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Narrow Web Converting Industry News

Label Inspection Upgrade
Label Technology, Merced, CA, has installed two of Advanced Vision Technology’s PrintVision/Juniper automatic inspection systems, one on a 20-in. Mark Andy press and the other on a new 26-in. PCMC Evolution press.

According to David Bankson, VP of manufacturing at Label Technology, "We went with AVT because they have more experience with defect detection. We felt comfortable with their technology and reliability."

He adds, "The inspection systems pick up defects either too small or too light for our operators to see running the presses at 400 feet per minute. They save critical amounts of material waste and press time for us."
SUPPLIER INFO:
Advanced Vision Technology—avt-inc.com
Mark Andy—markandy.com
Paper Converting Machine Co./PCMC—pcmc.com



Quick Response With New Press
Geo Label, Ontario, CA, has installed a 13-in. Aquaflex Instaprep press that features the patented ITC quick-change system to enable off-line job setups and cleanups.

George Contreras, president and owner of Geo, says, "Our focus is on pressure-sensitive labels for supermarkets. In that business, we must respond quickly and deliver excellent quality. The Instaprep allows us to streamline our changeover process for faster job turnaround, and it consistently produces an exceptionally high quality product. That combination makes it a perfect fit for us."

Changeovers are accomplished by the exchange of print station cassettes, with no tools required. This ITC cassette system has cut set-up time in half, Contreras reports.
SUPPLIER INFO:
Aquaflex—
aquaflex.com



RFID Takes Center Stage
by Nsenga Byrd Thompson, Associate Editor
CHICAGO, IL—RFID Journal Live, held April 10–11 at Chicago’s Sheraton Hotel, played host to more than 1,600 attendees enthusiastic to visit the more than 100 exhibitors at this year’s exhibition and conference program.

Headlining the event was Tom Ridge, former secretary of Homeland Security, whose keynote address emphasized the importance of technology in protecting the US.

Conference sessions focusing on EPC global standards, intellectual property, and field case studies stirred conversation among attendees. The exhibit floor was dominated with companies showcasing products designed to meet the diverse mandates of Wal-Mart, the US Dept. of Defense, and Target, which have—along with other well-known companies—required their top suppliers to have in place "slap-and-ship" RFID labels on incoming pallets.

RFID Journal Live’s conference schedule also included a standing-room-only packaging and printing session. The four-hour track explored the challenges within the RFID arena specific to the printing and packaging industry, including ROI concerns among converters and emerging cost-cutting applications (such as printing RFID antennas with conductive inks).

One of the hottest topics tackled during the panel-led discussions was the possible emergence of direct-to-package RFID tagging. Although the session originally hinted the RFID label may soon be out of date, discussion among panelists, which included senior management from Rock Tenn and International Paper, suggested carton- and item-level tagging wasn’t expected for at least another five to ten years, with price points for RFID tags still far from the ideal $0.05 goal.

Sentiment from session attendees and other industry experts not on the panel predicted an even longer emergence of the technology on the carton and item level, speculating that for a mainstream impact rivaling today’s industry standard of bar coding, tagging would have to be less than the heavily marketed $0.05 goal.

RFID Journal Live 2006 will be held at the MGM Grand Las Vegas May 1–3. For more information visit rfidjournal.com.


Gidue Adds Space
MILAN, ITALY—Gidue SpA has added a 500-sq-m Graphics Technology Centre near its headquarters in Turate, Milan. It will provide the manufacturer with space for demonstrations and development trials. The addition follows a period of sustained growth for Gidue, based on the sales of its Combat presses.


RFID Plug-And-Comply System
SEBRING, OH—MPI Label Systems reports a new RFID Plug-and-Comply system is the first complete system to solve one of the most common inefficiencies of the "slap-and-ship" process.

The Plug-and-Comply system includes either the 360RW RFID applicator, which will validate, write, and affix RFID labels in a single process, or the 3600RW RFID label printer/applicator, which is the print-and-apply unit that eliminates the need for pre-printed RFID labels.

Both can be incorporated in a scalable and modular conveyor loop system that is customized to fit each customer’s existing space configurations. The system accommodates cases to 34 in. in width and/or length.

RFID labels can be written to and affixed at a rate of 10–15 cases/min as they are transported around the conveyor at a speed of 60 fpm.


Booklets Offers Triple the Space
CLEVELAND, OH—The Kennedy Group offers the compact Tri-Max booklet said to provide consumer goods companies with a cost-effective alternative to standard on-pack labeling products by providing three times the amount of space as a standard label while keeping the brand and image integrity of the original label.

The resealable booklet peels back and unfolds to provide multiple layers that can convey bilingual product information, warnings, directions, or expanded coupon and advertising opportunities.

In particular, the product provides manufacturers with the opportunity to address recent mandates from large retailers, such as Lowe’s, which now require bilingual copy (Spanish) on all consumer packages.


ANI Acquires Macro Australia
PLYMOUTH, MN—ANI Printing Inks has signed an agreement to acquire Macro Australia Pty Ltd., a leading independent supplier in the Australian and New Zealand market specializing in UV flexo inks, adhesives, and varnishes for narrow web converters.

Macro has developed free radical curing inks to be used on shrink sleeves.

Says Ewald Draaijer, ANI Narrow Web Div. president and general manager, "With the Macro acquisition, we buy into a well-established local support organization with a highly specialized product portfolio and some excellent synergies for us in Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of the Asia Pacific [area]."


Narrow Web People & Places
Jason Kassel will handle sales in the western US and Canada for Mark Andy, Chesterfield, MO. He takes over the position from Ed Marsh, who is promoted to focal point for the execution of the Mark Andy Certified Training Program.

Two appointments are announced at Raflatac, Fletcher, NC: Jussi Vanhanen is named senior VP, Asia-Pacific, to be based in Shanghai, China; and Jan-Erik Forsström is named VP, operations and technology, based in Tampere, Finland.



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