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  • 16 Sep 2013

Package printing makes return to Labelexpo Europe

2013 will see package printing return to hall 12 at Labelexpo Europe. David Pittman reports

Labelexpo Global Series is to continue its look at the opportunities the package printing market presents the label market with the return of package printing at Labelexpo Europe 2013.

Labelexpo Europe 2013 has been given a magic theme this year, with “seven halls of wonder” showing “creative artistry and magical innovation”.

Package printing is part of this mix that is due to make Labelexpo Europe 2013 the biggest yet, with more than 90 new exhibitors and a record amount of floor space to be occupied – more than 30,000 sq m (more than 323,000 sq ft).

This is the third Labelexpo Global Series event where package printing will have a defined presence, after debuting with the Package Printing Zone at Labelexpo Europe 2011 and returning at last year’s Labelexpo Americas with the Package Printing Workshops.

This year, package printing will again be used to highlight new ways for label printers and converters to add value to their business, and demonstrate the production of folding cartons, flexible packaging and tube laminates.

Both digital and conventional printing will be showcased as part of the workshop sessions in order to provide label printers interested in growing into the packaging market with information on both processes.

This will see Xeikon showcase digital printing of carton packaging using a 3500 model, while Nuova Gidue will have a Combat M3 flexo press producing flexible packaging.

At 11am and 3pm of the first three days of the show, and at 11am on day four, the two presses will demonstrate their respective technologies and suitability to print packaging to attendees.

This will see them produce flexible and carton packaging to match the labels produced along the Inkjet Trail, which will show how different inkjet technologies compare when producing the same labels on the same substrates.

Digital carton printing

Xeikon’s footprint in the feature area will look at the “most compact Roll2carton solution”, as a part of its folding carton suite.

The Xeikon 3500 digital press will be equipped with a digital varnish print station applying Xeikon’s Durable Clear toner, and an in-line die-cutting and stripping unit built by Switzerland’s Bograma.

The cartons will be printed in CMYK in one pass, along with Durable Clear to provide extra protection to the print in a single process. The web will then be sheeted, using a full rotary process with a variable repeat length to keep waste to a minimum.

The sheets will then be fed into a rotary die-cutting station with magnetic plates, with waste stripped and the printed cartons stacked.

Xeikon says this drastically simplifies the production process with a one-step process, when compared to normal sheet-fed carton production that requires at least three steps – to print and varnish, die-cut and remove waste – while alternative digital systems would require four - printing, varnishing, die-cutting and waste removal.

Conventional flexible package printing

Nuova Gidue’s M3 has been upgraded to include the company’s Digital Flexo technology for a wide range of supported and unsupported substrates. Digital Flexo is a system that transforms many of the press set-up and configuration operations from a manual to an automated process, meaning printers no longer need carry out certain pre-press operations and register adjustments.

Printing during set-up and production is automatically operated by the press. Digital “eyes” and “fingers”, a Print-Tutor camera/servo combination, on each print unit replaces the hands and eyes of the operator.

Nuova Gidue says this technology delivers closed-loop automation of press operations, standardization of press performances, digital flow networking and all-in-one-pass production.

Dot gain is also “digitally” controlled and adjusted to ensure print quality during production, and waste is reduced to “digital” numbers of less than 10m for an eight-color job.

In hall 12, the M3 will be used to print lids and pouches, and show how the Digital Flexo technology can benefit this production.

Award winners

The package printing feature area will also play host to the Pro Carton/ECMA Carton Award Roadshow, showcasing award-winning cartons from across Europe.

The 2013 Pro Carton/ECMA Carton Award winners will be announced at the ECMA Congress in Dubrovnik, Croatia the week before Labelexpo Europe, and this will be the premiere of the winners and finalists.

Categories in the 2013 awards program include beverages, confectionery, beauty and cosmetics, food, non-food, pharmaceuticals, shelf-ready and display, and volume markets. Special awards will be presented, including Carton of the Year, Most Innovative and the Sustainability Award.

Carton of the Year was claimed in 2012 by the Taittinger Rose Lens entry, produced by VG Angoulême using materials from both Iggesund Paperboard and Mayr-Melnhof Karton.

Package printing around the show

As well as the dedicated feature area in hall 12, there are numerous exhibitors around the show who will be presenting their product portfolios and launching products suited to package printing.

This ranges from pre-press and print consumables suppliers, to press manufacturers and finishing equipment specialists.

Both Xeikon and Nuova Gidue will have locations separate to the package printing feature area, as will industry suppliers such as Prati, Nilpeter, Flint, BST, Unilux and Sistrade.

The biggest of these, by area, will be HP which is to host “Print Your Future”, situated on the patio area accessible from halls 5 and 9. Here, it will present products and systems from HP Indigo and its partners, and explain how they are working to innovate the label and package printing market for the benefit of converters and their customers. HP partners that will be showcased in “Print your Future” include BG, Kama, Karlville, Highcon, Scodix, Tresu, Totani, Polar, AVT, Michelman, Pulse Roll Label Products, Paragon, Sun Chemical, Actega, Ashland, Prisme Technologies, Esko, CERM, Label Traxx, Theurer, ATT, ProofTag, Color Logic and Avery Dennison.

Many of these partners will also have a direct exhibition space elsewhere at the show, such as Esko in Hall 5 and Pulse in Hall 7.

Labelexpo Europe takes place in Brussels, Belgium on September 24-27. The show is open from 10:00 to 17:00 on day one, until 18:00 on days two and three, and until 16:00 on day four. The package printing feature area is located in hall 12.

Read more features from Packprint World here

Read more about package printing at  Labelexpo shows around the world here