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Increased educational content

Two Label Academy master classes offer visitors an opportunity to gain printing knowledge shared by renowned industry experts. These master classes – Digital Label & Package Printing and Conventional Label Printing Processes – take place concurrently, both starting at 09:00, on the final day of Labelexpo, October 2.

Digital Label & Package Printing is led by industry expert, Mike Fairley, director, strategic development, Labelexpo Global Series, along with other digital printing specialists from HP Indigo, Xeikon, Domino, Esko, Avery Dennison and AB Graphic International. An optional live demonstration of digital printing is being held on the show floor.

Conventional Label Printing Processes is led by John Morton of 4impression and also feature Hans Poortinga of MPS Systems. It provides an overview of letterpress, lithography, flexography, screen, gravure and combination printing, covering each process’s characteristics and relevant applications, and how they’re changing. The master class includes live demonstrations of working machinery.

The Label Academy is a global training and certification programme; and these master classes support training modules in digital and conventional printing.

Those attending the masterclasses can take the related Label Academy exam online at a time of their choice to earn an industry-recognised qualification and receive a copy of the supporting text book. Costs of the exam and book are covered in the cost of attendance which is €530 per master class.

Comments Lisa Milburn, Labelexpo Global Series MD, ‘Discovering new opportunities, learning new skills and gaining valuable knowledge is what the industry expects from Labelexpo – it’s what the show is all about – so the Label Academy is a natural fit with the exhibition content. The master classes are an industry first, designed to ensure vital expertise is passed on to help hard-working industry people progress their careers. The increased educational content at the show is supported by an expanded series of special show features, with particular focus on package printing.’

For online registration for Label Academy master classes go to www.labelexpo-europe.com.

More news from MPS

As reported last month, along with the next-generation EF Neo flexo press and the EB label press, MPS (locally represented by Rotocon) is using Labelexpo to unveil a new hybrid press – a flexo press with an integrated inkjet.

Now further information is to hand. This hybrid solution – to be seen on stand 11C20 – is called EF Symjet and is set to provide converters with a new range of print potential with the symbiotic combination of conventional and digital printing technologies.

Through partnership with a proven, international inkjet supplier, MPS has created a hybrid system with an integrated high-quality inkjet printer capable of printing up to six colours plus a digital white option, creating a step change in flexibility and range of affordable printing applications.

While this press will initially be sold in Europe, further geographies to follow as a part of managed rollout.

And more breaking news from MPS is that the company is preparing its presses for the future of LED with the integration of the latest GEW hybrid LED UV system, being unveiled at Labelexpo.

MPS is the first narrow-web press manufacturer to show the new GEW hybrid LED UV system (ArcLED), integrated with the next generation EF Neo flexo printing press. Labelexpo Europe visitors interested in LED curing can visit the MPS stand (stand 11C20) where LED and arc UV curing will be demonstrated in combination with Flint Group’s low-migration inks. They’ll witness the MPS press running at high speed using less energy, for the same capacity.

MPS technical director Bert van den Brink comments: ‘The main advantage of this GEW ArcLED curing system, compared to other LED systems, is the ability to combine and interchange conventional arc lamps with LED curing at every print station. This hybrid system also provides the flexibility to upgrade to LED at a later stage, so that printers can utilise the advantages of both technologies without the need to re-invest or modify their presses.’

Also making this hybrid UV curing system advantageous is the opportunity to move towards LED curing without the risk of being locked into the technology on the entire press. ‘We recognize that further LED developments are underway, and the total ink portfolio needed for certain print jobs is not yet available in LED curing,’ Bart continues. ‘However, developments in the field of LED will evolve rapidly, just like the change from infrared to UV. With the GEW hybrid LED UV system, we offer our customers the ability to prepare for LED evolvements with a practical and cost-efficient solution.’

With the new GEW ArcLED curing system, the same lamphead casing is used with interchangeable pull-out cassettes for arc and LED, including the same power supply and control. The associated RHINO-ArcLED power supply automatically recognises the type of cassette being used and adapts all parameters accordingly, including the correct power type and running parameters.

According to GEW’s Marcus Greenbrook, the new LED UV curing system is compatible with the widest range of substrates, and increases machine uptime because of less maintenance. ‘It also reduces energy consumption,’ he adds. ‘Thanks to instant on-off switching no energy is consumed when the printing machine is idle between jobs. The ArcLED UV system is a future-proof technology showing considerable energy savings, optimising processes, and maximising ink compatibility. It increases machine productivity as well as providing the possibility to run a fully flexible hybrid curing system.’

To learn more, visit MPS (stand 11C20) or GEW (stand 6C18).

Xeikon unleashes its Cheetah

Xeikon has announced the worldwide commercial availability of its groundbreaking Xeikon CX3 digital label press. The press will be available for order taking from the first day of Labelexpo.

The Xeikon Cheetah technology is in pilot operation at five sites around the world, where it has delivered outstanding performance. At the show, Xeikon is unveiling the newly-designed press and conducting live demonstrations of the Xeikon CX3, dubbed ‘the fastest five-color digital label press in its class’

‘Our extensive presence at Labelexpo reinforces our dedication to bringing innovation, productivity and profitability to the label printing business, which has grown to represent more than 50% of our revenue,’ says Wim Maes, Xeikon’s CEO. ‘We’re very excited to be making the Xeikon CX3 available for digital label printers and converters worldwide. We have been extremely pleased with the feedback received from the Xeikon Cheetah’s pilot sites, and look forward to seeing those results replicated with many more customers around the globe.’

In addition to Xeikon Cheetah technology, the company is showing a complete range of digital print production solutions, including a Xeikon 3300, the company’s flagship narrow-web label press with printing widths of 200mm to 330mm. This press is ideal for printing self-adhesive labels at top speeds, and will be printing wine, health & beauty, food and industrial applications. A Xeikon 3500 press, dedicated to folding carton, will be demonstrated in the Packprint Workshop, where Xeikon is giving presentations. This breadth of capabilities highlights the range of labels and packaging that can be produced with Xeikon digital printing technologies.

There’s much more information available, for instance on workflow and finishing developments, so a visit to the Xeikon stand is a ‘must’!

In safe hands with Presstec and principals

You’ll see them here, you’ll see them there – Presstec’s Antron, Grant and Linton Hendricks are attending Labelexpo for the duration, happy to show South African visitors around their various principals’ stands and demonstrate the latest technology on show.

Taking the halls in chronological order, these principals include Cartes in Hall 5, Omet in Hall 6, and Grafotronic, Lundberg Tech, Enprom & Vela and Apex International in Hall 11.

Omet widens printing possibilities

In Hall 6 (stand 6C49-C53), Omet is intent on meeting all label and packaging printing needs with the new iFlex, the XFlex X6 Flexo+Offset combination press and the JetPlus digital inkjet unit.

Omet maintains that iFlex has changed label printing forever as it’s ‘best in class’ among entry-level presses, offering best performance in terms of quality, speed of changeover, waste savings and simple ergonomics. Specifically, Omet highlights the innovative pre-register and register devices – the iLight, laser-based system that allows the press to reach best register in the shortest time and the iVision control system that uses video-cameras on each print unit for immediate register correction before the job reaches the end of the line.

According to Omet, the iFlex converting section is a ‘work of art’ as far as technology and simplicity are concerned. Its QCDC (Quick Change Die Cutting) trolley with two separate parking spots simplifies replacement of the die cylinder, while Rock’n’Roll is a high-performance matrix waste rewinding system.

XFlex X6 Offset, introduced two years ago in Brussels, has scored amazing sales successes, becoming the standard in Flexo+Offset label and packaging combination printing, and representing the ideal bridge between label printing and packaging printing, particularly for handling flexible packaging, shrink sleeves and in-mould label printing. The XFlex X6 Offset 430mm on show also offers a QCDC converting station to boost changeover speed.

Omet’s third machine to be seen in Brusssels is the XFlex X6 Digital 430mm. With its four-colour digital inkjet unit JetPlus, it’s a perfect choice for variable data, short runs or sampling. To quote Omet’s publicity, ‘printing digital files in combination with flexo printing plus a full array of in-line finishing and converting options widens printing possibilities to levels never seen before’.

Other news awaiting visitors to the Omet stand, is the introduction of UV LED curing on the flexo unit of the XFlex X6 Digital, bringing enormous advantages in terms of energy consumption and overall performance.

With Cartes the impossible is possible

A prime feature of Cartes’ exhibit (stand 5D29) is the Gemini 360.

The latest concept in converting machines, the GE360 has been engineered to meet label converters’ needs and includes an array of customised solutions, starting from entry-level configuration up to a fully-equipped converting line.

This Gemini 360 concept allows converters to combine units to meet their specific needs – whether a flexo unit in fully-rotary/semi-rotary version; a semi-rotary die-cutting unit; or the proven Cartes CO2 SemiSealed laser source that doesn’t require factory refilling – providing fast job changeover and easy die-cutting pressure setting.

Representing what Cartes describes as ‘the last frontier of laser converting technology’, the Gemini’s enhanced flexibility ‘makes the impossible possible…

Grafotronic for finishing . . .

Moving to Hall 11 (stand 11A41), Grafotronic is presenting its latest DCL series modular digital finishing machine that includes a newly-designed combination semi-rotary/rotary die-cutting unit. Each module is servo driven, works independently and is fully upgradeable.

Another exhibit is Grafotronic’s Servo R series pharma machine for 100% re-inspection. This compact machine features a high- speed servo buffer that allows re-inspection at 200m/min.

The worldwide success of the HI series for 100% inspection comes from its modern design and innovative web path integrated in a machine first designed by Grafotronic in 2011. The latest machine is equipped with Grafotronic’s automatic knife positioning system.

Also on show at the Grafotronic stand is the new CLD series, a modular die-cutting machine with quick change features on every part from unwind to rewind.

. . . and waste handling from Lundberg Tech

Also in Hall 11, Lundberg Tech (stand 11A30) is set to launch its latest-generation MatrixCutter 140 all-in-on unit that captures matrix and trim direct from the production machine and cuts waste into small pieces for easy conveying.

Waste is transported through a piping system by a transport ventilator and then compacted in the integrated waste compactor. The cut and compacted waste volume is significantly reduced and easy to handle.

The MatrixCutter 140 is equipped with Lundberg Tech’s non-stick system that prevents adhesive build-up on cutting devices, improving cutting efficiency and eliminating potential blockages.

Live demonstrations of the MatrixCutter 140 will be held throughout the show.

Enprom & Vela – strategic alliance

A new name in the labelling market is Enprom & Vela, present in Hall 11 (stand 11B28). Here visitors can see a wide portfolio of cutting, slitting, embossing, inspecting, punching, lamination and coating equipment.

Representing a strategic alliance between Enprom and Vela, the new entity is set to bring innovative solutions to converters’ needs. For instance, visitors to the stand at Labelexpo can see a new approach to solvent application in the seaming machine for shrink sleeves.

Although Vela has long used this patented application system, the latest design offers high productivity and improved quality in shrink sleeve production.

Enprom & Vela’s strategy is to offers new equipment and services to improve label printing production, and offers revolutionary combinations of in-line processes to minimise operating costs – such as a seaming machine that produces in-line cross perforations in shrink sleeves. This development is based on an existing module used to cut/perforate in-mould labels. A high-speed magnetic roller, modified to have a magnetic cylinder working in semi-rotary mode (at variable format), means one cylinder suits all jobs. Another novelty is a system to apply in-line hot-melt in the internal face of the shrink sleeve.

The Apex International stand (11B20) will act as a ‘knowledge centre’ with experts providing answers to common anilox problems, such as UV spitting and printing solid opaque whites.

In addition, Apex is revealing its ReadyRoll programme, the company’s latest investment in the label/narrow-web arena. The company claims to offer the world’s largest label/narrow-web inventory of precoated bases in popular sizes, ex-stock and ready for custom engraving.

ThermoFlexX promises even more digital flexo imager possibilities

ThermoFlexX (represented in South Africa by DecoFlex) plans to use Labelexpo to unveil recently-developed features on a new digital flexo plate imager that will enable significant improvements and which the company says will be unique at the exhibition among rival manufacturers. The new features were not revealed at the June launch  of the redesigned ThermoFlexX 60 (PPM July 2015) and for now ThermoFlexX is keeping specific details under wraps.

‘We will demonstrate a completely new imager on the Xeikon/ThermoFlexX stand (stand 9C60), and this will incorporate features not even offered on the new ThermoFlexX 60 or our top-of-range ThermoFlexX 80,’ comments Christophe Lievens, director sales and marketing for basysPrint and ThermoFlexX. ‘This latest development is part of our philosophy of ongoing evolution in which we study the limitations of systems available on the market, plus the requirements of the flexo industry and how these are likely to change in the future. We then set our R&D team to work!’

According to Christophe, the ThermoFlexX factory in Ypres (Belgium) combines a huge variety of expertise in optics, electronics, engineering, software, plates and flexo.

‘We also work closely with other like-minded suppliers, such as Hybrid Software, who are totally committed to creating innovative solutions for the flexo industry. We expect to announce additional partnerships in this area in the near future,’ Christophe promises. ‘With these facilities and partners we’re able to create highly effective solutions within relatively short timeframes and provide the market with groundbreaking technologies that have made ThermoFlexX a world leader in digital flexo plate output.’

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