PackPrint: The Show Within the Show

PackPrint, the package printing pavilion at GRAPH EXPO, is a “one-stop shop” for the commercial package printing industry that occupies approximately 21,000 sq.ft. of floor space here in McCormick Place. PackPrint focuses on package printing, flexo printing manufacturers, labeling, converting technology, and digital printing.

The PackPrint pavilion also features the return of Future Print, a specialty show floor feature focused on new and emerging technologies such as printed electronics. For attendees seeking all the information on RFID, QR codes, or embedded watermarks, Future Print is a ‘must-see’.

AIMCAL is holding free daily “Ask the Experts” session in the PackPrint Pavilion (Booth 5238). Experts will be on hand from 10:00 am - 12:00 noon, and then again from 1:00- 3:00 pm to answer questions on flexography and gravure for packing printing, anilox-roll selection, flexography troubleshooting, and other questions relating to packaging printing. The team of experts includes: Steve Utschig, flexography instructor, Fox Valley Technical College; Michael Huey, HarperGraphic Solutions and Harper Corp. of America; and David Lanska, flexographic printing consultant, D. J. Lanska and Associates LLC.

Package printing is the fastest growing segment of the industry, and as if to prove that point PackPrint has attracted more than 40 vendors—10 more than last year—to showcase their wares.

One of the larger PackPrint exhibitors is Bobst Group North America (Booth 3638), which is discussing its line of Masterflex-HD flexo printing solutions for corrugated board, microflutes, and even heavy solid board.

As one of the world leaders in the pharmaceutical packaging market, Vijuk Equipment (Booth 3627) has a 2,000 sq.ft. booth to showcase its line of commercial insert folding and small item packaging equipment.

Digital labels, finishing, and more

For those interested in high-performance digital label presses, look no further than Xeikon (Booth 4027). Its 3000 Series of digital label printers offers full rotary technology combined with variable repeat length, allowing for printing at maximum speed, regardless of label size.

Finishing and binding experts B&R Moll, Inc. (Booth 4033) are onsite to give attendees a look at their high-capacity Vantage Machine. This folder/gluer has an impressive production rate of up to 22,000 cartons per hour and is ideal for producing straight-line boxes, room key holders, table tents, sleeves, CD wallets, computer software cartons, and presentation folders.

Packaging purveyors Thiele Technologies (Booth 3632) specializes in bagging systems, carton and case packing, and dairy packaging.

Also, Roland DGA (Booth 3835) is exhibiting this year, demonstrating its VersaUV wide-format UV-LED inkjet printer/cutters for package prototyping, color proofing, and short-run label apps.

A worldwide supplier of web-fed finishing products, ILF Technologies (Booth 4041) is highlighting its ribbon slitters, plow formers, UV and Aqueous coaters, and non-stop imprinters.

While not housed within the PackPrint pavilion, EFI (Booth 2000) Vice President of Corporate Marketing Frank Tueckmantel says his company is highlighting software and equipment aimed at helping commercial package printers transfer from analog to digital printing technology with its Fiery Digital Print Solutions.

“Print is still a high-tech, future-oriented medium,” notes Tueckmantel. “Particularly with label printing, think about having customized labels for wine bottles or any other goods. No iPad could ever do something like this.

“We should not allow digital media to have the edge on being cool and high tech.”