INDUSTRY NEWS

See all the latest news from the Sign, Print, Graphics & Display Industries or simply browse any category from our menu. From Amazing Projects to Wide Format Digital Printing, Visual Impact Magazine has all the latest news and emerging technologies. To find out more join our newsletter and have all the latest news direct to your email.

  • + Creating the Future of Graphics Solutions. Together.

    The opening of one of the most advanced production facilities in Hilden, Germany, moves the production of Graphics Solutions materials to the next level and reflects all the strength...

    December 14 2021

    The opening of one of the most advanced production facilities in Hilden, Germany, moves the production of Graphics Solutions materials to the next level and reflects all the strengths and capabilities of 3M. 


    This state-of-the-art expansion to existing graphic film operations at the Hilden facility will significantly increase manufacturing capacity for the production of 3M Graphics Films. 

    The $133M investment will see the introduction of two new production lines capable of producing an additional five million square meters of film per year and illustrates 3M's commitment to invest in capacity to meet customer demand.


    The facility's location accommodates the rapidly growing market for 3M Commercial Solutions products.This investment not only increases capacity but enables our markets to be serviced quickly and efficiently. 


    The site is being celebrated as an Industry 4.0 plant demonstrating the cutting edge of graphic film manufacturing. Engaging Six Sigma Black Belts to implement LEAN initiatives has allowed the plant to reach optimum efficiencies and deliver on its productivity targets, including state of the art automation and a focus on clean energy.


    The new Hilden Production facility embodies the core values, strengths and capabilities that 3M represents:

    • An unwavering and tangible commitment to sustainability – with leading-edge energy management systems 
    • The highest quality standards – with web inspection, defect identification and automatic converting connections 
    • Uncompromised performance – driven by the high productivity rates and latest coating technologies 
    • World class capacity – to serve the globe from the center of Europe.


    “This investment in Hilden further demonstrates our commitment to leadership in the Commercial Solutions world,” said Silvia Perez, President, 3M Commercial Solutions Division.“We are proud that this high-investment, next-generation site with global reach has been established in Europe and we are excited that this is just the first step of a longer-term investment plan.”

    “This new facility reaffirms 3M’s commitment to the graphics business and will support our growth needs in Australia as well. “We remain committed to providing world class sustainable products for our customers and improving service levels and quality that is expected of us as a market leader,” said Amit Laroya, Senior Vice President, Transportation and Electronics Business Group, Asia. 


    The Grand Opening happened on October 14, 2021 and will be attended by key stakeholders from the 3M Commercial Solutions Division, the pioneers behind the development of the new facility, and key dignitaries from the German Government, who will commemorate the momentous occasion. 


    This was followed by virtual events in other Areas and the event for Asia happened on the 9th of November 2021, where the key customers and valuable partners were invited to join and be part of this great milestone from 3M Commercial solutions division.“As we focus on increasing our penetration in the Asia region for the Commercial Solutions division, this strategic investment in graphics, which is one of the core portfolios for us, will support our commitment and help us create more value for our customers more efficiently,” said Manohar Raghavan, Director, 3M Commercial Solutions Division, Asia. 


    3M is a trademark of 3M. 


    About 3M
    At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily as our employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M's creative solutions to global challenges at www.3M.com or on Twitter @3M or @3MNews.





  •  Epson has been placed on the prestigious A List for both climate change and water security for the second consecutive year by international environmental non-profit CDP, which evaluates companies' environmental activities.

     

    Epson was recognised for steadily reducing greenhouse gases by proactively transitioning to renewable electricity, and for having expanded and improved the comprehensiveness of its information disclosure in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Information Disclosure (TCFD), which quantifies management risks associated with climate change as required by CDP.


    CDP evaluates companies' environmental activities on behalf of more than 590 institutional investors worldwide with a combined $110 trillion in assets. The results of the questionnaires are also used to assess companies in terms of environmental performance for the world's leading socially responsible investment (SRI) indexes used by ESG investors.


    Out of the more than 12,000 companies that were evaluated, Epson was one of a small number to receive a double A, an acknowledgment that Epson is a leader in sustainability. In addition to being an important statement to institutional investors making ESG investment decisions, Epson believes that this prestigious listing sends a powerful message to customers looking for environmentally conscious products and services, as well as to business partners and other stakeholders.


    As stated in Epson's Environmental Vision 2050, which was revised in March 2021, Epson seeks over the next 10 years, we will invest approximately 100 billion yen on decarbonisation, closing the resource loop, and environmental technology development to reduce GHG emissions1 in the supply chain by more than 2 million tonnes.


    A key milestone will be to switch to renewable energy for all of Epson's electricity needs by 20232. In addition to this investment, the company will concentrate management resources on developing products and services that reduce the environmental impacts of its customers.


    More information

    For more about CDP go to: https://www.cdp.net/en

     

    For more information about the 2021 A List companies, evaluation methodology, and evaluation criteria go to: https://www.cdp.net/en/companies/companies-scores


    For more on Epson's environmental initiatives go to:
    https://global.epson.com/SR/





  • The press is equipped with an additional UV booster enhancing the curing of Saphira Digital Labelfire UVLM inks at higher printing speeds.


    In an intensive development effort Gallus and Heidelberg engineers have further developed UV inkjet printing to enable the production of certified food-compliant labels with the Gallus Labelfire. The low migration version of the Gallus Labelfire is designed to produce food-compliant packaging in accordance with EU regulations and Swiss Ordinance. For this purpose, the joint Gallus/Heidelberg development team developed the Labelfire UVLM ink series, which is suitable for food contact packaging. The UV curing technology of Labelfire was also further optimised to improve the migration properties of the ink film.

    “The Gallus Labelfire Low Migration represents a real innovation. Compared to the previous press, it makes no compromises when it comes to print quality, colour gamut and lightfastness of the inks”, says Uwe Alexander, Product Manager Digital at Gallus, describing the new digital press. Thomas Schweizer, Head of Business and Product Management at Gallus adds: “Indeed! We call it innovation because, together with Heidelberg, we have achieved a new level of UV inkjet technology. This includes the formulation of the ink and a matching curing technology. This enables our customers to comply with the relevant EU regulations as well as the guidelines of Swiss Ordinance and Nestlé Guidance Note in order to produce food-compliant labels and packaging.“

    A prerequisite for the food-compliant production of labels and packaging is compliance with the relevant legislation and, in addition, the specifications of distributors and brand owners. Labelfire UVLM inks therefore comply with the requirements of EU regulations No. 10/2011, No. 1935/2004, No. 2023/2006 (GMP), Swiss Ordinance, Nestlé Guidance Note and EuPIA guidelines.

    However, the use of such inks alone does not guarantee automatic compliance with the migration limits required for certification of such labels.

    The new curing system of Labelfire Low Migration
    An important production step takes place after inkjet printing with curing of the inks. In addition to the new ink series, the innovative machine system therefore also includes a highly effective UV dryer system to ensure optimum curing.

    Directly after printing, the substrate is fed into a dryer with an inert chamber, which is flooded with nitrogen. The extensive exclusion of oxygen leads to optimised curing of the inks. An optional UV booster enhances curing of the Labelfire UVLM inks at higher printing speeds even at maximum production speed.

    In addition to this new UV drying system, the Gallus Labelfire Low Migration is equipped with UV and oxygen sensors that measure production parameters. This supports the quality assurance processes in label and packaging printing.

    "We are proud to offer our customers a machine system that prints flexibly and efficiently, but furthermore it allows a very broad range of applications and thus also addresses various market segments. The Labelfire Low Migration is perfect for a successful entry into digital packaging printing for the food and pharmaceutical markets," Thomas Schweizer concludes.

    Two Gallus Labelfire presses have already been producing food-compliant labels and packaging in line with legal requirements for the European market for months in a field test study. Since October this year, the Gallus Labelfire Low Migration has been sold on to customers as a series machine.






  • “Automation is the only way to consistently deliver high volumes of short-run jobs while meeting customers' quality and schedule expectations."

    HP has announced the PrintOS Integration Hub @ hp.io, a portal where HP provides technical information on how to integrate with HP Indigo devices and solutions, and achieve automation across vendor solutions. Due to the upswing in e-commerce orders, printers need to increase automation through multiple systems, spanning from submission, printing, finishing and fulfilment solutions, through to shipping and tracking.

    “Automation is the only way to consistently deliver high volumes of short run jobs while meeting customer’s quality and schedule expectations” said Gershon Alon, Head of HP Indigo Solutions. “Customers are struggling to hire and maintain skilled personnel. Cross-vendor automation increases employees’ efficiency and enables the production of much more work with existing staff and resources”.

    An example of cross-vendor automation is the improved integration between the PrintOS Production Pro DFE for Commercial Print and Heidelberg Prinect, which automates production and avoids human errors. Customers can now maintain a unified automated workflow, for both their analogue jobs and their digital Indigo press jobs, and manage them from their Heidelberg MIS.

    "The enhanced connectivity between Heidelberg Prinect and HP Indigo presses enables Heidelberg customers to integrate the Prinect Business Manager (MIS), the offset prepress capabilities, and digital presses into one workflow," says Christopher Berti, Vice President Product Management Prinect. “That brings the benefits of higher efficiency, fully leveraging the original investment (e.g. offset prepress system), and the flexibility of using the same workflow for both worlds: offset and digital printing.It helps close a major gap on the road to printshops achieving end-to-end integration”.

    “The Prinect integration with Indigo digital presses enables a single data entry point via JDF, reduces touch points and therefore human errors” said Liesbeth Van Assche, Process Architect at Artoos Group. “We send our jobs from Prinect to the HP Indigo digital press and our press operator does not deal with any job parameter settings, file preparation, imposition, or proofing. Press operators are 100% focused on printing the job and insuring the quality of the job”.
    Automating color is also a key focus area for HP Indigo. On top of the already-supported Idealliance G7 color certification, PrintOS Color Beat now also automates Fogra color certification for new-generation HP Indigo commercial and labels-and-packaging presses including the HP indigo 100K, HP Indigo 15K, HP Indigo 12000 VP, HP Indigo 25K and HP Indigo 35K.

    The FograCert PSD Colour Data allows print service providers to get a fully automated verification to the most widely used Fogra colour standards requested by print buyers and brands, validating that the press meets the highest color standards. With a touch of a button.  The compliance of a given print job is certified against Fogra PSD, ProcessStandard Digital (ISO/TS 15311-2) and can be easily communicated with the print buyer, the brand or the QA team.

    Automatic Alert Agent 2.0 for HP Indigo Series 4 digital presses (HP Indigo 12000 and 15K). This inline inspection system scans every printed sheet and compares it to its digital print file, automatically identifying possible print defects. AAA 2.0 now automatically diverts defective sheets to scrap and reprints them, all in real time with no human intervention, and no interruption to production. The system leverages advanced Industry 4.0 Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms, increasing accuracy and speed, to provide productivity and profitability for PSPs.






  • Latest Esko AVT innovation for print inspection at packaging converters delivers measurements “hundred times faster” 

    Packaging converters can now benefit from faster and more accurate inline colour inspection, with the launch of the latest innovation from Esko, AVT SpectraLab XF.


    Unveiled at the recent Esko Innovation Summit, AVT SpectraLab XF is a unique inline colour measurement solution based on a new, super-fast X-Rite sensor. With XRGA-compliance, AVT SpectraLab XF delivers the ability to measure during make-ready and production, ensuring colour and quality consistency across the entire print cycle.

    “When it comes to brand recognition and value, colour consistency and quality are absolutely crucial,” said Guy Yogev, Esko AVT Senior Director of Product Marketing. “The uniformity of a brand’s packaging color inspires trust and loyalty among consumers. But achieving perfectly reproduced brand colours for packages and labels requires converters to print to the numbers and monitor colour accuracy - all while manufacturing at high speeds and volumes.

    “Meeting this standard can be challenging, especially with increasing demand for shorter production runs as brands seek to grow market share with targeted campaigns, brand extensions and limited editions,” he said. “Using handheld manual measurement falls short of this challenge - measuring only a few points per roll is insufficient, time-consuming, and requires frequent operator intervention. AVT SpectraLab XF has been developed to help converters meet these brand expectations, through effectively measuring and monitoring during run-time and make-ready and ensuring converters print to colour target.”

    Delivering accurate and automated colour measurement for the full array of packaging applications, AVT SpectraLab XF incorporates a new X-Rite spectral sensor and can measure a complete vertical colour bar in a single repeat. Smaller, 4-5mm patches can be supported depending on press speed and a new LED lamp with M0, M1, and M2 correlates to offline inspection standards.


    “AVT SpectraLab XF is fast, accurate, and saves converters valuable time,” said Guy. “This new solution is capable of measuring colour targets and in-image colours in a much faster run time, delivering measurements one hundred times faster than before, with higher frequency and many more measurements per roll,” he said. “The technology delivers much better targeting and accuracy, and importantly can work with very flexible materials.”

    Guy explained that as AVT SpectraLab XF also enables measurements during make-ready, converters can save significant, valuable time in ensuring colour accuracy, as well as reducing job change time. “With the support for as small as 4mm targets or patches, users can also enjoy a saving on material trim area, while the optional data import/export option gives the ability to send data to various colour reporting systems, as well as ink-room interfaces such as X-Rite IFS.”

    Incorporating AVT SpectraLab XF into the inline inspection system not only saves time in setup, but it also maximises operator efficiency. “The system provides both visual inspection as well as colour measurement and enables every aspect of process and quality to be monitored. Using the BestMatch optional module, AVT SpectraLab XF suggests possible actions on press and saves time as well as reducing the workload further,” said Guy.  “It measures L*a*b*, Delta E, density and dot gain on flexible packaging and folding carton applications, comparable with offline devices, but all at point of print with no press stops, for maximum efficiency.

    To find out more about AVT SpectraLab XF, visit the Esko website. For details of the full range of Esko solutions, visit the Esko Innovation Hub at innovation.esko.com.

    About Esko
    Esko is a global provider of integrated software and hardware solutions that accelerate the go-to-market process of packaged goods.
    For each stakeholder in the process, Esko solutions enable them to work efficiently and deliver right-first-time packaging and marketing content on time, every time.
    Our goal is to make it easier for CPG and pharma businesses to manage their packaging, labeling, regulatory and marketing content. With our packaging management platform, brand marketing and packaging teams can increase their productivity, reduce costs, and save time.
    For packaging and label trade shops, premedia service providers and printer converters, we digitize, automate, and connect the entire print production process with software and hardware solutions for CAD design, prepress processes, flexo platemaking and print inspection.

    Facts & numbers

    • Packaging for 9 out of 10 major brands is produced by our customers
    • We are headquartered in Gent (Belgium)
    • Worldwide, we employ about 1,600 associates from 40 nationalities
    • We serve 25,000+ customers in 140+ countries
    • 61% of our staff are customer-facing daily
    • Our global sales network consists of 300+ direct sales staff and 120+ resellers

    For further information, please visit www.esko.com





  • It focuses on the commitment to a robust sustainability strategy comprised of three key pillars: operations, products and services, and collaboration.


    Sun Chemical released the latest edition of its Corporate Sustainability Report, which focuses on the organization’s commitment to a robust sustainability strategy comprised of three key pillars: operations, products and services, and collaborations.

    As part of its sustainability strategy, Sun Chemical organized a Corporate Sustainability Committee in August 2020 comprised of eight executive leaders, designed to guarantee company-wide engagement in sustainability initiatives and oversee the sustainability strategy. Under this committee, Sun Chemical has built a sustainable framework to guide future roadmaps in each of the strategy’s three pillars, which are referred to as the ‘five Rs’: Reuse, Reduce, Renew, Recycle and Redesign.

    This framework supports a circular economy and reductions in carbon footprint, which can be applied from either an operational or product-oriented point of view. Each of these steps has enabled the company to align its sustainability goals with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    The latest report shows that Sun Chemical achieved its recent energy and water usage goals and outlines ambitious new initiatives that align with the three key pillars strategy and ‘five Rs’ approach. Below is a list of some of these initiatives:

    Operations
    • a long-term strategic target to reduce CO2 levels by at least 50 percent by 2030, building on the company’s previous target of 30 percent
    • the reduction of water usage by 6 percent compared to 2019
    • the reduction of overall waste sent to landfills by 6.5 percent compared to 2019
    Products and Services
    • developing products that decrease overall packaging weight or waste, such as the water-based SunVisto® AquaSafe and sheetfed SunPak® DirectFood Plus direct-food-contact inks that enable packaging lightweighting by allowing for removal of protective film layers
    • manufacturing products with market-leading levels of biorenewable content, like the SunVisto® AquaGreen platform of high-biorenewable-content water-based inks and coatings
    • formulating solutions that enhance recyclability, such as SunSpectro® SolvaWash GR and FL washable/deinkable gravure and flexo-printable solvent-based inks that allow higher quality and yield of recycled PET from bottle recycling streams
    • developing solutions that fundamentally redesign inks that can lead to increased recyclability, such as the SunBar® Aerobloc printable barrier coating to achieve an excellent oxygen barrier with high lamination bond strengths to enable the next generation of recycle-friendly flexible packaging
    Collaborations
    • developing state-of-the-art proof-of-concepts for collaborative industry projects that contribute to the enhancement of packaging sustainability and recycling, including monomaterial MDO-PE barrier flexible packaging with Elif
    • an EcoVadis sustainability score of 53/100, a bronze rating that puts Sun Chemical in the 69th percentile compared to similar businesses
    • bronze-level material health ratings from the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute for SunLit® Diamond sheetfed offset process printing inks and SunFashion BE Heatset Series mineral oil, varnish and flush-based process ink series
    “By focusing on the three pillars of our sustainability strategy, Sun Chemical remains committed to following sustainable practices and materials throughout the product lifecycle,” says Gary Andrzejewski, corporate vice president, Environmental Affairs, Sun Chemical. “Consumers want brands to not only provide high-quality products made with minimal waste and bio-renewable content, but to utilize sustainable best practices during all stages of production, from manufacturing to distribution. Sun Chemical’s strategic sustainability framework allows us to ensure the sustainability of end products by increasing bio-renewable content, improving recyclability rates and reducing waste.”

    “The sustainability report shows Sun Chemical’s commitment to our sustainability goals, but we’re continuing to find new ways to improve,” comments Michael Simoni, global product stewardship leader, Sun Chemical. “By guiding future product development based on reuse, reduce, renew, recycle and redesign, Sun Chemical is able to develop the next generation of industry-leading, high-quality products that further increase the use of bio-renewable and recyclable materials for our customers.”

    The Sun Chemical sustainability report is available to customers and can be requested online at https://www.sunchemical.com/sustainability/.





  • Enables on-the-go colour matching for design and production applications


    Epson has launched its SD-10 spectrophotometer, a highly accurate, compact and affordable spectrophotometer. Battery powered and equipped with a precision MEMS Fabry-Pérot tuneable filter, the SD-10 is small enough to fit in your hand or pocket and recently won a Good Design Best 100 award 2021.

    Key features of the SD-10 spectrophotometer

    • Compact hand-held design (35 x 80 x 80 mm)
    • Self calibrating and simple to operate
    • Large aperture lens with a wide spectral range
    • All-in-one with a high-capacity lithium ion battery for mobile operation
    • Take spot readings, compare colours or a patch set
    • Downloadable iOS and Android app extends functionality
    • Integrated annular multi-spectrum light source & LCD display
    • USB & Bluetooth® interfacing, supports M0, M1e and M2 standards
    • One year warranty with service cover extendable to five years via CoverPlus

     

    The SD-10 spectrophotometer can be used to digitise colour readings and colour matching for a faster and more accurate workflow. It can be linked with a smart device to centrally manage colour information for smoother and more precise printing. Being portable it allows users to measure colours anytime, anywhere.


    In short, the SD-10 solves colour matching problems in a wide range of print and design-related work, such as those commonly found in the sign & display industry.

     

    When producing printed matter, there are often issues around accurate colour matching, particularly with corporate logo colours. The user-friendly SD-10, Epson’s first portable spectrophotometer, helps solve problems related to colour matching that were, until now, the work of a specifically trained and experienced operator.

     

    Now, by using the SD-10 spectrometer, anyone can easily measure and quantify colours without specialised knowledge, so colours and processes can be standardised.



    With an easy-to-read LCD screen, you can easily measure colours and convert them into accurate values. It’s also easy to connect the SD-10 to a smart device via Bluetooth and the Epson Spectrometer app is simple and straightforward to use, even for those who are new to colour measurement. Wired and wireless connection with a PC is also possible.

     

    The SD-10 measures colour quickly and accurately using nine light sources arranged in a ring. You can even reduce the time required for colour matching further as you can get accurate values immediately that are unaffected by any uneven shape on the media’s surface.

     

    Accordingly, the SD-10 can also be used for media with uneven surfaces, such as fabric, and the colour measurement results are not affected by any external environment.


    The SD-10’s main body measures just 35 mm(w) x 80 mm(d) x 80 mm(h) and it weighs just 190 g, making it compact in size and easy to carry. It is also suitable for use in meetings and colour matching in the field such as on construction sites. In addition, as it has a built-in battery and can be used without requiring a cable, it is very easy to handle.

     

    The Epson Spectrometer app displays the numerical values measured by the SD-10 as a colour picker with readings in a variety of formats including LAB, CYMK, LCH, RGB and more. In addition to being able to compare approximate colours and numerical values, you can also compare the colour differences between two measured colours and display the difference numerically. 

     

    Moreover, the app also identifies similar colours of measured colours, colour scheme examples and complementary colours, and similar PANTONE® colours.

     

    By linking with the functions of Epson’s genuine Epson Edge Print and Epson Edge Print PRO software, you can then get the exact colour you want with any Epson large-format inkjet printer.

     

    Good Design Awards

    Good Design Awards are presented annually for designs that benefit and enrich our lives and society.



    Epson’s SD10 was described by the judges as they said, “The ability to match colours objectively based on numerical output instead of human sensory perception promises great benefits in terms of colour matching accuracy and efficiency. The digitisation of the last remaining analogue part of the printing process should remove a bottleneck and enable rapid advances in efficiency. The fact that the product is reasonably priced, thanks to sensor technology developed in-house and that the product fits neatly in the hand are also very appealing. The GUI is intuitive. It displays colours as numerical values and visualises differences in colour differences with a dedicated application that was developed at the same time. Coordination with familiar colour samples such as PANTONE is also being considered, and it is not difficult to imagine its widespread use in the future.”

     

    For more information on the new Epson’s SD-10 spectrophotometer colorimeter go to: www.epson.com.au/large-format-printers/Products/LargeFormat/displaymain.asp?ID=SD-10






  • The new flatbed cutters Azon Presto and Azon Presto+ are completely focused on any DTF solution.


    As the demand of the market is still growing, even with the situation of the Covid-19, customers are constantly searching for new business opportunities. In regards to that, Azonprinter has decided to expand its current portfolio with two new products – Azon Presto and Azon Presto+.



    The new flatbed cutters Azon Presto and Azon Presto+ are completely focused on any DTF solution. Even though the cutters are built for use with the current solutions Azon Pronto and Azon Pronto+, they can be used with any other DTF solution.



    Both Presto solutions are built with high class technology, giving the way to the new functionalities, such as high cutting precision for small text string (easy to tear of the scraps), advanced algorithm (elimination of distorted, rounded or lifted corners), half/perf cut (perforation cutting), fast registration marks detection by CCD camera.



    Presto and Presto+ offer fast speed for volume production – servos bring out smooth acceleration, big torque, precise cutting/plotting and excellent durability.



    For more information, please visit our web page www.azonprinter.com






  • Nilpeter is taking high-end offset printing to new levels with the MO-Line FUSION, the clear choice for both short, medium, and long run production.


    The Quest for Perfection


    In premium wine & spirits and health & beauty, the quest for perfection in every detail is an obsession – and that must be reflected in the production of the label, too. It’s that passion that inspired Nilpeter to develop the MO-Line of offset presses. With more than 200 installations world-wide in the last 25 years, the MO-Line has set the standard for excellence in quality and productivity.


    Now, Nilpeter is taking high-end offset printing for these value-added markets to new levels of performance, efficiency, and ease of use, with the MO-Line FUSION.


    A custom-made combination press with a host of analogue and digital embellishment technologies inline, this is the platform for unmatched label quality – whether competing in high-volume or short-run markets.


    “Built with high levels of automation, MO-Line FUSION minimises manual adjustments, and ensures faster setup times and reduced start-up waste. In short, the MO-Line FUSION is the complete solution for the printer looking for efficient, productive, and market leading technology,” says Jakob Landberg, Sales & Marketing Director, Nilpeter A/S.


    Integrating Value-Added Embellishments


    The MO-Line FUSION is based on Nilpeter’s common press platform. This enables seamless integration of value-added techniques, inline and customised according to specific requirements with the flexibility to add new technologies, as needs change in the future, too. A modern printing press, the MO-Line FUSION offers the best from both the analogue printing and the digital embellishment world - the digital high-build varnish unit, new high-power FP-5 hot foil and embossing units, and flexo units for spot colour applications, to name a few.


    “The MO-Line FUSION has no limitations related to materials compared to digital technologies in the market. Few printers in the world have this freedom to print unique, high-value labels – which adds a competitive dimension for the printer,” Landberg continues.


    Lowest cost per label - for long and short runs


    With fast setup times, and quick job turnover, the MO-Line FUSION boasts the lowest cost to print for premium labels – outperforming alternative short-run technologies such as translative offset and digital technologies. In short, MO-Line FUSION is the clear choice for both short, medium, and long run production.


    Ease of use for maximum productivity


    Based on sleeve tooling technology with a high degree of automation, the MO-Line FUSION is built to maximise productivity and user-friendliness for the printer. A smart intuitive interface and computer-aided controls mean minimal manual intervention. Jobs and settings are automatically recalled.


    “Current FA-Line flexo operators will already feel at home with the new FUSION platform and will easily be able to add offset printing to their skill set - and vice versa,” Landberg concludes.






  • NUtec Digital Ink has announced its latest UV-curable ink developed for Epson® DX4™, DX5™, DX6™, DX7™, I3200-U1™ & XP600™ printheads, adding to the company’s growing range of inks optimised for LED lamp curing.



    The Ruby R10-HYB is a general purpose, hybrid, UV-curable ink designed for rigid and roll-to-roll applications and is optimised for LED UV lamps. The company’s latest UV ink addition exhibits impressive flexibility for roll-to-roll applications while also providing excellent adhesion on a wide variety of rigid substrates.



    The R10-HYB performs well in a demanding, high speed printing environment and is designed for compatibility across a broad range of substrates including plastic, metal, wood and glass. Featuring a superior colour gamut for brighter, more vivid images, the R10-HYB is ideal for indoor point of sale signagedurable outdoor advertising and branded or custom promotional goods.


     


    The R10-HYB packaging configurations include 0.5L bottles, 220ml cartridges or 500ml cartridges. Colour options for an expanded gamut include CMYK, Lights and White plus a Varnish option for protecting your prints or adding texture and special effects.



     

    The R10-HYB printed images will last for up to 24 months provided the inks are used in regular applications using suitable substrates, while all NUtec inks are covered by the company’s Ink Delivery System (IDS) warranty.







  • + Industry Reconnects at Visual Connections Golf Day

    Industry Reconnects at Visual Connections Golf Day This week, supplier association Visual Connections gathered its members, their cli...

    December 01 2021

    Industry Reconnects at Visual Connections Golf Day 

    This week, supplier association Visual Connections gathered its members, their clients and others from across the industry gathered at the association’s first post-COVID networking event, a Golf Day at Pennant Hills Golf Club in Sydney.

    As well as Platinum Sponsors Visual Connections, Currie Group and Expo Net provided Gold Sponsorship for the day, which teed off at the civilised hour of 10.30am last Tuesday 23 November. A total of 76 players took to the course for an Ambrose-style competition which prioritises fun and friendly competition. 

    Despite changeable weather, which tested skills in both sunshine and rain, the team from Pozitive comprising Alfred David, Michael Farnham, Dimitris Basmatis and Shaun Weir – came out winners on the day, with Con Chronopolous, John Wall, Ian Stone and Peter Townsend representing Roland DG runners-up.

    A drinks cart sponsored by Ecolease provided ready refreshments, while three prizes for novelty holes were provided by expo partners Get Rigged and the Sydney Showgrounds, as well as Labels Plus Magazine.

    At the 19th hole, players enjoyed networking drinks as a prelude to the Visual Connections AGM where they were joined by more than 20 additional patrons who stayed on to enjoy an American BBQ Buffet dinner. 

    “Visual Connections has always had a strong focus on forging connections and relationships across the industry through networking, expos and other events,” said Visual Connections CEO Peter Harper after the event. It was great to see such a large group gather together today, and we look forward to getting back to our regular program and providing many opportunities for connections in 2022, including more days like today, industry awards, Print2Parliament and of course PacPrint in Melbourne at the end of June.”





  • + New Board Appointed as Visual Connections Looks to the Future

    Visual Connections, the association representing suppliers to the print, sign, display and visual communications industries, held its AGM and Member Meet...

    December 01 2021

    Visual Connections, the association representing suppliers to the print, sign, display and visual communications industries, held its AGM and Member Meeting last Tuesday, appointing new Board Members and outlining a clear strategy for the future.

    In something of an understatement, outgoing President Mitch Mulligan described 2021 as ‘another challenging year’, with the cancellation and postponement of expos and events – which normally bring in the majority of the association’s income – having a significant impact.

    Overall, however, he said the association is in sound shape, with both the Board and operational team looking towards 2022 with a clear strategy, a renewed sense of purpose, and genuine excitement at the prospect of returning to in-person events.

    “Our Events team has been kept busy planning, cancelling, rescheduling and replanning events all year, but we were extremely pleased to be able to deliver a number of successful events recently, including the State PICAs and the National Print Awards presentations, and the ASGA / FESPA Australia HP Awards for Excellence,” he reported.  

    No event cancellation impacted the organisation more than that of its flagship trade show, PacPrint, and its co-located exhibitions, Visual Impact and the Label & Packaging Expo. The show will now be held from 28 June – 1 July 2022, and Mulligan says the organisation and its co-host the Print & Visual Communications Association are gearing up for a bumper event after a two-year absence of trade shows.

    “We are very much looking forward to catching up with as many of our industry colleagues as possible as we are able to gather more often in 2022,” he said.

    The meeting also saw a new Board elected to herald in the new year. While many Board members are returning, Peter Wagener, the WA-based Managing Director of Euro Poles and All Flags Signs & Banners, was elected to join the Board.

    “Peter is a passionate, long-term supporter of the industry,” Mulligan said. “He believes in a bright future for print, sign and display and wants to see Australian businesses, particularly manufacturing businesses, thriving.Peter’s energy and enthusiasm will be a real asset to the Visual Connections Board, and we are delighted to welcome him onto the team.”

    John Wall, Roland DG, was appointed President and thanked Mitch Mulligan for his leadership in the past. “I and the Board are looking forward to working together as we look to the return of some normality, trade shows and events in the future,” he said.

    The full list of Board members includes Ben Eaton, Starleaton, who was elected Vice-President; Luke Wooldridge from Fujifilm Australia who is staying on as Treasurer, and general Board Members Jeremy Brew, HP; Russell Cavenagh, Mutoh Australia; Ian Martin, Ferag Australia; Mitch Mulligan, Böttcher Australia and Peter Wagener, Euro Poles.





  • Incorporating the latest BOBST technology including 10 patents, the BOBST MASTERLINE DRO will equip converters with the most versatile, most automated, connected and highly ergonomic solution on the market. The machine enables exceptional productivity reaching an output of more than 40 million square meters (430 million square feet) per year, combining high-volume production on simple boxes and added-value packaging with qualitative printing and die-cutting.

    It features high-quality inside-outside printing in a single pass, complex die-cutting capabilities and quick changeovers on the full line. Combining digitalisation, connectivity and automation like never before, it promises to pave the way for a new era in box making.

    “The BOBST MASTERLINE DRO has been designed to match market demands for valuable packaging, faster delivery times, and more sustainable operations including the new e-commerce requirements,” said David Arnaud, Product Marketing Director FFG DRO. “As brand owners demand ever higher die-cutting and printing quality from their corrugated packaging suppliers, achieving both, while retaining a profit margin, has become increasingly important for box makers. MASTERLINE DRO achieves exactly that, and we believe it sets a new benchmark in the industry.”

    Major savings on raw material and waste
    The extremely high quality provided by MASTERLINE DRO is consistent for each item and boxes benefit from a 15% improvement in the box compression test (BCT), which represents a huge saving potential on paper use.

    Two quality control systems enable perfect printing register consistency during setup or during production: Start & Go provides fully automatic set-up multicolour jobs with automatic compensation of cliché irregularity with only 11 sheets, and Lead & Print guarantees print to print and print to cut consistency with proactive compensation of cardboard irregularity during production. It has an efficient dust collection system built in to ensure perfect printing quality and a die-cutting efficiency that ejects over 99.9% of die-cut waste.

    What’s more, it is easy to set up and operate. Users can handle the whole line with simple and intuitive operation, and with ultra-quick order changeover from pre-feeder to palletiser, it enables maximum uptime with minimum effort. It has a robust, heavy-duty design, with reduced amount of wear to the long-life BOBST quality parts. If maintenance is required, standardised spare parts, an intuitive maintenance menu and easy access to all parts of the machine, make maintenance cost-efficient.

    “When we design a new machine, we really think about it from the customer perspective,” said David Arnaud. “That is why the MASTERLINE DRO addresses the needs of converters from a business perspective now and for the future. This will serve converters extremely well and give them a huge competitive advantage.”





  • Kongsberg Precision Cutting Systems (Kongsberg PCS) has today announced a new agreement with GMS Pacific to handle its distribution and servicing business across the Oceania region.

    Under the new agreement, GMS Pacific will manage all sales, distribution, and servicing of the complete range of Kongsberg digital finishing solutions and tools, from its base in Melbourne, Australia.


    “This latest agreement is a part of our ongoing process of moving towards a more efficient and effective way to meet the evolving needs of our customers,” said Stuart Fox, President of Kongsberg PCS. “The team at GMS Pacific has more than 20 years’ combined experience working with Kongsberg solutions. We are delighted to now begin this partnership as the exclusive digital finishing solution provider for its business.

    “With this distribution agreement, we are living up to our ethos of ‘global presence, local service’,” said Stuart. “While we realise a company our size doesn’t necessarily have the scale to offer the level of service we’d like in all parts of the world, having GMS Pacific as a local full-service distributor will enable us to give our customers across Australia and New Zealand the level of attention they deserve.

    “GMS Pacific holds stock of spare parts and Kongsberg consumables in their Australian and New Zealand warehouses, so customers can enjoy the full range of sales and follow-up services and speak to a representative in the same local time zone, improving their experience and removing potential delays,” he said. “One of our digital finishing tables will be installed at the company’s Australian headquarters, giving customers the opportunity to have a close-up look at the impressive machinery in action.

    “This exciting new agreement is about Kongsberg PCS focusing on improvements where we can really make a difference, to deliver the best levels of service to our customers,” said Stuart.

    Delivering intelligent solutions for label and packaging manufacturers, GMS Pacific has been operating in the printing industry for over 40 years. As well as introducing the latest technology products and supplying the highest quality equipment and consumables, the company provides expert advice to customers across Oceania.


    Andrew McNamara, Managing Director of GMS Pacific, said the new distribution partnership would further complement the company’s own offering and strategic aspirations. “We have built our business and reputation by consistently delivering quality, service and reliability, and developing long-term partnerships with leading brands that deliver profitable solutions to our customers,” he said. “Kongsberg PCS is the leader in its markets and a great fit with GMS Pacific. We are delighted to be cementing our relationship with Kongsberg, establishing a dedicated team to support customers achieve their own business growth through distributing the leading range of digital finishing solutions and technological advancements in the field.”

    For more on the entire range of digital finishing solutions and tools visit Kongsbergsystems.com





  • Xaar’s Ultra High Viscosity Technology is providing manufacturers with an array of new and practical production possibilities, offering the chance to print without limits and drive creativity.

    The growing role and capability of inkjet printheads is presented in Xaar’s latest White Paper, titled, ‘Pushing the boundaries of inkjet technology with high viscosity printing’. It looks at the historical background to the limitation of inkjet technology’s use and highlights how the latest printhead innovations are enabling a much wider range of fluid viscosities to be printed at around 100 centipoises (cP) at jetting temperature, equating to approximately 1000cP at ambient temperature.

    This capability is increasing the relevance and practicability of inkjet technology across a variety of new printing, coating, advanced and additive manufacturing applications. It is rapidly becoming the manufacturing technology for Additive Manufacturing and 3D printing, as well as for personalisation, coating and other innovative print and manufacturing processes.

    Mike Seal, Xaar’s Head of Advanced Applications, Technologies and Fluids, said; “Ultra High Viscosity Technology offers a wide range of new 3D and Additive Manufacturing possibilities which are really as wide as the customer can think of.

    “We’re giving people a new tool to create better products and with Ultra High Viscosity transforming 3D printing by enabling extra material properties that aren’t possible with other inkjet printheads.”

    Xaar sees its Ultra High Viscosity Technology as providing an opportunity for manufacturers to transition to inkjet, giving a digital advantage of small batch turnaround and mass customisation, opening up a number of new client sectors without the need for wasteful and cost-inefficient minimum order quantities.

    Mike added; “With inkjet technology the only difference between your final prototype and your product, is just the number you produce.”

    The dedicated Advanced Applications Team at Xaar works with all its customers to explore new applications and technologies, and their 5-step process helps manufacturers find solutions for a wide range of industries and applications.

    Mike concludes; “From enabling 3D printing on a truly industrial scale, to the mass customisation of 3D printed parts, we are excited to show customers how Xaar’s Ultra High Viscosity Technology can take them from an initial conversation through to full commercialisation.”





  • Konica Minolta has partnered with Grafisk Maskinfabrik (GM), a global player in the label market, to offer its ultra-compact DC350Nano and DC330Mini label finishers to customers in Australia and New Zealand. 

    The two label finishers will complement Konica Minolta’s label press, the AccurioLabel 230 (AL230), meaning it can now offer a complete end-to-end label solution in the market. The units’ compatibility with the AL230 offers speed, quality, better registration, productivity, and stability. 

    James Rolland, technical sales specialist, industrial print, Konica Minolta, said, “Partnering with GM means that customers, particularly in the label converting and manufacturing industries, will now have the option to source a complete label printing and finishing solution from Konica Minolta, which is backed up by the service and support they have come to expect. For printers, access to a complete label print solution that can both print and finish means they can diversify into a high growth area very easily.”   

    Uffe Nielsen, CEO, GM, said, “The DC350Nano is available for demonstration in the Sydney showroom and can also be shown virtually giving Konica Minolta the ability to  demonstrate a complete roll-to-roll finishing label production solution. We are excited about what this new partnership means and are looking forward to sharing success in this fast growing short-run digital label segment.” 

    The DC350Nano is a 350mm web width converter, and is perfect for small spaces, measuring only 1,600mm x 1,600mm x 1,700mm high. It is an all-in-one solution with lamination, die-cut, and rewind as standard. Despite its compactness, it’s capable of processing up to 45 linear metres per minute in semi-rotary die-cutting mode with precision cutting to reduce waste and accurate processing over a wide range of substrates. It is ideal as a label converter for a small digital press or as a backup to an existing finishing line. 

    The DC330Mini is the next step up, with a web width of 330mm. It is the latest generation of digital label finishing redesigned to feature new electronics, a newly designed control panel, and an updated user interface. It runs at 80 linear metres per minute in semi rotary mode. The Mini is 2,700mm long, giving it a small footprint compared to other solutions. Options available include super gloss, spot UV varnishing, hot or cold foiling, lamination, semi-rotary die-cutting, slitting, and rewind. The Mini is a modular system, making it easily expandable to scale as needed, with new modules able to be added within hours. 

    The DC330Mini can be run offline or in-line with the AL230 with the addition of a buffer unit to improve setup time and reduce waste material. The AL230 has reached sales of more than 800 units globally and features outstanding colour excellence, food-safe Simitri toners, and class-leading resolution equivalent to 3,600 x 1,200dpi. Both units are built to high standards and ensure vibration-free operation making them the perfect complement to the AL230. 

    James Rolland said, “After evaluating the available options in the market, it was an easy decision for Konica Minolta to partner with GM. The DC350Nano and DC330Mini both offer strong technical capability and are the leading solutions in this space. On a global level, Konica Minolta previously collaborated with GM on other projects, including the development of the AL230.” 

    For more information visit: konicaminolta.com.au/home 







  • As bleaching and other factors jeopardise the world’s coral reefs — and the astonishing volume of ocean life they support — scientists are racing to come up with solutions.

    Reefs are built over many years — from decades to millennia, in some cases — as coral gradually deposit their carbonate skeletons. Reversing and restoring damaged reefs, therefore, is a painstaking process. To date, those efforts have involved installing support structures for coral made from concrete blocks, metal frames, or even 3D-printed structures made of synthetic materials.

    But when reefs are constructed at a rate of just millimetres per year, any sort of head-start can help. Bioengineers from the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology in Saudi Arabia detailed a novel 3D printing process that could do just that.

    The technology, known as 3D CoraPrint, uses a newly developed photo-initiated ink that can be printed into a calcium carbonate structure. The ink can either be directly printed into large, custom structures or poured into a printed silicone mould to be replicated more quickly.

    Coral micro-fragments are attached to the carbonate structure to begin the colonisation process. Because the coral don’t need to build a limestone structure underneath the carbonate, they can grow more quickly. The technique is not only rapid and reliable, engineers said, but it also mirrors the flexibility and mimicry already existing in nature.

    Scientists plan to conduct additional, long-term tests of the carbonate material. But although the new method could accelerate the recovery process somewhat, it would be just one of many steps desperately needed to protect the world’s coral reefs.





  • Epson and World Mobile (WM) have agreed to partner to support education and bring new opportunities to unconnected schools in Africa. The project has got off the ground with network connectivity from WM and printers and projectors from Epson installed in schools that have until now been left off the grid in some regions of Zanzibar, Tanzania. 

    Epson projector used in Forodhani school in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania


    This agreement reaffirms the two companies’ commitment to direct action that helps achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In this case, SDG4 Quality Education, SDG9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and SDG17 Partnership for the Goals.  

      

    Forodhani school is located in Stone Town, Zanzibar. With around 700 pupils, the school has been left offline by traditional telecom operators, meaning that teachers and children at the school have not had the infrastructure or opportunities that are taken for granted in many regions of the world. Building on the low-cost wireless network introduced by World Mobile, Epson provided the school with an Epson EcoTank ET-4700 inkjet printer and an Epson EB-982W projector for education, bringing digital technologies to the classroom for the first time and opening a new world of opportunity. 

     

    “When we first visited Kiwengwa School, situated in a small village in the northeast of Zanzibar, the students were learning about the internet without the ability to actually go online so to see their faces once they were connected was priceless. Everything they had been learning suddenly became a reality. This project is not about Epson or World Mobile, it’s about focusing on, until now, disadvantaged local communities and providing the people there with opportunities to flourish,” said Henning Ohlsson, Sustainability Director of Epson Europe. “We firmly believe that providing a quality education for all is a key goal to achieve a sustainable society, and we are delighted to work with our friends at World Mobile to do our part. We have just started this project, but we hope that other partners will join us to create a positive cycle that benefits everyone involved.”  

      

    “We are so excited to begin this partnership with Epson,” said Micky Watkins, CEO of World Mobile. “It’s crucial to us that we share the same values as our partners. Epson has an impressive track record in sustainability and education. This partnership will help spread the word on our mission to connect Africa in a sustainable way and give teachers and students additional learning tools.” 

     

    Although the project is still in its early stages, both Epson and World Mobile are aiming to attract new partners and provide similar opportunities for communities and schools across the region.   







  • HP has added new feeding enhancements to its PageWide C500 Press to improve converters’ operating profit and reduce waste.

    The enhanced sheet-feeding system, which is currently being rolled out at existing PageWide C500 customers, is said to support a wider range of sheets, including thin and micro-flutes, while maintaining a smooth feeding process and fast job changeovers.

    The feeding enhancements include Stack Topography Alignment technology, to automatically compensate for uneven or warped stacks, and Dynamic Stack Alignment technology, to overcome vertically unaligned stacks.

    Smart Auto Recovery technology, meanwhile, identifies and overcomes feeding problems related to bad stacking or damaged sheets, avoiding manual operator intervention.

    “HP has invested substantially in the feeder as part of its ongoing commitment to the corrugated market and will continue to develop this game-changing industry technology,” said HP PageWide Corrugated, Post-Print general manager David Tomer.

    Based on HP Thermal Inkjet technology, the PageWide C500 Press provides offset print quality for a wide range of corrugated packaging and display applications on both coated and uncoated sheets. It prints at 75m/min at its top print quality.

    The machine is said to reduce the cost of manufacturing boxes “and opens new business opportunities with digital flexibility, direct-to-board printing at scaled volume production”.

    HP told Printweek the new enhancements are a free of charge upgrade for current PageWide C500 Press users and that “during the rollover process HP updates the customer’s existing feeder to include the latest enhancements”.

    The enhancements will also now come as standard on all new PageWide C500 presses.

    “HP is continuously investing in the corrugated market and leading innovations to meet the growing demands, and to enable its customers with more efficient, cost-saving workflow,” the manufacturer added.






  • The Norwegian Printing Museum in Stavanger will open on 20 November. It is located on the site of a former sardine canning factory in the historic district of the city. The factory building is home to the Norwegian Canning Museum. It was architecturally extended by Eder Biesel Arkitekter. The exhibition in the new building was designed by ATELIER BRÜCKNER. The two museums operate together under the name IDDIS, derived from iddikett, the word for label in local dialect.

    The Norwegian Printing Museum looks back over a period of more than 40,000 years – from the first human records in the form of cave paintings to the digital present. One point of focus is on the transformation of printing techniques for text and images – with regional and local references: In Stavanger, the art of printing blossomed from the late 19th century onwards as local canned-fish production resulted in numerous printing orders. The label was of central importance for the marketing of canned fish. The latter was exported from Stavanger to all parts of the world – right up to the 1950s.

    The museum offers playful access to more than a thousand sardine tin labels, which are presented digitally in the exhibition. Other impressive items are the historic lithography stones, a lithography press, various print cylinders and the equipment of a photo laboratory. In a spacious workshop area, the Print Shop, on the upper floor of the museum, it is also possible to marvel at half a dozen historical printing machines.

    The museum exhibition on the ground floor of the building extends over two large, chronologically arranged spatial units. They are connected by means of a shared media tunnel, which is the climax of any visit to the museum and can be entered from two sides. If a visitor enters the museum from the Canning Museum, the first exhibition space encountered concerns image reproduction, with a focus on lithography and photography. A flood of images comes out of a camera and passes through the corridor, leading up to the present and then back to a Gutenberg printing press, accompanied by daily newspapers, typewriters and early computers.

    The printing press is the central exhibit in the second exhibition space. With regard to content and positioning in the room, it is the turning point: The wide-scale dissemination of printed material became possible from 1450 onwards with the invention of moveable letters. Printed sheets shoot upwards out of the press and into the media tunnel, taking the visitor through time up to present-day e-publishing. Before the printing industry became established, the scriptorium was the central place for written reproduction. Presented as being of an importance equal to the printing press, it is staged as a spatial unit.

    The exhibition spaces are structured by sets of cubic shelves made of wood. The cubes can be combined with each other individually, whereby they are displays for exhibits, or it can be printed on them in different ways. The general principle of this ordering system is inspired by letter cases, in which the letters of the alphabet used in the printed industry have their place.

    The Print Shop on the upper floor of the building is also laid out flexibly: the theme-centred texts and object descriptions are printed on boards. They are inserted in wooden strips all around the exhibition space and in the chest-high zoning that separates the individual thematically dedicated areas from each other: different printing methods can be compared here. Typesetting and bookbinding are also themes. The printing industry of Stavanger with its rattling technical marvels fascinates up to the present day.

    The exhibition is open Tuesday to Friday: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday also 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    IDDIS Norwegian Printing Museum and Norwegian Canning Museum. Exterior.

    Photography: Marcus Sies


    IDDIS Norwegian Printing Museum. Printing Press and Media Tunnel.

    Photography: Marcus Sies


    IDDIS Norwegian Printing Museum. The Written Word.

    Photography: Marcus Sies


    IDDIS Norwegian Printing Museum. Media Tunnel.

    Photography: Marcus Sies




    IDDIS Norwegian Printing Museum and Norwegian Canning Museum
    Andasmauet 15
    4005 Stavanger
    www.iddismuseum.no/en/