The partnership was originally announced in March in support of the production, sales and service of the Panorama digital label printing platform in North America. Nilpeter’s flexo technology has been integrated with Screen’s digital inkjet label print engine. The Panorama hybrid line is available in hybrid digital, standalone and full converting configurations.
“We’ve been perfecting this technology for longer than anyone else in the market,” explained Ken Ingram, president of Screen Americas. “We feel like we have the expertise in the inkjet market, where we have a very large footprint. Specific to label and package printing, we will distribute technology that we feel is the best for the market.”
According to Lenny DeGirolmo, president/managing director of Nilpeter USA, Screen and Nilpeter have been connected for more than four years now, but only recently chose to officially partner. “We both want to achieve the same goal at the end of the day,” said DeGirolmo. “After that everything became easy. It’s not just delivering one portion of the machine and they deliver another portion. This is done together, and it’s different from what other companies are doing.”
Attendees were also treated to presentations from a host of industry partners, live equipment demonstrations, and a facility tour.
The proliferation of digital printing technology has opened up new avenues for label converters–with hybrid printing seemingly offering the best of both worlds. With more than 150 Screen-manufactured UV label presses in service around the world, the partnership was a natural fit for both sides.
“Digital has been around for some time now, but the acceleration for adoption has really moved at a faster pace than the five years prior,” said Ingram. “Pretty quickly the industry found out that the standalone digital presses work well, but there are many needs in the market. When we looked at our expertise and what we know, with screening, color and algorithms, there’s also the real world of the conventional side of the business. We’re just really excited to announce that we’re going to work together and bring solutions to the market together. We think the results will be unparalleled for the customers.”
“Our goal is to build a press that is smarter and more efficient than our competition, and we think we’ve done that,” added Paul Teachout, vice president of sales and marketing at Nilpeter USA.
The event featured a wide range of presentations, establishing the growth of the digital market and how suppliers are responding with relevant technologies. Avery Dennison, Color-Logic, One Vision, and Techkon detailed how substrates, color matching technology, and enhanced graphics can support the newest equipment of the market today.
“Digital has definitely moved beyond the use of personalization and customization,” stated Diane Ewanko, business development manager at Avery Dennison. “The larger label converters are capitalizing on the economic value, as well as the speed to market advantages.”
While digital printing used to be characterized by runs of 5,000 feet or less, hybrid printing has provided a solution for every desired run length. A recent FINAT survey cites 45% converters saying they plan to buy a digital press in the next 18 months. Ewanko added that by 2023, 62% of production press installations for digital will be inkjet. However, flexo will still be 12 times the size of the digital print market in 2023.
Avery Dennison has validated a wide range of materials for UV inkjet presses, focusing on optimal ink drop spread and finding the right top-coat chemistry for films. Techkon, meanwhile, has defined new metrics to measure color. The company is a proponent of using spectral information and sophisticated math algorithms to provide new information such as predictive ink densities.
Gary Walton of Cincinnati State added that the rapid growth in printing technology, including the move to hybrid capabilities, offers the next generation a path for employment. “You’re not doing your job to make people want to come into this industry,” Walton said. “Most people think you are a dying industry. You need to remind people that life revolves around print. You are leaving money on the table by not investing in education. You need to change your thinking.”
In responding to these claims, Teachout added that Nilpeter has gone to great lengths to modernize its technology to appeal to the next generation workforce. These capabilities were highlighted in live demonstrations of the all-new FA and a guided tour through Nilpeter’s production facility.