Next CMM to have narrow web pavilion

A new pavilion at CMM 2005 will provide Flexographic Technical Association members in the narrow web and folding carton markets with a cost effective method of showcasing their products.

The new pavilion – named ‘The World of Label & Carton Flexo Solutions’ – will consist of individual 10ft x 10ft booths built around a central FTA hospitality area. It is designed to serve as a ‘one-stop-shopping’ oasis within the show where more than 25,000 buyers from around the world can experience what is new and innovative in the flexo marketplace.

This is in addition to the more than 100 FTA members that currently exhibit in larger booth spaces throughout the Chicago show, during April 18-21, 2005.

FTA president Mark Cisternino comments: “Many of our traditional narrow web members are looking to expand into broader markets and this new pavilion will provide them with a cost effective way to reach several thousand new prospects and potential partners all in one place. It also allows our folding carton members to reach thousands of new buyers and network with industry colleagues.”

In addition to this initiative, a Flexo Solutions Theatre opposite the pavilion will enable FTA exhibiting members to present their new products and technologies in half hour sessions. Some of these sessions will include presentations from customers.

Ian Johnston, president of CMM International, remarks: “We believe these ‘Solution Theatres’ will be so effective and popular that we plan on offering several of them throughout the show floor focusing on a variety of converting/package printing processes.”

Alpha sales advancing

Geomax, of Uzbekistan, is the latest purchaser of an Edale Alpha flexo press. Over 80 have been sold in more than 20 countries since its launch in 2001.

The Alpha has a footprint of just 2.5m2 and employs the same helical geared printheads as Edale’s B range. Available with up to five colours and designed for ease of use, the press can convert most label and packaging substrates.

“After extensive market research we identified an increasing need for four-five colour work,” says Geomax co-owner Maksim Legonkikh. “For this reason we chose to invest in the five colour Alpha and can now offer our customers the best possible value in terms of print quality and specification. Within days of the press being installed our output rapidly in- creased, soon we’ll be investing in another one.”

Fuji CTP in at Gilmour & Dean

Glasgow, UK, based Gilmour & Dean has installed a Fujifilm B1 Luxel Vx-9600 CTP violet platesetter in conjunction with Fuji Rampage Open Workflow. The company, which produces high quality labels for wine and spirits companies, is also using Fujifilm’s Brillia LP-NV violet CTP plates, which together with the violet engine, enable continuous production to be achieved for up to eight weeks without downtime for processor cleaning.

Andrew Rankine, business improvement manager at Gilmour & Dean, says: “We have used Fujifilm consumables, such as litho plates, film and chemistry, for many years. Their quality and the excellent service the company offers helped us decide who we should turn to for CTP. We researched both violet and thermal options thoroughly. We believe the simplicity and low cost of maintenance that violet offers will see this particular arm of CTP technology come to the fore in years ahead.”

All digital files are now handled by Fuji Rampage Open Workflow – a modular, single page workflow that features automatic in-RIP trapping, integrated pre-flight, built-in OPI, ‘RIP-once, plot many’ digital proofing, job management, post-RIP imposition, and other features said to reduce waste, streamline operation and ensure maximum productivity.

Andrew Rankine continues: “The combination of a quick and highly productive violet system with an easy to use and flexible workflow enables us to meet the requirements of all our customers and ensures that we remain a top player in the market we serve.”

The Luxel Vx-9600 CTP is available with upgradeable speed options from one to two laser, and its Violet bakeable photopolymer plate is said to be capable offering in excess of one million impressions

Flexo quality ‘good as gravure’

Skanem Hull’s ability to match the quality available from gravure on its flexo presses, and to turn around short-run jobs with speed at a significantly lower cost, has persuaded UK dried food producer Campbells to switch from gravure to flexo printing for several of its premium ranges.

Explains Skanem plant manager David Nicoline: “Campbells has always historically had its leading soup, gravy, sauce and other dried goods products packaged in gravure printed foil laminate pouches, favouring gravure’s excellent print quality. However, thanks to the quality of our flexo printing and the significantly lower origination costs compared to gravure, it decided to switch printing of several of its McDonnells brand sauce and soup pouches from gravure to flexo.”

The products switched, all of which are sold exclusively in Ireland, include 26 different McDonnells dried sauce mixes and soups. The packs, typically a laminate of paper foil, polyester and Surlyn, are printed UV flexo in up to eight colours and overlaminated with OPP at Skanem’s Brough plant.

Adds Skanem Hull commercial manager John Sharpe: “One big advantage we have at Hull is the capacity to easily re-jig our production schedules when necessary should a company like McDonnells, which has a long list of different product variants, require a short-to-medium print job undertaken at short notice. We are hoping our fast turnaround, responsive service and the quality of our flexo printing will win us further new business from the company.”

Adds Phil Ashcroft, European purchasing manager, packaging, Campbells Europe: “We are delighted with the quality of Skanem Hull’s flexo printing, while the lower origination costs and much faster speed to market the company can offer over gravure has been a massive plus for us. The flexo print quality from Skanem is exceptional. Ireland only has around five million inhabitants compared to the 50 or so million in the UK, and, given that these products are only sold in the Republic, printing them flexo rather than gravure is a far more cost effective and sensible option.”

Skanem prints UV flexo in up to eight colours on Arpeco and BHS presses.

In another development, Skanem’s Newcastle operation is offering the Windows self adhesive labelling system with an aperture said to provide excellent ‘show through’ for a wide range of packaged goods. The added bonus of a novel peel and read facility is believed to be a ‘world first’.

The patent pending labels can be cut on the company’s specially modified Comco press to incorporate a wide range of shaped apertures at the centre – including squares, ovals, circles, rhomboids and cones. With the dual function of the peel and read section, they are said to be ideal for promotions, competitions, recipes, instructions or full colour images for a broad range of food and non food goods where the key requirement is to create an eye-catching pack at a sensible cost.

“Many brand owners are now specifying clear-on-clear labels, particularly for premium goods, but these tend to be expensive to produce,” the company states. “Our Windows labels should be just as eye catching, but significantly cheaper to buy.”

Skanem can print the labels in up to nine colours across any standard self adhesive label width, and on any variation of conventional labelstock. It also says they can be applied without difficulty on most existing labelling equipment.

Slitting system to suit

Ashe Converting Equipment offers a version of its Sapphire slitter rewinder said to be ideal for narrow web producers who require fast set-ups for precision short runs. Additional features include full PC touchscreen control with job menu set-up, and maintenance programme software

This Sapphire can be manufactured to accommodate webs from 600-2,000mm with a rewind capacity of up to 1,000mm. It is said to be capable of operating at speeds from core, of up to 450 m/min. “Most competitive machines do not reach line speed until approximately 200mm into the rewind diameter,” the company states.

German label show builds up

Specialist producer of flexo and letterpress plates for the narrow web sector Carl Ostermann Erben is the latest exhibitor to book for the Interlabel 2004 show, to be held in Stuttgart during December 7-9.

BASF Drucksysteme has also signed up for the event, as has die cutting technology specialist Karl Marbach.

Organizer Mack Brooks says space for “the only labelling exhibition in Germany is already more than 50 per cent booked”.

UK ‘first’ for Creative

Creative Labels is the first UK company to purchase Mark Andy’s LP3000 flexo label press. Having installed nine Mark Andy presses over the last decade, the Hereford based company was keen to make first use of the new 13in LP3000 press as part of its commitment to quality and hygiene standards.

Explains managing director, Duncan Sparrow: “We bought the 10 colour LP3000 almost sight unseen, so good is our relationship with Mark Andy on machines that deliver and go on delivering. It has high functionality and is compatible with our 13in Mark Andy 2200 machines.”

Fitted with the latest ‘VCP’ UV curing system from GEW, Creative’s LP3000 is capable of hot and cold foiling, lamination, and ‘peel and reveal’ booklet labels.

One of the UK’s largest independent label converters, Creative has a purpose-built 26,000ft2 unit, employs 35 staff and turns over £4M/year.

“We’ve standardized on the 13in web width because it is the best fit for our workload,” continues Duncan Sparrow. “It’s a manageable size, both physically and financially, and provides almost endless production options. We see 10 colours as the optimum, because it allows us to respond to the ‘right now’ demands of our customers without major upheavals to schedule.

“We grew our business successfully on the 2200 series, which is a simple but reliable and productive machine,” he notes. “We see the LP3000 as a logical progression that allows us to continue expanding in the novel, economic and easy to use ‘peel and reseal’ labelling, first developed on the 2200s.”

Available in 250, 330, 430mm web widths, the LP3000 series offers quicker set-ups with less waste, one-touch electronic control, and faster wash-up than previous Mark Andy models. It is fast, at 230m/min and has a small footprint, making it ideal for print shops where production space is limited. The ability to integrate rotary screen or hot foil at any print station also allows the label converter to move into high specification labels that require a combination of print processes. The Stork rotary screen unit is available as an original or retrofit item, and needs no modifications to the press. The hot foil unit can also be used for die cutting applications between print stations.

Creative’s main production is labels printed on paper based substrates. But the company is well equipped to diversify into packaging.

Controlling film tension

Philip Fletcher, of web control specialist Arrowhive Equipment, says that use of film in label printing and narrow web packaging applications can create tension control and registration problems.

“Low tension and wide tension ranges can be problematic, especially for some dancer control systems because of friction and inertia of their components,” he observes. “Dancers typically oscillate or ‘hunt,’ resulting in tension and web length variations, and shifting from side-to-side. If the hunting is severe, the dancer may reach the end of its travel, resulting in web breaks and other process disturbances.”

Available from Arrowhive is the new Montalvo D-3100ce dancer controller, with or without tension indication – claimed to provide stable and precise control. These modules, as well as Montalvo’s X-3100ce analogue tension controller with digital parameter handling, incorporate new features such as transferable memory card, RS-232 interface to computer or PLC and on-board DeviceNet and Profibus DP fieldbus connections.

The D-3100ce was developed for unwind and rewind applications and is useful for processing imperfect rolls or in applications that experience dramatic tension transients. Montalvo’s progressive PID regulation is said to offer a wide regulating range, as well as electronic dampening of the dancer to ensure accuracy. The PID circuitry regulates output to the unwind brake or rewind clutch and maintains the position of the dancer arm. The signal provided by the relevant Montalvo loadcell is displayed on the analogue meter and is used for setting and monitoring ‘actual’ web tension.

On-line gauge improves quality

NDC Infrared Engineering claims its IG710 near-infrared (NIR) on-line gauge offers high accuracy and high speed measurement of adhesive coatweight for narrow web applications, allowing the converter to operate to much closer specification targets for significant gains in production efficiency and product control.

The IG710 is capable of measuring widths from 250–600mm at speeds up to 7.5m/s, and is being used to measure the discrete bands of hot melt adhesive on multiple lanes for laminates. This allows more coatweight data to be collected from the moving web for considerable improvements in machine direction and cross-web profile resolution.


Arrowhive Equipment
Tel: +44 (0)1491 682044
Ashe Converting Equipment
Tel: +44 (0) 1473 710912
Tel: +44 (0)1794 524422
Tel: +1 212 268 4160
Fujifilm Graphic Systems
Tel: +44 (0)1234 245245
Mack Brooks Exhibitions
Tel: +49 (0)711 7811 918
Mark Andy UK
Tel: +44 (0)1625 500964
NDC Infrared Engineering
Tel: +44 (0)1621 852244
Skanem Hull
Tel: +44 (0)1482 667 198
Skanem Newcastle
Tel: + 44 (0)191 482 8000

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Ashe Converting Equipment
Fujifilm Graphic Systems
Mack Brooks Exhibitions
Mark Andy UK
Arrowhive Equipment
NDC Infrared Engineering