Labelexpo is a remarkable show. Returning every two years to the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, the show fills the space available with enough energy and enthusiasm to run at least half the city of Chicago. In three days, it exemplifies the power and momentum of the label and packaging industry and its potential for growth in the years ahead.
Anderson & Vreeland, in a highly visible spot on one of the main thoroughfares of the show, enjoyed its most successful Labelexpo ever. From platemaking and washing to workflow to color management to digital printing, A&V’s stand showcased an array of technology that had attendees investigating—and investing in—the equipment and software available.
Digital printing in the real world
One cornerstone of the A&V stand was the Screen Truepress L350 UV digital press, which was sold to Alpine Packaging of North Versailles, Pennsylvania. The L350 was the press behind the labels produced especially for the show for Church Street Brewing Company, which did an early release of its new Special Helles beer in the A&V booth at Labelexpo. Alpine sees its new digital press as an important addition to its highly successful flexographic label and flexible packaging business and expects the machine to help the company expand the already broad range of services it offers customers.
On a bigger stage, this addition of the Screen Truepress shows how successful flexographic printers are adopting digital technologies to both augment and expand their offerings as customers demand shorter runs, faster turnarounds and new levels of customization. A powerful digital press like the Screen Truepress L 350 UV simply adds another tool that can help drive a business forward. Before long, the presence of a digital press in a converter’s shop will play a key part in brand owners’ decisions about which shop gets their business.
Not just another platemaker
The other cornerstone of the A&V booth was Flint Group’s new nyloflex® Xpress Thermal Processing System for flexographic printing plates. Introduced for the first time at Labelexpo, the Xpress incorporates the speed of thermal platemaking with exceptional plate and print quality.
What makes the Xpress so important—and special—is that it is truly a system. The outstanding finished plates (and resulting image quality) are the work of a powerful processor along with plates and developer rolls specifically created for the Xpress. Plus, a waste recovery program is in place to aid removal of used materials. Using the entire system raises the bar on plate quality, predictability and consistent performance. The entire process will soon be in place at two adopters of the new system, Best Label of Cerritos, California and Creative Labels of Vermont. Both companies have numerous household-name customers with high standards that can readily be supported by the capabilities of the new nyloflex Xpress Thermal Processing System.
A focus on productivity
A few yards away from the big Anderson & Vreeland stand, Provident was showing off its comprehensive array of end seals and doctor blades. These consumables can be key elements in the productivity of any flexo shop and Provident was at Labelexpo to explain the thinking and technology that goes into these seemingly minor parts of the flexo printing process. For example, Provident has new technology for manufacturing its most durable and best quality doctor blades in sizes needed for narrow web flexo presses. This raises the bar on the performance of the smaller machines that are mainstays in many converters’ shops. Provident also rolled out its new SuperCorr offering for corrugated printing, new auto-dispensing options for its popular Flexoclean cleaning solutions, and drew a lot of interest in Troika’s AniCam, an anilox cell measuring tool. Together, Provident’s offerings demonstrated the company’s focus on providing products that deliver practical solutions that help improve a shop’s productivity and bottom line.
But wait—there’s more!
Two of Anderson & Vreeland’s software partners — Hybrid Software and GMG — were also in the A&V stand and inked agreements with attendees for significant installations of their respective technologies. Stay tuned to a coming edition of this blog for more details on how these forward-thinking converters are seizing the advantages these companies offer in workflow and color management.