India along with digital and hybrid label printing are the stars of the Brussels show - The Noel D'Cunha Sunday Column

Who says there is a slowdown. Label optimism reigned supreme at Labelexpo if one goes by the sheer number of deals that were inked and announced as well as closed door pacts that were inked and have to be "officially" disclosed.

During a tech-talk with Ferdinand Rüesch, vice president at Gallus, he talked about the label journey. During the interview; he mentioned how the EM 280 has been phased out, and the ECS 340 will be a good replacement. He said, "We have already installed 35 presses in India, and at the show, three more ECS 340 deals has been signed with the Indian label

29 Sep 2019 | By Noel D'Cunha

Domino is set to install its first digital label printing press in India. The press which has been shipped to a customer in West India. The seven-colour press which will be powered by Esko digital front-end with colour management and a variable printing suite. The N610i can print at a speed of up to 70 m/min and has the capability of achieving up to 92% of the Pantone gamut.

Flint’s Mumbai-based representative Repro Graphics announced the sale of a ThermoFlex 60 flexo imager to Mumbai-based Numex Blocks and two ThermoFlex 48 flexo imager to Accurate Graphics in Faridabad and Suryanarayana Industries in Nashik.

Gallus scored a hat trick. New Delhi-based Kwality Offset Printers announced that it has signed a deal with Gallus for installation of the ECS 340, an eight-colour flexo press with cold foil unit and a premium matrix removal unit. Besides Kwality, two other key label printing companies have booked the ECS 340 press. They are Mudrika Labels and Nutech Labels. There are 35 ECS 340 presses in India, as of now.

Team Gallus with Mudrika’s Manish Desai (third, right) after signing the Gallus ECS 340 deal

Huhtamaki opted for the 10-colour Labelmaster 440 to be installed at its Baddi plant. “We are excited,” said Amar Chhajed, president – labelling business at Huhtamaki PPL when he spoke to PrintWeek India at the Gallus stand. “It’s our first 440mm width press which we will have in our entire set-up. It’s the most sophisticated Gallus we have because all the other 10 Gallus presses we have are the EM 280s. So this is a big leap.”

Janus International upgraded its digital label production, moving from HP Indigo 4500 to HP Indigo 6900, thereby doubling its capacity and produce innovative labels. The upgraded kit will enable Janus to digital print wrap-around labels, pouches, IML, lamitubes, security labels, pressure sensitive, shrink sleeves as well as folding cartons.

Martin Automatic introduced the Airnertia roller technology, very low inertia rollers for the label market for the first time. The company displayed the Martin NBS 06 1740 butt splicer and the Martin LRD 06 1831, automatic splicing rewinder. Martin Automatic has 24 of its machines installed in India, the last one was installed in December 2018 at Essel Propack.

Gavin Rittmeyer, vice president, sales and marketing, Martin Automatic

Monotech Systems announced sale of three machines which were showcased at the Labelexpo. This included digital solutions for the label printing industry, and included the new Jetsci Colornovo. Customers from China, Europe and Asia have bought the machine. Sunday Column readers will recall that the Jetsci Colornovo was launched during Labelexpo India 2019. Two Jetsci Colornovos are installed in India plus 11 have been installed overseas; thereby making it a grand total of 13 installations.

Multitec Aids has sold a S1 narrow-web flexo presses to Russia-based Label Group. This is Label Group's third investment narrow-web flexo press from Multitec in the last four years. Amit Ahuja of Multitec Aids said this is the company’s sixth narrow-web flexo printing press in Russia and the third machine in one company.

UV Graphic Technologies made a splash at the show. The Noida-based, manufacturer of narrow web flexo printing presses, UV & LED systems and video plate mounters and other equipment, announced 13 deals at Labelexpo Europe. The deal includes four narrow web flexo printing presses and nine video plate mounters. The deal was finalised with South Africa-based label printer, Spec Systems. During the four-day show, they finalised three more orders for the narrow web flexo printing presses from label printers who are based in Greece, Poland and Portugal.

Vinsak India inked a deal for the Lombardi narrow-web flexo printing press with its existing customer Prakash Printers & Coaters. The machine is an eight-colour, 430mm wide printing press which can run at 200m/ minute and has rotary screen. Prakash T Shivlani, director, Prakash Printers & Coaters, said, “This is our fourth Lombardi narrow-web flexo printing press from Vinsak. We bought our first machine in 2017. Subsequently, in the last two years, we have bought four Lombardis.”

Prakash buys its fourth Lombardi in two years

Weldon brokered deals on the penultimate day the show. It included two Brotech finishing machines by Vasai-based Sonic Labels plus two Luster inspection systems by Gujarat-based Prakash Printers and Lundberg waste management system by New Delhi-based Wonder Pac. Wonderpac is a respected label company committed to clean room production practices. At Labelexpo Brussels they purchased a Lundberg waste management System from Denmark and Prakash Printers have been consistently investing to boost their label production capabilities. To upgrade quality and deliver perfection, they have invested in two Luster inspection systems, as well.

Zircon Technologies inked two deals with Mark Andy and Rotoflex at Labelexpo Europe 2019. The Noida-headquartered label converter has booked three Mark Andy P7, 17-inches wide narrow web flexo printing presses with advanced options and features, and eight Rotoflex post-press equipment. Among the three Mark Andy P7 presses, two will be ten-colour and one will be 12-colour narrow-web flexo. One machine will be installed within a month or so, and the rest will be installed at a later date.

The newsmakers at Labelexpo 

Durst launched the Tau RSCi, a new design of press able to produce up to 3,060sqm/hr. It is available in three widths: 330mm, 420mm and 510mm and Durst described it has having industrial scaleability and “flexo-like” production capacity.

Epson launched a new range of ColorWorks printers with the C6000 industrial series of 4in and 8in models, including what Epson claimed was “the world’s first” colour printer of this type equipped with an auto-peeler for print and apply applications. The new Surepress L-6534 VW label press, which prints at up to 50m/min, was on show for the first time in Europe.

The Epson top brass during the press conference at Labelexpo Europe

Flint Group worked with GEW to boost adoption of LED printing technology by making it easier for customers to invest. Flint will invest in the lamps, and then be paid back over time through its ink supply contract.

Heidelberg’s Gallus business launched a 430mm-wide single-colour Digital Printbar, which uses Ricoh Gen5 recirculating printheads and can print “highly opaque” white up to 10microns thick. The Digital Printbar will be available early next year, it was shown on a Gallus Labelmaster but can also be integrated with the Labelfire hybrid inkjet press.

HP announced the 200th sale of its HP Indigo 20000 web press, to Slovenian digitally printed label specialist LabelProfi. HP also announced a new alliance with Agfa for brand protection and security printing.

Konica Minolta marked the 450th installation of its AccurioLabel presses at the show, and showcased the latest model on its booth: an AccurioLabel 230 featuring a flexo station for printing white inline.

Cotichini with the newly launched AccurioLabel 230 

Xeikon launched its FleXflow digital pouch production process for the production of runs from one to 20,000 pouches, and the firm also announced a new integration with UPM Raflatac and ‘internet of packaging’ company Magic Add for the production of smart labels with unique identifiers in runs up to millions.