Meech targets international labelling market at Labelexpo Americas 2014

Meech CyClean
Labelexpo Americas ’14 (9th – 11th September, Rosemont, Illinois) will see Meech International reaffirm its position as the world’s leading provider for static control and web cleaning technologies. Visitors to stand 1515 will be able to view first-hand the company’s range of systems, including the Hyperion static bars and CyClean non-contact web cleaner, as well as a series of new enhancements to be announced closer to the show. All of these products are employed extensively in the labelling industry.

Matt Fyffe, VP/General Manager of Meech Static Eliminators USA Inc states, “We are very much looking forward to be back at Labelexpo Americas this year. Meech is aware that the labelling market is growing considerably on an annual basis and the show always draws an international visitor base. In that respect, not only is Labelexpo an excellent launch pad for new products, it is also a podium where we can network and market our services to a wide variety of businesses from around the world.”

Over the course of the past decades, Meech has successfully established a strong presence in the static and web cleaning markets on a global scale. Aside from the USA, the company also has offices in China, India, as well as Central and Eastern Europe, which service these regions directly. Additionally, Meech’s British headquarters services an even greater number of countries across the world, including Brazil, Israel, Australia, Japan and South Korea. All of this export resulted in the company being twice presented with a Queens Award for Enterprise: International Sales.

Meech TakClean
“Our strong international presence bears testament to the fact that we are able to communicate best practice and services to the high number of our customers that are spread in various locations throughout the globe,” comments Matt. “As we’re constantly looking to expand our business in all of the regions we deal with, our aim is to capitalise on the show’s popularity and demonstrate that we can provide our customers and prospects with the very best levels of service and technology that have become synonymous with the Meech brand.”

Among the systems displayed on the Meech stand will be the CyClean, a product that has proven to be highly popular in the labelling sector. A compact, non-contact, double-sided blow and vacuum-based web cleaner, the CyClean is capable of removing contamination to below 1 micron and can be used with all substrates, improving the flexibility of the press. Unlike a tacky roller system, it is not affected by high contamination levels and has no consumable costs.

Also on exhibition is the complete range of Hyperion static control bars, comprised of the 971, 971IPS and 929IPS. The two latter bars in particular were developed as a response to customer feedback and provide efficient ionisation from a 24v power supply. Both systems provide high-standard static elimination, while the bars’ default settings allow quick and easy installation and use on label production lines.

“Labelexpo Americas is set to be a great opportunity for Meech,” concludes Matt. “We will effectively be showcasing to an international audience the most comprehensive range of web cleaning and static control technologies we have to offer, and we are confident they will attract a great amount of interest at the show.”

Available immediately, Meech’s complete static control and web-cleaning ranges will be on display on the Meech stand (1515) at Labelexpo Americas, Rosemont, Illinois from September 9th to 11th, 2014.

Fujifilm’s Acuity Advance Select supports packaging innovation at The Sherwood Press Group

Packaging specialist The Sherwood Press Group has chosen an Acuity Advance Select HD4006 with roll-to-roll option and a Kongsberg XN digital cutting system, both supplied by Fujifilm, to increase its competitiveness and produce packaging samples in a more efficient way.

Sherwood Press selected the Fujifilm wide format device as part of its ‘Smartcentre’ project, which refers to the recent launch of an innovation hub located within the company’s Nottingham site to showcase the wide range of applications and services it can offer.

Jeremy Bacon, CEO at Sherwood Press, explains: “We have been traditionally producing packaging samples using the litho presses, but we recently considered the introduction of a digital print device to improve our time to market.” He continues: “The Acuity Advance Select appealed to us due to the quality of its output and its ability to print four colours plus white directly onto a variety of rigid and flexible materials, including corrugated board. What’s more, the opportunity to print spot varnish is crucial for the packaging industry and was a key selling point of the Fujifilm machine.”

The Kongsberg system will be used to cut intricate shapes following a CAD profile, complementing the high quality print produced on the Acuity. Both machines will broaden Sherwood’s in-house capabilities and product portfolio, including short-run prototype samples and low volume production of POS products.

Jeremy Bacon concludes: “The strength of the Smartcentre will encompass the central values of Sherwood Press in providing excellence in everything we do. Not only will this be reflected in the creativity and technical experience of the Smart team, but also in the capability of both new machines which will enable us to provide the highest quality mock-ups and prototypes, on any stock with almost any finish.”

Domino’s coding technologies combine innovation with tradition at the UK’s largest privately-owned confectioners

During its 164 year history, balancing tradition with innovation has been a constant challenge for Joseph Dobson & Sons, one of the country’s most successful and historic manufacturers of traditional confectionery. So, when the company was looking to address the latest coding and marking requirements for its range of boiled sweets, lollipops and branded throat lozenges, it turned to Domino to help keep its boiled sweets, lollipops and panned confectionery range up to date.

Established in Yorkshire in the 1850s, the family-owned business has worked hard over the years to preserve its original values and traditional sweet recipes while constantly adapting to the demands of the modern world, including the need for greater coding and identification of its products. This has seen the company, which is one of the largest privately-run confectioners in the UK, invest in a range of technologies from Domino. These include four V-Series Thermal Transfer Overlay (TTO) solutions, two G-Series i-Tech thermal ink jet (TIJ) printers, as well as one of Domino’s best-selling A-series ink jet coders.

“Working with Domino and its range of coding technologies has really helped us to grow as a business,” says owner and Managing Director Stephen Walshaw, who along with his wife Miriam, has helped to spearhead a successful expansion of the company over the last few years.

Gaining the British Retail Consortium (BRC) global certification for food safety and quality was a real turning point for Joseph Dobson & Sons Ltd, giving them the scope and credibility to expand the business. This has seen the company invest in new premises, new technologies and automated processes to sit successfully alongside some of its traditional sweet-making machines.

For Joseph Dobson & Sons, coding has become a key part of their production process, which was originally being handled manually using another brand of ink jet printer. Confides Stephen, “Using the previous system was a very slow and messy process; if you didn’t get the tubes aligned on the old printer, you’d end up with ink spray everywhere. We needed technology that would fit into our new automated packing and bagging lines and most importantly, print clear sell by and batch codes without interfering with production output.”

The company turned to Domino, initially trialling its V120i Thermal Transfer Overlay (TTO) printer, but soon decided to increase its investment to three additional V220i models. The V-Series TTO printers are installed on a series of high speed, multiform feeding and sealing lines which print sell by dates and batch codes onto the bagged sweets.

Domino’s V-Series i-Tech Ribbon Drive offers four ribbon save settings, including an ‘economy mode’ which facilitates a saving on ribbon usage of up to 60%. In addition, downtime related to ribbon break is virtually eliminated thanks to its unique ‘dancing arms’ which constantly monitors ribbon tension.

“The V-Series printers are perfect. They can easily cope with our high production speeds while producing extremely high quality, clearly defined print. In addition, the economy mode on the ribbon drive enables us to use every millimetre of film, eliminating wastage and significantly reducing our consumables costs,” explains Stephen.

Adding to its portfolio of Domino technology, Joseph Dobson & Sons also has two G-Series thermal ink jet printers integrated into its Rotech friction feeders for coding onto the primary carton packaging of its well-known brand of throat lozenges.

“The G-Series is a fantastic piece of kit; it just keeps running and running,” enthuses Stephen. “We’ve had one of our G-Series in place for the past four years, operating 16 hours a day five days a week and to date, we have had zero maintenance issues. What’s more the quality and flexibility of the print and capability to add extra graphics and 2D bar and QR codes will enable us to adjust to any additional coding requirements should we need to in the future.”

The company has also replaced its old ink jet printer with Domino’s world leading A-Series ink jet solution to work with its hand packed sweets. “It’s a far cry from the unreliable, messy product it replaced and my staff love it. It’s easy to use, clean, efficient, and starts up every time.”

Says Stephen, “Maintaining and indeed successfully expanding a business that is nearly 200 years old isn’t always easy. But when you can work with a supplier like Domino that not only delivers in terms of the reliability and efficiency of its technology as well as the excellent onsite support to oversee and guide us through installation, it certainly helps.”

“The Domino technology has surpassed all our expectations and has without doubt helped us as a business to achieve our goals.”

To view the case study, watch this.

Sun Chemical introduced packaging innovations that help packaging stand out on store shelves

Visitors to the Sun Chemical stand at ExpoPrint Latin America 2014, discovered a broad portfolio of packaging solutions for all markets from Sun Chemical and its parent company, DIC that help packaging stand out on the shelf.

“Brand owners need their packaging to make an impression on the shelves – grab attention,” said Fernando Tavara, President, Sun Chemical Latin America. “Packaging that stands out has a better chance of being handled and purchased. It is also important that the brand’s colors are consistent across all packaging so that it is recognizable. During ExpoPrint, we introduced our guests to a full range of solutions that help maintain color consistency on all packaging substrates, offer special effects on packaging and enhance productivity in the supply chain.”

Sun Chemical to Demonstrate SunLase Laser Marking Solutions

Visitors of the Sun Chemical/DIC booth were introduced to SunLase laser marking solutions, a coating that enables brand owners to add information to both secondary and primary packaging information after the filling and closure of the pack, whether for practical supply chain purposes or as a late stage pack differentiator.

The SunLase solution prints a transparent or tinted coating onto a packaging substrate during the printing process. After the packaging has been sealed, variable coding graphic information, such as barcodes, QR codes, and “Use By” dates or branding, can be created using a low power CO2 or fiber laser to change the color of the patch to black where marked, with no risks to the packaged product.

Guests could see how SunLase works first-hand with live demonstrations which showed how a collection of images, such as QR codes, barcodes, logos, text, and serial numbers, appear on various substrates, including corrugated board and film.

Special Effects Coatings Help Draw Attention to Products on the Store Shelf

Sun Chemical showed visitors how they can make their products stand out on shelf and engage consumers with special effects printing using SunInspire specialty inks and coatings. Guests were shown the impact SunInspire inks and coatings can make to consumers with the samples that were on display. Some of the samples included various metallic effect options. The metallic effect is most commonly used in packaging to communicate premium positioning. It also delivers on demand effects, optimizing productivity, cost, and waste, compared to metallized substrates or hot/cold foil stamping.

Sun Chemical’s wide range of SunInspire specialty coatings offers a variety of visual special effects that help packages increase their shelf prominence, including high brilliance metallic silver, gold and polychromatic, fluorescent, pearlescent, iridescent, interference, tactile and relief.

Maintaining Color Consistency on all Packaging Substrates

Sun Chemical showed guests how to use PantoneLIVE, a cloud-based color service that gives brand owners, designers and printers alike the ability to accurately predict how their brand spot colors will reproduce on a wide variety of print processes and substrates.

As X-Rite/Pantone’s preferred partner, Sun Chemical is already fully aligned with PantoneLIVE and ink formulations behind PantoneLIVE are already known through its Global Shade Library, a database of colors that increase both the consistency and accuracy of ink color matches. Every PantoneLIVE color request to Sun Chemical can be created using this global platform to maintain color consistency on all packaging.

Sun Chemical Shows Metal Decorating Options for Packaging

Visitors were also introduced to Sun Chemical’s specialized solutions for metal decoration including its SunDuo, SunTrio and SunAltec inks.

The high value, flexible, and robust SunDuo ink range offers high speed decorator performance suitable for printing on steel and aluminum cans. SunDuo features excellent printability at high speeds and good adhesion in both varnishable and non-varnishable ranges. Such features allow for impressive mileage and a high pigment load for printers producing two-piece metal cans.

SunTrio inks are versatile, flexible, cost effective and highly resilient—suitable for all types of metal cans and closures, from crowns to pails, aluminum pilfer proof caps, aerosols, food cans, drawn fish cans, and more. Able to efficiently produce metal packaging with excellent press performance, the SunTrio ink series features low misting and good adhesion between layers and to the substrate. The line also includes a low migration ink series available for food and other sensitive packaging. With excellent printability at high speeds, the SunTrio ink series provides an effective solution for three-piece metal deco applications.

The SunAltec product range offers excellent performance, superior quality, highest productivity, and highest adhesion properties for monobloc aerosols, monobloc drink bottles, and aluminum collapsible tubes. The line can be used across multiple platforms and offers flexible alternatives, including thermal, catalytic and UV drying.

Full Range of Solutions on Display for Narrow Web Printers

A wide range of solutions were also on display for narrow web printers, including the SolarFlex Nova SL range of UV flexo inks. Intended for the printing of labels, tags, sleeves, tickets and other applications typically found in the narrow web market, SolarFlex Nova SL features flow optimization for press performance, low odor for sensitive applications, fast curing for higher press speeds, and a color strength that has been increased for finer anilox choices. Formulated without any volatile organic compounds and compliant with the Nestlé regulations, the SolarFlex Nova SL range can increase color gamut and/or lower ink consumption.

Narrow web visitors at Sun Chemical’s booth also had the opportunity to learn about its SunCure Flexo UV product range which provide UV light-curing inks and coatings for packaging printers that efficiently meet changing job requirements on a wide variety of paper and board. SunCure inks and coatings provide a wide color gamut, excellent adhesion to a variety of substrates, fast cure response, and UV light curing for paper and board and sensitive applications. It is suitable for in-line or off-line coatings.

Meech International explains why the print industry really needs to be aware of static

David Rogers – Business Unit Director for Static Control at Meech International explains why the print industry really needs to be aware of static. An excerpt.

Why is static an important consideration for the print industry?

David Rogers: International businesses need to take notice of static as a phenomenon mainly because when it is present on a printing line it will attract dirt and dust, which can result in poor print quality, with the printing press necessitating frequent cleaning.

But many CEOs working in this sector may not be aware of the financial repercussions that stem from the presence of contamination on the web. Frequent downtime spent on cleaning the printing press implies a reduction in machine speed, and therefore can lead to significant loss of production. This is obviously an unacceptable outcome for businesses that heavily rely on print.

Finally, there’s the health & safety angle to take into consideration. If accumulated on web rewinds, static can potentially generate harmful operator shocks. This is particularly apparent with today’s more common filmic materials, as they tend to generate higher static charges. End users are demanding more sophisticated standards in the goods they purchase than they may have done a number of years ago, and these filmic materials are being used more commonly as they are pleasing on the eye.

In which processes is static a particular issue and what kind of problems does it create?

DR: Static can cause many quality and productivity issues throughout the printing process, but one area that needs special attention is unwind/rewind lines. Think about a digital label printing line, where a massive static charge can be generated both during printing and as the film or paper is unwound from a roll. These charges are capable of attracting dust to the web from several feet away.

The print quality instead is affected when dust has deposited on the material. After all, printers cannot offer a fast service if they have to keep stopping their machines to clean them due to the build-up of contamination attracted by static charges. Considering that quality expectation is much higher these days, this is a problem that requires an effective solution.

There’s also the issues with ink adhesion in the digital printing process, where uncontrolled static can actually repel the ink from the material surface. Not only does this scenario lead to increased production costs, it can also lead to reduced production speeds.

Is the print industry fully aware of the impact of static or does it need educating?

DR: As a whole, the industry is still coming to terms with the effects static can have. A lot of companies are aware – more so today than they might have been 5 years ago – that particularly in filmic applications static control is needed, but they may not fully comprehend why. That’s where the experts can step in and help, with solid knowledge of the different applications and products available to help neutralise the charges, and keep printing lines running smoothly and at optimum speeds.

What are some of the challenges print manufacturers are facing today?

DR: As already mentioned, quality expectations have significantly increased for printers compared to 10 years ago, but another big challenge they face is the minimisation of downtime. Printers need to be able to cope with the high volume of customer orders they receive, which means that a spotless, static-free web is required in order to keep presses running and achieve that perfect balance between productivity and print quality.

What does the future hold for the print industry and what will it mean for static control?
DR: It is evident that print will continue to move to digital for the foreseeable future, which of course means production speeds will carry on increasing and more filmic materials will be increasingly employed. As a consequence, there will be a need for companies like Meech International to produce static control solutions that can be employed on printing presses and that will result in high quality applications.