The Label Factory of Georgetown, Ontario, installed the country’s first Memjet-powered JFlex870 label conversion system, which is engineered and manufactured by RDP Digital of Montreal in cooperation with IPT Digital.

The Label Factory is a trade-only label printer producing a range of products like pressure-sensitive labels, prime labels, consecutive numbering and barcodes, IRC coupons, and synthetic tags. “We've been keeping an eye on developing digital label processes for some time and when we saw the speed and resolution of the JFlex870, we knew for sure digital print had a place in our operation,” Alex Medd, co-owner of The Label Factory.

The IPT Digital JFlex1700 system is aimed at the narrow-web label sector. RDP Digital, a division of RDP Marathon, explains the JFlex870 and JFlex1700 systems allow printing companies to turn their existing presses into a high-speed digital printing platform.

Using Memjet print-head technology, the JFlex870 is a drop-on-demand thermal inkjet system with four print-heads printing CMYK, available with an optional fifth print-head for printing spot colour. Each print head contains 70,400 print nozzles firing 3-billion dots per second at 12.4 kHz. The result is speeds of up to 225 feet per minute on an 8.64-inch format size. The system produces 1,600 x 1,375-dpi resolution.

“We knew The Label Factory had a huge inventory of die tooling and the beauty of the JFlex870 is that it will be mounted on the customer's existing press so additional tooling costs will be minimal,” said Jerry Wynia, President of Northern Graphic Solutions, which is involved in development of the JFlex870 and JFlex1700 products.

The JFlex1700 system, carrying the same print-head specifications, introduces the option to duplex and provides a printing format range from 8.64 to 17 inches wide. The JFlex870 package includes a high-powered computer with touchscreen HMI for efficient print file management as well as colour management and RIP software.

RDP Digital explains the JFlex870 works in conjunction with the existing press or web control platform. This also allows for finishing labels using existing varnish, laminating and die-cutting equipment. Options for the JFlex870 include a web guide, corona treater, web cleaner and small roll unwind unit.

RP Graphics has installed a Busch SWH125RLA pile turner into its 60,000-square-foot Mississauga, Ontario, facility.

The automated system, purchased through KOMCAN Inc., is to be used for paper handling between RP Graphics’ two 40-inch Komori GL presses. The company installed its second 6-colour Komori GL40 press in late-2014. The press includes a coating unit and is integrated with UV energy curing technology. The company’s first 6-colour Komori GL40, with more than 60-million impressions, was installed a couple of years ago.

The Busch SWH125RLA pile turner features an enlarged opening width (2,000 mm) for higher piles, as well as Busch’s patented SPEEDTURNER technology for loading and unloading from the front, as well as from one or both sides. SPEEDTURNER allows for turning, airing, aligning and jogging, as well as transferring piles from paper mill/machine pallets on to system pallet.

RP Graphics’ new Busch pile turner also features safety light barriers, manually slewable aligning gauge (adjustable), pressure control flaps, airing with a second blower for increased airing power, tilting (15°), slewable control desk, adjustable jogging, and electrical air volume regulation.

In early February, UK label specialist Mercian Labels is to become the world’s first pilot site to install Xeikon’s new Cheetah press.

Mercian Labels will place the Cheetah system into its new factory in Staffordshire, UK, to run alongside an existing Xeikon 3000 Series press; as well as hot-foiling, flexo and inkjet technologies. Founded more than 40 years ago, Mercian Labels is a manufacturer of self-adhesive labels, cartons and security seals. Its technical specialties are in digital label and carton production and high-volume, variable data and barcode labels.

Xeikon Cheetah is a five-colour label press based on dry toner technology. It is rated to produce a native 1,200 x 3,600-dpi resolution, reaching speeds of up to 30 metres per minute (98 feet per minute). It holds a printing width of 7.9 to 13 inches.

“Every investment has to have an ROI. We like to sweat our assets, regardless of whether they are software or hardware,” said Dr. Adrian Steele, Managing Director of Mercian Labels. “We are in the business of making money – not just labels. Everything has to earn its keep, and we are convinced that the Xeikon Cheetah will definitely do just that.”

Mercian Labels states its Cheetah investment supports a production expansion based on demand for its digital and security labeling products. Previously based in a 6,000-square-foot site in Cannock, UK, the company’s new 24,000-square-foot facility in Staffordshire brings much more capacity for the company's benchmark of three-day lead times for label work.

“Our mantra is speed and service,” said Steele. “This means we must be very informed about and accurate with our pricing, so we can offer the benefits of the best of both digital and UV flexo technologies to our customers.”

Mercian is now housed in two sites with a combined 50 employees and 31,000 square feet of label and carton manufacturing space. It has a £3.4 million annual turnover and a customer base of approximately 9,000. The company states it is acquiring around 40 new customers per month.

“We have experienced seven consecutive years of double-digit growth and see our future growth coming from various combinations of product innovation, market share and acquisitions,” said Steele. “We formally completed our merger of AC Labels in Derby into the core Mercian Labels business at the end of last year and remain acquisitive.”

Prior to the New Year, Scan Copy Print Inc. became the first company in Edmonton to install Xerox’ new Versant 2100 press, with its Ultra HD Resolution technology rendering work at 1,200 x 1,200 dpi at up to 10 bits.

Led by owner Ashraf Jaffer, Scan Copy Print was founded in 1995 and today provides customers with complete on-demand services from concept and design to printing and finishing. The company, located on Gateway Boulevard in Edmonton, focuses much of its attention on annual reports, books and booklets, flyers and stationary packages, as well as producing corporate identity and various association work.

First unveiled in April 2014, the redesigned imaging system of Xerox’ Versant 2100 press uses a new compact belt fuser to handle substrate weights from 52 to 300 GSM at 100 pages per minute (ppm), as well weights of above 300 to 350 GSM at 80 ppm. The press prints with what Xerox labels as new 1,200 x 1,200-dpi Ultra HD Resolution. The Versant 2100 also incorporates what Xerox brands as Full Width Array technology for highly accurate production registration.

In addition to the Versant 2100, Scan Copy Print’s equipment list includes a Xerox Nuvera 200 EA perfecting system and a 44-inch imagePROGRAF iPF8300 large-format printer with a 12-colour LUCIA ink system.

Scan Copy Print’s finishing department provides services like saddle stitching, Cerlox binding, coil binding, tape binding, hard cover binding, and perfect binding, in addition to shrink wrapping, padding, three-hole punching, cutting, folding and collating.

Brant InStore of Brantford, Ontario purchased its third and fourth Esko Kongsberg finishing systems, specifically two XP24 tables that feature i-cut cameras, auto-feeder and kiss-cut, through cut and routing capabilities. The company also owns an older model Kongsberg table and had purchased a Kongsberg XP24 with i-cut camera last year.

“These two machines were similar to the one we had purchased a year ago,” saoid John Paul deBoer, CEO of Brant Instore. “The Kongsberg table is relatively simple to install, and doesn’t consume a lot of floor space.”

Founded in 1963 with one manual press and two employees, Brant InStore has approximately 300 employees generating revenue from customers across Canada and the United States, who primarily operate in retail, restaurant and automotive industries. It operates four large-format silkscreen colour presses along with four wide-format flatbed inkjet printers and four large-format digital roll-to-roll presses. They also operate five litho presses of varying sizes. The company also operates a 150,000 square-foot finishing and distribution facility.

With a maximum working area of 70 x 141 inches and a maximum speed of 66 inches inches per second, the Kongsberg XP24 can convert a range of board, sheet and roll materials. An optional conveyor extension is available that can work with rolls or sheets/boards with an Auto-Feeder with scissor-lift and transfer cart system, expanding the quantity of print runs that can be pre-stacked. With the Auto-Feeder, the Kongsberg table is able to take the substrate, set the program, read the registration marks, cut the job, and send it to an output conveyor.

“One of the strengths we promote is helping to reduce time to market,” said deBoer.  “We can turn around jobs in 24 hours or less. This is our busiest time of the year and if you cannot react quickly enough to changes and last-minute requests, you can lose orders.”

Cascades Inc. has invested more than $13 million with the installation of two new Mitsubishi printing presses into its Norampac plants in Vaudreuil and Drummondville, Quebec, which specialize in manufacturing corrugated packaging products.

“This major investment in Québec is part of our efforts to modernize Norampac's and Cascades’ assets,” stated Charles Malo, Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer for Packaging at Norampac. “Similar investments were made at several of Norampac's corrugated converting plants in Ontario, and productivity at the plants increased significantly.”

The Mitsubishi Evol press at the Vaudreuil plant has been in operation since September 2014, and the press at the Drummondville plant was commissioned at the beginning of November. Mitsubishi explains its Evol 100 press can be set up in two minutes by two operators and run at 350 blanks per minute. The press handles a maximum sheet size of 37.4 inches long by 100.59 inches wide.

"The new state-of-the-art equipment is part of our plan to increase our productivity and market share by focusing on strategic sectors as a means of keeping the company on track as we move forward,” stated Alain Lemaire, Cascades' Executive Chairman of the Board. “[This] gesture demonstrates the trust we are placing in the employees at the Vaudreuil and Drummondville plants. Cascades will continue to grow here, as it will in the rest of North America.”

Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products that are composed mainly of recycled fibres. Cascades employs close to 12,000 people, who work in over a hundred production units in North America and Europe.

Image Four Inc. of Vaughan, Ontario, ramped up its large-format production with its previously installed 64-inch, 6-colour KBA Rapida 162a press, plus coater, which is now supported by a new Kuda guillotine and Busch pile turner.

All of the new support systems for the KBA RA162a-6-3ALV-CX press are designed to handle larger format materials, including the 70-inch Kuda guillotine and 64-inch Busch SWH 180RLA pile turner. These systems and the press were purchased and installed through Howard Graphic Equipment.

The Busch system includes programmable aeration and vibration options, allowing Image Four staff to handle both lightweight and heavyweight materials. Image Four’s substrate handling needs regularly shift from 60-lb to micro-flute materials.

“We are extremely proud of our association with Tim Treloar and his staff,” says Nick Howard of Howard Graphic Equipment. “Image Four continually over delivers to their clients as the go-to independent large-format plant in Canada.”

Image Four was established in 1991 as a traditional prepress trade house. The company moved toward its large-format production with the installation of a VLF-capable CTP imaging system in 2002. Today Image Four provides full prepress, proofing and platemaking up to 70 inches for both packaging and commercial printers across North America.

Codiac Printing, based in MacDougall Settlement, New Brunswick, installed an Agfa Anapurna M2540 flatbed inkjet system, purchased through ND Graphics.
After beginning as a downtown Moncton print shop, Codiac was relocated to MacDougall Settlement in 1992 to a small building on a historic farm property. Codiac provides a range of production services, including screen printing, large format inkjet, offset and vinyl cut lettering.  

The Agfa Anapurna M2540, with a pin register bed size of 8.3 x 5 feet, reaches speeds of up to 484 square feet per hour in Express Mode. In what Agfa classifies as Production Mode, the UV-curable inkjet printer reaches a speed of 301 square feet per hour.

Best Deal Graphics & Printing, a trade printer based in Scarborough, Ontario, has increased its 40-inch press capability by ordering a Mitsubishi sheetfed perfecting machine.

The company is adding a Mitsubishi 3000TP perfecting press, sold through New Jersey's RM Machinery, to its existing 40-inch press line up.

Best Deal Graphics 8-colour Mitsubishi 3000TP is a dedicated tandem perfector with features like closed-loop colour control and inline coating.

The Mitsubishi 3000TP joins Best Deal Graphic’s existing 8-colour 3000R convertible perfector with dual coaters and three 3000 series straight presses (two six-colours and one five-colour), also equipped with coaters.

In addition to its printing services, Best Deal Graphics provides finishing, kitting and fulfillment.

IML Labels, based in Saint-Eustache, Quebec, just north of Montreal, has added a Xeikon 3500 primarily to focus on the toner printing of in-mold labels.

“Our customers are spread throughout North America and about 75 percent of them are involved in the food business,” said owner Donald Caron, who founded IML Labels in 2007. “As a result, it was very important to us that the Xeikon toner is FDA-compliant for food contact and does not contain mineral oil. In addition, colour matching with our offset presses is so accurate that we can mix both processes within the same job.”

IML Labels employs more than 50 people providing prepress, overprinting and finishing services in order to create high-quality, ready-to-mold labels. Typical end products are ice cream containers, yogurt pots and butter tubs. IML Labels' client base includes molders and direct customers in the food sector, as well as pharmaceutical, industrial and souvenir industries.

“We are being asked frequently to provide mock-ups and help with test marketing new packaging,” continued Caron. “In addition, we are experiencing a growing demand for shorter print runs, often down to around 1,000. Our offset presses simply weren't economical for these orders. The Xeikon 3500, already in operation on a full shift basis, enables us to meet these requirements effectively and provide a better service to our customers."

The Xeikon 3500 at IML Labels runs ICE toner and can handle substrate widths up to 516 mm (20.3 inches). IML Labels has installed a UCoat finishing unit for the Xeikon 3500, which allows inline flood aqueous coating and provides cut-to-sheet capabilities. Die cutting of labels is done on its existing equipment used for offset printed labels.

Ampersand Printing of Guelph, Ontario, has installed a new Morgana AutoCreaser 50 PRO, a high-speed, flat-sheet creasing system that replaces a Morgana DigiFold purchased by Ampersand nine years ago.

“When we originally purchased the Morgana DigiFold we were dealing with a lot of short-run work that had high coverage and was prone to marking,” explained Damian McDonald, President of Ampersand. “Over time we have shifted technology and our requirement became creasing of high quantities of both 12- and 14-point card stocks and lighter weight stock to feed our high-capacity folding machines.”

The AutoCreaser 50 PRO, sold through Sydney Stone, has the ability to crease up to 8,500 sheets per hour on a 19.6-inch sheet width.

Ampersand, which recently moved into a new facility, in addiction to its toner and offset printing processes (Mitsubishi Diamond 3000LX), produces high-definition Staccato printing, 1 to 1 marketing and a range of finishing services. The Guelph company is Bullfrog Powered and leverages a CIP4-award-winning JDF workflow.

The Ellis Group, one of North America’s largest independent folding-carton printers, continues to invest in its platform with news that Ellis Packaging of Pickering, Ontario, has purchased a new 8-colour Komori GLX press.

Planning for an installation around May 2015, Eillis Packaging's Komori GLX press (with coater), purchased through K-North Services, will be the first of its kind in North America. Released in the summer of 2014, the Komori GLX press is rated to run at 18,000 sheets per hour. It will be equipped with a dual UV system and includes fully automatic non-stop feeder and delivery with an integrated conveyor system, as well as the Komori PQA-S and PDC-SX systems for colour control and inline inspection.

“Ellis Packaging is elated with our newest acquisition of the GLX as we spent many months doing due diligence on this Press Project – in the end we felt that Komori provided the solution that we were looking for,” stated Cathie Ellis, President of Ellis Packaging. “Inline inspection was a key component to our acquisition and further solidifies our commitment to quality product throughout our process. We are excited about our leap to the 18,000 [sheet per hour] league which should propel our throughput while eliminating waste throughout the process with the quality features.”

K-North Services states the GLX Press will also be the first press in North America running with food grade lubricants, as opposed to petroleum based products.

The Ellis Group is comprised of three large plant locations throughout Ontario, including its Mississauga plant that recently installed an 8-colour Komori GL with coater.

Cober Evolving Solutions of Kitchener, Ontario, continues along its path of investment by becoming Canada’s first company to install HP’s new generation Indigo 7800 press.

In late-2013, Cober became Canada’s first operation to run HP’s B2-size Indigo 10000 press, which must be considered as one of the biggest evolutions in liquid or dry toner colour press technology since the process became mainstream in the late-1990s. HP’s Indigo 10000 series – comprising three models (10000 aimed at commercial, 20000 for flexible packaging materials, and the 30000 for folding-carton) – broke the conventional wisdom that electrophotography would not expand from its traditional sub-20-inch format to a 29-inch format.

The Indigo 7800 press model, first introduced in the summer of 2014, builds on HP’s former flagship Indigo 7000 model with new capabilities for direct printing on synthetic substrates and plastic cards, as well as a new colour management approach with inline spectrophotometry. This is largely possible through HP’s branded One Shot Color technology.

The HP Indigo 7800 reaches speeds of 120 four-colour A4 pages per minute (two-up), 160 A4 colour pages per minute in HP’s unique Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM), by knocking out the black channel, and 240 two-colour or monochrome A4 pages per minute (two-up). The Indigo 10000, meanwhile, is rated for a monthly duty cycle of up to 2.2 million sheets, hitting 3,450 sheets per hour or 4,600 sheets per hour in EPM mode.

The Indigo 7800 supports HP Indigo ElectroInk Digital Matte for spot coating effects on glossy substrates in addition to other special inks, including HP Indigo ElectroInk Invisible Red and Light Black. The press allows for creating special effects like raised print, textured effects and digital watermarks.

In February 2014, Cober purchased Kempenfelt Group and Kempenfelt Wideformat, which resides in nearby Barrie, Ontario. In January 2014, Cober purchased CuteGecko Inc., a design agency based Kitchener, with significant expertise in social media. In 2012, Cober, employing over 120 people, expanded into an 86,000-square-foot facility.

This Thursday, November 6th, PrintAction magazine will present Peter Cober, President of Cober Evolving Solutions, with the Printing Leader of the Year Award at the 9th annual Canadian Printing Awards gala in Toronto.

Category 5 Imaging has installed an Esko Kongsberg i-XP24 cutting table in its  20,000-square-foot facility in Burlington, Ontario.

Founded in 2006, Category 5 was one of Canada’s first large-format-printing operations based entirely on inkjet production. The company currently has 28 employees focused on the operation of five inkjet systems, as well as in-house creative, prepress and fulfillment services. The company previously used third-party services when customers required custom die cut pieces, which has now been addressed by the Kongsberg installation.

“We decided to add more people in prepress and build more efficient internal rules and procedures to help feed the presses,” said Greg Priede, Category 5's General Manager. “But our primary problem was finishing jobs. We were at a point in time where our workload was too much for one shift, but would not keep two shifts busy. Our straight-line roll cutting device helped, but we needed a new table to help get jobs out the door faster.”

The Kongsberg i-XP24 is primarily designed for finishing short-run POP/POS displays. With a maximum working area of 66 x 126 inches and a maximum speed of 66 inches per second, the i-XP series can convert a range of board, sheet and roll materials.

The Ellis Group, one of Canada’s largest independent packaging operations, has installed a new 8-colour, 40-inch Komori GL press with coater into its Ellis Paper Box location in Mississauga.

Purchased through Komori distributor K-North Services, Ellis Paper Box’ new press, which joins a 7-colour, 29-inch Komori press installed a couple of years ago, is equipped to run low-energy UV and conventional UV inks.

The Ellis Group operates Ontario production facilities in Pickering, Mississauga and Guelph. The company’s Mississauga plant specializes in pharmaceutical work, as well as OTC folding cartons.

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