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Narrow Web Converting Industry News

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Mar. 24-27: Narrow Web Flexographic Printing
, Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, WI (920/735-2481;

Mar. 27: ABC's of IML, Double Tree Hotel North Shore, Skokie, IL (480/473-0301;

Apr. 2-6: Envelope Mfrs. Assn. Spring Meeting, Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa, Tucson, AZ (703/739-2200;

Apr. 12-15: Label/Packaging Suppliers Council & Label Packaging Industries of America Technical Seminar, Marriott Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD (703/569-9896;

Wine Labeling: A Rich Global Harvest
HERTS, U.K.—Wine labeling is one of the fastest-growing label industry niches today — advancing at 10%-15%/annum — as new wine-growing areas of the world take market share from the “old world” winemakers. To address this trend, AWA Alexander Watson Assoc. has launched the Global Wine and Wine Label Market Study — Market Overview, Materials Trends and Industry Trends for Wine Producers and Suppliers.

AWA's research indicates that, while glue-applied labeling still represents about 73% of the global wine label market, self-adhesive labels are growing in popularity at around 15%-20%/annum, and other decoration technologies, including direct print, carton packs, bottle etching, and ceramic labels, take market share today.

Says AWA Principal Corey M. Reardon, “With over 590 million square meters of labeling materials of all kinds consumed worldwide today, the wine and wine labeling market must be of significant interest to suppliers throughout the value chain. [The new] AWAreness Report is relevant to industry participants at all levels, from raw material suppliers and self-adhesive laminators to label converters, end-users, and retailers.”

Following a short history of wine bottle labeling, the report moves through the global wine market, examining both the “old world” and “new world” countries and their particular needs and preferences, providing macro and geographical market data on current and future global wine production and demand and consumption, as well as growth drivers, market threats, and opportunities.

Says Reardon, “Both for traditional winery labels and for the colorful and imaginative labels on the bottles of wine we buy in our supermarkets, there's a requirement today for much more than simple esthetic qualities. Labels need to carry a large bank of information, from the vintage year to bar codes, storage, and serving recommendations.”

Wine label materials — both papers and the increasingly popular films — are discussed in the report, which covers both wet-glue and self-adhesive label stocks. The preferred printing technologies are reviewed, and the report concludes with a listing of key converters in the global wine label industry.

Full details of the study are available on the AWA web site at

Coating Blanket Cutter Delivers Savings
Gamse Lithographing Co., a Baltimore, MD, label printer, reports it lowered production costs significantly by installing a Gerber Sector coating blanket cutter.

“[We] save an average of $200 per coating blanket by using the Gerber Sector,” says Gamse supervisor Bill Forness. “Before we purchased the machine, it was necessary to create a film and send out for a photopolymer plate — a process that took three days. Now a typical coating blanket can be produced in 45 minutes. We use the Gerber for both aqueous and ultraviolet coatings and regard it as a very affordable way for printers to bring coating blanket production in-house.”

Gerber adds the Sector coating blanket cutter received the 2002 GATF InterTech Technology Award for product innovation in the graphic arts.
Supplier Information
Gerber Innovations
, Manchester, CT; 860/643-1515;

Arlington Press Adds Cartoning Capacity
Responding to increased demand for “one-stop” convenience in pharmaceutical product packaging, Arlington Press, Vernon, CA, an Impaxx co., added carton production to its product line with the installation of a Comco UV flexo press.

A leading maker of package inserts and outserts, roll labels, and specialty products for prescriptions, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, and nutritional products, the company has been in continuous operation in New York since 1920, and more recently in Raleigh, NC, as well. Today it is one of the ten packaging operating units that comprise Impaxx Inc.

A 22-in. Comco UV flexographic press is now on-line in the newly expanded Raleigh facility to produce folding cartons for bottles, blister packs, sample kits, and POP displays. The press has a print length to 32 in. and can print on substrates ranging from 8-24 pt at a maximum speed of 750 fpm. It has nine printing stations and is equipped with a gas dryer said to allow rapid finishing of cartons with aqueous coatings. The press allows for rotary, in-line die-cutting.

In addition to cartons, the press can print heat-seal cards and coated stock for inserts. To support the addition of carton production, the company also has installed a Bobst folding carton gluer that can run straight-line cartons at a rate to 100,000/hr. The Bobst equipment reportedly has precise quality control devices that verify glue application on each carton and bar code scan both sides to ensure accuracy.
Supplier Information
Comco Intl., a div. of Mark Andy
, Milford, OH; 513/248-8000; 800/uvflexo;
Bobst Group Inc., Roseland, NJ; 973/226-8000; 888/226-8800;

Label.Com Adds Two-Sided Print Capability
BRADFORD, PA, USA—Label.Com has added the capability to print on both sides of a web of material, allowing it to print and/or die-cut on the front and back of a label or tag. Applications that require this capability include ski tickets with safety precautions on the liner; thermal transfer or direct thermal labels and tags with black cue marks on the back; and promotional/fundraising label sets with advertising information on the liner.

Technicote Acquires RF Xpress Roll Program
MIAMISBURG, OH, USA—Technicote Inc., a manufacturer of PSA roll label materials, has acquired the RF Xpress Roll Program Div. of Russell-Field Paper.

Russell-Field Paper's RF Xpress Roll Program was the first comprehensive offering of non-adhesive materials marketed to the narrow web tag and label industry, according to the co. The new division of Technicote, the “Russell-Field Xpress Roll Program,” officially began converting and distributing from the Terre Haute, IN, facility in early December.

MeadWestvaco to Consolidate Envelope Operation in NE
STAMFORD, CT, USA—MeadWestvaco Corp. has closed two manufacturing plants in Springfield, MA, and consolidated its envelope operations in the Northeast by creating a single, high-powered manufacturing center in Enfield, CT.

“These plants share a common client base,” says John Taylor, general manager of Envelope Products for MeadWestvaco's Consumer & Office Products Group, “and by serving them out of a single northeastern site, equipped with the best machinery, we'll be able to deliver products faster and more efficiently.”

Resource Guide Developed for Die-Cutters
NORWELL, MA, USA—Larson Worldwide Inc., consultants to the die-cutting process, recently created what it says is a first-of-its-kind resource guide on die-cutting press systems entitled “International Mfrs. & Distributors of Flat-Bed, Multi-Contour, Rotary Die-Cutting Systems.”

The guide provides trade names of die-cutting press systems; 47 categories of flat-bed, multi-contour, and rotary die-cutting systems (each category lists companies that manufacture, distribute, or rebuild/retrofit die-cutting press systems); die-cutting press vendor companies identified by countries; and an alphabetical listing of more than 490 die-cutting press vendor companies.

The cost is $65/copy (plus S&H). For information contact Larson at 781/659-2115; mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or visit

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