Those in the packaging community will have plenty to gain their interest at the upcoming PacPrint show in Melbourne’s Exhibition CentreWhile the Pac in PacPrint technically stands for Pacific (not Pack, as many assume), the misunderstanding is actually quite apt, according to organisers, who say the show will offer plenty of technology, ideas and new products for those involved in packaging and label printing, converting and finishing.
Alastair Hadley, PacPrint chairman says,“Packaging and labeling, like all areas of the print and communications industry, are both highly competitive and rapidly changing, creating a range of challenges for businesses. Visitors to PacPrint will be able to see a wide array of solutions which can help them equip themselves for the future, improve efficiencies and profitability, and diversify into new and innovative areas.”
In fact, PacPrint will offer a staggering array of options for the packaging and label market, from large presses and systems through to small niche products.
In the pre-press area Kodak will be demonstrating the semi-automatic Trendsetter NX Imager, part of its complete Flexcel NX digital flexographic packaging solution, which enables stable and repeatable high-resolution flexo printing.
Darren Yeates, Kodak Australia account manager and packaging specialist says, “In today’s competitive market, it is more important than ever for packaging printers to be able to differentiate themselves. At PacPrint, the easy to operate Trendsetter NX will be shown in action imaging Kodak Flexcel NX thermal imaging layers, before the layers are laminated to Flexcel NX digital flexographic plates for exposure and processing.”
The machine, available in both narrow and mid formats, delivers images in up to 200lpi, virtually eliminating drop off to highlights for outstanding printing results, and has a highly productive throughput of 9.5sqm plates per hour, exceptional process stability and ease of maintenance.
JET Technologies will be exhibiting an alternative to conventional CTP with its fully automatic, 100 per cent digital, Stork Helios direct laser engraver, as well as the KBA Metronics Genius 52UV machine, on Stand F50.
The Stork Helios, aimed at the narrow to mid web market, offers a range of benefits including higher speed and quality, improved efficiency and economy and reduced environmental impact according to product development manager, Darryl Wilson.
Wilson says, “Because it is a ‘single step’ system for creating flexo printing plates, the Stork Helios greatly simplifies and accelerates the production process, while delivering extremely fine reproduction and exceptional quality.”
The B3 size Genius, which JET’s Jim Everitt says is the world’s only waterless, keyless UV sheetfed offset press, is on display for the first time in Australia.
According to Wilson, “The Genius opens the door to a range of profitable new options for printers, allowing them to produce niche products, in four or five colours on a wide range of paper and board stocks or plastics including lenticular, ABS, PVC and PC.”
Positive print options
At the larger end of the packaging print market, exhibitors are somewhat hampered by the load capacity of the carpark pillars that underpin the display area of the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, yet exhibitors will still ensure visitors enjoy the ‘large format’ experience, with or without heavy metal.
Agfa has selected the versatile :Dotrix digital inkjet label and packaging press as the focus of its packaging display for PacPrint, yet the size of the press means the company will be unable to have one on stand.
Garry Muratore, marketing manager at Agfa says, “The modular design of the :Dotrix is creating a lot of interest in the market as it allows printers to choose the web width to suit each job, from narrow web to a full 630mm. It also offers instant changeover between a wide range of substrates including heat-sensitive, pressure-sensitive and in-mould labels, with no press preparation required, making it not only a versatile press for many businesses, but a highly productive option in a market which is increasingly characterised by short runs.”
Though the press itself cannot make it, Agfa will dedicate a specialist :Dotrix area on its stand, where visitors can view a wide range of samples, videos and presentations, and even see a scale model which demonstrates the :Dotrix’ flexible, modular design.
Heidelberg will feature its A2 packaging machine, the Heidelberg Speedmaster XL75-5+L(X2) press with in-line coating options, as part of a display that will offer much for printers interested in producing lower volume and short-run packaging or boutique lines.
John Harrison, product manager – packaging, says,“This is a specialty coating press which is part of our XL Peak Performance class, featuring in-built Inpress Control colour control for ‘on the fly’ adjustment of colour and exceptional quality and consistency over short or long runs, and repeat jobs.
“This exceptionally productive and versatile press delivers consistent quality at speeds of 18,000 sheets per hour, even when optioned for UV inks and coatings, and can handle a wide range of coating options, as well as various substrates between 0.03mm to 0.8mm, or 45 to 450gsm.”
Although the company can’t show everything on stand, Harrison says his team is happy to talk about its range of printing, packaging and converting solutions, including diecutters and folding box gluers, and about the ‘total solutions’ approach that, he says, sets Heidelberg apart.
He says,“Heidelberg really can offer everything, from prepress and consumables, through printing, converting and finishing, to services like business consulting, training and finance – not to mention Heidelberg’s unrivalled customer support and service.”
In the area of label printing, one brand new product sure to generate interest is the totally new CX 1200 colour digital label press on the Primera Asia Pacific stand.
This ‘breakthrough’ press, which has only just started shipping worldwide, will be shown for the first time in the Asia Pacific region and is touted as the perfect solution for service bureaus which need to print from just a few labels to tens of thousands at a time, says Timmi Hingston, sales and marketing director for Primera Asia Pacific.
He says, “Not only is the CX1200 the fastest in its class, delivering short run, full-colour digital label printing up to 8.23 metres per minute, it’s extremely versatile printing widths up to 381mm x 216mm, on a wide range of papers and substrates and in up to 2400dpi resolution.
“More importantly, while many competitive machines retail for several hundred thousand dollars, the CX1200 delivers the same speed, quality and flexibility at a normal RRP of just under US$19,000 – and that includes the PTPrint rip software for Windows XP/Vista,” Hingston adds.
While the packaging market offers undoubted potential undoubtedly an area with bright forcasts, rewards won’t be automatic according to Steve Farrell from Plunkett & Johnston, who says packaging buyers are in a position to demand both unassailable quality and competitive pricing, making quality control vital.
“Ensuring high productivity while maximising quality and minimising defects is crticial to remaining competitive,” says Farrell.
“At PacPrint, we’ll be demonstrating the QuadTech Autotron press control system with ClearLogicTM Register Guidance System, which optimises press performance on even the most challenging jobs, and the Vigitek QX-100 which provides 100 per cent defect detection on the entire product run.
“These affordable systems give the operator complete control over all aspects of the production process, from reel to reel. The QX-100’s miniature scanning heads recognise every job detail, while the HeliostatTM Electrostatic Ink Assist, also on show, optimises ink transfer. The result is faster setup and less waste, minimising costs and maximising profitability.”
A perfect finish
A great job can be marred by a less than perfect finish, and here too visitors to PacPrint will be able to see myriad options.
MAN Ferrostaal will once again be featuring a range of leading solutions for what it calls the ‘complex demands’ of the packaging sector, on its PacPrint stand.
Carsten Wendler, general manager packaging says, “Our display will be headlined by the debut appearance of the revolutionary Visionfoil 104 which takes the reputation of Bobst’s hot foil stamping presses one step further by letting you produce new products and enhance those you already make from relief embossing to hologram application.”
The Visionfoil 104 will be joined by Bobst Evoline 104E Autoplaten Diecutters, demonstrating high quality and affordable diecutting.The Bobst Evoline 104E flatbed die-cutter is a sample reflecting the widest choice of models with proven qualities and ideally adapted to the type of production demanded by the folding carton market. The size of the presses, from the smallest (76 cm / 30”) to the largest (162 cm / 64”) represents the most complete offer in the market, in sizes as well as in degrees of automation.
Other manufacturers represented by MAN Ferrostaal are the efficient and cost-effective Swedish-built Lamina Systems range of laminators and in-line gluing machines, Drent Goebel web presses for the label, flexible packaging, commercial and security print markets, Marbach die-cutting tools, Rodicut rotary die cutters and Heiber & Schroder rotary window patching and lining machines which offer economy and productivity in a range of folding box, window cut and other creative packaging applications.
“In all these areas, our focus will be on providing options which will help our customers enjoy higher profit margins without sacrificing quality and innovation,” Wendler says.
Paper Handling Equipment (PHE) is launching three new ‘drupa release’ products to the Australian market at PacPrint 09, all from the German Nagel range of printing finishing equipment.
Of particular interest to the packaging market, as well as general printers, will be the DFC Digital Flexo Cut machine, for applications including cutting, kiss-cutting, embossing and perforating on a variety of materials up to 450gsm, at speeds of up to 2000sph.
“Until now, these processes have only been possible in-line with sheet-fed offset presses,” explains Garry Hengst, general manager PHE, “but the DFC is a stand-alone machine which offers all the advantages of inline technology, with exceptional quality, flexibility and productivity, on even the shortest runs, making it a profitable addition to both offset and digital print shops.”
Tom Ralph, managing director of Graph-Pak will be exhibiting a wide range of equipment and products at PacPrint on a display that will feature demonstrations, workshops, as well as expertise and customer support from several international guests.
Heading the line-up will be the UK-built Autobond MINI 105 TPHS thermal perfecting laminator. This model, one of the most popular in Autobond’s wide range, is, says Ralph, ideal for packaging printers, commercial printers and trade houses as it incorporates finishing features within the laminator to enable the combination of several functions in one pass.
The compact, efficient and cost-effective MINI 105-TPHS, which runs at speeds of up to 80 metres per min, is versatile enough to be used on stock from 130 - 650gsm and will handle matt or gloss polypropylene, polyester, nylon, and acetate thermal film. The unit will allow a full pallet of print to be loaded directly from the press and, with its robust construction and precision engineering, dependable operation and consistent quality are assured.
Complementing its equipment range, Graph-Pak will also be demonstrating products like its new Matt Etch Varnish, which printers can use to diversify their offerings in-house, further adding value to their products. By printing the Matt Etch Varnish over gloss film, using a normal offset press and litho plate, printers can achieve the same matt/gloss contrast as using spot UV on a matt surface, faster and at a fraction of the cost, and with greater precision and scuff resistance.
Graph-Pak product specialist Michael Tims will also demonstrate a range of other equipment, including Busch die cutting equipment, Transpak strapping machines, Vacuumatic paper counting and tabbing machinery and Rima System post-press equipment.
Aldus Engineering will feature several new options for the packaging and label market which have never before been seen in Australia, says general manager, Ian Guanaria.
“Heading our display will be the new Mark Andy 2200 eight-colour servo flexo press, which will be fully operational at PacPrint, printing on both unsupported BOPP and labelstock to demonstrate its exceptional versatility,” Guanaria says.
“The show model of this versatile and highly popular narrow web press will feature servo drives at the infeed, print stations, die stations, outfeed and rewind, and will be equipped with GEW chill rolls, Harper ceramic anilox rolls, Trucolor web video and Enercon corona treater.”
Also on its stand at PacPrint, says Guanaria, will be a Brodbeck automatic core cutter, new-release JM Heaford flexo plate mounter with data storage facilities and laser light source, a new-model Web Techniques label rewinder, new release servo-driven Rotflex label slitter and rewinder, and the ever popular MicroClean anilox roller cleaner.
UK-based AB Graphics International has chosen PacPrint 09 for the launch of its brand new Omega VSR vertical slitter rewinder with servo drive tension control package, and the first showing this side of the equator of the Omega Digicon Series 2 label converting line for wine label production, which will be fully specified with foiling, laminating, flatbed embossing and die cutting, flexo and screen printing.
ABG will be demonstrating a total of five machines in collaboration with its distributors in the region, Currie Group and Universal Print Partners, with a focus on helping businesses to remain competitive as margins become tighter.
Mark Hyde, sales manager, Australia and New Zealand, “Market pressures, like shorter lead times and increasing demand for smaller finished roll label sizes, put enormous pressure on converters.
“The demand for smaller finished roll label sizes and shorter lead times puts additional pressure on the manufacturing operation, yet despite rising pressures the current economic climate means added costs can’t always be passed on.
“Finishing smaller rolls, in particular, is a very labour intensive process which can leave some converting machinery standing idle more than it is running. At PacPrint, visitors will be able to see how the speed and efficiency of our Omega and Vectra equipment will allow them to increase productivity and profitability by converting rolls at higher speeds.”
ABG will also feature its new generation of core loaders and demonstrate the accuracy of core positioning on the rewind mandrel to increase productivity while allowing the operator to package the finished product while the machine continues to operate.
Niche products, like those displayed by companies like Advanced Machine Technology will round out PacPrint’s packaging offerings.
George Karzon from AMT says his company will show its Sure Feed feeding, collating and transport systems for paper, board and other flat products - including substrates and products like CDs, coasters and satchels– as well as the Sure Feed card-attachment systems for ‘flat to flat’ attachment applications like attaching phone, credit or business cards to mailers.
Karzon says, “These will be complemented by Kirk Rudy magnet applicators and labeling systems, Inc Jet inkjet coding systems for bond, matt and semi-gloss papers, boards and substrates, and products from the Sitma Poly range of bag and shrink wrapping solutions, suitable for a wide range of end products.”
Another product that fits into the nice’category is Jasco’s Jastek WiAir machine, which creates air cushions to provide cost-effective void fill in a wide range of packaging applications.
Massimo Ioppolo, Jasco’s product manager for business machines says, “Cushions can be created on demand, in sizes of up to 200mm wide and between 120 and 300mm long, providing an ideal solution for customers with an intermediate volume requirement for air cushions.”
In short, PacPrint 09 is as much for the packager as the printer, with an array of ideas, technology, equipment, products and solutions for the packaging and label market.
Alastair Hadley says, “The increasing demands evident in today’s label and packaging market, together with the testing economic climate, provides ample reason for those involved in this important sector to be at PacPrint 09.