An event that occurs just every four years has got to be a pretty big deal. We’ve got the Olympics, leap year, World Cup soccer and presidential elections, and these are just a few of society’s very well-known quadrennial happenings. But if you work in the print industry, then surely drupa comes to mind – the print industry’s tradeshow of tradeshows.
Drupa lasts a solid fortnight, and the 2012 edition is right around the corner, as the world’s leading print industry players will descend upon Düsseldorf, Germany, from May 3-16. And the label industry will be well represented, with several global suppliers using the show as a platform to launch new products or simply introduce themselves to the industry. Based on several reports, it seems that many label-focused companies are exhibiting new lines of equipment that appeal to the folding carton and flexible packaging markets.
The following is a preview of what some of the label industry’s top players will be bringing to Germany:
Gallus will be putting the spotlight on the productivity potential in producing folding cartons in an inline process. Visitors to the Gallus booth will be able to learn about a number of production systems for liquid packaging offered by the Folding Carton division of the Gallus Group, as well as the process flexibility of Gallus' systems for manufacturing high-quality folding cartons. Live demos of the Gallus ICS 670 machine system will focus on a host of technological innovations and reveal key advantages of inline production with respect to flexibility, productivity and quality.
OMET is exhibiting at drupa its two most important presses for flexibility, efficiency and number of installations of its range: one 8-color 530 Varyflex V2 and one 6-color 430 mm XFlex X6. The Varyflex V2 is a machine for flexible packaging and carton printing, a platform on which it is possible to combine and interchange print units and converting stations in a simple and fast way with minimum waste. Varyflex V2 will focus on the richness of equipment for the printing of packaging for different sectors and on a wide range of substrates, with particular attention to in-line lamination. The main focus of the XFlex X6 presentation will show that the press is ideal for short and medium run printing, and introduces a digital group integrated inline, featuring speeds up to 50 meters per minute.
Durst will showcase for the first time the new 13" Tau 330 UV inkjet digital label press. The new Durst press is the first UV inkjet digital device in the world to print on a 13” web. The new Tau 330 features a maximum printing speed of 157 linear feet per minute, reaching an industry-leading hourly production capacity of 10,222 square feet. The Durst Tau 330 will be available in a 13" and an 8" print version. “Best in class” image quality is achieved thanks to Durst’s proprietary Single Pass UV Inkjet Technology, featuring Xaar 1001 print heads with a physical print resolution of 720x360 dpi, with drop on demand, variable drop size and grayscale technology that results in an apparent image resolution of over 1,000 dpi. The standard CMYK color configuration of the Tau 330 can be augmented with opaque WHITE UV ink, plus the process colors orange and violet.
Edale will be exhibiting with all new machine footage, literature and various samples from their current range of printing and converting machines. There will be a strong focus on the packaging and folding carton market; “Which is particularly exciting this year as many offset printers start to diversify and venture into the flexographic print process,” says Bernhard Grob, Edale’s export sales manager.
Nilpeter, along with FEEI, will introduce the new Caslon digital spot color module, printing digital white UV-curable ink in the booth. Also, a new labeling workflow will be displayed. This workflow is based on the XMF from FFEI. Caslon is an inkjet print system designed by FEEI, it is based on the Xaar 1001 greyscale printhead technology consisting of four printers, one for each of the wide gamut CMYK colors, each with five (330mm print width) or six (410mm print width) printheads. The Caslon system delivers finished products at a rate of 25m per minute (linear). Faster speeds are available up to 50m per minute for less demanding applications providing market-leading productivity of up to 1247m2 per hour.
Xeikon will unveil its new Xeikon 8000 Series of digital color presses at drupa. The new series of presses, which has been developed specifically for the document printing market, makes Xeikon's highest image quality, highest productivity and lowest running costs available across its entire duplex-printing product line. This enables all users – from smaller short-run print shops to large print service providers – to take advantage of the company's technology. Comprising three models, the Xeikon 8500, Xeikon 8600 and Xeikon 8800, the new series also offers Xeikon users an upgrade path for growth. In addition, all models come equipped with Xeikon's new Toner Optimization Mode (TOM), which, depending on the application, can reduce toner usage up to 50%. This Toner Optimization Mode will allow users to reduce their running costs significantly, while enabling them to compete with lower quality printing solutions for smaller job sizes and reprints.
Advanced Vision Technology (AVT) will be launching a range of new products at drupa, using its latest web inspection technology to focus on improving print quality. Most printing markets will be covered: label, packaging, metal decorating and commercial. Spearheading the new technology is AVT’s on-press, in-line spectral measurement – SpectraLab. SpectraLab automatically measures colors by sampling user-defined points on the print image and provides ISO compliant on-line L*a*b* color values that match those made off-line. AVT will also be demonstrating the all-new PrintVision/Argus Elite. The new system includes upgraded viewing capabilities, a brand new man-machine-interface, and pressure setting from the image. The new PrintVision/Argus Elite will be demonstrated in the AVT booth and on the new F2 Comexi press on the Comexi stand.
ETI will showcase the new ETI Linerless Technology, and how it is easily adaptable to the existing Cohesio machine. It brings a long-awaited solution to printers as it prints on both sides of the label without a liner and without any compromise to the shape of the label. Moreover, this equipment is designed for high-speed automatic application. This green technology provides printers with significant savings. ETI and its partners have developed two technologies to apply linerless labels. One uses existing labeling machines with minor modifications and the other uses a pre-cut label over stack in roll. Both technologies are for high-speed applications and do not make any compromise on the shape of the label. Until now, the linerless technology was limited by micro-perforations and attach-points, making its development impossible due to marketing compromises.
One of the main attractions at the Stork Prints stand will be the DSI UV inkjet printer. This digital printing press produces labels with excellent color strength and brilliance, at speeds up to a 700m2/hour, while keeping costs low. Multiple demos will be given each day. The DSI is a cost-effective UV inkjet label printer, offering sublime printing quality at amazing speeds. Its combination of photographic quality and a rotary screen “look and feel” makes it suitable for everything from short- to medium- and even long-run jobs. Especially when used in combination with Stork Prints’ own-brand inks, all developed and produced in-house, it gives superior results characterized by a high resistance to light and impressive scratch-proofing.
DigiFlex Ltd. will launch its Flexojet1725 inkjet computer-to-plate system for flexographic, dry-offset, letterpress plates, and optionally for rotary silk screen. The FlexoJet1725 inkjet CtP jets DigiFlex bi-component ink on any flexographic analog plate, creating a mask in an eco-friendly method. Hezy Rotman, CEO of DigiFlex, says, “Our inkjet CtP system brings excellent quality, superior cost-of-ownership, high performance and fast make-ready, to produce high quality flexographic, dry-offset and letterpress printing plates with amazing dot shapes for label and tag printers. It serves as a great motivation to replace the traditional film solution and as a preferred alternative to laser plate-making systems.”
DuPont will focus on the full commercialization of DuPont Cyrel DigiFlow, a new digital workflow enhancement designed “to expand the capabilities of digital Cyrel and digital Cyrel FAST to deliver superior print quality and productivity.” Cyrel DigiFlow is designed to be a simple and inexpensive modification to the existing line of DuPont exposure units. It adds a chamber that allows the creation of a controlled atmosphere during the main exposure allowing one-to-one reproduction of image elements on the plate. This one-to-one reproduction is critical to optimizing the effects of solid screening patterns.
GMG will launch two color management systems at drupa: a spot-color simulation tool for package printing and a universal cloud-based collaboration system with intelligent tools for the central management and control of all correction and approval procedures. These new products bring new levels of color control, quality, consistency, efficiency and savings to designers, agencies, premedia, printers and brand owners.
Schobertechnologies GmbH, a subsidiary of Schober GmbH Holding, will introduce Sheetline, a rotary sheetfed converting machine. Distinctive features of this machine are the converting station equipped with vacuum-controlled rotary tools and the new gripper sheet guiding system ensuring high-precision finishing of pre-printed sheets. The products are separated from the matrix immediately after the cutting process and redirected to a stacker by a conveyor belt. Proven product stackers such as the M-Stack, Star-Stack or V-Stack (stacking using robotics) are available options. Magnetic dies guarantee the shortest set-up time as well as the highest productivity, also for short runs.
Finally, one of the most talked about technologies coming to drupa is Nanography. In 1993, Benny Landa sparked the birth of the digital printing revolution with the introduction of the Indigo digital press. Now after ten years of immersing himself and his new company in nanotechnology research, he is set to ignite perhaps a second wave of digital printing. At his drupa press conference, Benny Landa will officially launch a new category of digital printing - Nanography - and unveil a portfolio of sheetfed and web presses that provide “game-changing performance for mainstream commercial, packaging and publishing markets.” According to reports, the Landa Nanographic Printing Presses offer the versatility of digital with the qualities and speed of offset printing. The press conference agenda includes an inside tour of Nanography - the technology, the products and the opportunity - as well as insights into the future of the industry.
Look who's coming to drupa
Leading label industry suppliers - some with a focus on packaging - will have a strong presence at the print industry's biggest event.
By Steve Katz
Published April 24, 2012