Kodak to gain milestone flexo growth in Weatherford, Oklahoma

Kodak recenlty hosted customers and community leaders at a groundbreaking ceremony in Weatherford, Oklahoma to celebrate the expansion of its manufacturing facility in the region to accommodate a new flexo plate line for the production of Kodak Flexcel NX Plates. The ceremony and associated celebrations featured a ribbon cutting by Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, and remarks by flexographic packaging division president Chris Payne and Kodak customers.

The theme of the event centered on regeneration and the revitalization and investment of the Weatherford plant in its 50th anniversary year, which was chosen for its strong technical capabilities and existing skilled tenured workforce. The new flexo plate manufacturing line, a sister operation to Kodak’s existing plate manufacturing facility in Yamanashi, Japan, is designed to meet increasing industry demand for higher quality flexographic printed packaging with more cost effective and efficient production processes. The $15 million investment represents one of the company’s largest capital investments since 2000 and underscores the ongoing growth and adoption of KODAK FLEXCEL NX Plates that grew 16 percent in 2016 compared to the prior year, a rate four times the projected growth rate of the flexible packaging market itself, according to Smithers Pira.

The new flexo plate line is expected to be in full production by early 2019 and will initially focus on supply of Flexcel NX Plates to customers in the Unites States, Canada and Latin America.

HP unleashes breakthrough pack ready lamination solution for flexible packaging

At interpack 2017, HP Inc. announced commercial availability of HP Indigo Pack Ready Lamination, allowing immediate time-to-market for flexible packaging. A pioneering technology, Pack Ready lamination creates high-quality, high-performance laminates for HP Indigo digitally printed flexible packaging without the use of adhesives.

HP Indigo Pack Ready Lamination is designed for HP Indigo flexible packaging digital printing on the HP Indigo 20000, 8000 and WS6800 digital presses. It provides strong laminate bond strength with zero curing time for immediate pouch converting, opening new opportunities for digitally printed flexible packaging.

Developed and patented by HP, Pack Ready Lamination was first previewed at drupa 2016 as a proof-of-concept design, and fast-tracked into a fully developed commercial solution based on positive partner feedback and demand. The solution includes the HP Indigo Pack Ready Laminator and Pack Ready Film.

HP Inc. also announced the commercial model of the Pack Ready Laminator, optimized for the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press. Now commercially designed, it will be manufactured and supplied by Karlville. Customer beta testing of the laminator is scheduled for this summer. First units are to ship by the end of the year.

HP Indigo Pack Ready Coating is another solution in the HP Indigo Pack Ready ecosystem. HP customers in Europe, including Swiss flexible packaging converter O KLEINER AG that recently installed a second HP Indigo 20000 digital press, are using the post-print coating solution for high-performance applications in the marketplace such as retort pouches. Commercially released in November 2016, the solution is now extended to support microwavable clear retort pouches.

Besides, HP announced that the upcoming HP PageWide C500 Press would deliver a mainstream production capacity of up to 25 million square meters of boards annually, powered by proven HP PageWide Thermal Inkjet technology. Announced at drupa 2016, customer beta testing is scheduled to begin at the end of the year, with commercial availability in 2018.

Schobertechnologies to display high-speed, variable web-fed converting technology

At Labelexpo Europe (September 25-28, 2017, Brussels, Belgium), Schobertechnologies will display RSM-DIGI-VARICUT, a new generation of hybrid drive technology especially designed for digitally printed flexible packaging materials, which combines continuous and vector rotary die cutting technology in re-registration mode, so that a wide range of formats can be processed with a single tool. With a fully modular design, the RSM-DIGI-VARICUT is designed to convert web width up to 850 mm, and with repeat or format length of up to 1220 mm.

The standard configuration of the RSM-DIGI-VARICUT includes a high speed, programmable robot-automated stacking and counting system (“Spider”) which combines extreme acceleration, velocity and precision at a continuous web speed of up to 50 m/min.

The equipment is designed to stack different types of products combined within the same printing image. These can be heavily nested or can be a combination of very large/long and small products. Product specific fast interchangeable pick-up plates take up products at synchronized high speed and stack them non-stop into a dual piling cassette system. A 100% product inspection system with defective product discharge is also available.

Short set-up times with minimum waste and cost-effective cutting technology with maximum lifetime due to micrometric die wear compensation adjustment are additional significant benefits of this converting technology.

Additional technologies to be highlighted at the show include die cutting, sealing/embossing, punching, cut & place, scoring/grooving, gluing/bonding, cutting, collating and product delivery.

A large selection of consumable inventory such as round, square and profile punches and dies, crimp punches and dies, circular knives, perforating and cutting wheels and blades, as well as quick change clamping bars will also be shown on the booth.

HP digital printing technologies enable powerful brand campaigns

At interpack 2017, HP Inc. announced continued adoption of its industry-leading solutions for product campaigns by leading brands worldwide, as well as new tools designed to help brands unleash the power of HP digital printing.

“Brands are discovering that HP can help reinvent the way they engage their audiences and the experiences created for them,” said Nancy Janes, global head of Brand Innovation at HP Inc. “HP’s industry-leading labels and packaging solutions enable converters to offer brands the solutions they need to grow their businesses and raise their profiles.”

HP digital printing and powerful software solutions make it possible for brands to connect with customers in unique and creative ways, and also benefit from time-to-market and streamlined business operations. Ongoing successful brand campaigns printed on HP digital presses include Amarula, the South African producer of cream liqueur, which is now releasing a special edition of 400,000 bottles with individualized elephant icons to raise global awareness for the same remaining number of the endangered African species. The production of the one-of-a-kind designed elephant icons and names on labels was made possible by HP SmartStream Mosaic, using two seed patterns in a variable design software algorithm, and the HP Indigo WS6800 Digital Press.

While, Nestle is printing and giving away more than 56,000 personalized Kit Kat packages in a campaign, produced by UK-based HP Indigo customer Ultimate Packaging. Using Ultimate’s web-to-print capabilities, winners can personalize the chocolate packages with a photo or phrase on the Kit Kat pack, which they receive in a special presentation box. The flexible packaging packs are printed on the HP Indigo 20000 and HP Indigo WS6600 digital presses.

Besides, Melinda Apples of Italy is using social media and digital print for a campaign to support Italian apple farmers affected by the earthquake in 2016. The apple company launched the “Dedicamela” (Pledge an Apple) campaign, inviting comments on its Facebook page to encourage the afflicted farmers. The uplifting messages are integrated into the design of the corrugated boxes, and printed on an HP PageWide T1100 Press by converter Ghelfi Ondaluti. Two million cartons have been printed thus far, and another six million are slated for production. Melinda donates a euro for every message; in the first two weeks of the campaign 22,977 comments were received.

To facilitate the shift to HP digital printing, HP is also offering two new tools: the HP Agency and Designer Tool Kit and HP Brand Managers Digital Packaging Return on Investment (ROI) Calculator. The HP Agency and Designer Tool Kit offers open source training materials, enabling creatives to unleash the true potential of HP digital printing technologies. The package will be available this summer.

HP is also offering a simple-to-use tool for brand managers to calculate the ROI of various HP digitally printed packaging (labels, shrink sleeves, corrugated, folding carton and flexible packaging) compared to current conventionally printed packaging costs.

Trigon Digital Solutions installs HP Indigo WS6000 digital press to help increase customer base

Anil N and Milind Deshpande from Trigon Digital SolutionsHP India Inc has recently installed HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press at Trigon Digital Solutions in Mumbai. With this addition, Trigon - a leading name in brand and packaging solutions, will be equipped with new capabilities to explore segments such as Shrink Sleeves and Flexible Packaging. This installation will also allow them to cater to small quantity label requirements of their clients.

Speaking on the occasion, A Appadurai, country manager, Indigo and Pagewide Web Press, Graphics Solutions Business, HP Inc India said, “We are delighted to be a part of Trigon’s growth journey and are confident that HP Indigo WS6000 will help them realize their strategic goals. With the help of HP Indigo WS6000, Trigon will be able to cater to the opportunity of Shrink Sleeve packaging market segment which will enhance Trigon Digital Solution’s capacity to cater to its customers’ needs.”

While, Anil N, co-founder & managing director, Trigon Digital Solutions said, “Trigon decided to acquire HP Indigo WS 6000 keeping in view the future trend. Well, the reality is digital and short run for label has quickly become the need of the hour. It indeed is a nice feeling to cater to customer’s conscious and unconscious need for quality, in shortest turnaround time.”

The HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press enables label and packaging printers to transfer jobs from conventional printing to digital—at lower cost—while achieving superior quality, productivity and profitability. Equipped with HP’s Mosaic application which is a variable design technology software provided with HP SmartStream Designer, Trigon Digital Solution will be able to create exquisite products for a memorable customer experience by generating numerous unique graphics for variable data jobs.

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