Visitor quality counters CMM size slump

Although CMM International was 20 per cent smaller than in 2001, show organizer Paperloop/Community Products was upbeat about the results of last month’s event in Chicago. Emphasis was given to the high quality of the visitors this time, and to the amount of space that has already been booked for the next show – encouraged by special discounts offered to companies who bring machines to exhibit.

“Cautious optimism about the prospects for recovery in the converting economy brought over 22,000 serious and focused buyers,” said Paperloop. “Many of the 700 plus exhibitors at the world’s largest converting event commented on the high quality of leads and the many sales opportunities at the show.”

“Given the current state of the global economy, the War in Iraq and the SARS scare, I am very pleased that 22,438 highly qualified converting professionals from 55 countries attended the show,” said Paperloop vp Leo Nadolske. “Equally impressive is the fact that there were strong sales on the show floor and that the overall outlook for future sales was very optimistic.”

Another sign of pending economic recovery, he said was that booth reservations for CMM International 2005 were robust. “More than 60 per cent of the space has already been reserved and several companies have expanded their booth size from CMM 2003, taking advantage of savings that will enable them to bring equipment, operating machinery and increased product offerings.”

CMM 2005 dates are April 18-21. For more information call +1 212 268 4160, or visit

Dusenbery starts a Revolution

The Revolution slitter rewinder was debuted by Dusenbery, who claim it will “slash set-up times”. Features include a patented segmented top riding roll, automatic knife positioning, and a hard stop core locating system with positioning feedback. Smooth running is ensured by an automatic tail cut-off/web advance facility, servo controlled telescopic roll pushers, and patented frictionless differential rewind shafts – all overseen by an interactive networked control system.

Top speed is 2,000ft/min and it will handle web widths up to 80in. Rewind diameter is 32in, with automatic web tail cut-off and advance.

Dusenbery has partnered with ei3, a company offering optional “24 x 7” service support packages for machine users. The service network is claimed to be accessible anywhere in world within three minutes.

Dusenbery Tel: +1 973 366 7500.

Zip-Pak in European move

With a multi million dollar manufacturing plant on schedule to be completed by the fourth quarter of this year, Zip-Pak is poised to take advantage of double digit growth for resealable flexible packaging zippers in Europe.

Although he would not reveal too many details about the new facility, sales and marketing director Robert Hogan told Converting Today during the exhibition: “Zip-Pak is making a significant capital investment in this important region at Winschoten, in northern Holland. We have seen excellent growth in Europe especially in such applications as petfoods, confectionery and clothing.” He added: “The Dutch location provides an excellent combination of affordable operation costs, good transportation infrastructure, economic incentives and skilled labour.”

The ITW group company will produce a wide array of zipper profiles at the new plant for application on most form, fill and seal and pouch making machines. They will be supplied to converters and end users.

CMM was the launch pad for the LDPE Powder-Proof zippers designed for improved resealability of packs containing powders and particulates. Its proprietary “evacuation port” tech- nology is said to prevent clogged zippers. Already in use by Marie Callender for its line of cornbread mixes and Ahora Canprolac for its powdered milk products in South America, the profile features open ports that provide a channel for the powdery residue in the zipper area to fall back into the packs, so the zipper can be completely closed. The Powder-Proof line is made up of various zipper designs so that it can be applied on horizontal and vertical ffs machinery, as well as pouch making equipment.

Further new technology includes the combination of zipper closures and barrier packaging to provide convenience and extended shelf life to moisture or oxygen sensitive products.

Zip-Pak Tel: +1 800 488 6973.

Window of opportunity saves time

A carton windowing applicator that may be integrated with existing folder gluers has single lane in-line speeds of 36,000 – 50,000 cartons/hour, depending on carton size and pitch, claims Roberts PolyPro.

Announcing the equipment at the show, president of the company Allan Sutherland told Converting Today: “This innovation was technically developed two years ago under a contract with Smurfit Stone, Traditionally, windowing is a multiple lane technology – the carton is registered, the glue put on the carton, the windows placed and then the cartons are set aside to dry. The process is labour intensive and there is a tendency for cartons to stick to each other.

“We flexo printed the film with UV curing adhesives rather than printing the carton. This eliminates the multilanes, enables higher speeds and produces higher quality.” It also eliminates dust build-up and misfeeding of cartons. Critical to the success of the equipment is the way the company handles the cartons – by vacuum.

“The equipment has now been developed for general purpose applications. The film is printed at film speeds – about 300ft/min and only runs at carton speeds when it is applied,” added Allan Sutherland. “The line is servo driven so you can adjust the vacuum drum, the position of the anilox, knife roll and film, metering the position of film to carton on the fly and for easy set-up.” A version is available to run a double-sided window carton in a single pass.

In the latest development, the company will be examining the use of other adhesives. The equipment will be featured at an open house planned for the end of May.

Roberts PolyPro Tel: +1 704 588 1794.

Web tension control simplified

Magpowr introduced what it described as a “dramatically different tension control”. Operators use on-screen prompts, displayed in full text, to navigate through the company’s many tension control functions and codes to simplify the set-up process. Web tension is maintained or adjusted using multifunction smartkeys, and a large backlit display for easy viewing.

“Cygnus represents a significant leap in tension control technology – we’ve designed a product with advanced features that is simple to use and understand,” says Darrell Whiteside, product manager for Magpowr.

Converters can dramatically reduce set-up time and improve consistency with powerful features like Automatic Tuning and Out of Round Roll Compensation (previously only possible with a dancer control), claims the company.

Magpowr Tel: +1 (636) 343 5550.

User input advances plate setting

Esko-Graphics trumpeted the new CDI Advance digital flexo platesetter as a result of customer driven development, creating a modern and ergonomic working environment for operators.

Explained Jürgen Andresen, marketing director packaging hardware: “It allows for more ease of operation and dual use of plates and sleeves, assuring the highest quality level. These were firm requirements from our customers.” Available in three productivity levels – for 1.5, 2.5 and 4.0m2/hour – the CDI Advance offers 8-beam optics claimed to guarantee the finest details on flexo plates.

Esko-Graphics Tel: +32 (0) 9 216 92 11.

Slitting savings

A host of time and effort saving features drew visitors to Stanford Products’ new Model 738/738 HC slitter. It has pneumatic knives, a rewind roll pusher, a rewind unloading system and unwind roll lifts – and a step-in platform allowing easy access to the slitter knives. Available in widths from 30-45in and rewind diameters up to 32in, it can run extensible films, film laminates, ps labelstock and paper.

Stanford Products Tel: +1 618 548 2600.

Digital label press is cool customer

The first showing worldwide of VIPColor’s VP8020 digital colour printer which uses a “cool-fusion” imaging engine was turning heads in the aisle.

Many converters agree that digital is the most effective solution to meet the demands for shorter print runs, says the company. But the capital expenditure associated with digital equipment has prevented many converters from taking this route. Director of sales Fred Noll told Converting Today: “The great thing is this machine sells for €93,500 – far less than other digital equipment.”

“And unlike other systems which require special substrates that don’t melt, the fusion is cool (the cure is between IR and UV in the spectrum) so we can use cost effective labelstock that does not have to be treated.” Key partners in the technology are Minolta and Avery Dennison (Fasson).

Speeds are up to 5m plus/min. It prints a continuous web of up to 25 letter size impressions per minute in full colour with 256 levels of grey. Each impression can contain different data than the previous one, including bar codes, if needed.

“Cross-over on cost when compared to flexo is around 40,000 on a 2 x 3in label,” says Fred Noll.

“The first machine is going to our first reseller licensed in Europe – GRE Engineering, of Steinbrunne, Switzerland. They already have a purchaser interested,” he concluded.

VIPColor Technologies Tel: +1 770 642 6464.

AVT’s eyes opened even wider

Advanced Vision Technology (AVT) chose CMM to unveil its new approach to process control solutions for automatic web inspection. PrintVision/Jupiter is claimed to be the most significant platform enhancement since the company adopted Windows NT as its standard in 1998.

Said president Shlomo Amir: “I am very excited about our new era of print defect solutions. The PrintVision/Jupiter is more accurate, sensitive and reduces false alarms.”

The real power at the heart of the system is in its advanced software module. This makes it a process control solution for all standard and wide web applications, combining, and going beyond, the known capabilities of the PrintVision/Genesis and PrintVision/Pro platforms. For example, a new approach of instructed workflow user interface is presented that enables quicker set-up and operation, claims the company

When operator intervention is needed, for example, during set-up or an error alert, the system is designed to make the interaction as simple, short and effective as possible. With step-by-step guided workflow, PrintVision/Jupiter is operated intuitively when needed.

First installations in Europe and America were made in the first quarter of this year. “Acceptance has been immediate with exciting responses from the customers,” claims AVT. Upgrades to PrintVision/Jupiter are available for existing PrintVision platforms.

“PrintVision/Jupiter is a result of a continuing dialogue with printers around the world,” adds the company. For example in response to the industry request for even better colour defect detection PrintVision/Jupiter is said to provide more accurate, more reliable detection as well as IDEal – Delta E based colour measurements and defect detection with the Intra Repeat feature for package to package comparison. Operators can also call up a log of the defects and printers can call up the new job map feature.

AVT Tel: +972 9 761 4444.

Irish inspection systems expand

Limerick based Vigitek announced that it has launched an American sales and service organization, based in Lewiston, New York.

The company showcased its Vigitek Flexo, Roto and Offset systems, as well as Q Base – a quality tracking system for roll mapping and reporting, and PVI Slitter – a slitter rewinder interface and control for defect editing applications.

Vigitek’s 100 per cent system is the only one to have golden image comparison, says international business director Conor O’Neill. It inspects 100 per cent web width and 100 per cent circumference of the cylinder for 100 per cent of the time, detecting all common printing defects. Database systems allow roll review and production of a slit report and the slitter controller allows waste removal.

“Thirty two systems have already been sold – several to blue chip converters in Europe – and we hope to have reached 40 by the end of this year,” he reports. “Purchase can be justified on waste reduction alone.”

Vigitek Tel: +353 61 336900.

Simplified film gauging solution

EGS Gauging (formerly Eurotherm Gauging Systems) introduced its Solution 21 system, designed to provide film and sheet producers with a better capability to measure and control the thickness/basis weights of their web products. It is being offered as a low cost option for converters who need excellent gauging performance, but not all the “bells and whistles” available on the company’s higher end System 21 product.

Featuring an Sr90 beta gauge mounted on an LPO scanner frame, it is said to be economical for applications requiring high end measurement only, or minimal automatic process control. It is also ideal for extruded sheet lines where the speed and web width make manual die control the most cost effective method. Windows based software provides the operator with clear, fast, and accurate displays of web profile, average thickness/basis weight, and peak to peak thickness variation.

EGS Gauging Tel: +1 978 663 2300.

Sleeves and plates from one source

Making its debut in the Creo exhibit was the “next generation” ThermoFlex imaging device, which can image both variable repeat sleeves and digital flexo and rotary letterpress plates, and film formats up to 1,321 x 2,032mm.

The new system includes semi automatic change-over from plate to sleeve imaging and accommodates sleeves with repeats up to 1,050mm and lengths to 1,829mm in both continuous digital photopolymer sleeve and digital plate-on-sleeve formats. The sleeve imaging capability is claimed to be the fastest available. An integral sleeve load/unload system minimizes handling and potential damage, and reduce the time required to change from one sleeve to the next. .

Creo UK Tel: +44 (0)1923 470 508.

“Missing link” of extrusion coating achieved

The partnership between Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering, USA, and Polytype, of Switzerland, announced in the March issue of Converting Today had its first public outing at the show.

The strategic alliance is said to “integrate advanced extrusion coating and laminating technology into complete systems for the converting industry”. The Polycoat lines, as they are designated, will be initially marketed in North America, but soon will be available worldwide.

Managing director of Polytype, Battista Corti told Converting Today: “In the last two years we have put in two big lines together at Douglas-Hanson and we realised that this might now be an opportunity to form the alliance and include the missing link of extrusion coating.

He added: “This is a free joint venture – there are no financial ties”.

Polytype, Tel: +41 026 426 1111.

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