Also shows new modular forming and seaming machines for shrink sleeves with automatic setting and quality control monitoring – Sleeve Evo, Auto and Intense. Lay-flat and seam position can be set automatically. In-line quality controls monitor production and any defects are flagged. The perforating, sheeting or rewinding machine, Sleevecut, is a modular machine that delivers cut, perforated and cut or perforated and rewound shrink sleeves. A unique adjustable perforating tools allows any cross, vertical and angled registered perforations The Babycat inspection and doctoring machine allows automatic splice, seam detection, lay-flat monitoring and print control. Any defect detected is brought automatically to the splice table for removal or correction.

Demak presents Kromex, a patented technology for in-house manufacturing of 3D emblems and decals with chrome external finishing. Kromex is used in automotive, car aftermarket, motorcycle, farm tractor, marine, home appliance, sport emblems and cosmetic market applications. Kromex emblems and logos are flexible and easily applied to both flat or curved surfaces. Special effects can be added using satin, matte and colored finishing, or even with the use of PU resins on top.

Dimatra showcases its 1,640ft/min non-stop seamer machine. The machine has three winding stations to allow fast and easy unloading when rewinding small diameter rolls. New components are shown that improve the machine’s efficiency and reliability.

DPR shows Virgo, an off-line lamination and die-cutting system developed for small inkjet and digital label printers. Suited to in-house label production, this system offers the tools needed to professionally cut and finish labels on demand. Easily paired with short run label printers, Virgo is said to provide a versatile, low-cost option for producing label rolls that range from 4.3-5.5in (110-140mm) wide. Precision cutting allows any shape to be cut on a variety of materials as needed.

Enprom presents the eRS 60 sleeve seaming machine, which uses a motorized roller as an alternative to a needle system. A motorized roller is said to be a more reliable system for the application of solvent when folding sleeve labels. Based on the concept of printing, this makes it possible to control the quantity of solvent applied, right to the edge of the film without blocking the finished reel. An eSRC 60 for easy open packaging integrates a semi-rotary or laser die and in-line label insertion. Also shown is a hybrid converting line for mid-web label finishing. Users can configure the machine to their needs by selecting the type of unwinder, rewinder and finishing processes required.

ETI Converting Equipment showcases Pellicut, patented die-cutting technology designed for high speed use with very thin release liner. It allows converters to die-cut a PET liner that is 18 micron thick, reducing liner thickness and cost by up to 40 percent. The heavy duty rotary die-cutting system can die-cut PS material at a speed of 750ft/ min. Pellicut can die-cut labels on 18 micron polyester film or 30gsm (20lbs) paper products with the guarantee that the die will not mark the liner during the die-cutting process and that there will be no break on the labeling machine. The module uses conventional magnetic cylinders, fast die and anvil changes. The module is available in widths from 13-26.5in. It can be integrated in-line with an ETI Cohesio, retrofitted to an existing press or offered as standalone die-cutting equipment.

FAES presents system gelb, a fully automatic machine for converting labels, adhesive tapes, embossing material, RFID and similar materials. With a cantilever design, it features an integrated turret system that makes it ideal for large production runs. The system was developed to provide fully automatic processing in six stages from automatic loading of the core from a separate core loading system, unwinding, gluing, slitting, rewinding, through to automatic removal of the finished roll onto a conveyer belt system. A PC-based touchscreen control permits simple software-supported format changes and system linkup with the Industry 4.0 standard to facilitate evaluation of production data. A dual unwinding principle maximizes output while maintaining precision at every stage of the process.

Fix-a-Form introduces AF500, the latest generation of its AutoFix machine range. With an emphasis on versatility, quick set-up times and ease of use, the AutoFix is now available in a 19.5in (500mm) web width. AF500 has all the capabilities of the older AF350 range, including hot or cold cross-web glue, vacuum feeder, optional twin placement heads, pre-curve laminator and flatbed die-cutter, but with numerous refinements and improvements. The company will also have updated details of its Fold&Fix machine, which folds flat sheets into leaflets and combines them with the printed web before die-cutting to create finished self-adhesive leaflet-labels, all in a single pass.

Grafisk Maskinfabrik demonstrates its newest smart converting lines. These feature hot stamping, embossing, screen printing and die-cutting all in one line. Laser die-cutting with auto job change is also an option, as is turret rewinding and modules for multi-layer/peel and reveal labels. A new software feature that logs operator performance can now be added to units. All GM machines can be made in left-to-right and right-to-left configuration, enabling in-line operation with all major digital presses.

Grafotronic shows the updated DCL2 digital finishing machine, which is equipped with the GigaFast 525ft/min semi-rotary die, a flexo unit for high speed spot/full varnish, WiFi-slitting automatic knife positioning system and the non-stop system for continuous running. The high speed HI2 machine for 100 percent inspection and slitting of labels, foil and cardboard is shown in the Automation Arena, as is the WLE Core Cutter HS. WLE has a full range of efficiency products for label printers, with folding and sheeting machines, table top rewinders and lifts for easy handling presented on the Grafotronic stand.

Graphtec is showcasing its digital label creation systems, Labelrobo LCX1000 and LCX603, as well as its brand new product, Auto Sheet Feeder F-Mark. LCX1000 consists of DLP1000, a high speed and high durability electrophotographic digital label printer, and DLC1000, a digital label finisher featuring laminating, free size and shape cutting, waste matrix removal, slitting and rewinding. The maximum printing resolution of DLP1000 is 600 x 2400 DPI, and the maximum printing speed is 7.2m/min. A three-way paper feed mechanism supports roll-to-roll, roll-to-sheet and sheet printing. LCX603 allows high-durability 3-color printing, laminating, contour cutting, matrix removing and slitting. F-Mark is an automatic sheet feeder for the Graphtec CE6000 Plus cutting plotter. F-Mark together with CE6000 Plus delivers continuous hands-free sheet media feeding and cutting.

Guangzhou Pulisi Technology presents EAIM-450 ST, a full servo automatic inspection machine. The inspection function and high speed slitting function can either be used independently or together. A maximum inspection speed up to 150mm/min and maximum slitting speed up to 300mm/min are possible. The unwind diameter is up to 850mm. The machine features its own waste rewind unit and turret rewinding function. The maximum turret rewinding diameter is up to 500mm. Options include inkjet printing, dust removal system anti-static device, razor blade slitting, defect marking and a digital display ruler. The machine can be used for inspecting various kinds of materials, especially for gold stamping, silver stamping and transparent materials. It can detect defects such as  mis-registration position, color variation, dirty marks and die-cut inaccuracies. Inspection of barcodes, two-dimensional codes and OCR codes is also possible.

Guangzhou Xinbao Software Technology shows the T Series label rewinder with two-way rewind, auto-sync rewind and speed adjustable rewind. It features stepless speed regulation and can handle core diameters of 1in, 1.5in and 3in.

Karlville showcases Pack Ready Laminator (TL800). It is specifically designed for Pack Ready lamination and HP indigo digitally printed output. All engineering is designed to maximize the advantages of digital printing – compact design, quick media change with minimal waste, and optimized media roll width that supports output of HP Indigo digital presses such as the 20000 and 6900 models.

Lemorau shows the recently launched Digi EBR+, which can print, coat and die-cut all in one process. Based on high-resolution inkjet technology, Digi EBR+ can print with a resolution of 1600 × 1600 DPI, full color, with a web width ranging of 50-250mm. A printing head cleaning function maintains print quality during long runs. The machine die-cuts in rotary and semi-rotary modes. Also shown is the upgraded ICR3 inspection slitter rewinder, CTA 1500 automatic core cutter, CT 1500 manual core cutter and ER roll lifter.

Lemu showcases its latest developments, which include a fully automatic servo-driven converting line with flexo printing units and four-shaft glueless turret rewinder.

Maan Engineering launches its hybrid lamination coating technology in America. This allows production of both laminated and linerless labels. The technology is used in the hotmelt coating station, which, together with the silicone coating station, comprises the core of the Maan coating equipment range. The basis of the hybrid technology is that when switching from laminate to linerless, the hotmelt coating station is rotated. In this way, both sides of the paper or foil strip can be coated with hotmelt. The switch takes just 15 minutes.

Martin Automatic launches a new version of its MBS splicer, a space saving non-stop roll changer claimed to have the smallest in-line footprint on the market. This is made possible by an integrated 90-degree turnbar. An LRD automatic transfer rewinder is run in conjunction with the splicer to demonstrate continuous operation.

Pantec demonstrates the Rhino IIS 410 flatbed hot foil embossing system with a live production of a three-foil rum label at in-line web speed of 68m/min. Rhino IIS operates at up to 30,000 strokes an hour, allowing in-line production of two-foil designs at 102m/ min or four-foil designs at 51m/min. Rhino IIS 510 delivers efficient in-line decoration flexible and carton packaging, as well as security applications (Fresnel). Pantec also shares the latest information on its Swift rotary patch application and foil saving system, which is now ready for HPC labels and shrink sleeves. It can apply up to 430,000 patches an hour.

Prati presents the Digifast One digital finishing system, featuring semi-rotary printing and die-cutting at up to 90m/min in combination. Accuracy is recorded at ±0.10 mm and set-up times are as short as eight minutes. A re-registration lamination unit facilitates production of coupon and sandwich labels. Also highlights Flash Pass for finishing and inspecting jobs in a single pass.

TCS Digital Solutions presents the RC-1000 modular finishing system for high-speed die-cutting and lamination. It allows converting of printed and blank labels. RC-1000 has a 10in cut width and a finishing speed up to 80ft/min. Fingertip control of lateral die position, air chucks, a pinned die cylinder and the ability to save converting settings are designed to make the system easy to use and improve operator throughput. It features a simple paper path to make set-up fast, use less material and minimizes waste.

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Dies and tooling

Agergaard Graphic Supplies will, for the first time, present AkeBoose chamber doctor blade systems to the American industry. These chamber systems are designed for high precision doctoring and easy, mostly tool-free handling. The kiss impression principle is based on reduced pressure of the chamber towards the anilox roller which means less wear on both blade and anilox roller in favor of cost-efficient operations. Company will also showcase latest developments of end seals that are traded under the name coatSeal specially made for narrow web applications, covering UV flexo printing as well as folded carton or flexible packaging printing. Several new models of full rubber seals, called coatSeal Universal, will also be presented.

Alunetic will show a re-engineered magnetic cylinder and a printing plate mounting device. The company will demonstrate weight difference between conventional magnetic cylinder and HMT magnetic cylinder. The plate mounter aligns the printing plate in the around direction and not the across direction as with traditional plate mounters and therefor this device only need one microscope in one position in order to achieve perfectly aligned printing plates.

Applied Laser Engineering features Functional Topography. Laser engraved Functional Topography 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. Printed electronics, optical films, anti-microbial and low-friction surfaces are further examples of Functional Topography.

Daetwyler specializes in 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. Daetwyler’s experienced team has handled virtually every kind of printing challenge, including doctor blade selection, equipment set-up, optimized print practices, cleaning and maintenance, common trouble shooting, and more.

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

Kocher+Beck will show its full range of screen fabrics as well as a new prototype wash booth, 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 non-stop butt splicer will be linked to a fully automated press and converting process to demonstrate how label and packaging will evolve over the next decade. The company will also show 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.

RotoMetrics will show Electro Optic’s die-cutting technology that enables enhanced die levelness, consistency and longevity for optimal performance on the thinnest films and the most abrasive materials. Also on display will be RotoRepel and RotoRepel Rx dies with no-stick treatment that now offers enhanced performance benefits so presses run faster. The company will also present its improved online quoting and order website, myroto.com, with enhanced features to better track and manage die library. Other highlights will include Express Lane delivery and fast track manufacturing to offer more qualifying solid does for next day shipping and quicker production line, AccuPrint EC print sleeves, and Challenger solid dies designed for polylith and other abrasive materials.

Universal Engraving will showcase 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 will exhibit a complete line of flexible dies designed specifically for aggressive adhesives.

Wink will present the SmartGap adjustable anvil system with the new digitally controlled touch version. The cylinder gap (clearance) can be adapted very precisely to different liners and fluctuating liner thicknesses, so that even with demanding applications and very thin liners optimum die-cutting results are achieved. 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. In addition, Wink will present 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.

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Ancillary equipment

Alphasonics USA, the UK manufacturer’s newly formed subsidiary, shows technical advancements in its cleaning systems, designed with an emphasis on anilox control – the ability to clean a roll to 100 percent of its deliverable volume through medical-grade, advanced ultrasonics. The company introduces additions such as automatic dilution systems, hard chromed tanks for system longevity and self-diagnostic elements which monitor quality of cleaning fluid and current.  Alphasonics USA will also show its PCX plate cleaning system, alongside a new parts washing unit. The PW AGI is a unique cleaning system combining advanced ultrasonics with a special agitation system.

Color-Dec introduces Finedome for producing elegant metallic looking labels.  No  tooling,  chemicals,  PVCs  or  electro-forming  are required. Finedome, with its sharp edges and stamped metal look, is said to provide an easy way to produce  ultra-thin, metallic looking labels, in virtually any color using a wide range of adhesive options.

Double H Plastics will showcase plastic cores for the label industry. The company also manufactures cores and tubing for several other applications including flexible packaging, paper, film and foil converting.

Dover Flexo Electronics will launch SteadyWeb6 tension controller. It is a closed-loop automatic tension controller with a back-lit, color, touchscreen interface. It holds desired web tension constant to ensure better finished labels. The company will also display the NW Narrow Web Tension Transducer, a cantilevered tension-sensing idler roll for narrow web applications.

Eaglewood Technologies will showcase Sitexo laser anilox cleaning technology. Advanced laser technology combined with software allows the user to easily clean ink and coating chemistry of all types. It can also clean multiple narrow web rolls or a combination of narrow and wide web rolls and sleeves.

Flexo Wash will introduce the FW 2000 and FW 3000 laser anilox cleaners. The FW 2000 Laser shown at Labelexpo Americas will clean an anilox roll or sleeve with a maximum cleaning length of 67 inches (1,700 mm). The FW 2000 Laser can also be configured to clean multiple narrow web anilox rolls or sleeves in a single cycle. This will be shown alongside its liquid cleaners and updates to its TopLoad and ECO parts washers, and narrow web plate washing systems.

Imada will introduce improved IPTS 180-degree peel tester with new EL electro luminescent display and easy-to-use menus in eight languages to simplify the selection of units, speed and high or low set-points. This equipment can test samples up to 3.46in wide and 7.75in long.

Jalema will display Grafi-System, a vertical filing system for filing photopolymer plates, flexible dies and proofs.

Kroenert will showcase a roll-to-roll system on its existing coating unit for simultaneous double-sided siliconizing of a web. This coating unit can be included in new plants or retrofitted in existing facilities. With retrofits, the flotation dryer already installed in many plants can be used for the non-contact transport of webs and combined with a non-contact air turn in front of the dryer. The process of double-sided siliconizing is especially suitable for paper webs used as release liners for adhesive tapes and for graphic products. The simultaneous coating of the front and back of paper webs prevents paper from drying out and the coating machine can be considerably shorter in length. Moreover, the system allows one operator to oversee two coatings at the same time. The siliconizing unit can also be utilized for one-sided coating and operate flexibly with other substrates and silicones.

Laserclean will introduce ALCS1000s laser cleaning machine. It enables cleaning of the engravings by removing pigments and burning away polymers. It can be used as a daily cleaner and does not use any chemicals.

Lundberg Tech showcases the MatrixCompactor 140m, designed for removing and handling matrix and edge trim waste from label presses, increasing productivity and allowing for non-stop production.Lundberg Tech showcases the MatrixCompactor 140m, designed for removing and handling matrix and edge trim waste from label presses, increasing productivity and allowing for non-stop production.

Matho shows its Cuttobag CB-100 as part of the Automation Arena . This  unit is linked  to the  Xeikon/GM digital line and takes  care  about  the  cutting  and  extraction  process  of  the  pressure-sensitive  matrix  and  edge  trims. CB-100 includes an in-line cutting unit, vacuum fan, two piping silencers, an oil spray system to avoid blockages inside the piping system, an electronic control cabinet including a frequency converter to control the fan power, an intake funnel, and the material  separator in a very compact and modern machine chassis (including sound absorption).

Maxcess will showcase the Magpowr DLCA NET digital load cell amplifier that transmits calibrated values from 1 or 2 tension zones over dual port communications using Ethernet/IP, Modbus TCP/IP or Ethercat. Some additional features included are EDS file AOP, DLR Ring, PTP time stamping, alarms and an embedded web server for set-up and calibration.

Meech will showcase the new 971IPS-30 extra-long range pulsed DC ionizing bar from its Hyperion range of products. With an  operating working distance of 200 to 1500mm, the 971IPS-30 suits very long-range applications. As with the previous version of the bar, the 24V DC supply removes the need for high voltage wiring. Meech’s Ion Current Monitoring (ICM) technology ensures the performance of the bar is maintained with the aid of local and remote alerts, which indicate when the bar needs cleaning. The titanium emitters’ design allows them to be easily cleaned and replaced when required, therefore preserving its performance over lengthy periods of time.

MoistTech will show a range of sensors and gauges to measure moisture content, oil content and fat content as well as the thickness or coat weight of coatings, hot melts, glues, adhesives, and printing. MoistTech is supported by the manufacturers of Near-Infrared (NIR) technology in the industrial moisture industry. Insensitive to material variations such as particle size, material height and color, moisture sensors provide continuous, reliable readings with zero maintenance and a one-time calibration with a non-drift optical design.

PCMC will showcase its Meridian laser anilox cleaner. It deep cleans engravings of any line screen thoroughly in a single pass. In many cases, after cleaning cell volume measurements match almost exactly the original cell volume engraving. The Meridian removes inks, adhesives, glazes, stiffeners, coatings, and varnishes from ceramic and chrome surfaces. Using auto-focus technology, it optimizes the laser’s energy to pulverize any residue deposited on the engraved surface. It also features an automatic cleaning cycle, flip-up cleaning area access door, easy-to-use operator interface, and large cleaning area access opening, which offer enhanced ergonomics to the operator.

Prisco will show PriscoFlex washers and cleaners designed to clean rollers and plates. On exhibit will also be PriscoBond line of adhesives and PriscoFlex water-based and energy-curable coatings for the flexographic market.

Quality Discount Press Parts & Equipment is a supplier of parts, accessories, new equipment as well as pre-owned/used equipment. With a network of OEM manufacturers, technicians and consultants, the company offers more than 14,000 products and manufactures more than 25 types of equipment in-house.

Sensory Analytics will showcase SpecMetrix coating thickness measurement systems for coated labels and flexible packaging products. These provide continuous coating process improvements, optimizing coating utilization and decreasing plant waste streams. The company has designed ruggedized optical interference (ROI) technology into all SpecMetrix in-line systems to accurately monitor wet or dry coating or film layer thickness down to sub-micron levels on products. SpecMetrix systems are built to withstand the rigors of any manufacturing environment, incorporating a broad wavelength range that can generate real-time data as low as 0.25 micron across a web, performing at more than 150 measurements a second.  These systems can measure single or double layers simultaneously and individually, helping film processors identify underlying problems with a particular layer in the film stack. Measurement capabilities range from thin barrier layers to thicker base films. These coating and layer thickness measurement systems are available in fixed probe, traversing or OEM configurations for ease of integration onto new or existing plant coating lines.

The Flexo Factor will display products and information from its principals including doctor blades from Allison system, static and dust removal systems from ACE Electrostatic, anilox volume measurement system from Anicheck, roll handling from Aztech, ultrasonics from Caresonic, plate cleaners from OMM-Marhetti, anilox and sleeve storage from Sandon Global, Soma Engineering presses, laminators, slitters, Tectonic web inspection and plate mounters. Company will also showcase its own range of press room cleaning concentrates and ready to use products.

Timmer will display glue pumps with electronic temperature control of the adhesive. The control system is optimized in such a way that the adhesive is quickly heated up and precisely adjusted to the set point without detrimental fluctuation of the temperature. The pumps are waterproof, according to IP66 and feature user-friendly temperature setting with the integrated control panel. The stroke frequency can be indicated in the display that simplifies the rapid recovery of a selected operation point, after cleaning for example. A maintenance indicator is also displayed for preventive maintenance to increase the plant availability.

Tower Products has released its new UV flexo cleaning product, SmartFlex UV Flexo Cleaner. It cleans all UV flexographic ink from plates and machinery. The product will not swell photopolymer printing plates and can be applied by hand or used in an automatic plate cleaning unit. It can either be mixed with water or used full strength for all UV ink cleaning applications.

Valmet will discuss its IQ Converting Scanner with online measurements that enables the utilization of machine and cross direction controls for moisture, adhesive and silicone in converting machines. These control systems improve and stabilize the end-product quality, decrease the amount of break and allow the operators to concentrate on quality management and production optimization.

Vetaphone will showcase VE1A corona treaters and an iCorona generator designed for narrow web applications. These systems treat conductive and non-conductive substrates and are equipped with quick change electrode cartridges as standard. Vetaphone corona systems will work on narrow web presses on the show floor, including those on the Mark Andy, HP Indigo, Nilpeter, Bobst, Omet, AB Graphic, Domino, ETI and Screen stands.

Yazoo Mills will display its custom paper cores alongside one and two color cores with in-line printing capabilities. 

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Security and smart technology

Angstrom Technologies is an integrated supplier of security, fraud deterrence and brand protection technologies, as well as process control and track and trace for manufacturing. Using Angstrom’s own organic fluorescent pigments, dyes and additives, the company can provide covert (invisible) inks, varnishes and coatings that are ‘among the most stable and lightfast available’, says the company. Its quality luminescent chemicals can be integrated with its electronic detection systems which have the ability to accurately measure fluorescent intensity as well as discern between chemicals by luminescent properties. Since 1983 many government organizations, prominent companies and financial institutions have relied on Angstrom to provide solutions for their most critical security and process control applications.

De La Rue’s Multi-factor authentication from combines its proprietary Izon technology with digital track and trace systems, making product authentication achievable in three easy steps: scan, verify and confirm. Izon full parallax 3D holograms are difficult to replicate, making them a powerful anti-counterfeiting device. Through several layers of overt and covert physical security features, verifying authenticity is simple, intuitive and secure.

Nexqo provides programming and encoding services for RFID smart labels.

Voyantic shows its RFID measurement and testing systems, including Reelsurance Pro, a multifunctional reel-to-reel machine that covers all RAIN RFID and NFC testing and encoding needs. It is now possible to test, encode, print and dispense with 100 percent accuracy in a single, centrally managed process. Due to its small footprint, the machine can be easily fitted into a normal warehouse environment. Running on regular power mains and being quiet to operate, it can be used even in an office space.

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Labelexpo Americas 2018 takes place September 25-27 at the Donald E. Stephens Exhibition Center in Rosemont, Illinois


James Quirk is group managing editor of Labels & Labeling.

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