Labelexpo is a key show for printing ink manufacturers who support the label and narrow web markets. With this year’s show falling on the one-year anniversary of Sept. 11, there were concerns it would be poorly attended. However, ink companies were pleasantly surprised by the turnout.
“This show has been surprisingly well attended,” said Patrick Hague, vice president of water Ink Technologies. “I feel the decision makers are present at the show.”
Tarsus Group plc, organizers of Labelexpo 2002, reported that 458 companies, including 65 for the first time, exhibited to more than 12,000 visitors from across the world while more than 540 attendees took part in the adjoining conference with 65 speakers. According to a survey conducted by organizers, 21 percent of the attendees were chairmen or CEOs of their companies.
“This year’s Labelexpo Americas was the most successful event ever,” said Roger Pellow, Labelexpo event director. “All the key decision makers in the industry were there, and real business was done on the show floor.”
“I’m extremely pleased with the show,” said Richard Gloeckler, senior vice president of Environmental Inks and Coatings. “This is the best show we’ve had in years.”
“The show has been absolutely fantastic,” said Ed Dedman, product manager, labels and plasticard, for SICPA North America. “This is really our coming out party with our new management in place, and we are being very well received.”
“Labelexpo has been pretty good,” said Robert Waddington, national sales manager for UVitec Printing Ink. “We’ve had a lot of good inquiries, including for letterpress and coatings.”
“The show has been really good,” said Mike Waddell, sales and marketing for Monarch Color. “We have had steady traffic. Customers and suppliers alike seem to be very excited about 2004.”
As is typical for major shows, ink companies had a host of announcements and new products to showcase for Labelexpo 2002.
Sun Chemical Inks (GPI) and Pantone announced that they have developed a joint Hexachrome Printer Program for the North American narrow web flexo label printing market. They will provide printers with the technical training and promotional support to realize the competitive advantages of the Pantone Hexachrome printing process with specially formulated Sun Chemical SunCare FR inks and coatings. Labelad is the first authorized Pantone Hexachrome Printer in the narrow web flexographic label market under the program.
“With the Hexachrome inks, printers should be able to reduce the use of spot colors, which will also reduce washup. Through the use of Hexachrome colors, we can reproduce 90 percent of the color gamut,” said John Kalkowski, marketing manager for Sun Chemical.
Akzo Nobel Inks introduced a variety of new products for Labelexpo, including its Flexocure Gemini UV flexo ink, which combines very high color strength and uses carefully selected raw materials to reduce skin irritation and odor. For high speed UV curable rotary letterpress, Uvokett Ebony is a dense black ink with excellent jetness and high color strength, and Uvokett Ivory is whiter than previous offerings. Lamikett is a water-based flexo ink designed for film-to-film lamination when applying adhesive in-line.
Eckart America L.P. brought a variety of new products to Labelexpo, including its UltraStar ultra-brilliant silver metallic inks for flexo, gravure or screen, which offers an alternative to costly metallized substrates or foil stamping. UltraStar is available in solvent-, water-based and UV formulations. Eckart’s RotoStar series for flexo, gravure and screen printing are press-ready, one component inks. TopStar UV, an ultra-reflective silver ink, and MetalStar UV are designed for label printers who use offset and letterpress.
INX also showcased a variety of new products at Labelexpo 2002.
“We have INXFlex 1000 high strength pourable inks, which also come in metallics and fluorescents,” said Hal Clifton, national sales manager, tag and label at INX International Ink Company. “It is ideal for run speeds up to 1000 fpm depending on the lamp intensity, and is ideal for screen-work printability up to a 1000 line anilox; up to 1800 line anilox rolls utilizing YAG technology and line work printability of up to a 800 line anilox. On the water side, we have our AquaTech 120 high strength ink for paper, and we are also developing a water ink dispensing system that is capable of distributing both paper and film inks from one dispenser. We have come up with a Hexachrome line of UV inks designed for 800 line anilox, as well as an outstanding silicone-free screen ink which we have had some real good results in beta testing.”
Rad-Cure Corporation introduced a variety of new products at Labelexpo, including its Rad-Kote 868TR, which company officials said is good for extended text and multi-ply labels, water-based scratch-off and direct mail promos.
Arcar Graphics, a division of Flint Ink Packaging North America, introduced its new Arcure Rotary Screen, a UV rotary screen ink system, and Arcure 860, a multi-purpose UV letterpress ink system, for narrow web.
“Since its beginning, Arcar has been focused on water-based inks, and now we have a full palette of inks which we can offer our customers,” said Michael Harjung, vice president and general manager of Arcar Graphics. “We have a very strong technology, and with Flint Ink’s distribution network and capabilities to do sophisticated testing, it’s allowed us to cut down our developmental time and also show analytical data to our customers.”
Water Ink Technologies showcased its new low viscosity PureFlex UV ink formulations which offer high-strength. “Our systems go through a very stringent quality control process, and as a result, our products minimize downtime,” said Mr. Hague. “We’re driven to help our customers reduce their costs and increase their efficiency.”
Environmental Inks and Coatings demonstrated its new ink dispensing system for narrow web, as well as some new inks, including its new Pro Plus high strength laminating adhesives, UV flexo and screen inks.
SICPA was active at Labelexpo 2002.“We have been totally revamping our water-based systems, and we have some new products we are finalizing, including for shrink sleeves that would be an alternative to UV cationic and an ink specifically designed for pouches that have heat sealablity, cold adhesives and good lamination strength,” said Mr. Dedman.
Mirage Inks also showcased its new line. “We’ve been working with Dow on a range of UV cationic products using their Cyracure chemistry,” said Martin Addicott, technical director for Mirage Inks. “It gives low odor and good cure performance coupled with free radical chemistry, and we have developed it into a range of inks.”
Kolorcure Corporation showcased its Mirror Cure UV metallic inks. “We introduced our Mirror Cure UV metallic inks for the narrow web market this summer, and we have gotten tremendous response,” said Brian Templeman, president of Kolorcure. “Our Metal Cure UV inks are metallic inks that use vacuumized pigments that produce a foil stamping effect. Traditionally, a lot of foil is lost in rewinding, so if you can selectively apply the effect it saves a great deal of money.”
Graphic Sciences has developed a one-system narrow web ink that works across the spectrum of label materials.
“It helps reduce inventories, and our customers have told us this is something they are looking for,” said Grant Wishart, director of corporate services at Graphic Sciences. “We have also put a stronger focus on R&D and have hired experienced technical sales people in the narrow web industry. It’s part of our new effort to be a player in this market in the last quarter of 2002.”
Deco-Chem brought its FLO series to Labelexpo. “We are showcasing our brand-new FLO series of low odor, low viscosity inks,” said Dwight Davis, president of Deco-Chem. “We also have new ink jet and EB inks.”
Monarch introduced its Royalcure high line anilox roll UV inks. Wikoff Color showcased its PhotoFlex low odor flexo UV inks that are fade resistant and have low surface energy.
UVitec Printing Ink showcased its 8067 thermal transfer coatings, which have a proprietary ingredient built that slightly softens under the heat of the thermal printhead and allows the tape to transfer down and adhere well to the print. Zeller+Gmelin offered its NuvaFlex non-silicone, low odor wax-free system designed for high line anilox count and lower volume BCM ratings. Zeller+Gmelin also announced that it is partnering with Polymeric Licensing to offer a complete line of rotary label inks.