India Label Show 2008 – Review

Ranesh Bajaj, Director Marketing at Creed Engineers.

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Gallus (EM 280)
The India Label Show featured a lot of running state-of-the-art equipment with as many as 15 label presses. These included top names like Nilpeter (FB-3300S), Gallus (EM 280), Rotatek (Brava), HP Indigo (ws4500), Gidue (S-Combat), Focus, Orthotec, Multitec (Ecoflex), AB Graphic (Omega Digicon Series 2), Lintec, Da Shen, Zonten, Jandu Engineers and HR (Paper) Machinery. Mark Andy were also due to demonstrate their 2200 combi press but the machine was stuck at the docks as they did not receive the customs clearance in time.
Other running equipment included a whole range of products from 100% inspection and defect detection systems from BST Sayona and AB Graphic, the Cyrel FAST flexographic plate production line from DuPont with software from EskoArtwork, the Thermoflex Narrow CTP device for flexo and letterpress plates from Kodak, an intermittent rotary label die-cutting machine from Keen Machinery, web-guiding and tension control systems from Erhardt + Leimer, finishing equipment from Apexrototech and RK Machine Tool Industry, stroboscopic inspection systems from Unilux and a RFID inlay insertion line from Bielomatik.

Other exhibitors and product agencies included leading press and slitter-rewinder manufacturers like OMET, MPS, Etirama, Bang Sung, Aquaflex, Roland DG, Ruian Donghai, Autoprint, Stork, Kammann, J.M. Heaford, Xeikon, Konica Minolta, Martin Automatic, JD Enterprises. There were a large number of tooling and consumables suppliers like those for dies and tools (Bunting Magnetics, Electro Optic, Gerhardt, Kocher + Beck, Lartec, Rotary Technology, Rotometrics, Schober), substrates (Avery Dennison, UPM Raflatac, Weldon, Kaygee Loparex, Yupo, Huzhou Unifull, Lintec, MLM, Moma, Shree Arihant Laminate, Stic-On Papers, Snug Papers, SMI Coated Products), plates (Agfa, Flint, Toray, Jet, DuPont, Kodak), inks (Flint, Encres Dubuit, Inkstream), adhesives and chemicals (Dow Corning, Jesons, R.H. Special Coatings), UV systems (GEW, IST Metz, Alpha-Cure, Runwing, Unique UV and Light) anilox rollers (Cheshire, Zecher), doctor blades (Convertech) and cleaning equipment (Alphasonics, Flexo Concepts, Teknek).
There were pre-press and MIS software suppliers (EskoArtwork, Label Traxx, Shuttleworth, Tharstern) as well as some label/hologram suppliers (Reynders, Kris, Shrink Pack Labels, Polyonics, Holostik, Holoflex Kumbhat, V-Tach Packaging) and a provider of anti-counterfeiting solutions (Techsun).

The overall presentation and range of products on display were quite good and well worth a visit for anyone connected with the label business like label converters and brand owners. The visitor turnout, however, appeared to be less than that at the last edition of the show in 2006.

Weldon Celloplast
Weldon Celloplast started as a stationery business in 1939 with diversification in siliconising in 1978. The label stock business commenced in 1996 and the company is essentially a manufacturer of self adhesive label stock in roll and sheet form. Weldon now exports labelstock to 34 countries with serious export marketing efforts gaining traction in the last couple of years. Most of the marketing and trading and distribution initiatives come from Pawandeep Sahni. His wife Kavneet heads the stationery division of the company.

Weldon was at the India Label show along with their 12 principles. At the show, Harveer Sahni, Managing Director of the company said the main focus of their business in meeting the needs of their customers often translates into creation of innovative self adhesive products. The company produces silicone release papers, self-adhesive label stocks, self adhesive tapes and a variety of coated products under the brand name Fasco. Kavneet demonstrated one of Weldon’s interesting innovations to us at the show which was the “sticky corners.” Sticky corners are pre cut self-adhesive squares that can make any product self-adhesive. These can be used for pasting pictures anywhere or even sticking business cards on gift packs, visitor books or catalogues. The company also has security solutions such as self-adhesive tamper evident tapes, envelopes and labels that work on shippers made out of corrugated board or duplex board cartons and plastic containers. These have multiple levels of security and tamper evident features built into them. Samples were on display at the show.

Weldon’s most recent tie up in January 2009, has been with Jurmet, a Polish manufacturer of technically advanced slitter rewinders, label inspection rewinders, rotary label die-cutting, rewinders for flexible packaging, and core cutters. Harveer Sahni believes the company is now a one-stop shop for any label converter.

Da Shen and Auto Screen
Da Shen is a manufacturer of printing machinery based in Taiwan. At the India Label Da Shen demonstrated their 6-colour full rotary letterpress with a rotary sheeter to cut the printed web in sheets and transport them using a belt. Along with the rotary die cutter the machine is capable of computer sprocket hole punching, perforation and in-mould label die-cutting. The machine also has a PLC UV control unit. The machine being demonstrated at the show was sold to Cosmo Dies, a printer based in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, at the show.

This is the first time Da Shen was exhibiting at a show in India. Ganesh Liao of the company told us that he believes the Indian customer is very smart and knows exactly what he wants. He said the aim of the company was to tailor its machines according to each customer’s need and eventually help the customer in cutting costs.
Sharing the stand with Da Shen was Auto Screen, another Taiwanese company. They displayed a high-speed die cutting machine, the RD 320. The features of the machine include a micro-chip control system, adjustable pressure system with digitized gauge, mark sensors for front and back, an automatic lubrication system, and a multiple fine tuning device and angular adjustment. This is a newly designed machine, created only in October 2008, and a customer in North India has already placed an order for it.

HP
At the India Label Show, HP showcased the Indigo press ws4500 — its digital label and packaging production presses – alongside the HP Smart Stream workflow solutions based on the EskoArtworks front-end and an ABG finishing system. The web-fed HP Indigo ws4500 is cost effective for label jobs up to 6,500 linear feet. Additionally, HP displayed their Smart Stream Labels and Packaging Solutions, a series of products created in collaboration with EskoArtwork for optimized prepress, colour management and variable-data and barcode production.

HP Indigo says their customers can efficiently offer a range of finishing features on their label work using the AB Graphic Omega Digicon series, including flexo varnishing, over-laminating, hot-foil stamping, semi-rotary die-cutting, matrix stripping, slitting and twin product rewinding. At the show Puneet Chadha, again told us that HP’s focus was on increasing print impressions (clicks) and the number of units sold was not as important. He said HP saw a 90% growth last financial year in their digital press installation base. At HP’s press conference he mentioned that currently only 6% of graphic arts pages are digitally printed which is a huge opportunity for the digital market.

HP’s display at the show included several packaging and label products digitally produced by Indian label buyers in various segments. These samples brought alive the answers that digital labels can provide to real world packaging buyers.

MPS
MPS is a Netherlands based company started in November 1996. Drent Goebel and MPS have together developed the effective offset (EO) press for labels and flexible packaging printing. “Nowadays, most presses want automated machines with memory systems that can store the job in case it needs to be repeated, so we jointly developed this machine,” said Erik Blomjous, Sales Director of  MPS. He also told us that the cost of printing one thousand labels on this machine is lower than on other label presses. After selling the first few machines in the European Union the company now plans to explore other markets.

The unique features of the machine include an automated ductor roller, increased density of colours, automated washing, pre-inking and pre-positioning. It uses the same MPS Crispdot technology that is available on the company’s flexo presses. By using a rubber covered free-running impression roller the halftone dot shape is crisp. The EO system uses digital Multi-Servo-Drive technology and has an integrated flexo and screen change possibility without having to change the entire cartride or unit. Essentially this allows change of process and process order practically and quickly.  All the units can be quickly converted to offset, screen, hot foil or gravure technologies. MPS’s metric print adjustment technology allows the printer to adjust the printing repeat length by a few millimetres to match some of the stretch issues of flexible substrates. The servo drive system (auto) teaches the register system the web path chosen in the machine, without the help of the operator. In other words, the registration system finds the appropriate marks even if the web path has been changed. MPS’s solid lock technology supports all print and converting units with controlled and effective gear backlash to alleviate gear wear and marking issues.

UPM Raflatac
UPM showcased a wide range of paper and film label stock products under the theme “The label for a new era” at the show. The Raflex Plus is a thin and clear top coated polyolefin film which combines PP and PE. Raflex Plus is 56 micron thin and offers good flexibility on squeezable substrates. It is meant to be ideal for high-quality product labels in home and personal care applications.

RP 51, a permanent acrylic adhesive provides durable adhesion for paper label stocks to common substrates including non-polar surface, films and corrugated board. RP 51 is suitable for general use in permanent product and information labelling and for food labelling in chilled areas. It can tolerate a certain amount of moisture on the substrate during the labelling process.

For the pharmaceutical industry UPM had on display label stock products for product and information labelling. Since the opening of the new slitting and distribution terminal in Mumbai in 2007, the number of UPM Raflatac employees in India has doubled and UPM is now able to provide label stocks with shorter delivery times.

Avery Dennison
Avery Dennison was a sponsor for the LMAI Indian label industry awards 2008 at the show. The awards supported by the LMAI are held to project the capabilities of label converters encourage technology developments in the country and promote the advantages of self adhesive labels. Avery Dennison specializes in pressure sensitive label material, retail tags, ticketing and branding systems and office products. The company has recently opened a new pressure sensitive materials plant in Pune to complement its original facility in Gurgaon.

Mark Andy offers Harper anilox rlls
Although the Mark Andy scheduled to be shown at the India Label Show didn’t arrive at the show because of logistics issues, we did learn at the show from the FIG team lead by Gaurav Roy that this is the manufacturer with the largest installed base of narrow web label presses in the country infact in all of South Asia. It could be said that the label industry in the region has learnt flexography and label printing on these machines. Another thing that we learned at the label show was that the anilox roller is the heart of the flexo press.
On 20 January 2009, MAX, the service and support team of Mark Andy, Inc, announced an expansion in its aftermarket offerings, providing another element of ongoing support for its customers. By partnering with Harper Corporation of America, a leading innovator in anilox roll production and restoration, MAX is able to enhance its aftermarket program to provide Harper anilox rolls to Comco and Mark Andy press users worldwide. Incorporation of Harper anilox rolls into the MAX aftermarket program results in an even more robust product offering by the largest service and support organization in the industry.

“We are proud to have solidified this partnership with Harper Corporation,” states Adam Baer, Vice President of customer support, Mark Andy Inc. \”This addition to our aftermarket program reinforces our commitment to being a full-service provider to our extensive, valued customer base.\”

“Harper Corporation of America is honored that Mark Andy has allowed us to enhance their aftermarket program through MAX,” comments Margaret Kluttz, president, Harper Corporation of America. “This partnership grants Harper Corporation the opportunity to extend our high-quality anilox rolls to even more users worldwide.” With services ranging from its own line of gear grease and gearbox oil, to retrofits and preventive maintenance agreements, MAX is able to support customers with the enhanced knowledge and experience that an OEM service team can provide.

Nilpeter
At the India Label Show 2008, Nilpeter showed the FB-3300S combination press. The 8-colour UV flexo press incorporates cold foil, hot foil and delam/relam. The FB 3300S manufactured at Chennai in a joint venture project with its current sales and service partner Proteck Machinery, is targeted for sale to Indian label converters and the first machine should be ready by April 2009. In the longer term Nilpeter will consider exporting to other Asian markets as well. This is the first manufacturing base for Nilpeter outside of Europe and the Americas.

Manish Kapoor tells us that Proteck has sold seven Nilpeter label presses in the last financial year in South Asia. Six of these have been the FB 3300S and one is the 4200S installed at Printcare in Colombo. Printcare’s new Coimbatore plant also installed a Nilpeter label press — an FB 3300S in December 2008. We understand another FB3300 S for UPSL in Chennai has already arrived and will be installed when their factory is complete. This will be Nilpeter’s seventh installation.

Early in 2008, the FB 3300S  was purchased by Synergy Packaging, the flexo converting arm of Surface Graphics, who are a major player in sheet-fed offset packaging in West India and by Ajanta Packaging for their Daman unit which was the first installation of the machine in the country. Installations at Procam Flexoprints in Mumbai and Pinnacle Traxim in Delhi have followed.

JK Fine Prints orders Omega SR 330 with Fly eye Creed Engineers showed the Omega SR 330 at the Indian Label Show along with the Digicon range of web finishing equipment for digitally printed webs. In addition it showed the innovative Rotatek Brava, which is a mid-web offset press that can be used intermittently for paper substrates and continuously for film substrates. Also on show was Schober equipment for embedding RFID chips within printed labels. Creed continues to present a wide range of label machines and ancillary equipment to meet some of the more futuristic challenges and ambitions of label producers.

One of Creed’s interesting customers in the highly competitive label printing industry in Western India — a relatively new company with a young professional management team has gained traction and market share by aggressively investing in new technology. JK Fine Prints in Panvel on the outskirts of Mumbai is led by Karan Kapur and Himanshu Kapur both of whom have good knowledge and experience in the self-adhesive label industry.

JK Fine Prints with 20,000 square feet of factory space has the latest label printing equipment. “While for printing we have the latest UV flexo presses and UV letter press machine, for our label finishing we have put our faith in the Omega series from ABG international of the UK. We installed an SR 330 triple die machine with missing label, detection, flag, and splice and stroboscope inspection in 2006 and being satisfied with the quality of the equipment and the after sales service from the Indian agent, Creed Engineers, we have now ordered a brand new SR 330 with a Fly eye vision 100% defect detection system,” says Himanshu Kapur the Technical Director. The Fly eyeVision printface control system is based on an extremely maintenance friendly PC based camera technology and requires no computer support. Once the machine has been powered up, reference images with printing tolerances are read or taught to the system.

A 100 % inspection of the printed output is launched with the start of the electronic controller. When a flaw is detected, the machine slows down and the web stops with the defective image in a pre-defined position. Any further errors occurring in this phase are stored in memory in the background. As soon as the defective image has reached the stop position, it is displayed on the screen for correction by the operator. Any additional errors stored in memory are sequentially processed in the same manner.

On Flytec machines with reversible winding directions, any detected flaw is automatically returned into the camera’s field of vision. The corrected error will thus be re-inspected after the system has been started again. Thanks to a special illumination system, the find, record and correct systems achieve high inspection speeds despite high resolution and inspection severity levels. “This is our fiftieth installation of an Omega SR series slitter inspection rewinder, and the eighth installation of a Fly eye Vision system in India,” says Ranesh Bajaj, Director Marketing at Creed Engineers. “Repeat orders from 90% of our customers for the Omega range and already 2 repeat orders for the Fly eye Vision systems in India have re affirmed our faith in the ABG equipment.”