Packaging moves centre stage at drupa 2016

Impressions from the first few days

drupa 2016
Landa’s Nano metallic ink displayed in a vial at the Landa stand at drupa. Photo PSA

More than at any drupa before, we are seeing interesting developments in packaging printing, not only in a variety of equipment for the printing and converting of folding cartons, but moreover in corrugated and flexible packaging. Corrugated board, in stronger and finer flutes, is increasingly being used in POP and POS, and a large range of printing and converting systems for corrugated can be seen at drupa.

Digital corrugated presses
Durst is showcasing its first single-pass industrial inkjet press for the corrugated segment, the Rho 130 SPC with print speeds of up to 9,350 square meters per hour at widths of 1300 mm and a resolution of 800 dpi for board of up to 12 mm thick. Screen and BHS Corrugated announced the establishment of a joint-venture, Screen GP (Screen Graphic and Precision Solutions Ltd) which together with Screen subsidiary Inca Digital is to develop a high-volume inline digital printing solution for the corrugated board industry. HP doesn’t have its 15000 press for corrugated on the showfloor, but its T1100S inkjet press for corrugated developed with KBA can be found at the KBA stand.

EFI also announced the development of a single-pass inkjet press for corrugated, the Nozomi C18000 with LED imaging for boards of up to 1.8 x 3 metres. With a projected throughput of up to 8,100 square metres an hour, i.e., some 9,000 boards of 90 x 60 cm per hour can be printed.

The special metalizing module mounted on the Omet xFlex narrow-web label press at the Landa stand. Photo PSA

Flexible packaging presses and laminators
For flexible packaging, there is a panoply of new presses and laminators on show from Bobst, Cerutti, Comexi, Convertech, DCM, Edale, Heidelberg-Gallus, HP, KBA-Flexotecnica, KYMC, nordmeccanica, Omet, Soma, TKM, Uteco, W&H and others, as well as material developments from a large number of substrate, adhesives and ink suppliers. Worth noting is Comexi’s presence at drupa, with two central drum (CI) presses shown with robot-driven sleeve changeover, and the water-based Nexus L20000 laminator developed in a collaboration with HP for the latter’s Indigo 20000 flexible packaging digital press which is printing, laminating and converting standup pouches in consecutive production.

Automation at Comexi
Comexi is demonstrating new versions of its CI flexo and offset presses, each with an industrial robot executing the entire changeover of the printing sleeves which are moved and stored at motorised trolleys near the press. With an installed base of 50 presses worldwide, the F1 is Comexi’s 600 meters-per-minute flexo press, which can be configured with 8 or 10 colors for printing widths of up to 1350 mm. Comexi’s CI8, a 7-color CI offset press with printing speeds of up to 300 metres per minute at widths of up to 1100 mm, is being shown in an equally robotized and automated version. Comexi also introduced a new gravure press, the R2, which the company considers an entry-level gravure press for flexible packaging with printing widths up to 920 mm and speeds up to 400 metres per minute.

Omet has three presses at drupa, the 850 mm wide Varyflex V2, the 370 mm wide iFlex and the 430 mm wide xFlex X6. The Varyflex V2 for hybrid offset and flexo printing has new sleeve features and an improved electron-beam drying system. The xFlex, like the iFlex, which was introduced a year ago, is a narrow-web label press this time shown at the Landa stand equipped with a Landa metallizing module where a nano metail ink replaces for producing metallic effects that are generally produced by foil.

Much more to be seen – we’ll keep you posted!

Packaging Soth Asia is a cooperating media partner for drupa 2016 which was held from 31 May to 10 June at Dusseldorf, Germany

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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