Edale receive their fifth order from Argentinean based MAI

Argentinean based Mai S.A., founded in the 1970’s, manufacture tea bag packaging machines, with a separate department in which they print tea bag tags, labels and envelopes. This month sees them install their fifth Edale FL-1 press in under three years.

MAI S.A first came in to contact with Edale in 2011 when Mr Guillermo Mai, President of Mai S.A, began looking into new printing machines. Having researched the Edale product range, Mr Mai decided that the FL-1 was the most appropriate for their business needs and they haven’t looked back since!

After the initial press purchase; 2012 saw Mr Mai contact Edale again to purchase a further two presses with 2014 seeing him purchase his fourth and fifth. Mr Mai says “We initially chose an Edale FL-1 because of its versatility, and the capability to adapt to our width of paper band. Our jobs need versatile, compact machines, as we print a lot of different tags in short runs”, he continues “as our business has continued to grow, the FL-1’s have proved ideal; great quality print and well-engineered presses.”

The presses which stand at a compact 2.5m2, are all of the same spec – four colour with water based drying, and a unique 1.2m freestanding unwind.

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The four Edale FL-1 machines at MAI S.A, awaiting the installation of the fifth.

www.edale.com

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UV and EB are established core curing technologies – but are they completely safe for use on food packaging print?

The perfect recipe for radiation curing for food packaging has not yet been proposed or defined by the EU legislators. All that exists today are the GMP and Framework Regulation, as well as Swiss Ordinance, respected and now widely adopted across the food packaging supply chain, but still something less than the definitive answer. This situation was the driving force behind the Food Packaging Seminar held in Stuttgart in September by RadTech Europe, the regional association promoting the radiation curing technologies across all markets. The event drew together around 90 participants – all experienced specialists from the various disciplines related to the food packaging value chain (raw materials, printing inks, equipment, materials, and brand owners) -- to discuss and debate the proper use of radiation curing in food-safe printing, with the aim of enabling this technology -- which delivers a broad platform of benefits -- to achieve its well-deserved maximum potential.

Market overview

Stephen Harrod, author of many specialist market reports for Smithers Pira on aspects of packaging and print, set the scene with an overview of the global packaging market and its current ‘megatrends’. He forecast 2014 growth in the revived global economy at ±3.5%, and annual global growth to 2018 at 4%. Food packaging – a €55 billion market in 2013 – will, he said, show 2.1% real annual growth to 2018, led by the meat, fish and poultry; chilled foods (including ready meals); and fresh food and vegetable sectors. UV curing, in this dynamic environment, has much to offer: good environmental credentials (no VOCs or solvents); fast turnaround; and high performance. Barriers to its use are currently cost – in terms of inks, varnishes, and energy usage; perceived lack of ease of use; heat from standard UV lamps; healthcare ‘scares’ involving migration of print through the packaging substrate; and recycling challenges.

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Summarising, Mr Harrod drew attention to the strong growth in inkjet print. UV inkjet is already enjoying a CAGR of 14.8%, and there are considerable and continuing refinements in the technology base – printheads, inks, curing systems, android integrations, and presses. ‘Packaging is a great opportunity’, said Mr Harrod, for this versatile print technology.

The applied chemistries

Francis Bergiers, technical service and development specialist at Allnex, then provided a comprehensive overview of the applied chemistries involved in printing and packaging. The partner UV and EB curing inks must deliver viscosity, pigment wetting, cure speed, adhesion, flexibility, scratch resistance; and resistance to chemicals such as solvents. For food packaging print, additional requirements are low odour, no taste transfer, and low migration. All this must come, he underlined, at an acceptable price. Mr Bergiers highlighted recent innovations with particular relevance for food packaging, such as self-curing acrylates; acrylates that deliver higher purity; acrylates with an improved compromise between high molecular weight and viscosity; and the ability to achieve higher acrylate functionality whilst using lower viscosity systems.

‘Think like a food company!’

With the technology base clearly explained, it was time to hear from the customer: Dr Stephen Klump, Global Head of Packaging Quality and Safety, for Nestlé. His subject was ‘Managing Risk’. He outlined the many risks associated with the many different materials which come into contact with food items. Conveyor belts, plastic moulds, pipes and hoses are among the risks involved in food processing; and packaging materials – paper, board, plastic, metal, glass, coatings, inks, and adhesives -- are risks to finished or semi-finished products, as are a host of auxiliary items, such as straws, ice cream sticks, drinks dispensers.

Dr Klump said that ‘consumers are very aware that there are problems out there with their food’ – highlighting the recent horsemeat scandal, and reminding participants that governmental, NGO, and media coverage means that the consumer focus ‘goes viral’. In such a complex supply chain, involving many specialist suppliers of chemicals and raw materials as well as converters, packers, brand owners, and retailers, a publicly- identified safety problem can have serious consequences for a brand. Nestlé’s outstanding and continuing commitment to mitigating such brand risk through its packaging safety and compliance programme is long-established and proven, and Dr Klump adjured the assembled seminar participants to join him and ‘think like a food company’.

The Nestlé CoC

Suppliers across the value chain do not always deliver what they promise. If there is a problem, he said, it is the supplier’s responsibility to ‘find out before someone else finds out for you’. He listed the problems his company has experienced in the packaging arena since 1991 – a list which, of course, includes mineral oils, BPA and ITX, and odour issues. He detailed an agenda through which suppliers can ensure that they perform to the standards of the Nestlé certificate of compliance, in parallel with EU and FDA regulations and directives. All the CoC’s requirements are clearly and transparently communicated to the supplier base, and all are regularly updated.

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Testing and legislation

The next seminar session focussed on the current status of legislation and testing, and the opportunities and threats they represent. Dr Andreas Grabitz, technical and legal expert at Eurofins Consumer Product Testing, presented two scholarly and instructive papers: the first on the principles and specialities of analytical testing of UV inks and coatings in a variety of situations; and the second on the extant diverse legal requirements relating to food packaging from a safety viewpoint, including detail on the Swiss and upcoming German Ordinances.

European Printing Inks Association’s viewpoint

Putting the science into action was the topic addressed, appropriately, by the Chairman of the European Printing Inks Association’s Energy Curing Work Group, Nick Ivory, who is also Technical Director of Sun Chemical. EuPIA is actively supporting the ongoing use of energy curing products in food packaging print. In this regard, he welcomed the work being done by various acrylate and photoinitiator suppliers on Dossiers for submission under the Swiss and German Ordinances, a move that will help establish more lenient migration limits for common photoinitiators and acrylates. This initiative is supported by EuPIA by supplying migration data. After detailing all the practical concerns and issues, he expressed the difficulties the industry has in pinpointing the correct way forward in the imprecise legal framework. ‘In the absence of recognised EU legislation’, he remarked, ‘it’s a bit like global warming!’ He concluded, however, that energy-curing products CAN safely be used in food packaging scenarios as long as their suitability is fully assessed.

Low-migration inkjet inks

Dr Marc Graindourze of Agfa Graphics focussed on low-migration inkjet ink technology for printing food packaging which, he said, is offering a whole new raft of possibilities for today’s brand owners, and is also environmentally friendly. Opportunities include mass customisation, just-in-time printing, promotions, and variable data printing – all using a print technology that is versatile, fast, reliable, and whose setup can be customised for specific applications. Agfa Graphics’ low-migration ink technology is delivering a printed result that is ‘testing positive’ for eliminating migration and set-off in a variety of food and pharmaceutical packaging applications and is a solution for direct print on to a packaging substrate – a coming solution, he said, because adding a label to packaging involves three steps, whereas direct print takes just one. The new Agfa Graphics inks will, Dr Graindourze concluded, constitute an element in an integrated system involving partnership along the supply chain.

The carton industry speaks

BPIF Cartons’ Technical Director, John Wilson, who is also Product and Applications Manager at Sun Chemical, completed the formal programme with a view from the mainstream packaging industry on the safe use of radiation curing. Printers in the food packaging arena choosing to take the radiation-cured low-migration inks route are facing a number of new challenges – and many questions for which they need answers both from their brand owner/retailer and their own suppliers. The BPIF are actively supporting their members with the creation of a low migration questionnaire which they can use with their suppliers as a discussion document, creating a technical focus at meetings, and exploring the new ‘barrier boards’ that the board mills are now introducing to the market. Mr Wilson admitted that BPIF Cartons are also closely following the Nestlé and EuPIA guidelines – proof that, in an industry sector where there is still no legislative clarity, the supply chain is taking the initiative and creating its own consensus.

Summing up

General Secretary Mark Macaré concluded that the RadTech Europe seminar ‘brought the industry closer to achieving full clearance for UV/EB curing in the food packaging segment.’

www.radtech-europe.com

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FLEXcon and ITW Security and Brand Identity Group Collaborate to Deliver GHS BS5609 Section 3 Certified Drum Label Solutions

FLEXcon, an innovator in adhesive coating and laminating, today announced that it has collaborated with ITW Security and Brand Identity Group to qualify a combination of drum label materials and resin thermal transfer ribbons that meet the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) standard, as well as BS5609 Section 3 for the chemical and petroleum market. FLEXcon’s DRUMcal™line can now be printed with ITW Security and Brand Identity Group’s resin ribbons for two-color and flat head thermal transfer printers, meeting the latest GHS standard which requires drum label plaque cards to be variable printed with both red and black ink. Certain DRUMcal™ products are also approved under BS5609 Section 2 for salt water immersion.

“Working with FLEXcon has allowed us to solve a problem that converters face as they look to meet GHS standards for chemical and petroleum companies and end users,” said Don Lance, Strategic Account Manager, ITW Security and Brand Identity Group. “Enabling clients to print in both red and black inks that have already been tested saves them time, money and resources. Our products are developed specifically for drum labels and provide converters with a simple solution.”

FLEXcon and ITW Security and Brand Identity Group have taken facilitating GHS compliance a step further by working with Printer OEMs such as MICROPLEX and cab to ensure the compatibility of their products with those printers. MICROPLEX and cab have developed duel head printers with red and black printing capabilities to produce drum labels that have already been BS5609 Section 3 certified, and meet GHS standards for chemical and petroleum companies.

“This collaboration is an example of our efforts to constantly adapt to market changes and make it easier for our customers to obtain products that comply with standards set by regulatory organizations such as GHS,” said Brian Ayers, Product Manager, Product Identification Business Team, FLEXcon. “Converters can now look to FLEXcon and ITW Security and Brand Identity Group for drum label materials that are market ready and require no further testing.”

For more details on FLEXcon’s GHS-certified DRUMcal™ product line, visit FLEXcon.com/drum.

 

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Sidel's Innovative New Beer Bottle Gives the Appearance of Glass, But with all the Advantages of PET

Sidel, a global provider of liquid packaging solutions, recently launched the world's first-ever pasteurisable lightweight PET bottle for beer with a non-petaloid base. The innovative bottle supports a crown cap, which together with the non-petaloid base gives the bottle the appearance of glass, but with all the advantages of PET. The new bottle weighs only 28 grams, which is up to 86% less than an average equivalent glass bottle, according to Sidel data.

Sidel's PET Beer Bottle

According to a recent Euromonitor report, the beverage market in Africa currently stands at 56 billion liters. Beer ranks second amongst various beverage categories, constituting 22 per cent share, with bottled water being the first with its 55 per cent share of total beverage market. South Africa is the leader in beer production with 3,445 million liters, followed by Nigeria with 2,048 million liters and Angola with 1,032 million liters. Ongoing, focused marketing with product innovation are expected to continue to be the main drivers of demand and thus growth within beer category across the African continent.

When packaging beer it is critical to prevent oxygen entering and carbon dioxide escaping the package. The new bottle design can achieve this with different solutions, such as single-layer material blends and Sidel's proprietary Actis™ gas-barrier technology. As a result, the beer bottle can protect beer qualities for up to a six-month shelf life.

"We want to help beer producers take advantage of the flexibility, lighter weight, sustainability and lower costs offered by PET, by producing a bottle that was more attractive to the next generation of beer consumers who want their drinks packaging to be more sustainable, convenient and user-friendly," explains Georgios Diakakis, Regional Commercial Manager at Sidel. "We have noticed that consumers are becoming more aware of the benefits of PET, because they experience it as the preferred packaging material of choice in other food and beverage areas in their life," he added.
For many years there have been misperceptions around beer in PET. For example, some mistakenly think beer in PET gets warmer quicker. In fact, in Sidel's studies, its beer bottle kept beer cold for the same time duration as an equivalent sized glass bottle, with much less wall thickness and hence much less material weight. Taste is also another misperception, with some consumers falsely believing beer tastes better, for example, in cans instead of PET bottles.

Sidel has been helping producers package their beer products for over 40 years. The company is currently in conversations with some of the world's leading, and most well-known, beer producers on how to bring the benefits of PET to beer using its new bottle design and packaging technology.

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Kodak delivers next-generation solutions at WAN-IFRA World Publishing Expo 2014

Kodak exhibited its advanced digital print solutions at this year’s WAN-IFRA World Publishing Expo in Amsterdam to key influencers in the publishing industry.

At this year’s show, Kodak unveiled the new CTP automation capabilities on its KODAK TRENDSETTER NEWS Platesetter, running KODAK SONORA NEWS Process Free Plates live for attendees. The company also discussed the benefits of the KODAK PROSPER 6000P Press for newspaper printing as well as the KODAK PROSPER S-Series Imprinting System and KODAK THERMALNEWS PT Digital Plates.

The exhibition saw Kodak reset industry standards, with an unmatched display combining outstanding quality and day-to-day productivity with a compelling introduction by Philip Cullimore, Managing Director EAMER, covering sustainability, hybrid printing and variable inkjet printing. There were a number of demonstrations showing the benefits of KODAK SONORA NEWS Process Free Plates and the new SCU on the KODAK TRENDSETTER NEWS Platesetter, which generated huge customer interest.

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“WAN-IFRA is a vibrant event and a key date in Kodak’s calendar every year as it gives us the opportunity to engage with our customers and, indeed, make new ones,” Philip comments. “We aim to listen to the needs of our customers and endeavor to find the solution that is perfect for their business. Our technology has come a long way in the past year, with our portfolio expanding faster than ever. Kodak is the only company at the show that sells products for both the current and future offset inkjet printing markets, and does so using its own intellectual property rather than using parts or subsystems made by other companies. It is very exciting to be able to discuss our integrated solutions with current and potential customers as we cover the entire printing process, from consumables to raw imaging technology and digital press equipment.”

Kodak hosted a media event for press to share the latest news, discuss the new products and showcase samples of its offset and digital printing.

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Kodak Hails Second European Business Leadership Summit a Success

The printing industry’s big players turned out in force for the second annual European Business Leadership Summit (BLS) in Geneva, Switzerland. Hosting more than 60 c-suite executives from across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, the event saw industry stalwarts and Kodak’s major customers meet to discuss how the print industry can prepare for and power future growth in an ever evolving media landscape.

Kodak CEO, Jeff Clarke, presented a view of Kodak’s future vision and was joined by Kodak’s Managing Director for EAMER, Philip Cullimore. The event provided a platform for international networking, offered interactive presentations and included a panel debate under the banner “Is Print a Premium Channel in the Marketing Mix?”

Philip Cullimore, Managing Director, Kodak EAMER.

Philip Cullimore, Managing Director, Kodak EAMER.

The two day summit saw innovative expertise take to the stage with exploration of pertinent themes such as global sustainability, digital and mobile compatibility. Attendees were also provided with a glimpse into the Kodak world of innovations and research, with Kodak CTO, Terry Taber.

The roster of high profile speakers included Professor Stephane Garelli, from IMD Business School Lausanne, who spoke about new ways of working and a competitiveness outlook for 2015 and beyond, while John Timpson, Chairman of Timpson Ltd focused on upside down management. Peter Lancaster, CEO of Documobi provided an interactive demonstration on how to make print digital in a mobile world.

Brad W Krutchen, President of Graphics, Entertainment and Commercial Films, Eastman Kodak Company

Brad W Krutchen, President of Graphics, Entertainment and Commercial Films, Eastman Kodak Company

Philip Cullimore, Kodak’s Managing Director for EAMER, said: “Through these events, Kodak is in the best possible position to support our partners and customers, encouraging networking and the sharing of knowledge and best practice. Features of this year’s event including our panel discussion and insight into Kodak’s technological innovations and research, complimented by a closer look at the industry’s burning issues such as sustainability, digital applications and mobile compatibility, combine to offer attendees a first class resource for learning. Together we hope to power future growth and ensure print does indeed remain a prime channel in the marketing mix.”

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EMV-conformant NFC-Sticker paves way for contactless payment using smart phones

Cartes 2014 will be held in Paris from November 4 to 6. At the global event for payment, identification and mobility, Schreiner PrinTrust will be presenting the further development of the NFC-Sticker. The new EMV-conformant NFC-Sticker now meets even higher security standards and provides an efficient means of closing the gap between current card systems and future mobile payment systems.

The NFC-Sticker offers advantages to every market participant. For card manufacturers, it is an ideal product to complement their portfolios. Personalizers can inscribe the chip and surface with specific data on existing machines and commonly used standard processes. Banks can immediately enter the mobile payment business, and for consumers it offers a convenient, fast and secure means of payment. The NFC-Sticker is based on a Java operating system and easy to personalize. In addition to the payment function, Mifare emulation allows to enable further applications such as loyalty programs, ticketing or access solutions.

The new EMV-conformant version of the specialty label fulfills the highest performance and security criteria. As a result, several leaders in the smart card sector are actively including the NFC-Sticker in their portfolios and are already participating in the trend toward mobile NFC payment systems today.

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Domino appoints Technical Director of Digital Printing Solutions Division

Domino recently appointed Julie Cross as the new Technical Director of its Digital Printing Solutions Division to help support the company’s rapid growth in the digital printing sector.

Julie – who joined Domino in 2009 – has vast experience in product commercialisation, having been instrumental in bringing a high number of products to market throughout her career in the print industry. More recently, she initiated and led Domino’s drop on demand (DOD) ink development, which culminated in the first Domino in-house formulated DOD inks.

In her new role, Julie will lead all technical aspects of the Digital Printing Solutions Division.
This will include the development and launch of new products, as well as expanding the division’s skills and knowledge to facilitate further market growth.

Robert Pulford, Managing Director of Domino’s Digital Printing Division, comments: “Julie will play a key role in developing this area of our business as we continue to compete successfully within the global digital printing sector. This division is perpetually growing and Julie will help strengthen this expansion. She will support the introduction of new products to market that fulfil all the requirements of our existing and prospective customers. Her skills and expertise will greatly enhance our capabilities in this important sector and we’re delighted to have her on board.”

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Tapp Label Technologies Inc., Enters into Purchase Agreement

imageTapp Label Acquisition Company LLC, has signed a definitive and binding agreement for the purchase of  Tapp Label Technologies Inc.  The deal is expected to close in December.

Tapp Label Acquisition Company LLC is a newly formed corporation focused on becoming the premier fully integrated provider of custom labels to the North American wine and spirits market.
In July of this year, this corporation completed the acquisitions of LabelOne Connect in Beaverton, Oregon and Bonham Label in Livermore, California. The Tapp acquisition provides a quantum move forward in its overall development plan.  After the completion of this agreement, all companies will operate under the Tapp Label brand offering full digital, flexography, and offset printing capabilities in California, Oregon, and British Columbia. The company will continue seeking focused capital investments in equipment and technology while expanding its geographic reach.

“The combined operations of  Tapp Label will offer synergies and a world-class portfolio of capabilities that will continue to drive value for our customers through a full range of decoration options and geographic diversification, combined with the highest standards of quality and customer service.” said David Bowyer, CEO of Tapp Label Acquisition Company LLC.

“Our four strategically located production facilities support continued growth of our combined business and will enable the continual investment in our people, bringing new printing technologies and capital to enhance our printing platforms while offering personal unparalleled service to our customers and associates.” said John Attayek, CEO of Tapp Label Technologies Inc.  Tapp Label looks forward to continuing to provide the highest level of quality labels and customer service for many years to come.

Source: http://tapplabel.com

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Organic Electronics Market is Expected to Reach $79.6 Billion, Global, by 2020 - Allied Market Research

According to a new report by Allied Market Research titled, "Global Organic Electronics Market - Size, Industry Analysis, Trends, Opportunities, Growth and Forecast, 2013 - 2020", the global organic electronics (OE) market would reach $79.6 billion by 2020, registering a CAGR of 29.5% during 2014 - 2020. Organic displays are the largest revenue source for the organic electronics market, accounting to nearly 2/3rd of the market. OLED displays, which find application in laptops, tablets and TV sets, hold lion's share in the global organic electronics displays market. Asia Pacific generates about 63.5% of the revenue for the global market due to the fact thatAsia Pacific is home for almost 3/4th of the global electronics manufacturing industry, which is the primary application area for organic electronics.

 

To View the report, visit the website at http://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/printed-organic-and-flexible-electronics-market

 

Growing appeal towards pollution-free and renewable energy sources has brought the evolution of photovoltaic technology, and the demand for the PV's is expected to witness marked growth during the forecast period. High initial investment is the only hurdle to the adoption of PV's in countries that are witnessing energy crisis. Technological advancements would eventually pave the way for a widespread acceptance of the technology. The positive momentum consequentially would spur the demand for organic components used in OPV, DSSC and CIGs. The cut-throat competition among the LCD display manufacturers for the last few years is the key reason for OLED displays to gain competitive advantage. Irrespective of its expensiveness, OLED displays have gained momentum and the advent of flexible OLED proved revolutionary for OLED manufacturers.

Organic RFID (ORFID) holds just about 2% of the global market due to its limited application in the prevailing market conditions. Contrary to the current market scenario, ORFID is anticipated to witness tremendous growth through 2020, and would outpace any other application area. Key factor for such remarkable growth is attributed to its ability to substitute silicon based RFID. ORFID would be a cost effective option for tags, as the materials and manufacturing costs would lower over the period of time.

Key findings of the study: 

 

·         Global market for organic electronics gaining traction with displays, ORFID and Lighting to provide major growth thrust during the forecast period (2014 - 2020)

·         ORFID segment will grow at a CAGR of 48.1% during the forecast period, fastest among all

·         Europe would be one of the lucrative markets, both in terms of size and growth. Europe would reach $9.6 billion by 2020, with fastest CAGR of 35.9%

·         Within organic displays, electroluminescent displays would be most lucrative at 48.7% CAGR during forecast period.

·         OPV and DSSC, though, are the fastest growing photovoltaic segments, CIGs would remain segment of focus - at 94.6% market share in 2020 - within organic photovoltaic market

·         System components will compose second largest segment for organic electronics in 2020, much exceeding photovoltaic segment. The system component would generate about 20% of the global OE market revenue in 2020

·         Conductive inks would outrun other system component segments with about 86.5% revenue in 2020



The market growth is strengthened due to government incentives and other favourable policies that promote innovations in organic electronics. As this industry is in its early growth stage, the companies are strategically focusing on new and innovative product development. This specific focus is to achieve product differentiation and thus gain competitive advantage over the competitors. Continuous technological encroachments, specifically in the sector of organic electronics, have led the market to a completely new horizon. A strong and strategic business relation with the OEM manufacturers and the pure technology solution providers is an inevitable requisite to sustain in the competitive market. Key companies profiled in the report include Fujifilm Dimatix, Inc., Bayer Material science AG, H.C. STARCK, AGC Seimi Chemical Co., Ltd., Sumitomo, Polyic, Heliatek, Nova led, Merck Kgaa, Evonik, BASF Material science AG.

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FLEXcon Supports the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership; Presents at First Annual Community Gathering During SGIA Expo

FLEXcon, an innovator in adhesive coating and laminating, today announced that it is a platinum sponsor of the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), helping to support SGP’s mission to encourage and promote participation in the worldwide movement to reduce environmental impact. SGP aims to increase social responsibility of the graphic communications industry through certification and continuous improvement of sustainability and best practices within manufacturing operations. FLEXcon will participate in the first annual SGP Community Gathering in Las Vegas at the LV Convention Center, which is co-located with the SGIA Expo. This meeting brings together buyers, printers, and suppliers within the print industry to discuss, debate, and learn about the growing trends of sustainability.

Jodi Sawyer, Market Development Specialist for FLEXcon’s Product Branding business team, will join the panel, “Sustainable Media – Does It Exist?” at 1:45 p.m. PDT on Thursday, October 23.

“FLEXcon takes its role in the graphic communications industry seriously, which is why we not only encourage customers to reduce, replace and rethink traditional products with ‘greener’ solutions, we make it our goal to deliver them,” said Sawyer. “From at-retail and durable labeling to primary labeling, we are always available to discuss the greenest possible alternatives to meet specific application requirements.”

FLEXcon, who is also a L.I.F.E certified and ISO 9001:2008 manufacturer, for more than 50 years has been dedicated to conducting business with integrity. This extends beyond delivering eco-friendly products, while also focusing on creating an environment that is safe and healthy for employees and the community.

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LINERLESS LABELS: Practical, sustainable, cost-saving solutions for product decoration and identification

AWA Alexander Watson Associates have published The Linerless Label Market 2014 -- a third edition of their in-depth international market study of one of the emerging features of the pressure-sensitive label market in recent years. A product identification concept which took its first steps in the 1980s, linerless labeling has now established a focused technology chain that has enabled it to take a small but definable share of the mainstream labeling market, both in primary product labeling and in variable information print.

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In-depth market profile

The Linerless Label Market 2014 delivers an updated, independent, wide-ranging assessment of the various applications for pressure-sensitive labels today which do not involve the use of a release liner. One of the major technology drivers for linerless labels is the cost savings which may be made by eliminating a liner, along with productivity improvements and a ‘leaner’, more sustainable labeling process. Typical primary product label applications include supermarket meat, poultry and fish priceweigh tray prepacks (with additional thermal price/barcode print), as well as other options in foods, petrochemicals, and the home and personal care markets. The report details material, technology and machinery developments, to provide a focused insight into the current technology platform and the issues and challenges for label converters and end users, in the context of the pressure-sensitive label market as a whole.

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The report concludes with a review of extant and emerging linerless technologies, and a directory of solutions providers, thus providing a readily-accessible market assessment for manufacturers, raw material suppliers, converters, and label users.

Full details of The Linerless Label Market 2014 may be found on the AWA Alexander Watson Associates’ website, www.awa-bv.com, where it is also possible to order the report online.

 

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Countdown begins to Labelexpo South China

imageThe countdown is on as Labelexpo South China prepares to return to the Pazhou Exhibition Center in Guangzhou between 3-5 December 2014. Formerly known as the South China Label Show, the new look expo is set to underline its position as the region’s largest event for the label and package printing industry with over 150 exhibitors.

Showcasing the very latest in new printing technologies and materials, Labelexpo South China will also offer a live Technology Clinic and conference program that have been expertly designed to keep South Chinese printers/converters ahead of their competitors. Show visitors will be able to learn about how to add value to their business, create new opportunities for clients, boost efficiency and productivity, reduce costs and increase profits.

Aimed at label, packaging and general printers, brand owners and label and packaging designers, it is expected to attract over 5,000 visitors. The exhibition will again feature some of the industry’s leading Chinese and international press and material manufacturers with exhibitors including: Brotech, Label Source, Nuova GIDUE, OMET, Soontomax Label Material Co, UPM Raflatac, Weifang Donghang Graphic Technology Inc, Xeikon, Zhe Jiang Wei Gang Machinery Co and Zhongtian Machinery.

John Davy, divisional director of Labelexpo South China commented: “It is no wonder that we have decided to rebrand the event as Labelexpo South China following the meteoric success of our first two editions. The show has very quickly and convincingly become the must see event for printers looking to grow their business, contacts, expertise and success. China is the world’s largest and fastest growing emerging market and with nearly 60% of China's total printing output coming out of Hong Kong and Guangdong Province, Labelexpo South China is perfectly positioned to serve the specific needs of South Chinese printers operating in this lucrative growth sector.”

Entry to the show is free and visitors can pre-register by visiting www.labelexpo-southchina.com.

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CHILI Publish helps De Budelse expand flexible and functional customer platform

When De Budelse, an innovative graphic company that focuses on packaging and print in both offset and digital as well as ICT, looked into a new software platform, all pieces of the puzzle fell into place with CHILI Publish. CHILI Publisher online document editing software fits perfectly within the strategy and vision of De Budelse about how their customer platform should be: functional, flexible and with maximum freedom for the client. "Because that is where the future lies," says Harry Mennen, who together with his colleagues, was the driving force behind this new innovation at De Budelse.

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De Budelse’s customer base mainly consists of nationally and internationally active companies, located in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. De Budelse puts a strong focus on the production of packaging, high volumes in small runs and ICT Services. ICT and process automation are crucial links between De Budelse and its clients, as this ensures the required versatility, flexibility and a short time-to-market. To support this vision, De Budelse created an innovative customer platform, BuDi (www.budionline.nl) that bundles three elements: a web-shop to order products, a product generator based on CHILI Publisher to design the products, and a logistic module to manage order processing, payment and distribution. With BuDi, De Budelse offers its clients a highly flexible way of managing their order, creation, production, payment and delivery process.

Up to the next level

Until recently, De Budelse's own ICT-department developed or reprogrammed most of the internal software. They wanted however a new software platform that would allow clients to do a lot themselves: design an own web-shop, by using the standards, and allow to work in the design program at each knowledge level - basic, experienced or pro. The main motto? The less restrictions, the better! "Everything fell into place when we saw a demo of CHILI Publisher. This editing software perfectly answered our requirements. We proceeded with further development and gradually delved deeper into the software, which offered many more possibilities than we originally thought,” says Mennen.

Open landscape

CHILI Publisher is used within BuDi for De Budelse's customers to manage all of their files or to design an own web-shop to market their products. "The Chili Publisher software is like an open landscape, in which the user can build his own structures: divide the “landscape” into separate lots and then designing every lot according to his own ideas," Mennen explains. "CHILI Publisher does not have any restrictions and that is precisely what makes it so appealing to the user. It plays a decisive role in the product generator of the BuDi-platform. Customers can incorporate their specific look and feel into the web-shop." Their products are linked to a template in the product generator. The user is offered the maximum freedom by the platform's flexibility. He has everything under control, up to 3D-presentations of the design. The next part of the flow is fully automized, from production to logistics to payment. Every part on its own is exceptionally efficient and functional. That makes BuDi as platform, with the CHILI Publisher software at the core of the system, so powerful and valuable.

Future perspectives

The platform is a continuously expanding tool, with a number of developments still in the pipeline. "Flexibility and functionality remain paramount. Thanks to this flexibility, BuDi-consumers could for example make their own World Cup Football cover for the Veronica TV Guide for June. Readers got the chance to put their own text and image on the cover, and we printed the special covers. Thanks also to CHILI Publisher, we managed to get this done in only 5 days. This would have been impossible before," concludes Mennen.

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First Benelux installation of Esko Full HD Flexo at Athena Graphics

Athena Graphics, one of Europe’s leading prepress specialists for the flexographic industry, recently became the first in the Benelux to install an Esko CDI imager with Full HD Flexo technology. “We have been working with Esko hardware and software solutions since our founding in 1991, and we will continue to do so. Having such a close relationship with Esko enables us to deliver the high quality our customers – both brand owners and printers – are demanding,” says Ignace Cosaert, Managing Director at Athena Graphics.

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Esko CDI with Full HD Flexo at Athena Graphics

The addition of an Esko CDI imager with Full HD Flexo capabilities takes Athena Graphics another step ahead of the competition, explains Cosaert. “Brand owners today simply demand the very best quality. Printers are looking for new ways to meet that demand. And with Full HD Flexo from Esko, we have found the right solution to satisfy those needs. Because of the unique dot shape this technology creates, we now can produce flexo plates that not only deliver superior printing quality, but also better performance and consistency during the printing process,” he says. At the same time, Athena Graphics can bring cost savings to brand owners “Because Esko Full HD Flexo allows for a much broader color gamut, we are now able to use four or five colors instead of six to get to the same high quality end result,” Cosaert adds.

Innovation, productivity, cost-effectiveness through automation

Software is another essential part of Athena Graphics’ portfolio. At A-ton, Athena’s IT-department operating as an independent business unit, many Esko software features are integrated into the tailor-made solutions provided to customers. “In a way, we sometimes even compete with Esko in finding the best solution,” says Cosaert with a smile, “just another benefit of our close partnership.”

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on the left Ignace Cosaert, current managing director of Athena Graphics, and right his father and founder of the company, Geert Cosaert (who passed away in the summer of 2014)

Automation is just as important to customers as it is to Athena Graphics itself. Cosaert says, “Our customers want to lower costs, decrease time-to-market and reduce the number of mistakes. The same goes for us, of course. So we have a team of four talented people who are constantly looking for ways to improve our processes through automation. We need to be able to do more, with the same number of people. Esko’s Automation Engine sets the standard for us in this field, and it is the platform that we build on. We really take its possibilities to the limits.”

Based in a state-of-the-art building at Roeselare, Belgium, Athena Graphics’ headquarters are very near to Esko’s Ghent offices. “It is really great to have them so close”, says Cosaert, “especially since we are using almost all of Esko’s portfolio. We are always in close contact, and we appreciate their responsiveness. Very often we are one of the first users to put their new products to the test. This is highly beneficial to both of us: Esko can trust us to provide professional feedback and we can take full advantage of the latest technology at an early stage. And we can trust Esko to stay ahead of the curve in bringing innovative solutions to market.”

Quality: a driving factor for growth

The packaging market continues to offer great opportunities for Athena Graphics. “Just walk into any supermarket and take a look at the enormous amount and diversity of products – and everything has packaging,” Cosaert states. The trend of packing smaller volumes of a product to cater for smaller households, combined with an increasing number of varieties of a product, have resulted in a larger number of jobs for Athena Graphics: “Each year we see our volume of flexo plates go up by 10 percent. Actually, all of our departments are growing by some 10 per cent annually.”

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Athena Graphics prepress specialists at work

Athena Graphics now has offices in Belgium, The Netherlands and France, and works with almost every European country. Being a family-owned business keeps the company fast and dynamic. “We have our vision in place and can respond very quickly to new developments,” he concludes. “We are always eager to have the newest and latest technology, because this ensures we can deliver the highest quality in the most efficient way. That is also why we will continue to work with Esko: quality is what drives us both.”

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