Labelexpo Americas 2004, in Chicago on September 13-16, will provide the biggest ever US showcase for innovations in all aspects of narrow to mid web converting technology

No contact involved

Melzer claims to be the world’s only supplier of production lines for all four segments of contactless technology – plastics cards, labels, tickets and inlays. The company offers equipment for: smart labels, tickets and tags; plastics cards; milling and implanting for smart cards and dual interface cards; hologram application systems; and special paper converting machines.

It also claims a break- through in modular digital manufacturing for inlays with the M4, a multi-functional modular machine with space for six different or identical working heads. The system is said to offer quick change-over between the different processes such as wire embedding, pick and place, dispensing, bonding, testing, blade cutting, laser cutting, ultrasonic welding, and printing. It will work from sheets of up to 1,010×1,290mm, or reel-to-reel on webs of 260mm maximum width. Booth 347.

Sabre cuts out tooling

AB Graphic International will launch the Sabre Extreme MK 2, a laser label die cutting unit for digitally printed webs claimed to offer many benefits over conventional die cutting. No tooling is required; the die line is simply downloaded from the prepress department, the image stepped across the web, the power rating selected and the system is ready to start production.

The new laser die cutting technology is said to offer on-demand label converting without the expense and wear and tear of handling and storing conventional tooling. Other benefits promised include job changes “in seconds with minimal material waste”, real-time tracking to ensure perfect register of print to cut, storage of up to 16 jobs on press, the ability to kiss cut/through cut and perforate, and long life lasers – typically up to 20,000 hours MTBF.

The Sabre Extreme will be demonstrated on the Omega Digicon converting machine for digitally printed webs. The Digicon HS Converter complete with Sabre Extreme laser label cutting will also be shown with the Indigo print engine on the Hewlett-Packard booth (3223).

The Digicon features servo driven web tension control and can convert a wide range of substrates, from self adhesive labels to folding cartons, shrink films, and in-mould labels. It can be supplied with hotfoil stamping, varnishing, die cutting, and slitting and rewinding capabilities. An optional UV, flexo print station permits varnishing, wet laminating or cold foiling.

AB works in close co-operation with Hewlett-Packard and has many worldwide Digicon installations running with its Indigo Webstream presses. Booth 939.

New name in inks

Akzo Nobel Inks will exhibit under its new company name and logo – ANI – for the first time in North America. Visitors will be offered extensive inform- ation about how the company is focusing all its efforts on inks for narrow web applications.

In addition to featuring new products, the booth will present Info-Bank – billed as an “inspirational and educational source of information”. It will allow visitors to access data on a number of ‘hot’ industry topics such as ‘Profit for Printers’, ‘Alternative Labelling’, and ‘Value Added Combinations’.

ANI says the aim is to offer converters guidance that will enable them to retain a competitive edge in the marketplace. Booth 729.

Codes confirmed

Two new in-line bar code verification systems for label applications are to be introduced by BST Pro Mark. The LS100 is a fully functional ANSI/ISO system, while the LS200 adds real-time reporting and analysis, including a database that records each job for later review or report printing. Verification of sequential bar codes is also available as an option.

Both systems will verify all of the most commonly used bar code symbologies, in either ladder or picket fence orientation, and include light stacks and scan head traverse with a universal mounting bracket that is said to orient from ladder to picket fence in seconds. Booth 1511.

Cold cure is hot contender

GEW will exhibit the latest versions of its VCP ‘cold UV’ curing system, offering compact size, a high cure rate, cool running and modular construction with low capital and running costs. It is available in power ratings up to 160W/cm, to suit print widths up to 45cm. The ‘film’ version with integral water cooled chill rolls will also be shown. This enables UV curing on heat sensitive films down to around 0.6mil, on presses not originally equipped with chill rolls.

In its high performance range, the company will introduce NUVAplus to the American market. Designed for curing heavy lay-downs of both traditional and cationic inks and coatings on thermo sensitive substrates at high press speeds, it has a ‘clean cool’ airflow system with integral filter in the lamphead that is said to eliminate dust or ink mist contamination and any disturbance from airflow to the web. Power rating is up to 230W/cm and print widths up 150cm can be supplied.

GEW will also launch an infra red drying cassette that is interchangeable with the VCP and NUVAplus systems to permit IR drying of water based inks and varnishes. The system is designed to meet the needs of companies that may want to alternate printing of both UV and water based inks and coatings without having to re-web the press.

Also featuring will be the company’s new Jetcure UV curing system for the inkjet market. Jetcure is said to be ultra compact and lightweight, with adjustable power up to 200W/cm and an integral fan in each lamphead. Booth 3505/3529.

Inkjet innovations

Highlight of Domino’s display of inkjet printing solutions will be Domino ON Demand – a complete variable data printing solution comprising estimating, prepress, proofing and printing modules. The company will also demon- strate an enhanced version of its Bitjet binary printer, together with the A-Series continuous inkjet printer, in conjunction with an AB Graphics rewinder.

The powerful Editor GT line controller will show its read and print and line scan capabilities in conjunction with OEM partner Axode. The booth will also include a dryer from Research Inc, which will integrate with Domino’s digital printing capabilities.

Domino ON Demand allows the end user to add variable data capability to a job and, at the same time, save time and set-up costs by allowing the prepress operator to design, lay out and proof the job long before it reaches final print production.

On display for the first time in North America, the Bitjet+ is based on the Bitjet 212 binary printer and features a number of improvements to increase efficiency and reduce job turnaround time for users. Booth 1647.

Label winners

The inaugural Labelexpo Industry Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner will take place on Monday, September 13, 2004, at the Donald E Stephens Convention Centre, during Labelexpo Americas. Tickets are $95 each ($10 donated to the FLM Education Foundation) $900 for a table of 10. To reserve a table, visit

Better resin dispensing

The polyurethane resin manufacturer Development Associates will offer an easier, cleaner, safer dispensing machine. The company offers a line of doming machines that are said to be operator friendly; do not require solvents or degassing; are environmentally friendly (mercury-free); and are easy to start, use, program, and shut down.

The Micro Max casting station is small, portable and capable of shorter runs, with a gear option for higher production. The Auto X and the Automatic Scripting XYZ are high speed and fully automatic. All the machines use a patented multi nozzle system and the company’s UV stable automotive grade, mercury-free resins. Booth 3501.

Arriving in America

With its flexo presses already installed in many other countries worldwide, UK based Edale is now selling into the USA, having formed a co-operative with a network of agents headed by Mike Golas, of Apium, in California. Joint md James Boughton says: “We are in no doubt that Edale will become a real alternative to those companies already established in the market”.

The highlight of the company’s booth will be the Alpha flexo press. This has a compact design and is claimed to offer “clear economical advantages” over many of its competitors. Edale boasts that the press found its niche giving even the smallest start-up companies the possibility of high quality flexo printing, and larger companies the profitability of downloading four and five colour work and shorter runs from their larger, more expensive presses. Over 80 machines have been sold in 25 countries, it adds.

The Alpha will form an introduction to the whole Edale range, culminating with the shaftless servo driven Sigma. Booth 5817.

Films from FLEXcon

Pressure sensitive film solutions for prime label, durable product labelling, variable information and performance driven applications are offered by FLEXcon. The company’s products for use in narrow web converting include optiFLEX RESEAL polypropylenes designed for resealable pouch applications, and optiFLEX EZ for primary and secondary labelling on semi squeeze and rigid containers.

DigiPRO is a range of digital offset printable films for applications such as variable imaging and product identification; and COMPUcal EXCEL offers a solution for variable imaging needs. Booth 1311.

Preparing the surface

Enercon Industries’ offers surface treating solutions for label applications, as well as for both traditional and special converting applications. The company says its compact and powerful TL Max and XL corona surface treaters offer an economical alternative to top coated material.

For difficult to treat materials and surfaces that require stringent surface specifications, the Plasma3 atmospheric plasma treater is claimed to provide reliable treatment for materials once thought to be untreatable.

In addition to improving hydrophilicity and surface coating performance, this system is also said to be adept at boosting the performance of adhesives. Booth 5900.

Flexo systems a speciality

Gidue will introduce the Unipro 730mm width in-line, mid web packaging press to America. Using print cylinder sleeve technology, it can convert substrates from PE, BOPP, and PET to paper, foil and laminates, up to 450g/m2 cartonboard without changing configuration. It will also feature an enhanced version of the Flower flexo printhead.

Another exhibit is an E-Combat module equipped with two flexo printing heads. This model uses servo driven controls for all functions and is available in web widths of 280, 370, 430 and 530mm. It can print and convert substrates from 15 micron film to 350g/m2 cartonboard without changing the mechanical configuration of the press. An option is the IML-EDL delivery system for in-mould labels.

In a joint co-operation with Ciba Specialty Chemicals, a four colour E-Combat UV flexo press on the Ciba booth (6323) will be used to run live demonstrations with Ciba Prime IT, a new surface modification technology to improve printing and facilitate coating and adhesion on all plastics surfaces, including OPP, PVC, PET, PE and PA (see June issue). Booth 329.

Smart move

The inaugural Smart Packaging 2004 conference takes place a week before Labelexpo Americas, during September 8-9, at the same Donald E Stephens Convention Centre venue in Chicago. The two-day event (with a table-top exhibition) has been developed in co-operation with the Institute of Packaging Professionals. It will cover the latest intelligent and smart packaging systems, solutions and applications. Industry experts will discuss branding, product and pack protection, security and policing, and improving the efficiency of the supply chain. All Smart Packaging delegates and exhibitors will be given free entry into Labelexpo Americas 2004, during the following week.

A digital equipment alternative

First time exhibitor OEC Graphics will present its OEC-DFM (digital facilities management) and Seamex systems.

OEC-DFM is a programme that places digital plate making, processing and/or proofing equipment within a customer’s facility. Owned and maintained by OEC, the equipment is operated by the customer who “experiences a greater degree of control and economic flexibility while accessing the highest level of digital technology available”, the company states.

Seamex is seamless photopolymer bonded and vulcanized to a variety of base sleeves such as nickel or composite. Manufactured in-the-round, it is said to eliminate plate break and offer significant production efficiencies. Accurate registration is also achieved on press, as all colours are laser imaged in place on sleeves, the company states.

Brad Vette, OEC’s corporate business development manager, will be speaking at the conference running alongside the show on the economic case for CTP use in relationship to OEC-DFM.

Die cutting costs cut

Omet is to present its patented Twin-Cut die cutting unit, in line with a Varyflex narrow web gearless flexo press – producing both die cut self adhesive labels and folding cartons.

The Twin-Cut system allows all die cutting formats, using only two pairs of magnetic cylinders without any cylinder replacement. It is provided with automatic register control, controlled tension waste removal and central adjust- ment from the control panel (see May issue).

Omet says the Twin-Cut will speed up and simplify in-line production of labels and cartons, eliminating both the need to buy more magnetic cylinders for the different formats and time wasted in changing them. Booth 3007.

No spills or splashes

According to Graymills, its splash resistant peristaltic pumps offer protection from spills and splashing in pressroom environments, greatly reducing the risk of damage to pump controls and electronics. These pumps have welded seams, a shielded rear air vent, with bottom venting and a sealed speed control and forward/reverse switch to keep fluids from entering the pump housing.

The PPS models are for narrow web applications, pumping inks (including UV), coatings and adhesives at flow rates of up to 1.5gal/min. The splash resistant PPS has all of the same features of the standard peristaltic pumps, including swivel lock fasteners for quick, tool-less tube changes; a ‘straight-thru’ design to eliminate kinks, flow stoppages and snaking of the tube; dual roller technology to extend tube life; and an electric gear motor with electronic variable speed and forward/reverse control. Booth 1212.

Nilpeter expanding in the US

Visitors will be able to view Nilpeter’s latest narrow web press technology at first hand. The company is already well established in the USA with local sales offices and production facilities. It will inform visitors about its expansion in the American market, involving diversification into new segments and an increase in its showroom facilities. Booths 3105/3205.

Compact curing solution

Developed to fit in compact spaces, the UV MiniScan 3C system from Prime UV is claimed to offer immediate and total curing of UV inks, coatings and adhesives. With “easy to install” interstations on all new or existing narrow web and label presses, such as Aquaflex, PCMC, Propheteer, Mark Andy, Comco and Allied Gear, the MiniScan 3C is said to provide high speed curing of UV abrasion resistant, and chemical resistant inks and coatings. Booth 3701.

Gallus range offers plenty

Promoting its role as “a full range supplier to the label printing market”, Gallus will display the new EM 260/410/510 S – a press based on the EM 260/410/510 model, said to offer process flexibility through a combination of platform concept and modular design. The new machine is billed as another Gallus solution to the demand for label printing presses with multi substrate capability and improved operational efficiency. Booth 929/923.

Advance in adhesives

MACtac will feature PressGold 710VHP – billed as “the next generation in adhesive technology”. Designed to increase label converting and dispensing speeds, it is claimed to provide the exceptional converting characteristics normally attributed to acrylic emulsion adhesives. As a hotmelt adhesive, it is said to give the quick tack and aggressive adhesion needed to stick to low surface energy substrates like HDPE and corrugated board.

The new adhesive can also be converted wider (up to 20in) than conventional hotmelts, says MACtac. Other key features promised include: quick tack that out-performs emulsion adhesives; virtual elimination of matrix breaks and adhesive legging; successful converting at speeds up to 750ft/min; and a minimum application temperature of 20degF. Booth 143.

Labelexpo Americas 2004 is organized by the Tarsus Group. For more information on the event, visit


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AB Graphic International
Tel: +44 (0) 1262 671138
Tel: +1 763 559 5911
BST Pro Mark
Tel: +1 630 833 9900
Tel: +44 (0) 1737 824500
Tel: +44 (0)1954 782551
Development Associates
Tel: +1 888 377 9370
Tel: +44 (0) 1794 524422
Tel: +44 (0) 1592 663 200
Tel: +1 262 255 6070
Tel: +39 02 966 8181
Smart Packaging
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8846 2737
OEC Graphics
Tel: +1 920 235 7770
Tel: +39 0341 367513
Tel: +1 773 248 6825
Tel: +45 58 50 11 66
Prime UV
Tel: +1 630 681 2100
Tel: +41 71 242 8686
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AB Graphic International
BST Pro Mark
Development Associates
Tarsus Group
OEC Graphics
Prime UV
Smart Packaging