Digital Magazine

PLGA Meeting Honors Gravure and Its Printers

March 1 and 2 of this year found the Packaging and Label Gravure Assn. holding its fourth marketing and technical conference at the Embassy Suites in Orlando, FL. Once again offering a wide range of information on the state of gravure, the association also presented the winners of its first competition.

The conference, titled “Meeting the End-User Challenge,” included such topics as expectations of a strategic supply partnership; ISO-9000 and the theory of constraints; plastic bottles/plastic labels; process options for cost reduction, quality, and innovation, including reports on the latest advances in imaging technology; cylinders and sleeves; doctor blades; and inspection technology.

Sean Marske of VIP Color Technology discussed digital printing. He talked about what end-users want, including the ability to put two separate labels on the same item; process efficiency; and more use of graphics. He discussed the logistical benefits of digital labeling printing, including the ability for label data and graphics to be transmitted via the Internet and printed on demand when and where needed. A major benefit today, Marske noted, is the ability to change a few words on a label to use in foreign countries.

Mike Zolovick, technical service supervisor at National Starch & Chemical Co., gave an excellent presentation entitled “Preventing Half Your Problems by Understanding the Basics.” He talked about the three components of bonding (substrate, interface, and adhesive); mechanical and chemical adhesion; the mechanisms of bonding; types of bond failures (cohesive failure, adhesive failure, and dual failure); water-borne adhesives (still need development to improve performance; solvent-borne adhesives (still popular, but he sees no outside growth ahead); hot melt adhesives (good for nonporous substrates; new breeds can be applied at lower temperatures); and 100% solids adhesives. Zolovick also covered applications, including glue applied, pressure-sensitive, and flexible laminating.

A major highlight of the event was the announcement of the winners in the first-ever PLGA Competition. Eleven awards were presented plus a “Best of Show” award. Following are the major categories and subcategories, as well as the winners in each.

For more information contact the Packaging and Label Gravure Assn., 200 Plateau Dr, Springfield, OH 45502-8836; ph: 937/390-2528; fax: 937/390-2385; www.PLGA.com; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

PSA labels

Subcategory: Prime Label-Film

Winner: Package Service Corp.

Product: Suavitel Baby 1L

Details: Six colors plus ultraviolet varnish; 26-mil, white, biaxially oriented PP from Fasson (S-975A); Chesnut 150 press. Judges called the ink laydown consistent and smooth.


Subcategory: Reverse printed

Winner: Gilbreth

Product: George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey

Details: Six colors; substrate was PETG; Tecmo press; additional processes included slitting, seaming, cutting, and inspection. This was a closely challenged category. Judges noted, “winner exhibits the best attributes that gravure has to offer.”

Flexible Packaging

Subcategory: Film/Film Lamination

Winner: Nordenia U.S.A. Inc.

Product: Kirkland 4 Cheese Ravioli

Details: Reverse printed using seven colors; 48-ga PET from DuPont; Windmoeller & Hoelscher press; laminated to PE on W&H laminator; solvent-based inks from Siegwerk; solvent-free adhesives from Rohm & Haas. This product also took the “Best of Show” award, with judges calling it “exemplary of the process.”

Subcategory: Pouches

Winner: Nordenia U.S.A. Inc.

Product: Tyson Cornish Hens

Details: 48-ga PET from DuPont printed in seven colors on a Windmoeller & Hoelscher press; laminated substrate is metallized PET (from Vacumet), then PE sealant; laminator is from W&H; solvent-based inks from Siegwerk; solvent-free adhesives from Rohm & Haas. Co. reports that package's structural integrity allows customer to sell two whole Cornish hens in the same package. Consumer can reclose the package and store in freezer for an extended period of time.

Subcategory: Foil/Paper Lamination

Winner: Catty Corp.

Product: Milk Maid

Details: Four colors; lamination was aluminum foil/poly/paper; custom press. Judges commented that requirements for barrier protection succeeded, and production requirements on press were maintained with design conforming to press capabilities.


Subcategory: Functional

Winner: Tolas Corp.

Product: Enbrel (from drug mfr. Immunex)

Details: Three colors; Tyvek material; IntaRoto press; water-based inks. Immunex requested an easy-to-open package since this is an arthritis drug. Coated and printed lid met that need. Co. reports it chose Tyvek for its strength, puncture resistance, cleanliness, and effective barrier for liquids and odors. A low-strength adhesive was developed that allows use in high-speed packaging operation by Packaging Coordinators. Judges called this an “excellent example of a printer/converter meeting the demands of the client.”


Subcategory: Special Effects/Novelty

Winner: Northstar Print Group

Product: Miller Lite Super Bowl promotion

Details: Five colors; 42# Proma Technologies Holoprism; Bobst Champlain press; black light, white ink. Judges were impressed with how the product brought the visual excitement of Vegas to a commodity product.

Subcategory: Technical Achievement

Winner: Arlin Mfg.

Product: Promotional message tear tape

Details: Three colors (white, yellow, black); adhesive lamination, PP; Chesnut press; also narrow web slitting and traverse winding. Lamination protects the print from scuffing and marring during winding and application processes, co. explains.

Non PSA Labels/Wraps

Subcategory: Heat Transfer

Winner: Avery Dennison

Product: Anheuser-Busch Budweiser

Details: Seven colors; proprietary heat transfer substrates; Bobst Champlain press. Co. followed its holiday tradition of portraying Clydesdale horses. Label for limited-edition magnum bottle features “Coming Home” holiday scene. Back label has a special holiday message. Judges noted that the integrity of the design was maintained through the transfer process.

Subcategory: In Mold Label-Paper

Winner: Multi-Color Corp.

Product: Cascade Complete

Details: Seven colors; metallized paper; Schiavi press; die-cutting was involved. Judges said the product “jumps with vibrancy.”

Subcategory: In Mold Film

Winner: Multi-Color Corp.

Product: Downy Enhancer

Details: Six colors; M330 polypropylene; Schiavi press; die-cutting was involved; printed with special metallic ink technology.

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