Whether sold online or in brick-and-mortar stores, most non-virtual products are packaged in some form or another; and all packages, in turn, are hard-copy labeled. The global packaging industry is early in its adoption of color digital printing technology, according to industry research firm...
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INX International Ink Co. (Booth 6451) is the third largest producer of ink in North America (with more than 20 facilities in the U.S. and Canada) and is part of Sakata INX’s worldwide operations. It offers a full line of inks, coating solutions, and technology for packaging and commercial print applications. Product solutions focus on metal decorating, flexographic, gravure, web offset, lamination, corrugated, sheetfed, inkjet and UV/EB inks and coatings.
The firm says it has had success with the NW140 narrow-web label press, which delivers single-pass printing with brilliant color at speeds up to 80 fpm on any label stock. First shown at GRAPH EXPO last September, it also provides for easy separation of printed labels. The unique press employs an air-cooled UV LED pinning system developed by partner Integration Technology Limited (ITL); it also features Spartanics laser die-cutting capabilities.
ITL’s LEDZero Pincure Plus 080-6 pinning system is a cost-effective solution for low-dose curing applications delivering an 80 mm x 5 mm effective cure area per UV LED array. The Pincure Plus 080-6 arrays are mounted independently of each other with each array positioned immediately after each printhead. “INX wanted to incorporate pinning to improve the image quality of the label,” said Jennifer Heathcote, GM of ITL’s North American operations. “They felt recent advancements in UV LED technology would allow them to successfully integrate pinning into the NW140. Our UV LED products are based on core technology that can easily be scaled up in size or configured as needed,” Heathcote noted. “UV curing applications are extremely diverse and a one-size-fits-all UV LED solution just isn’t possible. We worked closely with INX to determine what UV LED technology was needed most by the market.”
The Pincure Plus 080-6 offers instant on/off UV output and limited or significantly reduced heat transfer to the substrate when compared to traditional curing systems -- and a more compact form fact that allows the arrays to be mounted close to the media and the print heads.
Xeikon (Booth 6135) featured live demos of its self-adhesive and folding carton suites at drupa 2012, and Labelexpo visitors to the Chicago are can expect to see more of the same in September. Since the successful launch of its 3000 Series of digital color label presses four years ago, Xeikon has developed a strong position in the label and packaging markets. Two years ago, the firm’s non-commercial print emphasis became crystal clear as it exhibited at Labelexpo but not at GRAPH EXPO. Key to its success has been a strong partner network with leading providers of substrates, workflow solutions, and finishing equipment. In addition, Xeikon has developed a number of production solutions for specific market segments, including the aforementioned self-adhesive suite for the label market as well as the heat transfer label suite for the decorating market.
“By working closely with our customers since our inception, we’ve learned that they aren’t just looking for a digital press from us,” said Filip Weymans, director of marketing for the label and packaging segment. “The full production solution is what enables printer service providers to make a finished product. All the different production solution elements that a printer needs are available in the market. However, to make it easier for our customers, we have built a strong partner network to enable us to bundle specific elements together based on their requirements,” Weymans explained. “This offers our customers the highest level of comfort. They know that the solution will live up to their expectations. Plus, they won’t have to spend time and effort in building the network themselves.”
In Dusseldorf this past spring, Xeikon showed how its new Trillium High Viscosity Toner (HVT) can enable printing at high speeds and lower costs, while maintaining image quality and eco-sustainability. The 3030Plus, a new, entry-level press for the label and packaging market, also was shown. It handles media widths up to 330mm with a top speed of 15 meters per minute, which is 50 percent more productive than other entry-level machines.