Labelexpo Americas '08

By Steve Leibin of Matik, Omet | November 12, 2008

We continue our roundup of the companies and their products that made Labelexpo 2008 in Chicago the premier North American industry event of the year.

Steve Leibin of Matik, Omet's American distributor, draws a crowd for an Omet press demonstration.
While attendance numbers may have been down from previous shows, this year's Labelexpo attendees were treated to displays and demonstrations of the latest equipment and materials from the industry's leading suppliers.

Italian press manufacturer Omet reported great feedback from its live demonstrations of the X-Flex, the press that won the 2008 FTA Award for Innovation. According to Omet's American Distributor, Steve Leibin of Matik: "The label converters who visited the Omet booth were all keen to see why the X-Flex had won the 2008 FTA Award for Innovation. When they left, they told us that the live demonstrations we ran answered all of their questions, and more." The 430mm wide 8-color X-Flex showed why, with its short web path, it reduces set up times while achieving very low substrate waste. Marco Calgani, Omet's vice president, concluded the event was a success: "By the close of the show, we had taken orders for a range of our technology, from companies around the world. For Omet, this Labelexpo turned out to be a significant milestone for our international business."

Arpeco, Mississauga, ON, Canada, featured for the first time at a North America exhibition a Premier-SD 20/20 single-pass inspection and finishing machine. The Premier-SD 20/20 combines Arpeco's multi-motor servo driven web transport technology with its patented Shuttle Retrieval system to provide bi-directional inspection, fault editing and re-inspection of high value added or security sensitive products.

Alden & Ott, Mount Prospect, IL, USA, featured its new Soy-Flex printing inks. The soy polymer is naturally produced and becomes a more renewable resource. The company says one of the biggest advantages for its use is cleaner printing.

French press manufacturer SMAG showcased its flagship Galaxie digital press with unwinder, flatbed screen print station, semi-rotary hot foil, semi-rotary diecutting and converting section. Also at the SMAG booth was a Comet digital finishing unit with flexo, cold foiling, semi-rotary diecutting, and converting section. The new Offline Priming Solution had its US launch at Labelexpo. This primer, with IR/hot air UV drying can treat films down to 30 microns. It is designed for priming substrates prior to digital printing.

Nu Tech Coatings, Johnson City, TN, USA, showcased its newest product from the company's plate cylinder coatings line, the PEC HD. The print results achieved with the PED HD diminish or remove the frequency and amplitude of banding or gear marking on narrow and mid web flexographic presses, while reducing waste, increasing yields, and providing predictable, high quality print on unsupported thin films and other high hold out substrates.

Flexo Wash, Louisville, KY, USA, displayed several new products including the new FW Handy XL, a narrow web anilox cleaner, and the new PK EZ Clean Plate & Parts Washer, both designed for entry level, narrow web flexo printers.

Compose Systems, Sacramento, CA, USA, exhibited its newest workflow system products: Plate Controller, Flexoflow and PressMax. Plate Controller is a flexible layout tool for labels, step and repeat, and setting up odd size jobs on a plate. FlexoFlow has over 40 modules to automate production, from PDF creation, verification and color normalizing to RIP and dot per dot proofing. PressMax is a color normalizer than can save printers up to 30 percent on ink.

Rofin-Baasel, Boxborough, MA, USA, featured the LabelMarker Compact, a desktop system for high-speed laser marking and cutting of individual labels or label sets. The system uses a PowerLine E laser, integrated label spooler, cutting system, operator interface, and standard 120V/230V power connection (no factory air or water required). The system allows for labels to be processed at any step in the production line.

German industrial tape manufacturer Doro Tape, introduced a new technology the company has developed to produce 3D self adhesive flexible labels and logos on endless rolls. The new products are marketed under the brand name LOGO-FLEX. This new technology offers its customers an opportunity to upgrade their branded products and to give them better visual differentiation from competitors.

The busy exhibition floor at Labelexpo Americas 2008
Lucid Dream Software demonstrated TribalSketch, what the company calls a "You Host It" web application that provides a customer portal where site visitors can create custom designs for a wide variety of printed products, quickly and easily right in their browser. Users can manage saved designs and create a "Flip Proof" of designs. The "Flip Proof" feature is a new interactive proofing tool that allows users to flip the proof like real paper in their browser. "I gave 82 demos and have had significant interest from narrow web users. We've had a number of users that are indicating a serious interest in offering their label customers the opportunity to design and order online," said David Lewis, president.

ImTech, Corvallis, OR, USA, showcased its newest thermal inkjet marker, the Mark 310. This machine is equipped to drive one or two HP 45 printheads. The Mark 310 offers a wide range of features enabling operation as a fully embedded inkjet printing component integrated into a customer application, or as a standalone marking system independent of a permanently attached PC or controller. The Mark 310 allows for highly flexible combinations of text, numbers and graphics printed forward, reverse, inverted or mirrored at speeds up to 750 fpm.

Zeller+Gmelin Printing Inks, Richmond, VA, USA, featured its NUVAFLEX 32 Series inks. The free radical chemistry of the Silicone Free 32 Series provides clean, highly pigmented, dense and glossy colors with free flowing, fast curing benefits, while allowing fused bond strength stress levels to approach 80 percent total shrinkage with no cracking, flaking or scratch off. Additional enhancements include dense, clean pigmentations, low odor, wet-look gloss, silicone and wax free for high-end trapping and laminations.

Provident Group, Concord, NH, USA, debuted the Webscan TruCheck USB 2D barcode verifier. This compact unit measures Data Matrix, QR and the GS1 DataBar family to ISO 15415 print quality standards. Also, making its North American debut, was the Troika Plate II Print dot measurement system. Plate II Print measures dot sizes on film/masks, flexo printing plates and printed copy.

Husson showcased its humidification systems.
Husson Inc., Sturtevant , WI, USA, a provider of custom engineered industrial humidification systems, featured the Princess 2 humidification unit. These units operate individually or in combinations to effectively maintain optimum humidification in large industrial spaces. Due to its integrated fan design, this unit can operate in areas with ceilings as low as 10 feet. The system's design also ensures fast, uniform distribution of mist, keeping droplets suspended until evaporation.

NAStar, Middleton, WI, USA, featured its T1055 Temporary Adhesive, which removes cleanly from paper or glass and adheres to wood and damp, cold surfaces. T1055 is suitable for one-piece mailers and high-impact ad specialties. The product is available in both linered and linerless/selfwound constructions.

Precision AirConvey Corporation, Newark, DE, USA, demonstrated its Central Oil Mist System. The Central Oil Mist System, which utilizes a two barrel system, provides continuous operation that individual mist systems cannot achieve. A custom control panel and the ability to tailor oil usage are key features of this system.

Etlon Corporation, Wood Dale, IL, USA, introduced its new 13" inspection/slitter rewinder. It features PLC/color touch panel control along with an electric particle brake/clutch for precise tension (even at low settings). "Smart Torque" automatically controls tension on the unwind and rewind resulting in total "hands off" control. The new rewinder has several webbing paths to match with slower running speeds and has 30" unwind/18" rewind capacity.

Developer and manufacturer of product identification equipment for the Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) market, cab Technology, Tyngsboro, MA, USA, showcased its complete range of products including thermal printers, accessories and software programs, print and apply label applicators and laser marking systems.

Recyl, Ville-la-Grand, France, presented its range of cleaning products as well as its cleaning machines. Visitors to the booth learned about the new Recyl Clean Bio, an anilox weekly maintenance product with gentle cleaning cream. Also on display were the cleaning machines and the new Flate Plate Cleaner 45.

The show marked the American debut for the new product lines from German waste handling system manufacturer Matho. On display was a small single unit for the extraction and cutting of matrix and edge trims of one label printing press. The compact Cuttobag CB-100 demonstrated features such as a frequency converter and an energy saving motor concept for savings up to 60 percent.

AMAGIC Foils, Garden Grove, CA, USA, author of "Cold Foil For Dummies," introduced its new KOLDfoil INVISAseam low visibility shim rainbow cold foil which is designed to provide a virtually seamless rainbow cold foil.
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