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FLEXO Magazine : November 2013
indUSTrY indICATOrS Confidence & optimism Prevail at Labelexpo europe Attendance, Exhibitor, rebooking Numbers Set records Two years ago, Labelexpo Europe 2011 broke every record worth measuring—number of exhibitors, largest overall show, attendance by headcount and country representation, percentage of rebooking for its next show. With the 2013 iteration of the event now in the books, a lot of those records have once again gone the way of the litho- graph. Labelexpo Europe 2013, too, set new highs in every respect, including: • 31,795 visitors • Seven exhibition halls covering 31,000 sq. ft. at Brussels Expo • 158 countries represented • Just shy of 600 exhibitors • 86 percent of space booked for 2015 “ With the Eurozone now out of recession, confidence and optimism are beginning to return to the wider global indus- try and converters are starting to invest in their businesses THE RECORD BOOK • 31,795 visitors • 31,000 sq. ft. occupied across seven exhibition halls • 158 countries represented • Nearly 600 exhibitors • 86 percent of total space available booked for Labelexpo Europe 2015 Also available are single-cathode guns that can be inte- grated into most existing plasma spray systems. uSe in PrinTing To meet stringent requirements for successful laser engrav- ing, plasma-sprayed chrome oxide surfaces are a viable solu- tion for anilox rolls. Cascading arc plasma is renowned for producing the dense and homogeneous surfaces needed for the high number of ink-metering cells to successfully produce eye-catching prints. A cascading arc plasma gun offers several benefits over traditional plasma applications. First, this technology is capable of long, non-stop spray runs to achieve the desired surface quality, especially critical for large rolls. Compared to single cathode, single anode plasma spray guns, it is also capable of high throughputs (coating deposit efficiency ver- sus material application rates), which are key to minimizing processing times and supplying the rolls. It’s critical for the applied coating to be free of either macro or micro cracks as these would result in spallation or mal- formed cells during laser engraving. In addition, free metallic chromium must be eliminated or it would create a detrimental effect on the laser engraving process. Cascading arc plasma spray produces surfaces with very low impurities, creating a nearly pristine chromium oxide covering. evoLving For SimPLiCiTY Like most new technologies, cascading arc guns have progressed since first debuting on the market, with current versions functioning far more optimally than the first. A com- mon lingering false perception is that cascading arc plasma guns are overly complex because they are composed of more elements. In reality, the guns have evolved for simplified mainte- nance and only need to be addressed once every 200 hours. Cascading arc plasma guns require only one power supply. Additionally, cascading arc plasma technology now has the flexibility to run on hydrogen gas, giving manufacturers a dis- tinct advantage as the global helium supply becomes limited. As plasma spray technology continues to evolve, its ap- plicability will broaden. Above all, there is no substitute for industry experience combined with thorough application know-how. To achieve the highest success, it is critical that users work with material and equipment suppliers that are knowledgeable about cascading arc plasma technologies to ensure a durable part that can be coated efficiently and cost- effectively. n About the Authors: Steven Ort is director of equipment prod- uct line management at Sulzer Metco, Inc., and Dave Hawley is director of research and development at Sulzer Metco, Inc., based in Westbury, NY A single-cathode gun can be integrated into most existing plasma spray systems, to improve process efficiency while minimizing additional investment. Cascading arc plasma is renowned for efficiently producing the dense and homogeneous surfaces needed on anilox rolls to successfully produce eye-catching prints. The background is the cell pattern from a laser-engraved anilox roll. 60 FLeXO NOVEMbEr 2013 www.flexography.org www.flexography.org NOVEMbEr 2013 FLeXO 61