Focus on digital launches at Labelexpo Americas 2022

A number of world premieres of digital press lined up

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Focus on digital launches at Labelexpo Americas 2022
Durst Tau RSCi will be on display at Labelexpo Americas 2022. Photo: Durst

Digital transformation is picking up the pace for the upcoming mega label and package printing show, Labelexpo Americas 2022, which will see a number of world premieres of digital press technology, marking a new stage in the transition between analog and digital printing.

HP Indigo marks Labelexpo Americas 2022 with the global launch of the HP Indigo V12. A new rotary blanket technology allows the press to reach speeds of 394ft/min (120m/min) in up to six colors. HP is positioning the V12 head-to-head with flexo, claiming it has the superior print quality and greater productivity.  

Caption: HP Indigo V12 to be shown at the fair. Photo: HP
Caption: HP Indigo V12 to be shown at the fair.
Photo: HP

Durst says it is challenging 4-color flexography with its Tau RSCi, shown for the first time printing at 1200x12000dpi resolution at 100m/min on a 20 in the web in four colors, with flexo units both before and after the digital engine. 

Mark Andy is focusing on its traditional mid-market sector customers with the global launch of the Dpro Max press, which achieves speeds up to 130ft/min (40m/min) in CMYK+White. Also on show for the first time at a trade show is the Digital Series IQ, a mid-market hybrid press developed jointly with Domino.

For Domino, Labelexpo Americas marks the worldwide debut of the N730i digital press, a successor to the N610i. The N730i is the first label press to make use of the 1200×1200 dpi Bitstar print head technology developed by the parent company, Brother. The N730i prints in up to seven colors (CMYKOVW) and can be fitted with pre- and post-digital flexo units.  

Konica Minolta is unveiling for the first time in the US its AccurioLabel 400 5-color label press (CMYK+White), which will be commercially available in Q1 2023. This is the same print engine that powers the Mark Andy DPro Max and is configured with KM’s IQ501 color and registration automation system. Konica Minolta is also previewing its PKG-1300 digital packaging press for printing on uncoated and clay-coated materials using a water-based inkjet. 

Labelexpo Americas 2022 – 13-15 September in Chicago

Other digital press suppliers showing new equipment include (A-Z) – Arrow Systems with its water-based ArrowJet Aqua 330, Anytron with an integrated 13in-wide digital printing and laser die cutting press line, Colordyne introducing the 3800 Series WB inkjet engine for printing on non-porous substrates, Dantex PicoColour HD, Dilli Picasso UV inkjet press – Epson L6534VW LED-UV inkjet press with on-board digital varnishing and L-4733AW aqueous inkjet press, Screen Truepress Jet L350UV SAI, and Xeikon CX500 toner press and PX3300 UV inkjet press. 

Labelexpo Americas 2022 show director Tasha Ventimiglia says, “The sheer number of global digital press launches at Labelexpo Americas 2022 demonstrates the importance of this show – the first time label converters have had the chance to see this exciting new machinery up close and in action for three years.”

Andy Thomas-Emans, strategic director of Tarsus Labels and Packaging group, added, “Labelexpo Americas 2022 is shaping up to be one of the most important milestones in the transition of the labels industry from analog to digital printing. The digital technology on display not only challenges basic 4-color flexo but could also replace the legacy press equipment which probably makes up 50% of the installed narrow web base.”

Complementing the digital press demonstrations is the Digital Embellishment Trail, and visitors can learn more by attending the two-day topical conference program or the in-depth technical master classes covering digital embellishment and self-adhesive label materials.  

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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