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FLEXO Magazine : September 2011
to “shrink it, stretch it, cut it and wrap it around.” Supply chain management will be discussed and flexible production techniques stressed. Added-value solutions to include foiling, coating and varnishing will be unveiled. Innovative, smart decorating ideas will be on display—even in the realm of product tracking, radio frequency identification, security and brand protection. Every idea offered, according to Fairley, is put forth to “drive costs down and increase profitability. ” “T he main issues that we currently see in the industry are continuing moves to short and medium run lengths, in turn driving the continuing growth of digital printing and new digi- tal press installations, as well as pushing conventional flexo press manufacturers to develop new solutions that enable quick change-over, shorter web paths, and enhanced inspection and control systems,” Fairley states in assessing what to expect to hear at the show. “Digital printing today now makes up close to one-fifth of all new narrow web press installations each year, with new digital press manufacturers proliferating,” he fur- ther observes. “Indeed, there now seems to be at least 35-40 different makes and models of digital label presses on the market. ” “Alongside the move to shorter runs, comes the need for converters to operate with more sophisticated MIS systems to control workflow from customer order to job deliv- ery,” Fairley explains. “ Perhaps one of the major issues coming increas- ingly to the fore is the whole topic of sustainability and waste. Recycling and recyclability, zero waste to landfill, reduction in carbon emissions, Lean manufacturing, etc, are all rising toward the top of the label converter ’s agenda. ” T hey ’re all on the radar screen and will certainly be addressed at Labelex- po-Europe. PRESS DESIGNS & DEMOS A number of narrow web digital and conventional press manufacturers have developed models solely for flexible packaging, such as Nilpeter, HP Indigo, MPS, Xeikon and EFI Jetrion. All will be exhibiting at Labelexpo-Europe. Nilpeter ’s new FA-6 , a 22-in wide flexo press, prints unsup- ported films as thin as 12 microns, completing an eight-color NEW FEATURES AT LARGEST LABELEXPO-EUROPE Labelexpo-Europe will introduce two new major feature areas at this year’s show, according to the show ’s Director of Strategic Development Mike Fairley. “ T he popular Technology Print Workshops, first introduced at last year ’s Labelexpo Americas, will make their debut in Europe. Three printing technologies (dry toner, liquid toner and inkjet) will be compared against each other during live machine demonstrations run by an independent moderator. The technologies will be represented by Xeikon, HP and EFI Jetrion respectively. There will be four sessions per day, three of which will see the different companies printing the same job—a food, pharmaceutical or personal care label—on the same substrate. The fourth session will allow participants to print a label of their choice. ” Also, for the first time in the history of Labelexpo, there will be a new feature: The Package Printing Zone. It will be com- prised of working machinery demonstrations, as well as seminar sessions. The aim of this feature, according to Fairley, is to introduce label printers to opportunities in short-run package printing (including flexible packaging, folding cartons, pouches and sachets). Many of these jobs can be printed on narrow to mid web presses and there will be package print- ing presses on display at the show. Both the Technology Workshops and the Package Printing Zone will be free to attend for the show ’s visitors. “ Labelexpo Europe is set to be the largest edition yet and this will mean more working machinery and more opportuni- ties for label converters and brand owners,” said Roger Pellow, Labelexpo’s managing director. “ T he Technology Work- shops, our most popular feature ever, will allow visitors to evaluate the different printing technologies in detail. Similarly the Package Printing Zone will demonstrate how converters can expand their business beyond labels, often using the same equipment. This all makes Labelexpo-Europe an absolutely unmissable event.” 30 FLEXO september 2011 www.flexography.org