Labelexpo Americas 2018 – Preview Part 1: Companies from A to J

The Chicago Labelexpo show takes place from 25 to 27 September 2018 and has more than 450 companies exhibiting. The event will be held once again at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Illinois. This label and packaging event includes several features such as a two-day conference schedule, the TLMI Ecovillage and, for the very first time in the USA, an automation arena. A new initiative for this year’s show and also for the Labelexpo Global Series is Labelexpo Connections, an attendee/exhibitor 1:1 appointment program. In order to give our readers an overview of the upcoming Labelexpo Americas event NarrowWebTech presents a selection of equipment and products that will be exhibited at the show – read here part one with companies from A to J.

Part 2 (K to Z) is available by reading this post.


The whole Labelexpo Americas Preview as layouted version is available as download for free in our shop!

AB Graphic International – Stand 3223

Lines on display will include Digicon Series 3, Digilase, Digicon Lite and the Jetfx module for digital embellishment.  The Digicon Series 3 features ABG’s new fast flatbed screen printing module, Big Foot 50 tonne flatbed hot-foil unit, and its smaller version the 25 tonne flat-bed hot-foil unit with a new swivel head allowing foil to be fed both along and across the web like the Big Foot. During the show two beverage labels will produced, highlighting the quality and the embellishment capabilities of the machine.

Also on display will be the Jetfx digital embellishment module, an offline, fully digital system creating varnish and foil effects. In addition to the Digicon Lite, which is presented with a sheeter and conveyor option, the turret rewinders will be shown in several different configurations, including the AutoSet, available as a standalone turret or integrated on a Digicon Series 3.

The German manufacturing division will introduce six different fleyeVision 100% inspection cameras, including two seamlessly mounted on slitter inspection rewinders. There will also be a booklet machine, processing up to 36,000 booklet labels per hour.

Visitors will see the live production data from the beverage specification Digicon, the AutoSet glueless turret rewinder and an SRI slitter inspection rewinder. A new Digilase laser machine running a fully automated workflow solution and a new inline entry level 762 mm (30”) wide finishing machine.

The company’s Digicon lines with a camera will further be demonstrated at the Domino (stand 6523) and HP stand (stand 3326). The REA (stand 3514) shows an SRI mounted with an inkjet printer at Labelexpo Americas 2018.

Afinia Label – Stand 6455

The company will unveil three new label printers and a full-rotary digital label press. The L501 is a dual ink colour label printer for low- to mid-volume printing with interchangeable dye and pigment inks. It has been built around time-tested HP technology, making it a reliable performer in a wide variety of applications. Whether you need waterproof, durable labels or something eye-catching for the retail shelf, the L501 is our most versatile printer ever.

The L701 is a mid-volume printer designed for the production line, featuring the benefits of Memjet with a smaller footprint. In addition, this printer is our lowest initial cost Memjet offering, which makes it appealing for multiple-printer installations and for mid-level production.

The Memjet-based L901, designed with on-the-fly printhead servicing for inline and high-volume continuous applications, boasts incredible speed and quality with high-capacity, economical ink tanks.

The DLP-2100 is a full-rotary, die-based digital label press with the new L901 printer inline. Print, laminate, die-cut, slit, remove waste, and rewind labels to finished rolls with this complete system.

Asahi Photoproducts – Stand F6479   

On display will be the company’s AWP family of water-washable flexographic plate solutions featuring Clean Transfer Technology, including its new AWP -DEW plate. According to Asahi with washout speeds 2.5 times faster than previous plates, it is suitable for on-demand platemaking and a more efficient flexographic operation in even the busiest plants.

The company will show flexo print samples printed using AWP plates imaged on an Esko Crystal XPS system with simultaneous UV main and back exposure producing highly consistent digital flexo plates. Visitors can further learn about the Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) benefits of Asahi AWP plates and the Asahi’s AWP Clean Transfer technology, the company’s water washable printing plate which does not require high temperatures or VOC-based solvents.

Avery Dennison – Stand 119

 The company’s stand offers five themes, each emphasizing the industry evolution that impact converters, their customers and ultimately consumers. New products and features are highlighted, as well as the company’s commitment to sustainability, and an introduction to the newly created North American iLab and Customer Experience center. The themes include:

  • Change your Horizons: Functional packaging, a new and fast-growing category that helps brand owners add value to existing products while changing the way consumers make decisions at point-of-sale, will be emphasized.
  • Change Perceptions: Avery Dennison’s portfolio of facestocks offers converters and brand owners a range of products and technologies to help change perception and deliver shelf appeal.
  • Change the Future: Avery Dennison is committed to eight primary 2025 sustainability goals. In 2018, the company is driving change through recycling and material solutions to help converters and brand owners improve their sustainability impact through product offerings such as Avery Dennison’s ClearIntent Portfolio.

AV Flexologic – Stand 1212

The company will showcase its automatic mounting machines, SAMM 800 2.0 and SAMM Upside-Down. According to AV Flexologic the Automatic SAMM 800 2.0 is the world’s fastest and most accurate flexo plate mounter for labels. The mounting machine is equipped with an optional motorized front table, which enables the machine to mount individual printing plates fully automatically, without operator interaction. Additionally, the mounting process is optimized with a pressure roller, which ensures that the flexo plates are mounted onto the sleeves without any air inclusions.

The Automatic SAMM USD mounts the flexo plates onto cylinders and sleeves accurately, using the patented Image Recognition. When the mounting process is complete, the machine automatically checks the tolerance of the mounting plates and generates a PDF Quality Report.

AVT – Stand 5202

The company will showcase connected workflow automation solutions with sister companies Esko and X-Rite. AVT also will feature the North America premiere of two inspection solutions, and a host of other systems for digital press inspection and control, inspection for labels and packaging web applications and automation.

As part of the Danaher Product Identification (PID) Platform, AVT – along with X-Rite and Esko – will introduce several joint solutions. The platform’s initial three points of integration are:

  • Esko’s Automation Engine connects to AVT’s 100% inspection platforms (AutoSet), linking pre-press to inspection leading to “close to zero” setup time or operator intervention.
  • X-Rite’s ColorCert links to AVT’s SpectraLab for inline colour measurement, generating colour scorecard reports based on SpectraLab measurements.
  • Esko’s Web Center connects to X-Rite’s ColorCert, automatically populating colour-related specification fields for job creation.

Also AVT will offer North American debuts for two new 100% inspection solutions: Helios S Turbo+ and Helios Turbo HD+, the world’s most advanced inspection systems for label and narrow web applications with 100% inspection performed at full press and rewinder speeds.

AVT also will showcase Helios D, a 100% print inspection solution suitable for digital printing in the label and narrow web markets. For digital inkjet press vendors, AVT offers Jet-IQ, a closed loop engine that works in synergy with press controllers to maintain exemplary print quality, offering full connectivity to all steps and solutions of digital inkjet printing, according to the company.

Another highlight will be AVT’s iCenter platform, a cloud-based solution.

The whole Labelexpo Americas Preview as layouted version is available as download for free in our shop!

Baldwin Vision Systems- Stand 1339   

The company will showcase its advanced colour management and print inspection technology. According to the company among products featured: Guardian PQV provides true 100% inspection for pharmaceutical, converting, label, flexo, wide, and narrow web applications. Guardian OLP PDF proofing and off-line inspection system detects a variety of print defects. ColorTrack “colour expert in a box” software facilitates fast, accurate press-side correction of ink formulations. Color Measurement with DeltaCam delivers affordable, accurate inline spectral measurement to achieve absolute colour consistency. The company will be co-located with AMS Spectral UV as it unveils new products and features.

BST North America – Stand 837   

The company aims to enable printers to reduce their costs and improve product quality with the introduction of QLink. While the TubeScan is scanning for defects on the printing press, the printer uses the touch screen of the QLink editor to classify the defects as relevant or not relevant. The information is considered in the net count of the inspected goods. This feature is a huge advantage when it comes to production costs. At any given time, the printer knows the net count and can run his press up to the exact production amount required.

With QLink the file size can be 90% smaller compared to usual rollmap files. According to BST transfer of the inspection protocol within the customer’s network is now faster and less data storage hardware is required. Finally, the operator of the rewinder may also take care of the rollmap editing immediately before converting and finishing.

Cartes – stand 5603
Laser finishing and embellishment

The Gemini 360 Series in the GE362ZL R-L configuration will be on display. This solution allows customers to combine as per their needs, a flexo varnishing and a laser converting unit. Cartes will further launch its new Laser Version in the configuration of Right to Left. ´The so-called Invisible Laser Cutting (ILC) technology – according to the company one of the most relevant aspects about it – enables the die-cutting of a dark printed label without the typical and unsightly “white edges.” Embellishment capabilities on a digitally printed substrate will be demonstrated on the Cartes GT360 Series.

Daco Solutions – Stand 6045

A Daco PLD350 die cut to register rotary die cutter with a 3 spindle semi-automatic turret rewinder and the Daco DP350 UV inkjet digital label press will be on display.

According to the company the Daco PLD rotary die cutter with a semi-automatic turret rewinder offers all the benefits of turret rewinding but with quick make ready times unlike conventional turret rewinding. This allows shorter runs to be produced both quickly and more efficiently.

The PLD is a rotary die cutter with a semi-automatic turret rewinder for small roll production. Unlike traditional die cutters, where the machine is stopped whilst operators cut and re-apply the web to the cores, the semi-automatic turret is only stopped for a few seconds whilst the turret indexes. New cores are applied to the rewind shaft whilst the machine is in production. The turret automatically cuts the web and applies the web to the new cores. The machine has job storage facility to allow quick and easy repeatable setups. The PLD range is available in 10” (254 mm), 13.75” (350 mm) and 17” (431.8”) web widths and utilises air shaft from ¾” to 3” (19 mm – 76 mm)

The PLD350 will also be exhibited with a back numbering system from HSA Systems. This inkjet label press in conjunction with Inkjet Solutions consists of an IS600 CMYK colour unit incorporating Kyocera print heads and a GEW UV dryer. The press in its basic form has 700 mm (30”) unwind and rewinds with the option to add inline slitting, die cutting options (full and semi-rotary), Meech web cleaning and Vetaphone corona treatment.

Dantex – Stand 335.

The following digital UV inkjet label presses will be running during the show:

  • PicoJet prints 13.78” (350 mm) at 250 fpm (76.2 m/min); at a resolution at 2.5 pl. This modular system can be configured to include pre/post white, varnish or additional colours to give a wider colour gamut, and several finishing options.
  • PicoColour provides quality, finished labels from a small footprint with a low cost of ownership.

Dantex will also show its range of photopolymer plates and water wash processors, including the DigiWash Mk3 and the AQFC Plate Cleaner.

Delta ModTech – Stand 3523

The company will feature a complex converting/digital print finishing system. The system will feature a variety of processes, including tight tolerance rotary die-cutting, multi-layer lamination, precise part placement and Delta ModTech’s Intelli-MOD control system. According to Delta ModTech this software offers high-speed precision with minimal material waste, thus being a suitable solution for applications where expensive materials need to be accounted for. This easy-to-use software is set to speed up job setup and changeover, reduces operator training requirements, increases accuracy, maintains counts of pieces produced, and delivers higher productivity with less waste.

D.P.R. Labeling – Stand 6455

The company will show the newly released desktop label finisher, the Virgo. Designed for cutting and finishing label rolls ranging from 4.3” to 8.86” (110 mm – 225 mm) wide. The Virgo is a cost-effective finishing system that makes in-house label production easy, according to the company. Compatible with most small label printers, the Virgo is suitable for those looking to create a variety of label and roll sizes. Its user-friendly interface is set to give users the versatility to print and cut any shape with precision in order to quickly produce smaller rolls for hand application or automatic applicators.

For larger production printers, DPR will also have the Taurus, a label finishing system that uses a laser to cut printed rolls into labels at incredible speeds. Fitting rolls up to 9” (250 mm) wide, the Taurus finishing unit laminates, removes the waste matrix, slits and rewinds pre-printed labels into applicator-ready rolls. The Taurus provides cut on fly and start/stop cutting mode. The average speed is 25 m/min (82 fpm) and can go up to 50 m/min (164 fpm) depending on complexity of the cut, layout, and material being used.

Durst – Stand 5901

The Durst Tau 330 RSC is a UV inkjet label and package printing press featuring 330 mm (13 “) print width combined with a leading edge print speed of up to 78 linear m/min (245 fpm) at a resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi. It runs at 1.485 m²/h, and due to its eight colour stations (CMYK+W+OVG) with newly designed high pigmented inks, it delivers flexo-like print quality with close to 95% Pantone colour gamut coverage, according to the company. The Tau 330 RSC is available as a standalone version or can be configured as “digital-flexo hybrid press” with Omet’s Xflex series of conventional finishing options.

Also on demonstration will be the Durst powered Omet XJet. Both systems will be distributed by Omet US in North America.

The whole Labelexpo Americas Preview as layouted version is available as download for free in our shop!

Erhardt+Leimer – Stand 327

On display will be equipment for web guiding and tension control and video and inspection systems for quality assurance.

The brushless, thus wear-free DRB 23 web guider from the El Guider product family is designed for Ethernet networking, making it possible to use web-based management. An option enables the integration of a splice table with an adhesive roll and pneumatic web clamps.

Smartscan is a camera-based quality assurance system. In addition to a video function with zoom, it also enables 200% print image inspection for reliable defect detection, splice detection and detection of missing labels and unremoved matrix. According to E+L it is easy to operate – one button needs to be pressed in order to start the inspection.

Also on exhibition will be the Elscan OMS4 video system with a high image quality. New features include e.g. the user interface can be configured and a joystick keyboard comes with an integrated wheel for navigation and zooming and quick selection function buttons. Elscan now comes with a more powerful computer, offering several additional functions. Different flash systems, e.g. a UV flash, can be selected for a range web surfaces.

Esko – Stand 5202

Visitors will be able to see the demonstration of Esko’s Packaging Connected solution and its elements, including:

  • Job specification data: Esko WebCenter is the solution for job specification data flows all the way from MIS/ERP systems to the press control station, automating press set-up and inline quality inspection setup.
  • Design: Esko Studio and Store Visualizer are solutions for designers, in order to help them create better artwork and hyper-realistic 3D mockups for presentation, proofing and quality control. According to Esko the automated creation of virtual 3D nine-view pack shots added to a digital job asset library drives a consistent consumer experience across all media channels, online and physical packs.
  • Colour specification: X-Rite ColorCert Suite is a solution which aims to simplify colour communication across the internal and external stakeholders, from design to the AVT inline inspection system.
  • Digital job assets are stored centrally in MediaBeacon, a marketing asset management solution and shared with all stakeholders. The new MediaBeacon connectors for the Adobe Creative Suite applications simplify sharing of brand marketing assets in order to guarantees consistency between online and physical brand assets.
  • Centrally stored and approved packaging content: With pre-approved marketing assets—such as ingredient copy, marketing slogans, logos and symbols—centrally stored in Esko WebCenter, creation of packaging variants can be a 100% automated process, resulting in error reduction, faster time to market, and quicker response to changes.

Excelitas – Stand 6412
The company’s new OmniCure AC8-HD (High Dose) Series of UV LED curing systems will be on display. According to Excelitas they deliver a high optical dose, bringing UV LED curing to the next level. Offering higher optical power and enhanced performance in the same air-cooled mechanical enclosure as its AC8 and AC9 predecessors, the new AC8-HD provides more than 50% dose with optical uniformity. The patented control technology for addressing individual UV LED modules enables tight irradiation across the UV emitting length, making the AC8-HD suitable for large area curing of inks, adhesives and coatings for applications that demand high dosages.

Flint Group – Stand 728

Technologies from four different product groups will be presented:
Flexographic products: the complete product portfolio of nyloflex printing plates, plate processing equipment and rotec sleeves and adapters for narrow web printing will be showcased. New at the show will be the nyloflex XVH Digital plate by Flint Group Flexographic, an addition to the thermally processed plate family. According to the company this is a new, hard durometer plate with an inherently flat top surface.

Narrow Web Inks and Coatings: Included at the show will be recent innovations in LED curable inks, the company’s ink and coating portfolio for food-compliant flexible packaging, and its colour management service.

Digital Solutions – Xeikon: Featured will be the Xeikon PX3000, the first UV inkjet press based on Xeikon’s Panther technology launched in 2017. Its primary focus is self-adhesive labels for health & beauty, premium beer, durable and industrial chemical or household applications. The toner-based Xeikon 3030 digital press with a custom finishing line specifically developed for the North American market will be on display. According to the company this press offers anti-counterfeiting features and the ability to print white onto transparent materials for a seamless “no label” effect.

Digital Solutions – ThermoFlexX: On show will be the ThermoFlexX 48-S that offers fully automatic plate loading and unloading. With the latest imager and Multiplate software release, customers will benefit from optimized output, automatically selecting the best quality at the highest productivity.

Flexo Wash – Stand 511 

The company will introduce the latest in anilox cleaning technology. Based on the motto “Clean is Clean”, the company will show how up to nine anilox rollers can be cleaned at the same time, offering high efficiency inking for top quality print results. According to the company Flexo Wash technology is safe and easy to use and reduces downtime on expensive printing presses, while eliminating problems associated with colour matching.

In addition to anilox cleaning developments, Flexo Wash will also display updates to its TopLoad and ECO Parts Washers, and narrow web plate washing systems.

Gallus / Heidelberg – Stand 6150

Jointly exhibiting at Labelexpo Americas 2018 Gallus’s new Smartfire digital label printing system will be unveiled to the North American market, and Heidelberg’s Omnifire 250 inkjet digital printer will be available for demonstrations.

The Gallus Smartfire prints with Memjet print heads in a quality of 1600×1600 dpi [editorial comment: more details about the line count please find in the Digital Printing Special in this issue].

According to the company the new entry-level digital press uses an ordinary power outlet, needs no exhaust equipment, is extremely compact, and emits no VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds). With this digital press, only a few prepress skills are required to create professional CMYK four-colour inkjet labels. Additionally, a finishing unit is attached, where labels are laminated and cut.

Also on display will be the Omnifire 250, Heidelberg’s “4D Printer”, which combines Inkjet technology with robotics and can personalize and customize most three-dimensional products, from a wine bottle to tumbler and beyond.

GEW – Stand 3500

With a focus on GEW’s range of high-power LED UV systems, the company will show its company’s range of UV curing systems comprising mercury arc, LED and hybrid systems. Alongside these products will be the fully hybrid Rhino ArcLED electronic power supply.

The company will also show their E2C model, a powerful low energy UV curing system for narrow web presses with Rhino electronic power supply.

GEW will also display their new multi-point UV monitor (mUVm). This next-generation monitor continuously measures UV intensity across the web, which is vital to avoid the risks and consequences of under cured product reaching the customer. According to GEW this solution gives the ability to attain 100% UV inspection and to generate a UV curing certificate for every batch, by recording live outputs for every lamp. Furthermore, the new monitor is designed to comply with a broad range of European legislation on food contact packaging.

The whole Labelexpo Americas Preview as layouted version is available as download for free in our shop!

Grafisk Maskinfabrik – Stand 6111

GM will demonstrate its current line of smart converting lines with the newest features in the market. According to the company, this enables hot stamping, embossing and screen print and die-cutting all in one line. A new smart software feature which logs operator performance can now be added to the units. All machines can be made to run in a left-to-right or right-to-left configuration.

Also on display will  be laser die-cutting with auto job change, modules for multi-layer / peel and reveal labels, turret rewinding and more.

Grafotronic – Stand 3188   

Grafotronic Inc will present the latest news from Grafotronic finishing machines and WLE (Worldwide Label Equipment). The main focus this year is automation and products to increase efficiency in production.

The new updated DCL2 digital finishing machine is equipped with the Gigafast 525 fpm (160 m/min) semi-rotary die, a flexo unit for high speed spot/full varnish, WiFi-slitting automatic knife positioning and the non-stop system for continuous running. Each module works independently and the machine can be upgraded with any module. The DCL2 and all other Grafotronic machines are business management software ready.

The new high speed HI2 machine for 100% inspection and slitting of labels, foil and cardboard will be shown in the Automation Arena as well as the WLE Core Cutter HS.

GSE Dispensing – Stand 558
The ink logistics provider will demonstrate its ink manager software, an ink management solution for minimizing ink-related waste, enhanced reporting, improved ink yields and business planning, reduced setup times and traceability. Functions include re-use of press-return inks, real-time stock and consumption information, per-job ink costings, ink batch tracking; integration with ink formulation and management information software; and WiFi connection to the dispenser. GSE will also present information about its dispensing systems for efficient ink logistics in label and packaging printing, especially for flexo and gravure.

Harper Corporation of America – Stand 401   

Harper will display its patented QD ink proofing system and provide information regarding the new QD Printer for flatbed printing using the flexo and gravure processes. Harper is keen to deliver briefings on how its services, surface technology and engravings can enhance efficient print repeatability and improve profitability. The company will further answer questions on its product line of pressroom supplies and the Harper Express Program which is according to Harper the fastest anilox delivery program in the industry for the most popular narrow web presses.

IIMAK – Stand 535

The iiColor Match for thermal transfer ribbons (TTR) will be launched. This new service innovation enables label converters to supply brand owners with thermal transfer ribbons in any exact colour match. Key to this new program is fast turnaround and low minimum orders.

According to the company iiColor Match is a suitable solution for brand owners requiring smaller, even micro-sized, label runs while still maintaining brand integrity and corporate colours. The company provides the colour match proof in three weeks; minimum order quantities start at eight cases. iiColor Match complements IIMAK’s standard TTR range of 50 colours and is available on wax, wax/resin, and resin formulations. A new colour sales guide helps resellers identify applications and select the correct ribbon based on substrate and durability requirements.

Color TTR is adaptable across a range of label stocks and levels of image durability. Generic pre-printed labels can be customized utilizing existing thermal transfer printers without the need for hardware investment. IIMAK also offers colour TTR for multi-head printers that yield two or four colour labels in one pass. Industries utilizing colour TTR today include medical, nutraceutical, durables, chemical, and food.

Innovia Films – Stand 1221

For the first time on show will be the company’s expanded range of labelling products. The recent acquisition of manufacturing capabilities in the Americas means that their technical expertise now covers ”bubble” and Stenter films. Innovia Film is now able – according to the company – to offer specialist solutions for pressure sensitive, roll-fed wraparound, cut and stack wraparound and in-mould label (IML) applications.

INX International Ink – Stand 121

The company will highlight INXhrc, a product offering of blending vehicles and coatings for flexographic, gravure and offset applications. The high-performance, water-based inks are formulated to replace petro-chemically derived ingredients with clean, renewable and sustainable ingredients without sacrificing machine, processing, and end-use product performance. According to the company INXhrc inks are free of allergens, nanomaterials, fluorochemicals, fanal pigments, heavy metals, latex and PTFE.

JM Heaford – Stand 3712

Its Label AutoMounter is set to ensure consistent first-time accuracy by removing operator judgement from the mounting process and reduces press downtime. Configurable for multiple presses and with options including pre-register compatibility, plate and tape cutters and a sleeve exchange unit, the Label AutoMounter has an impressive ROI, according to JM Heaford.

Visitors will further see FTS, which offers the “best value alternative to automation through ease-of-use, repeatable accuracy and speed”. Heaford launched this new design in 2013.

Completing the trio is the entry-level EES plate mounter eliminating press downtime due to inaccurate mounting “by eye”.

The whole Labelexpo Americas Preview as layouted version is available as download for free in our shop!

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