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Narrow Web Converting Industry News

Coming Events
May 7-9: IMI Digital Printing Supplies
, SunBurst Resort, Scottsdale, AZ (207/235-2225; miconf.com/supply03.html).

June 4-7: 2003 World Label Congress, Intercontinental Hotel, Vienna, Austria (+31 70 312 3910; finat.com).

June 9-13: Practice of Ink Jet Technology Course, Xennia Laboratories, Cambridge, U.K. (+44 1223 236920; imieurope.com).

June 9-12: Narrow Web Flexographic Printing, Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, WI (920/735-2481; fvtc.edu).


Russian Label Market Booming, Report Concludes
HERTS, U.K.—The market for self-adhesive labels in Russia continues to grow at more than 30%/annum, according to industry market research and consulting firm AWA Alexander Watson Assoc.

“The Russian Self-Adhesive Labelstock Market — 2002 Update” documents current trends in this innovative and entrepreneurial geographic market and maps developments and future opportunities.

The study is one of AWA's AWAreness Reports, which provide “executive summaries” on a variety of topics relating to the packaging and converting industries. A prospectus on the report is available from AWA at +31 20 676 2069; awa-bv.com.

Matrics Begins Shipping EPC-Compliant RFID Tags
COLUMBIA, MD, USA—Matrics, a pioneer in the advanced development and standardization of low-cost, high-performance UHF RFID smart label technology, has announced shipments of its new Electronic Product Code (EPC)-compliant RFID tags began in January.

EPC-compliant tags carry a code as defined in the specifications in development at the Auto-ID Center, headquartered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (autoidcenter.org). The Center, supported by leading companies in manufacturing, retail, technology, and consumer packaged goods, is designing the critical elements and creating global standards for the next-generation bar code—called the EPC Network.

EPC is an evolution of the traditional UPC bar code technology, providing unique ID without a bar code's line-of-sight requirement. Type 0 EPC tags are factory preprogrammed with the EPC. The EPC is transmitted by the tag, turning a typical tagged object into a uniquely identified one, and communicating information in a standardized way reportedly much faster than bar code technology.

The importance of EPC-compliant tags, says Matrics, is that end-users get powerfully performing technologies at the very low cost needed for mass adoption.

Seal-It Labels Add “Pop” to Reebok Fitness Water Bottles
FARMINGDALE, NY, USA—Seal-It Inc. has printed a new label for the introduction of Blackberry, the fourth new flavor for the Reebok fitness water beverage line-up. Clearly Canadian chose Seal-It shrink sleeve film for the beverage line to better differentiate the flavors and build on the brand, Seal-It reports.

Made of heat-shrink PVC, the labels for Berry, Citrus, Natural, and Blackberry are printed in seven colors, including a silver metallic that makes the labels glisten. Specially formulated inks and the glossiness of the film are said to give the labels an extra “pop.” The striking colors reinforce the flavors and enhance the branding of the water.

The labels are applied to both package sizes — the 24-oz single-serve and 20-oz contoured and ribbed bottles — by automatic equipment.

Labels Resist Heat, Chemicals, and Abrasion
UXBRIDGE, MA, USA—Precision Tape & Label Inc. says its Kapton (polyimide) custom slit and die-cut labels are suitable for use in a wide range of manufacturing and sterilization processes and can resist temperatures to 1,000 deg F as well as a variety of chemicals, including fluxes, solder paste cleaners, and solvents.

Designed to withstand harsh manufacturing and sterilization processes, labels are 2 mil thick and can be slit and die-cut in sizes from 0.25 sq in. to 10 × 20 in. and supplied on rolls.

Static-dissipative and highly abrasion-resistant, labels are UL-recognized and can incorporate a white opaque top coat, a white semigloss top coat, or a tan matte finish.

MPI Label Systems Makes a “Smart” Move
MPI Label Systems, Sebring, OH, has installed the latest generation of the smart tag, ticket, and label production system manufactured by Melzer GmbH in Germany. (Melzer Smart Card, Tag and Label Equipment is distributed exclusively by Innovative Equipment Ltd. in the US, Canada, and Mexico.)

MPI will be providing RFID products for customers in distribution, warehousing, medical, transportation, and other markets. The Melzer SL Series of smart label manufacturing equipment not only applies the transponder at high speeds, it tests the integrity of each transponder inlay and removes any defective transponders before application to the label — up to four webs wide.

MPI has the ability to preprint the labels and tags and/or print variable information and bar codes after the transponder has been inserted. The “smart tag” can be preprogrammed either prior to shipment or when attached to the product. The data can be re-read and re-written more than 100,000x without interfering with the integrity of the “smart chip.”
Supplier Information:
Innovative Equipment Ltd.
, Cortlandt Manor, NY; 914/734-9397; 888/988-4666; innovativeequipment.com

Sony Ribbons Compatible with General Data Tags, Labels
MT. PLEASANT, PA, USA—Sony Chemicals Corp. of America has released test results for compatibility of its thermal transfer ribbons with four new label and tag substrates from General Data. These included polyolefin substrates PolyMax Tag, PolyTherm, and PolyDura, and OilTak, a polyester material. Five Sony thermal transfer ribbons were tested including TR4065, TR4080, TR5080, TR5050, and TR4085plus.

The ribbon/substrate combinations were evaluated for performance criteria such as scratch- and smudge-resistance, fine-line resolution, graphics clarity, and scannability. For each of the General Data substrates tested, Sony wax and wax/resin ribbon selections demonstrated good to excellent print quality and good bar code scanning rates at 6 in./sec, the co. reports.

Dotrix Wins Security Award
GENT, BELGIUM—The Belgian developer of the ink jet digital press designed for industrial applications, Dotrix n.v., won an “Outstanding Achievement in Counterfeit Deterrence” award at the 4th annual PISEC 2002 product and image security exhibition and convention in Dublin, Ireland.

It is the second time this award has been given to Dotrix. In 1999, when Dotrix was known as Barco Graphics, the award was granted to Fortuna software, Dotrix's standard-setting digital design and assembly system for security printing.

Florida Printer “Shown” to Be the “Best”
CASSELBERRY, FL, USA—Lawton Printers Inc. recently received the Florida Print Awards' “Best of Category” citation for on-demand and digital printing for an entry produced using a high-speed, high quality HP Indigo Press 1000. One of the oldest family-owned printing firms in the country, Lawton also received the Flamingo Trophy for earning the most “Best of Category” awards overall for the fifth year in a row.

Speaking of the press, Lawton president Ces Lawton says, “We're using it really heavily in political work, because of the fast turnarounds and short runs and what it can do for our clients on an as-needed basis.”
Supplier Information:
Hewlett-Packard Co.
Palo Alto, CA; 650/857-1501; hp.com


 

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