Packaging
Nilpeter introduced a newly updated FA flexo press which the company describes as the most versatile flexo press on the market. It includes a new user interface and fully mobile print controls.


The FA press provides a strong level of stability, explains the company, with a tight register tolerance and quality printing on multiple substrates relative to the company's earlier versions. Based on Nilpeter’s Clean-Hand design approach, the FA provides clean hands during press operation, with a minimum of hands-on press interaction. The company also explains with the new press that all data is saved, jobs can be recalled, and the press will auto register.

The new FA design allows printers to enhance the performance and capability of their press with Value-Adding Units, as well as Application and Automation Packages, according to needs and budget.
Israel-based Scodix announced beta testing for its Scodix E106 enhancement press is on schedule, after introducing the technology at drupa 2016 in May of last year. The press is aimed at the folding carton market and is now being used at CopyCenter, the largest folding carton printer in Israel.
 
“The versatile Scodix E106 digital enhancement press is the perfect addition to our portfolio,” said Uri Drori CEO of CopyCenter. “The outstanding range of enhancements in a B1 format means we will be able to fulfill all our enhancement jobs on just one platform.

“Also, working with high profile customers in the beauty category means that shelf appeal is critical to the products we produce,” continued Drori. “Digital technology will allow us to meet the ever-increasing demand for new applications including versioning and short runs that these products require.”
 
The Scodix E106 made its debut at drupa 2016 to deliver enhancement solutions for folding carton converters who work with a 1,060 x 760-mm format. Scodix explains the technology provides converters ways to differentiate their offerings and a new standard in registration tolerance.

“Printers and converters investing in the Scodix E106 will be able to offer short to medium run lengths profitably, offer new products, enter new markets and – fundamentally – clinch a competitive edge in tough market conditions with value-added services that truly energize brands,” said Roy Porat, CEO of Scodix. “At drupa 2016 we pledged that beta testing would be underway mid-2017 and we are delivering on that promise. This phase takes us a step closer a new standard in packaging enhancement.”
 
The Scodix E106 press provides applications like Scodix Foil, Scodix Sense, Scodix Spot, Scodix Variable Data and Scodix Cast & Cure. The company explains it allows brand owners to create products using foil over foil, adding Scodix Sense effects over foil, or personalizing with Scodix Variable Data Sense or Scodix Variable Data Foil.
Esko's Studio software will now include integration with the 3D real-time rendering application KeyShot from Luxion. This solution provides the best of both worlds for brand owners and premedia: print modeling plus realistic, high-resolution rendering, in a short amount of time.

All print modeling is done by Studio, while KeyShot handles non-printable materials and final renderings. Studio includes patented print modeling technology directly within Adobe Illustrator, making it easy to quickly decide on any number of print and finishing effects and packaging specific substrates. KeyShot provides drag-and-drop material, environment and lighting capabilities in a real-time interface to create high-quality visuals extremely fast for throughout the package development process.

Luxion is a leading developer of advanced 3D rendering and lighting technology including applications such as KeyShot and the Velux Daylighting Visualizer. KeyShot is the first real-time ray tracing application that uses a physically correct render engine based on scientific research in global illumination and material appearance.

With a focus on making the creation of high-quality visuals from 3D data as simple as taking a photograph, KeyShot is recognized as the standard visualization tool for industrial designers and marketing professionals worldwide. Luxion’s customer list includes many of the Fortune 1000 and major industrial design companies including Chrysler, Fossil, Microsoft, Philips, Specialized, Whirlpool, and IDEO. For more information on KeyShot 3D.
In May, Epson introduced its new SurePress L-6034VW, a UV-based label press for short- to mid-run jobs. The SurePress L-6034VW is Epson’s first single-pass industrial press, the first to use Epson’s PrecisionCore linehead technology, and the first to use Epson’s low migration LED UV curing ink.

The company explains the L-6034VW is suitable across a range of industries, including health and beauty, nutraceuticals, and food and beverage, as well as standard consumer packaged goods. The SurePress L-4033AW is designed for prime label converters and commercial printers. It is a seven-colour inkjet digital label press with white ink that for working with clear and metallic substrates.

DuPont Advanced Printing has announced the addition of the DuPont Cyrel EASY EPC to its plate portfolio.

The Cyrel EASY EPC, a soft digital plate is equipped with a built-in flat top dot for post-print corrugated printers. It also comes with medium durometer plates designed with flat-top dots which fit into the FAST and solvent workflow.

Cyrel EASY EPC plates minimize fluting when printing on a variety of corrugated boards.

Other features include simplified workflow, consistent ink transfer and printing, high exposure resolution, quality reproduction, and efficient make-ready times.

DuPont highlighted the new Cyrel EASY EPC at INFO*FLEX 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.

At FTA INFOFLEX 2017, running until May 3 in Phoenix, Arizona, DuPont showcased its new Cyrel EASY EPC product, a soft digital plate with a built-in flat top dot developed especially for post-print corrugated printers. The company also highlighted medium durometer plates designed with flat-top dots that fit into its FAST and solvent workflow.

DuPont explains the Cyrel EASY EPC delivers high-quality image reproduction while minimizing the fluting effect when printing on a variety of corrugated boards. “The expansion of our EASY plate portfolio confirms our commitment to customers, particularly in addressing their need for increased productivity and less make-ready time,” said Sam Ponzo, Regional Director, Americas, DuPont Advanced Printing.

DuPont Cyrel EASY plates are designed to simplify the prepress process with built-in flat top digital dots, resulting in increased productivity and consistency.
Mark Andy will debut Digital One, a new entry-level inkjet printing and converting label press, at Labelexpo Americas 2016, running from September 13 to 15 in Rosemont, Illinois. Deliveries of Digital One are scheduled to begin in December 2016 in North America and to the rest of world in Q1 2017.

The new press, according to the company, is designed to print short run prime labels with in-line converting at a low investment level – using what Mark Andy describes as a pay-as-you-go model. The press provides 4-colour CMYK printing with a 1,200 x 1,200-dpi resolution combined with a single flexo station for in-line converting and decorating.

The standardized configuration features a web width of 13 inch (330 mm) with printing speeds reaching 63 feet per minute (19 metres per miute) on various substrates including pressure sensitive paper and film, unsupported paper and tag stocks. The servo-driven flexo station offers capabilities to spot colour, varnish, laminate, and cold foil with in-line finishing offering die cutting, stripping and slitting capabilities. Equipped with air-cooled UV LED curing and an onboard compressor, Digital One requires a 220v single phase power source.

Mark Andy Manager of Business Development, Tim Brasher, believes that the Digital One will go hand-in-hand with the company’s strategic growth initiatives, providing superior, productive digital solutions to a wider range of markets and converters. This extension of our robust product line reinforces the Mark Andy commitment to being a Total Solutions Partner to the label and packaging market.

“Demands for digital capabilities are steadily increasing,” said Mark Andy Manager of Business Development, Tim Brasher. “Digital One is a viable solution for converters allowing them to engage with more customers and seek more opportunities to generate revenue for their businesses.”
Kodak expanded its line of brand-protection products, primarily aimed at thwarted counterfeiting, to include Thermal Transfer Ribbon printing with its Traceless Anywhere System and Traceless Ultracovert System.

Kodak explains the new technology allows for deploying Thermal Transfer Printers that companies already use to print barcode and product identification labels. This drop-in solution only requires switching from current Thermal Transfer Ribbon (TTR) to Kodak Traceless TTR, which creates the same look but results can then be detected – separating counterfeit from authentic product – through the use of the pocket-sized Traceless Anywhere Reader.

Kodak explains its Anywhere Solution has the advantage of requiring a lighter, smaller, and less expensive Reader than the Ultracovert System while still providing covert protection against duplication by counterfeiters. Kodak TTR are super-premium resin-based for maximum durability and sample ribbons for conducting print trials are available at no charge.

“Brand owners and brand protection managers are looking for solutions to their authentication challenges but don’t have the time and patience for solutions that require changes to label artwork and production processes,” explained Richard Gammons, Product Manager for Kodak Brand Protection Solutions. “Other solutions require alignment among many different departments and convincing various company stakeholders to make changes. With thermal transfer ribbons from Kodak, the solution can be added to any flat-head style TTR printer and you’re done. Very few people in the company even need to know that a security feature is being added, which further protects the brand from accidental disclosure to would-be counterfeiters.”

Nilpeter plans to introduce a new inkjet press platform called PANORAMA, focused on packaging, at the upcoming LabelExpo 2015 tradeshow, running from September 29 to October 1 in Brussels, Belgium.

The first new press in the PANORAMA line to be highlighted will be the 5-colour DP-3 UV-inkjet press designed for single-pass printing, while the company is also preparing to unveil the FA-4 flexo press. Nilpeter explains the PANORAMA product-line is designed to produce a range of label jobs in short- to medium-run lengths with minimum wastage.

The company continues to explain, in developing PANORAMA, it has adapted several of its inline finishing modules to digital production. This includes a web in-feed, varnishing unit, the QC-Die-cutting system, smart matrix stripping, length slitting, varnishing unit, and small-roll dual rewinds. A mark sensor used by PANORAMA technology allows for precision re-inserting of webs for reverse printing, or overprinting of pre-printed webs, including variable data.


The PANORAMA product-line has a maximum printing width of 322 mm (12.67 inches) on up to 350 mm wide webs. It prints up to 50 metres per minute (164 ft/min) using paper or filmic label laminates from 90 to 350 microns. In addition to CMYK UV-inks, PANORAMA features an opaque white ink as standard for printing transparent films and metallic foils.


The PANORAMA DP-3 print engine uses single-pass 600-dpi piezo print heads with 4-level greyscale imaging. A minimum droplet size of three picolitres allows small-dot halftones for hitting flesh tones and fine vignettes. The digital front-end includes what the company describes as strong typeface optimization and automated step- and-repeat functions. Expanded options for vivid colour reproduction is also available.

Asahi Photoproducts has introduced what the company describes as two new premium digital photopolymer flexo plates, called TOP (solvent washable) and AWP (water-washable), which use Pinning Top Dot (PTD) technology.

PTD is designed to provide clean ink transfer and to prevent ink accumulating on the plate surfaces and shoulders in screen areas. It allows what Asahi refers to as a kiss-touch printing pressure settings. Its polymer chemistry provides low plate surface tension to inhibit liquid flow. The ink forms a globule, with a large contact angle and high pinning point. This results, according to Asahi, in a cleaner and homogeneous ink transfer from plate to substrate.

Asahi explains the higher pinning point also allows for applying reduced printing pressure throughout the printing run, regardless of ink set used, which leads to lower dot gain. Asahi’s PTD plates offer a resolution of 80 l/cm (200 lpi), minimum isolated dot of 150 µm micron, and is available in thicknesses of 1.14mm (shore A hardness 77) and 1.70mm (shore A hardness 69). It is compatible with all commonly available laser types, as well as the latest high-definition microcell screening technology.


OMET at the upcoming Labelexpo Americas show in early September plans to introduce its new 17-inch width XFlex X4 converting system.

The XFlex X4 includes OMET’s patented chilled impression roll print head design and fully automatic (MD & LD) register control system. This includes twin servo-motors on each printing unit for label and thin film printing.

The extended 17-inch width of the XFlex X4 system, accord to OMET, is geared toward printing companies that produce  short to medium runs of labels and long runs of flexible packaging.

Also at Labelexpo Americas, OMET plans to demonstrate a 10-colour XFlex X6 530, based on shrink sleeve printing and also self-adhesive converting applications. The company plans to demonstrate the XFlex X4’s changeover and production of self-adhesive label printing for the wine and spirits sector.

OMET Americas reports an install base of around 130 machines in North, Central and South American markets. Its facility is located in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Anderson & Vreeland released its new AVCAP product, which is a liquid photopolymer capping resin – sold under the AVantage line – designed to improve print quality and performance in flexography.

AVCAP is designed for use with softer-base liquid photopolymer plates applied within multi-wall, folding carton, corrugated and wide web printing applications. The addition of AVCAP during the platemaking process creates liquid photopolymer plates for imaging.

The 60 durometer (Shore A) photopolymer resin, according to Anderson & Vreeland, broadens overall tone range from 2-95% @ 133 lpi, improves ink transfer, reduces dot gain, and provides strong coverage of solids while minimizing fluting.

“AVCAP enables printers to control print gain under impression for high quality and process colour printing,” stated Randy Reynolds, AVantage Business Development Manager with Anderson & Vreeland.

The new liquid photopolymer capping resin is available in 20- and 40-pound weights.

AVCAP fits in the AVantage product line of liquid photopolymer resins designed for printing on corrugated board, multi-wall bags/sacks, molding applications, and for the production of hand stamps.



In addition to its 29-inch HP Indigo 20000 and 30000 presses preparing to enter the market, HP steps deeper into the packaging world with its introduction of the HP Scitex 15000 press for the production of corrugated displays and short-run packaging.

Introduced at Germany’s Interpack 2014, running from May 8 to 14, the HP Scitex 15000 is a wide-format-inkjet press engineered to run corrugated substrates at speeds up to 600 m2/hour (6,456 ft2/hour). HP expects the machine to be commercially available by November of this year.

The HP Scitex 15000 includes what HP describes as an integrated automatic media loader to handle up to four stacks of stock. The printer – built around what HP describes as HP Scitex High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging – uses HDR240 Scitex Inks, which are GREENGUARD certified for printing indoor point-of-purchase displays, bulk bins and freestanding display units.

At Interpack 2014, HP also announced the availability of a new lamination partner for its HP Indigo 20000 and 30000 presses. Comexi Group, a long-standing flexible packaging machinery manufacturer, is optimizing its solvent-free NEXUS L20000 laminator for these new 29-inch Indigo presses. After its successful play in the small-format, pressure-sensitive label market, HP is just now starting to put the 29-inch Indigo 20000, primarily engineered for the printing of flexible packaging, and the Indigo 30000, for folding-carton-type work, into the marketplace.

These new Indigo ElectroInk presses are poised to shake up the packaging market if they mature properly. It took some years of print-room production to iron out the kinks in the original Indigo machines, but HP now has close to 30 years of Indigo Intellectual Property knowledge, and a wealth of computing resources, to apply to the Indigo 20000 and 30000 presses.

“After leading the shift to digital in label printing, HP is again driving an unstoppable analogue-to-digital transformation in the package printing industry,” stated Stephen Nigro, Senior VP, Graphics and Inkjet Solutions Business, HP.

The Scitex 15000 is built from decades of HP inkjet experience, including its 2005 purchase of Scitex for $280 million. HP describes corrugated, flexible and folding-carton packaging as a $11 billion market opportunity, where only seven percent of these materials are produced by what the company defines as digital technology. HP notes the Scitex 15000 fits a growing demand for versioning, short runs and reduced environmental impact.

The Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) presented Esko with its Technical Innovation Award in the category of Prepress Graphics during the FTA Annual Forum, which began on April 27 in Baltimore, MD.

Equinox is Esko software for the implementation of extended gamut – or fixed inkset – printing. “Esko has always been committed to advancing the effectiveness of flexography and packaging graphics. Our development of Equinox was really an investment in flexography. It’s great to see the specific recognition this unique technology is receiving as recipient of the 2014 FTA Technical Innovation Award,” stated Tony Wiley, President, Esko North America.

Equinox Expanded Color Gamut (ECG) Technology is Esko’s patented technology for converting packaging graphics from CMYK and spot colour to seven-colour process. Esko describes Equinox as the only commercial product in the world to make use of 7-colour profile technology. By quantifying only subsets of four-colour combinations, Esko explains Equinox 7-colour profiles contain hundreds of times the amount of colour data as a 7-colour ICC colour profile. These profiles are used to convert industry standard ink books into tint build books for a specific flexo press.

Equinox also leverages Esko’s HD and Full HD Flexo platemaking, which is able to extend the gamut by producing plates that can print dots from 0-100%. “While we have been touting the economic and visual advantages of Esko Equinox for a few years now, it’s been in the past year or so that we’ve seen the accelerated growth we’ve long anticipated,” stated Mark Samworth, Esko Senior Color Specialist. “It has to do with the proliferation of brand extensions resulting in shorter runs – as well as the continuing economic interest in reducing print and inventory costs.”

Flex Essentials Inc. becomes a new Canadian sales agent for Flexotecnica, an Italian manufacturer primarily of CI flexography presses that was purchased by KBA Group in mid-2013.

The German press maker then established KBA-Flexotecnica, with KBA North America overseeing distribution channels of the technology for Canada and the United States.

Flex Essentials, led by Jim Waslowski, is an established distributer for a range of companies involved with equipment and supplies for the flexographic market. Waslowski, according to a statement from KBA North America, plans to focus on increasing Flexotecnica’s market share in paperboard and flexible packaging.

“With the acquisition of Flexotecnica, our parent company announced its intent to enter this key growing print market for flexible packaging,” stated Mark Hischar, President and CEO of KBA North America. “We have been tasked to expand KBA’s strong market position in the folding carton market into another growing packaging segment.”
 
Waslowski formed Flex Essentials 11 years ago. He previously spent nearly 20 years in the plastics industry at Brampton Engineering, where he primarily focused on machine design before moving into the sales arena, ultimately becoming Vice President of Sales for the company.

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