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Narrow Web Converting Industry News

New Joint Label Industry Marketing Agreement
FINAT, the European label organization, has renewed and extended its contract with Tarsus Exhibitions and Publishing through 2005. The Finat/Tarsus Labelexpo Steering Group will develop the directions in which the exhibitions and supporting conferences will move. Activities for 2001 include the Tarsus-organized Labelexpo Europe exhibition in Brussels, Belgium, in October.

In the framework of the new contract, Finat is expected to benefit from an investment of more than £250,000 from Tarsus

Inspection Rewinder Adds Print Capabilities
FAIRFIELD, NJ, USA—P-s label converter Label Graphics recently installed a new slitter/inspection rewinder to complement its expanded-content label capabilities and provide tighter labeling security.

The rewinder features an ink jet printer that prints bar codes, client names, drug ID information, etc., and produces sequential numbering on the back of the liners.

Label Graphics' Fairfield facility became operational in 1999 with the installation of a new 13-color, expanded-content label press that features a 10-in. web span with virtually unlimited capabilities for the production of booklets, folded labels, instant redeemable coupons (IRCS), and “piggyback” labeling.

Extra-Large Bags Are “A” OK
FARMINGDALE, NY, USA—Seal-it Inc. reports that extra-large, heat-shrink “A” Bags are now available in 12 sizes, in addition to a full line of “A” bags and straight bags.

These larger sizes are appropriate for gift baskets and are ready for quick delivery in printed or clear film. Bags can be made from heat shrink PVC, PET-G, and OPS films.

Bags will shrink to the shape of the product and are large enough to encapsulate the contents of gift baskets, co. reports, adding that “A” Bags and straight bags also can be used for multipacks, unusually shaped objects, pump bottles, tubes, flip-top bottle, and bottles without ring necks.

Labelexpo Europe Expands Its Focus
Labelexpo Europe 2001 will be held September 26-29 at the Parc des Expositions in Brussels, Belgium. To date more than 26,000 sq m of floor space has been reserved by 390 exhibitors, making this year's show 30% larger than the 1999 European edition.

For the first time in its 21-year history, Labelexpo has broadened its narrow web focus to encompass the wider labels and package printing sectors, reports show organizer Tarsus Group. In addition to showcasing new developments in narrow web printing, the event is designed to appeal to converters involved in flexible packaging, folding cartons, and digital printing, as well as contract packagers and end-users.

Exhibitors will include Mark Andy, Raflatac, Avery Dennison, Gerhardt, Jackstadt, Gallus, Burton Group, Akzo Nobel, Rotoflex, BASF, Omet, and Sicpa.

Among the educational programs offered will be a folding carton seminar (Sept. 26); a workshop on the Eastern European market (Sept. 27); and a digital user's forum (Sept. 28).

New features at Labelexpo Europe will include “visitor trails.” The marked trails will be used to direct visitors to the stands for flexible packaging, folding carton, digital solutions, labeling solutions, and converting solutions. This year's exhibition occupies five of the showground's halls, which are linked from the registration hall by a skywalk designed to provide visitors with easy access around the entire event.

A Sampling of Products at Label Expo Europe
Elite Cameron
, Somerset, England, will feature its range of products, including duplex center slitter/rewinders for paper, film, and foil. Elite reports slitter/rewinders are able to incorporate co.'s own design of automatic knife setting systems, automated roll loading and unloading, and patented differential rewind shaft system.

Primarc UV Technology, Slough, England, will highlight UV curing lamps, including label lamps said to be suitable for the majority of label presses. In addition to mercury lamps, the co. has developed a wide range of metal halide lamps that create specific wavelengths of UV radiation to match the sensitivity of the photopolymer being cured.

Honle AG, Aldridge, U.K., will launch the Uvaprint HP energy-efficient UV curing system into the European labels and packaging industries. The system reportedly is designed to reduce energy consumption and running costs on-press through CAD-designed reflector geometry that focuses the UV wavelength exactly where it is needed to obtain optimum curing. The Uvaprint HP can be supplied on most makes of narrow, mid-, and wide web presses for typical label packaging and business forms production. Also provides the option of running a range of heat-sensitive, unsupported films and thermal papers.

Axicon Audo ID Ltd., Bicester, U.K., will introduce its new generation of PC-based verifiers for outer case bar codes. The portable, hand-held PC900 will enable both the PC6000 and PC7000 to become portable units. The co. reports that the entire verifier family analyzes bar code quality against both traditional quality parameters and full ISO/CEN/ANSI standards.

Rotoflex International, Mississauga, ON, Canada, will provide the platform to launch a new marketing program called “Pro Series…The New Millennium Vision.” It will include five product groups under the associated banners: Pro Inspect, Pro Vision, Pro Secure, Pro DieCut, and Pro Tech. Included are inspection, slitting, rewinding, die-cutting, and vision systems. In the Pro Inspect, Pro Vision, and Pro Secure family of products, co. has integrated Vision systems into inspection equipment in four areas of customer needs.

API will launch a range of metallic foils said to be designed with versatility, quality, and consistency in mind. Line features 60 metallic colors as well as classic golds and silvers.

For more information on Labelexpo Europe, contact Tarsus Group, Wells House, Elmfield Rd., Bromley BR1 1LT, England; ph: +44 (0) 20-8315-4800; fax: +44 (0) 20-8468-7472; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; www.labelexpo-europe.com.

Label Membranes Allow Air Exchange
LIVONIA, MI, USA—Self-adhesive labels employing a membrane with a high degree of air permeability and moisture resistance are now available from Schreiner Label Tech Inc. They reportedly are designed to help prevent the entry of dirt particles or the exchange of moisture while allowing the release of air due to excess pressure building up inside electronic component housings in the automotive, medical, and other fields.

Available in a variety of sizes, forms, and shapes, these “Pressure Compensation Seals” are water-resistant and can be attached with an adhesive individually adapted to the surface on which they will be affixed. The labels come on reels for manual or automatic application and can be printed for use as parts ID, tracking, or any other requirement involving label information.

Current applications of this technology have been on electric motors for automobile windows and ABS control units and car air bags. In addition, the labels have been adopted by various medical device manufacturers for ID.

Dow Facility Increases Film Production By 9%
HEBRON, OH, USA—Utilizing Six Sigma quality and manufacturing processes, The Dow Chemical Co. achieved a 9% increase in the production of Procite envelope window film at its Hebron facility in the first quarter of 2000. An additional 10% increase is anticipated by mid-2001 following further process enhancements.

Dow reports the Six Sigma process is the discipline it is using to focus on product and service excellence to create a culture that demands perfection — on target, every time. Production managers use Six Sigma efforts to measure, analyze, improve and control the manufacturing processes for Procite envelope window film.

According to Dow, Procite envelope window film offers a combination of both optical and physical performance required for high-performance Optical Character Recognition (OCR) readability of text characters and bar codes, delivering virtually 100% sorting efficiency. Specifically, if the window film is too glossy, the reflective glare can blind the OCR unit; if the film has excessive haze, it can diffuse the OCR illumination and distort the address block data.

North American Liner Study Released
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS—The first edition of a new report on the North American release liner market is available from AWA Alexander Watson Assoc.

Covering both silicone-coated papers and films, the report examines the subject from an industry perspective, assessing volume data and providing a full and detailed market segmentation. Set within the context of global market developments likely to impact trading and commercial activity, the report also outlines material trends and the changing structure of the business, particularly in reference to material suppliers and silicone coaters.

“North American Release Liners: Annual Outlook 2001” is available from AWA Alexander Watson Assoc.; ph: +31 20 676 2069; awa-bv.com

Industry Veteran Bunnell Announces Retirement
ST. LOUIS, MO, USA—Mark Andy Inc. reports that Dale Bunnell, VP of business development, will retire in August after a 38-yr career.

Bunnell started with Mark Andy in 1978 and served 12 years as national sales manager before assuming his present position. During his tenure with the co., revenues have grown from approximately $5 million to an estimated $100 million annually.

Throughout his career Bunnell was an advocate of flexography, and he has been honored for his participation in flexo advances.

Bunnell will serve as a consultant to Mark Andy and expects to continue his involvement with the Flexographic Technical Association.


b>Vodka Importer Finds “Decorative” Solution To Counterfeiting
HAMPSHIRE, U.K.—De La Rue Holographics reports that Ukrainian importers of the internationally renowned Smirnoff vodka brand faced significant revenue loss and falling consumer loyalty due to sales of bootleg imitations.

To combat these serious threats to business, a neck shrink sleeve was developed in conjunction with packaging specialists Decorative Sleeves.

The sleeve featured a secure optically variable device (OVD) from De La Rue Holographics designed to work as a strong visual assurance of product and brand integrity, in tandem with thermochromic and other specialist security print features.

The result reportedly achieved substantial growth for the business of Smirnoff's Ukrainian importers as counterfeiters turned to other brands marketed by companies less protective of their assets.

The design was subsequently recognized by the industry, winning the World Star Award for Packaging Excellence, awarded by the World Packaging Organization, and the Institute of Packaging's Technical Innovation Award.

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