ASL Print FX installs: MPS hybrid press.

Position:INDUSTRY News

Award-winning Canadian label converter ASL Print FX has invested in an MPS EF SymJet hybrid flexo-inkjet press for its manufacturing plant located in California's famous Napa Valley wine region.

ASL Print FX ordered a hybrid combination of an MPS EF flexo press with an integrated 7-color Domino N610i digital inkjet unit. The sale marks their first hybrid press investment for fast turnaround printing of wine labels in California's famous Napa Valley wine region.

For over 50 years, ASL Print FX has brought its customers' brand vision to shelf in pressure sensitive labels, promotional and package printing, recognized by the industry with over 83 awards presented to ASL Print FX and their clients. Headquartered in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, ASL Print FX operates manufacturing plants inVaughan; Napa, CA and Winston-Salem, NC.

Charlie McLean, president and CEO of ASL Print FX, comments, "MPS has built a reputation of developing high-quality presses that deliver top-of-line performance in label printing. When we decided to invest in a press capable of printing complex, shorter-run wine labels to meet fast turnaround demand, MPS' EF Symjet hybrid press was the perfect solution for our needs."

Michael Weyermann,VP of sales and marketing at MPS Systems North America, adds, "With the printing industry now embracing hybrid printing and the benefits it provides in combining flexo and digital inkjet technologies, we're honored ASL has put their trust in MPS and Domino in their first hybrid solution press, for high-caliber wine label printing in the Napa Valley. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with ASL Print FX."


* Xeikon has announced a digital printing solution for pouches. This latest innovation has been developed for consumer goods markets--food, beverage, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The digital process for printing on pouches responds to current trends, dealing with a significant number of SKUs, shorter lead times, and the rising popularity of pouches in store. Brand owners looking for shelf impact for their products are drawn to flexible pouches for their ability to stand, their light weight and their sustainability. Xeikon has simplified a key part of the overall production process to provide a fast turnaround solution.

Filip Weymans, Xeikon's vice president of marketing, says, "This is a prime example of what we call 'customer driven innovation.' By focusing on this application, we are supporting our customers' requirements and also responding to the current trends in consumer preference. This development takes our digital production portfolio to the next level. With its technological expertise, Xeikon is ideally positioned to provide innovative digital processes."

Pouches can be reasonably complex to manufacture because of the flexible nature of their multi-layers. It is essentially a laminated bag made from several layers of material that requires a number of different steps in production. Xeikon is striving to simplify the overall process to provide a fast turnaround solution. By first digitally printing the text and graphics on a thermal laminate, the outside layer of the pouch is prepared and ready for the next steps. A variety of different layers is then constructed by lamination with a series of barriers for protection before the pouch is finally put together during the manufacturing process. Xeikon's digital printing solution offers low complexity and a broad lamination construction.

Marketers and brand owners see inherent value in this kind of packaging for a variety of reasons, including product presentation and functionality for the consumer. Pouches can also be sustainable: a pouch has a so-called "product-to-package" ratio of 35:1, which essentially means that it can carry up to 35 times its own weight, resulting in less energy consumption to produce and transport. Pouches can have a variety of different shapes depending on size, end-use application and functionality. Many brands are transitioning from rigid types of packaging to more flexible versions such as pouches.

Weymans concludes, "Xeikon continues to develop new innovations for diverse markets to meet today's challenging and fast moving world of consumerism. With our broad technology portfolio, we are in a perfect position to respond to current market trends and develop any solution required. Our digital printing solution for pouches utilizes our dry toner technology, which comes with a guarantee for food safety. This technology also ensures consistency and an equal finish to offset (am screen) and to flexo when color matching is required. With our aXelerate program, our dedicated teams provide direct and personal training and support for our customers every step of the way. Xeikon is committed to providing only the very best products and services."


* ETI Converting Equipment, a Canada-based designer and builder of custom-engineered web converting, printing, and coating equipment, has announced that R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company (RRD), a global provider of multichannel solutions for marketing and business communications, has acquired a 26" linerless line to expand its liner-less labels capacity.

The new equipment will enable RRD to respond to the increasing demand for linerless labels at a competitive price.

According to ETI, "Linerless labels are a growing trend in the industry. Without a liner, PS labels are eco-friendly and offer improved cost controls and better productivity. The benefits of the linerless technology are numerous: huge savings on liner, waste reduction, more labels per roll, reverse printing, environmentally friendly, and more."

The machine is RRD's second ETI machine.

Bruce Hanson, president, RRD Labels & Forms, comments, "We are committed to providing end-to-end labels solutions that help our clients connect with their customers. "Doing so means providing a variety of innovative solutions that we can either scale or tailor to meet the strictest of specifications while helping our clients present their brand with quality and consistency. This additional linerless press--which will be installed later this year--allows us to continue to provide an industry leading product we have continued to perfect over the many years we have delivered high-quality products to our clients."


* Colordyne Technologies, a manufacturer of digital label and packaging equipment, welcomed visitors from across the United States, Canada and Europe to its corporate headquarters in Brookfield, WI, USA for the first ever Colordyne Open House. The event featured presentations from industry experts on aqueous pigment technology and live demonstrations of Colordyne's full suite of solutions.

Colordyne's newest 3600 Series technology using aqueous pigment inkjet was the focus of the event. The full color, CMYK, aqueous pigment print engine, powered by Memjet's DuraLink printhead technology, is the first of its kind, Colordyne says. Attendees received first-hand product demonstrations of the new engine, printing at speeds up to 300 fpm and resolution up to 1600 x 1585 dpi.

"Our goal for this event was to show end user customers, as well as customers interested in integrating our technology into their systems, how Colordyne's new aqueous pigment print engine can help them gain a competitive edge," says Andy Matter, president of Colordyne Technologies. "We accomplished this and so much more. Attendees experienced the versatility of this new technology and how working with Colordyne can help fast track their integration."

The modular and scalable design of Colordyne's new 3600 Series aqueous pigment technology offers excellent integration flexibility. Pairing with Colordyne's integration expertise, product development is completed faster and at a lower price point than in-house engineering. In addition, the pigment ink set provides the capabilities to meet a wider range of application needs, including those requiring enhanced durability.

"Speaking with our customers, they found the event to be extremely insightful," says Taylor Buckthorpe, director of sales at Colordyne Technologies. "The event helped them confirm their original interest in aqueous pigment technology. This is the future of digital print in the label, commercial and corrugated markets, among others, and we are excited to be a part of it."

The Open House featured presentations from Buckthorpe, Stephen Buchanan, R&D chemist at Kao Collins, and Eric Owen, general manager--commercial press at Memjet.

"We received a positive response to the Colordyne Open House," says Matter. "There was a high demand for the limited registration spots and an outstanding turnout of new and existing customers, strategic partners and industry suppliers."


* Avery Dennison has introduced M_use, a new digital platform to inspire creative design solutions for label and packaging designers and converters.

M_use, short for "materials in use," is a community where users can find inspiration as they experience the attributes of a label application--from technical to tactile --as well as discover more about the science behind the design.

"M_use combines inspirational design content with the materials science expertise of Avery Dennison. It's an easy-to-use interface that shows the magic of materials in use," says Angus McGuffin, global creative director at Avery Dennison.

The site features an online library of materials. Users get a 360-degree perspective on the texture, color, tactility and printability. They also can access bespoke content created in collaboration with industry experts that covers insights, trends, and creative design inspiration.

"We see M_use as a digital swatchbook for our converters as much as an inspirational resource for designers. Creatives can download and design on high-resolution images to...

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