Reporter Clips

Narrow Web Converting Industry News

Labelexpo Asia Doubles Attendance Figures
BROMLEY, ENGLAND—Labelexpo Asia, held Nov. 8-10, 2000, in Singapore, attracted more than 5,000 attendees, almost twice the number that attended the event in 1998. The show, produced by Tarsus Exhibitions, broke all past records, including a 45% increase in the number of exhibitors and a 40% increase in exhibit space. Attendees came from some 40 countries across five continents.

More than 110% of the square footage has already been booked for the 2002 show. For more information contact Tarsus Exhibitions at: +44 (0)20 8315 4800;

Jazzy Graphics Dress Up Coffee Shrink Labels
FARMINGDALE, NY, USA—Planet Java has chosen Seal-It Inc., to print shrink labels for its new line of coffee drinks.

The labels, featuring jazzy and kaleidoscopic designs, are printed on co.'s ten-color rotogravure press. Seal-It is printing three different heat-shrink PVC labels for Planet Java in six colors. The designs for each of the three flavors, Milky Wave, Javachino, and Tremble, are meant to evoke a feeling of fun and excitement and are said to be unique for a coffee product.

The bright colors are reverse-printed on the glossy Seal-It label and reportedly offer extraordinary graphic quality. The 360-deg image area allows for the nutrition facts, a bar code, and more of the colorful graphics, ensuring brand identity for Planet Java coffees.

EMA President Receives Excellence Award
ALEXANDRIA, VA, USA—During the recent National Postal Forum, Envelope Manufacturers Association (EMA) president Maynard Benjamin received the USPS's prestigious Mailing Industry Excellence Award.

This award recognizes individuals who demonstrate significant leadership and influence in the mailing industry and who have implemented innovative ways to enhance the value of mail in the marketplace and increase internal satisfaction with the use of mail as a tool to meet business objectives.

Benjamin was recognized for several accomplishments: creating and co-chairing the Intelligent Envelope Study, which led to numerous opportunities for first-class mail and advertising mail for both the long and short term, and which led to the USPS becoming a corporate sponsor of the MIT Media Lab; being instrumental in the development and approval of the first two-way envelope — a product that reduces mailing costs and retains revenue; founding the joint USPS/Industry Paper Task Force, which resolves issues related to mail readability, machinability, ink, and substrate problems; co-chairing a group with USPS Information Based Indicia Managers; supporting the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee; and serving as executive director of PaperCom.

EMA also reports it has received a $250,000 commitment from Willamette Industries, Portland, OR. Willamette is a forest products company with 107 plants in the US, Ireland, France, and Mexico. It has been in operation for more than 94 years.

Honors Go to TI for Automatic ID Technology
CHICAGO, IL, USA—Frost & Sullivan has presented Texas Instruments with its Market Engineering Leadership Award, an honor also bestowed on TI in 1998. The award, which was presented at FrontLine Solutions 2000, is given by Frost & Sullivan's Automatic Identification Group. It is presented in tandem with the release of its World Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Markets industry report.

Recipients of the award are chosen based on interviews with market participants and Frost & Sullivan's research and consulting work for the RFID industry. TI was awarded the number one ranking for the company's identification of market challenges, drivers, and restraints, as well as its strategy development and methods of addressing these dynamics.

Harper Corp. of America, Charlotte, NC, announces that Mary Keeney will now serve as market segment manager for tag, label, and narrow web.

Chesnut Engineering, Fairfield, NJ, has named John Lavin sales manager. In addition, the co. has appointed Tony DaSilva sales manager for Central and South America.

American Ultraviolet Co., Lebanon, IN, and UV Source Inc., Torrance, CA, have merged to create a single UV applications manufacturer.

Dez St. Croix has joined the sales team at Rotoflex Intl. Inc., Toronto, ON, Canada.

Argent Tape & Label Inc., Troy, MI, has acquired Custom Printed Labels Inc., Phoenix, AZ.

Lancer Label, Omaha, NE, is now a UL-authorized supplier of the listing mark on various p-s papers and polyester films. Lancer Label also has obtained UL Component Recognition for Pressure-Sensitive Marking and Labeling Systems “LM 200 White” and “LM 200 Silver.”

Innovative Tapes Are Announced
CHARLOTTE, NC, USA—Tesa tape inc., announces several patented innovations, including EasySplice, Easy CoverAuto, and 64007, a tamper-evident carton sealing tape. Tapes are said to offer improved security, lower total costs, and easier application.

According to the co., EasySplice is the first repulpable splicing tape that can be applied in a single straight line, without the need for expensive nose tabs; Easy Cover Auto is the first 3-in-1 paint masking product designed for painting vehicles; and tesa 64007 offers a new method for providing security to valuable packaged items.

Escort, Zebra Technologies Form Alliance
SCOTTS VALLEY, CA, USA—Escort Memory Systems (EMS), a supplier of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies, has announced an alliance with Zebra Technologies Corp., a worldwide leader in bar code printing. Under the agreement, EMS will combine efforts with Zebra to promote I-CODE-based “smart label” solutions.

EMS's “FastTrack” RFID readers utilize Philips Semiconductors' I-CODE technology. With the introduction of Zebra's R-140 printer, customers reportedly can print bar code symbols and human-readable characters on smart labels while simultaneously encoding the I-CODE chips.

“With nearly 30 years of experience and a presence in more than 70 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, Zebra is renowned in the bar code industry for its printers and now for its RFID smart label prints,” reports EMS president and CEO Mark Nicholson.

Adds Matt Ream, senior product manager at Zebra, “We see EMS as the leading supplier of I-CODE solutions in the industry. Their 13-plus years of experience in industrial RFID systems make them well positioned to tackle the smart label market. This collaboration will give Zebra and EMS the capability to jointly promote I-CODE technology.”

Plastic Suppliers Expands Manufacturing Capacity
COLUMBUS, OH, USA—Plastic Suppliers Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of plastic film and sheet, has expanded its oriented PS film and sheet manufacturing capacity.

This additional capacity will provide the company with the necessary volume to serve its growing industrial market segments both domestically and abroad.

Produced under the trademark names of Polyflex and Labelflex, Plastic Suppliers services the printing, label packaging, and lamination markets. The company is expected to go commercial with the new capacity during the first quarter of 2001.

Plastic Suppliers also reports a newly designed web site in which users can download product information, access technical tips and industry links, and see the company personnel who serve them. Customers can view their individual account information and the status of their orders. The web site address is

Xaar, Sericol Sign Agreement
CAMBRIDGE, U.K.—Xaar, an ink jet development company, and Sericol Imaging, the Schaumburg, IL, ink jet division of Sericol, have signed a partnership agreement. Under the agreement, Sericol will work closely with Xaar to develop and manufacture a range of inks for use in XaarJet printheads.

Product Security Label Is on the Market
ELMSFORD, NY, USA—American Bank Note Holographics Inc. (ABNH), has announced the introduction of HoloSeal, a product authentication label for the packaging industry.

The label was developed by ABNH as a solution to help manufacturers combat the growing worldwide problem of counterfeiting. It is a tamper-apparent holographic device incorporated into the product label that actually seals the manufacturer's package or container. HoloSeal reportedly helps to ensure product integrity through several advanced holographic security features.

The HoloSeal label can display the manufacturer's message to enhance the branding of the product. It also can incorporate enhanced overt and/or covert security features such as a machine-readable code, as well as additional security components discernible and identifiable only with black light technology.

TLMI Elects Officers, Board Members
NAPERVILLE, IL, USA—The Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute (TLMI) announced new officers and board members at its recent annual meeting in West Palm Beach, FL.

Mike Dowling, CL&D Graphics, was elected president; Jim Valestrino, Los Angeles Label Co., is president-elect; and John Bankson, Label Technology Inc., will serve as VP.

Converter members elected to three-year terms on the TLMI board of directors are Andy Beck, API Graphics; Dan Taylor, Taylor Made Labels; and Tom Wasserman, Thomas Packaging Corp. Peter Mulheran was elected to a three-year term as a supplier representative to the board of directors.

RIT Installs Mark Andy Film Press
ROCHESTER, NY, USA—Rochester Inst. of Technology (RIT) held an open house Dec. 6, 2000, to commemorate the installation of its new Mark Andy 20-in. Model 4150 film press.

Attending were Frank Romano, dept. chairman; RIT Professor Barry Lee; Dale Bunnell, Mark Andy VP of business development; Fran Mayo, Mark Andy regional sales rep.; Ed Miklos and Stacie Missey of Rotometrics; and some 50 students.

Checking Out the Narrow Web Side of CMM
CHICAGO, IL, USA—“We're not picky. We'll take orders from either side of the business.” That's Robert Duffy, sales and marketing manager of Coast Controls, on why his company is exhibiting at CMM Intl.

Coast Controls is one of approximately 125 converting industry suppliers that will be exhibiting at CMM just six months after displaying their wares in Chicago at Labelexpo USA, another “super show” but one that largely targets the narrow web label and business forms markets.

Not suprisingly, most of the suppliers that exhibit at both CMM and the more niche-oriented Labelexpo offer equipment and technologies that span market niches and converting processes. Narrow web converters, wide web converters — it makes no difference to the sellers.

Substrate and ink suppliers, as well as manufacturers of coating machines, anilox rolls, and other ancilliary equipment, welcome the opportunity to reach a broad potential customer base at CMM (organizers expect about 33,000 attendees). But many suppliers consider label, forms, and specialty converters a primary customer base for this or any other trade show.

“It's a huge show for Pillar — or anyone else in the converting industry for that matter — so we're excited about it,” says Cheryl Miller, marketing administration manager for Pillar Technologies, who cites its new unitized narrow web corona treater as just part of the reason. “Our narrow web business is really picking up. We're seeing a lot more interest from the press manufacturers themselves; people that we haven't talked to in quite some time are calling up and saying, ‘Hey, we're looking for a new treater, and we're looking at yours.’ I see narrow web as one of the areas that we're really going to be focusing on in the next few years.”

Even suppliers that view virtually every attendee at CMM as a potential customer consider narrow web converters an integral part of the product and attendee mix of this technologically broad-based show.

“We usually have our equipment in the ‘wide web’ area, but we get as many narrow web leads at CMM as we do at Labelexpo,” notes David Probst, technical marketing manager of Environmental Inks & Coatings. “We're in the high end of a number of different markets — labels, folding cartons, etc. — and CMM appeals to all of them. If you're looking for handling equipment, substrates, prepress equipment, it's pretty cross-cultural, but we are very strong in the narrow web market.”

Deanna Whelan, marketing communications manager for Akzo Nobel Inks, notes that Labelexpo is a “much bigger” show for the company, and certainly for its UV and other narrow web-specific inks, “but the presence that we have at CMM is needed. It's good to be there and see our customers.”

Elinor Midlik, president of Prime UV Systems, says that her company produces custom-made equipment up to 125 in. wide. But it is the narrow web market where UV is the most popular and has the greatest growth potential.

“We look at CMM as the flexo side of the industry,” Midlik explains. “And with few exceptions, everything in packaging gets a UV coating. But the narrow web side of the market has gone more and more to UV, and we think the traffic at our booth, at least, will reflect that.”

But Dan Beyer, market manager for Dynatec, an adhesive manufacturer, says the most important ingredient in trade show success is planning ahead — and knowing your audience — regardless of the show size or market focus.

“CMM has always been a good show for us, although we are primarily in the wide web market,” notes Beyer. “But if a trade show is done right, with proper pre-show planning and marketing, you should do well, regardless of market niche.” (For complete coverage of CMM International 2001, see the special section following p. 80.)

Adhesive Film Aids Bonding, Splicing Applications
WINDSOR, CT, USA—Scapa Tapes has introduced Dublfilm S301, a double-coated PSA film for industrial assembly and splicing applications.

It is described as an exceptionally high-tack, high-peel, double-coated acrylic PSA system that performs well in many different bonding and splicing applications. The product's UPVC film carrier provides excellent conformability for applications with intricate contours, the mfr. notes.

Ideal applications include general product assembly, splicing, and joining extruded plastics and metal components.

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