Pablo M. Lee

Pablo M. Lee

Friday, 29 October 2021 14:02

Zünd PreCut Center

Zünd is launching software PreCut Center that facilitates cut-file preparation for applications involving unprinted materials. With PreCut Center, fully nested cut files can be prepared in a few simple steps. The software significantly reduces the workload in file preparation, generates optimal material yield, and eliminates the potential for error.

Zünd’s new software solution creates a simple and highly efficient workflow for generating cut files. PreCut Center simplifies file preparation and output and lets the user select a level of automation based on individual production requirements. All it takes is a few simple steps to create a fully nested file. Whether users prefer a manual or automated process, the software allows for selecting the workflow that makes the most sense for a given production scenario.

PreCut Center is available in two versions, Basic and Pro. Users can select the version and associated features according to their needs. Zünd PreCut Center’s open architecture permits importing cut shapes and data from multiple sources. PreCut Center Pro provides fully automated nesting capabilities at the push of a button and lets users individually edit nested layouts and cut paths. In a last step, Zünd PreCut Center generates a cut file in .zcc format and makes it available for subsequent import into Zünd Cut Center – ZCC. An option also exists for outputting files in .dxf format.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021 14:00

Simon Cosh joins Durst

Simon Cosh has been appointed UK and Ireland label business development manager at Durst.

Effective from September 1th, 2021, he will be working closely with the local sales, service, supply and logistics teams as well as Durst Group headquarters staff based in Brixen, Italy. His responsibility covers the Durst RSC Tau UV inkjet single-pass press portfolio, as well Durst Workflow Label software and other integration packages.

“Simon joins the Durst family at an important time as we continue to push forward our market-leading RSC Tau systems, service and software. His expertise in the inkjet sector will be a valuable asset as we continue to lead innovation within labels, a market we joined little more than 10 years ago but have now firmly established our presence. All our customers can count on Durst’s continuous development of RSC technology.” Peter Bray, Durst UK and Ireland, Managing Director.

Tuesday, 26 October 2021 13:56

Sihl appoints new VP

Sihl Group has appointed Stefan Benito as its new vice president, commercial, with responsibility for the EMEA and APAC regions.

Stefan Benito will assume responsibility for all sales and market management activities in his territories, and report directly to Sihl Group CEO Peter K. Wahsner.

“With his extensive commercial experience and proven leadership skills, Stefan will bring new leadership expertise to the commercial organisation. Driving profitable growth in our existing markets and innovation platforms, as well as improving customer focus are clearly defined goals for the next renewal phase on our transformation journey.” Peter K. Wahsner, Sihl Group. CEO.

Agfa has appointed Mike Horsten as Global Business Manager for its InterioJet family of water-based inkjet printers for the flooring and furniture industries.

The company looks to further its growth in this area with Horsten, who brings over 30 years of experience in marketing strategy and sales development to Agfa, most of them in inkjet printing solutions. In his new position of Global Business Manager InterioJet, Mike Horsten will perform market research, define marketing and sales strategies, and help enhance Agfa’s product roadmap. In addition, he will coordinate and follow up on all global sales activities for InterioJet as well as manage key accounts in the industry. He will be based at the company’s headquarters in Mortsel, Belgium. “We are happy to be able to welcome Mike. We are rapidly expanding our assortment for the fast-growing market of industrial inkjet printing with the development of inkjet solutions for specific applications. Mike will help us boost our growth in the flooring and furniture industries. With his vast experience, he is a perfect fit for our organization.” Tom Cloots, Director Industrial Inkjet at Agfa.

“I am excited to be joining Agfa. The InterioJet business is a new chapter in industrial inkjet market, creating unique business opportunities for customers around the world. I look forward joining the team and to be able to help furthering the growth of the industrial inkjet part of the Agfa business in a sustainable way. We are in a great position to take advantage of market trends and pave the way.” Mike Horsten. managing director, replacing Peter Thomas who stepped down last month. Jupe steps into the role from his current position as general manager – Managed Services for FUJIFILM Business Innovation New Zealand.

“The print industry has undergone a huge amount of change in recent years,” David Jupe, Fujifilm New Zealand Managing Director. “This has been challenging in many ways and my focus in this new role will be on ensuring we have a sustainable, long-term business. We’ll build on our position as the market leader in New Zealand by being nimble and keeping pace with changing market needs.

“I am looking forward to working closely with our team and our customers to keep bringing innovative print, digital and outsourced solutions to New Zealand.”

FUJIFILM Business Innovation New Zealand has appointed David Jupe as its new managing director, replacing Peter Thomas who stepped down last month. Jupe steps into the role from his current position as general manager – Managed Services for FUJIFILM Business Innovation New Zealand.

“The print industry has undergone a huge amount of change in recent years,” David Jupe, Fujifilm New Zealand Managing Director. “This has been challenging in many ways and my focus in this new role will be on ensuring we have a sustainable, long-term business. We’ll build on our position as the market leader in New Zealand by being nimble and keeping pace with changing market needs.

“I am looking forward to working closely with our team and our customers to keep bringing innovative print, digital and outsourced solutions to New Zealand.”

Thursday, 28 October 2021 13:27

Flint Group Sells XSYS Division

Flint Group announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its XSYS division (“XSYS”), which specializes in the development and supply of printing plates, sleeves and adapters, and pre-press equipment to the packaging industry, to an affiliate of Lone Star Funds, a global private equity firm (“Lone Star”). The transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

“With this transaction, we will create two dedicated management teams with increased strategic and operational focus,” Steve Dryden, Flint Group CEO. “Flint Group becomes positioned to further invest in the structurally growing segments of paper and board, flexible packaging and labels, serviced with our conventional and digital printing consumables. This successful strategy – centred around product and service innovation — enables Flint to grow with customers that value our colour proposition by helping them to standardize and reduce their costs.”

“We look forward to working with XSYS, a leading global provider of printing solutions,” Donald Quintin, President, Lone Star Opportunity Funds. “We recognize not only the resilience of the XSYS business and the diversity of its offerings, but its growth prospects as well. We appreciate the value that XSYS provides its many customers, and have great confidence in the management team’s commitment to realizing XSYS’s potential in the years ahead.”

Friday, 10 September 2021 11:02

Roland Announces New CAMM-1 GR2 Series

Roland DGA Corporation, has announced the addition of new 64-inch GR2-640 and 54-inch GR2-540 large-format vinyl cutters to the Roland DG CAMM-1 series.

These next-generation machines are capable of cutting almost any shape quickly and cleanly from a broad range of materials, including everything from thin automotive films and heat transfer sheets to thick reflective sheets and sandblast masks.

The new GR2 series cutters, which are designed to integrate seamlessly with Roland DG’s large-format inkjet printers, offer cutting versatility and accuracy, plus unmatched reliability, at affordable pricing. With a top cutting speed of 60.1 inches (1,530 mm) per second and a maximum downforce of 600 gf, the GR2-640 and GR2-540 provide the precision cutting quality and high-volume productivity required by professional users.

“The new GR2 series cutters are uniquely designed to work hand-in-glove with Roland DG printers, making it easier and faster than ever to contour cut the stunning graphics that come off our inkjets” Daniel Valade, Roland DGA Product Manager of Digital Print. “In addition to maximizing productivity, these versatile devices precision cut an incredibly wide variety of materials, expanding the creative opportunities for users.”

Photo courtesy of Roland

MUTOH America, announce that their PJUVG5CMYK+W UV inks now stretch up to 260 percent and have up to two years outdoor durability without lamination, (media and environment dependent), extending the capabilities of this UV ink.

PJUVG5 CMYK+W inks have a wide color gamut, long shelf life, and are designed for output in MUTOH’s PerformanceJet 2508UF UV-LED 4′ x 8′ flatbed printer. These inks have superior adhesion qualities and are ideally suited for heat-sensitive media and the production of directional signage, tradeshow graphics, POP prints, retail signage, sign boards, cardboard and packaging prototypes.

Photo courtesy of MUTOH

Wednesday, 08 September 2021 10:54

Mitsubishi HiTec Paper to up all prices by 20%

Mitsubishi Paper Mills, will increase the price of 20% for its entire product range – Thermoscript, Jetscript, Giroform, Supercote, and Barricote from 1 September 2021. This was due to “the continued sharp rise in energy costs [and] significant cost increases in the areas of logistics and raw materials”.

“This step is unavoidable so that we can continue to offer our partners our wide range of coated speciality papers in the well-known high quality,” the company added. A raft of papermakers, plate, and ink manufacturers have been forced to put up prices, or implement surcharges, in what has been described as a perfect storm of spiralling raw materials and transport costs.

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi paper Mills

Flint Group Packaging Inks has enhanced its solvent-based range of inks and coatings for European customers. The new ONECode range is designed simplify the flexible packaging printing process, reducing process waste and increasing ease in doing business.

"Under the ONECode brand, we have built a new product hierarchy including six new brands," Kim Melander, VP and GM for Packaging Inks Europe, "These ink systems, developed to unlock the complex landscape of flexible package printing, to connect, clarify, and bring transparency to the flexible packaging printing industry.”

Photo courtesy of Flint Group

Photo courtesy of Flint Group

FESPA today announces that Global Print Expo will return to Berlin, Germany in 2022, together with its co-located event for non-printed signage, European Sign Expo. The events will be taking place at the Messe Berlin from Tuesday 31 May to Friday 3 June 2022.

This event will be the third FESPA event in the city and after a successful event in 2018, feedback from visitors and exhibitors highlighted Berlin to be a popular venue for FESPA to return to. The exhibition is expected to cover eight halls of the Berlin Messe, showcasing screen, digital and textile printing, and non-printed signage solutions.

Neil Felton, CEO of FESPA comments: “After we hosted a successful event in Berlin in 2018, which achieved record international attendance numbers, we were keen to return in 2022. The city has always proved to be a popular location and is an excellent continental air and rail traffic hub, accessible from all major European and international cities. FESPA 2022 will continue to be an essential platform for printers looking to future-proof their businesses and aid business recovery and we’re looking forward to welcoming all participants, including those that are unable to attend FESPA 2021 due to travel and border restrictions.”





Monday, 06 September 2021 00:04

Epson launches new T-Series printheads

Epson add two new printheads to its lineup. The new products will strengthen the lineup for applications including signage allowing printers to deliver high-quality print at high speed.

The T3200-U3 enables simultaneous high-quality, four-colour CMYK printing at high speed from a single printhead. Incorporating a heater in the printhead makes printing with highly viscous UV ink possible, providing an optimal digital printing environment for signage and packaging. The two-color version, theT1600-U3, will be released to market at the same time.


Friday, 03 September 2021 23:50

Beaver Paper Group to Raise Prices

Beaver Paper Group, has announced a general price increase of 8-12 percent across its global portfolio of products. The new price increase will take effect on September 1st, 2021

“We are taking this initiative due to the current market pressures and the rising costs of raw materials, as well as increases in shipping and logistics,” says Tobias Sternbeck, CEO.

Roland DG has expanded its VersaUV LEC2 Series of UV roll-to-roll printer/cutters and VersaUV LEC2 S-Series UV flatbed printers with the addition of new orange and red ink options and a larger version of the optional extension table designed specifically for the LEC2-640.

Choosing an ink configuration which includes orange and red is ideal for those who work with brands that demand color-accurate print perfection. The new ink gamut also offers the perfect solution for print service providers seeking to add vibrancy and impact to their printed output to make their graphics – including backlit, canvas and decorative applications – really pop.

Suitable for the fullest range of printing capabilities, the GREENGUARD GOLD-certified EUV5 ink delivers stunning quality prints at all speeds and easily adheres onto a virtually limitless range of materials and substrates.

We’re delighted to add these two new vibrant colors to our EUV5 range, offering our customers an extended color gamut. The inks will enable new VersaUV LEC2 customers to take on an even wider range of work and produce stunning high-quality applications” Paul Willems, Director of Business Development and Product Management, EMEA at Roland DG.

Wednesday, 11 August 2021 05:25

MagnaColours acquired by Avient

Water-based textiles ink supplier MagnaColours has been acquired by US specialized and sustainable materials company Avient Corporation for $48m (£34.9m).

“Magna represents an important investment in sustainable solutions, as brand owners seek alternatives to legacy technologies” Robert Patterson, chairman, president and CEO, Avient Corporation.“We are thrilled to have Magna join Avient. We expect our collective inks portfolio will grow substantially as the threat of Covid subsides, people can safely attend sporting and other live events in person, and travel increases.”

Monday, 09 August 2021 05:24

Labelexpo reschedules further shows

Labelexpo Global Series has cancelled Labelexpo India 2021, with the event now to return to its pre-Covid schedule and take place 9-12 November, 2022. It has also re-scheduled the next Labelexpo Southeast Asia.

Labelexpo Global Series, part of Tarsus Group and the team behind the international series of Labelexpo expos and associated summits, has made the decision based on the continuing situation in India as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, and to allow time for the country’s Covid-19 vaccination program to roll out and, ‘for the situation to normal-ize next year.’

“We have taken the decision not to run Labelexpo India 2021 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Our expectation is that by rescheduling the show a year later, to 9-12 November, 2022, the pandemic will be under control with the industry ready and excited to network and do business again” Pradeep Saroha, Labelexpo India director.

“Labelexpo Southeast Asia also was cancelled with the next show dates set for 2022, but these are now moving to 9-11 February 2023. The exhibition remains located at BITEC, Bangkok” Richard Quirk, Labelexpo Southeast Asia manager.

“We know that February 2023 will be a time when the entire industry will be excited to come together. Exploring new markets is very important to all companies in the cur-rent climate, and with the current size and potential future growth of the Southeast Asian market we know that this event will be an important milestone for all involved.”

Wednesday, 04 August 2021 05:19

Canon launches new Canon Arizona 135 GT

Canon announced the launch of the new Arizona 135 GT flatbed printer, offering sign makers, print service providers and offset and screen printers, among others, a smart technology investment to fulfill new business opportunities.

The Arizona 135 GT uses VariaDot greyscale printing technology, which uses advanced drop size selection techniques to deliver photo-realistic images. With the ability to handle substrates of up to 125 x 250 cm in size and up to 50.8 mm thick and to print at speeds of up to 34.2 m²/hour, the Arizona 135 GT is a smart investment from just 2,000 m² per year.

The Arizona flatbed technology and its UV-LED curing, a vast range of durable applications are achievable on rigid or flexible media with standard or porous surfaces, including glass, aluminum and other metals, canvas, wood, MDF, cardstock, ceramic tiles and plastics. The optional Arizona Static Suppression Upgrade Kit also enables the Arizona 135 GT to print on hard plastic materials, such as acrylic, polycarbonate and styrene, while the Arizona Classic high-pressure vacuum system provides extremely reliable media hold-down during printing, even for warped rigid media. This allows users to produce flexible media applications up to 220 cm wide, including thin and heat-sensitive media, and to run roll-to-roll jobs unattended overnight.

Thursday, 22 July 2021 15:39

Ricoh Launches Gold and Silver Toners

Developed for the fifth colour station on the Ricoh Pro C7200X digital colour sheetfed press, the additional colours transform a broad range of applications from catalogues, posters, flyers, direct mail, and brochures to business cards, greetings and Christmas cards, tickets, invitations, certificates, and packaging.

"The Gold and Silver toners are being launched to meet evolving client needs in an ever-competitive marketplace," Eef de Ridder, VP, Graphic Communications Group, Ricoh Europe, said. "Graphic arts innovators are rightly looking for stunning digital print enhancement capabilities that quickly and cost efficiently help print stand out. These new toners enable the responsive production of a wide range of value added print with a gorgeous and special feel. As a result, commercial printers can help brands and designers open up exciting opportunities with highly creative jobs complete with a gold or silver wow factor.”


In response to an accelerated shift in the commercial and industrial sectors to digital printing Seiko Epson expand its lineup of PrecisionCore printheads.

Epson has developed three new printheads (D3000-A1R, S3200-A3, I3200(8)-A1HD that will be released in the second half of the 2021 fiscal year (ending March 2022). The demand for digital printing with water-based ink has risen in recent years due to a desire to mitigate the environmental impact of printing. The three new products will help accelerate the transition to low-waste, low environmental impact digital printing of things such as textiles, packages, and decorations.


As part of EFI Reggiani’s celebration of its 75th anniversary, the textile technology company is launching three new digital textile printers.

EFI Reggiani Senior Vice President and General Manager Adele Genoni says one of the company’s new launches will target a gap in the market.

“We want to help support our customers in their digital transformation,” she says. “One of our three new printers is going to target the industrial high-speed segment of the multi-pass textile printing sector. The new printer will not only be the fastest multi-pass printer that EFI Reggiani has ever developed, but we are also expecting it to be the fastest of its kind in the market.”

EFI Reggiani hopes to strengthen its multi-pass offering by introducing two scanning machines, which were developed to help new customers to take their first steps in industrial textile digital printing.

Will be across EFI’s VUTEk, Wide-Format, Reggiani, Cretaprint, Nozomi and Cubik product lines as of July 1, 2021.

In light of numerous market changes affecting costs for materials, components, chemicals, global freight and logistics, Electronics For Imaging, Inc. (EFI) will be implementing price increases for its inkjet inks, parts and supplies.

EFI will be implementing the price changes – which will apply to inks, supplies and printer parts across EFI’s VUTEk, Wide-Format, Reggiani, Cretaprint, Nozomi and Cubik product lines – as of July 1, 2021.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, EFI has worked diligently to solidify our supply chains and maintain the best quality and consistency available with all of our inkjet products,” Scott Schinlever, COO, EFI Inkjet. “While we have taken consequential action to contain costs, lingering market challenges have led to a price adjustment needed to ensure continued, uninterrupted supply to our global customer base.

“As always, EFI will effectively and closely manage the many cost and performance factors affecting our inkjet products, ensuring that our customers continue to stay at the forefront of technology using products that provide them exceptional value in terms of quality and total cost of ownership.”

Kongsberg Precision Cutting Systems (Kongsberg PCS) has announced the expansion of its C Series range of digital finishing tables with the launch of the compact new C20. The new Kongsberg C20 packs all the features of the Kongsberg C Series into a compact size of just 1.6m x 1.4m. While the C20 is the smallest in the Kongsberg C Series range, it retains all the same features and specifications as its bigger counterparts.

“We know that industrial manufacturers, as well as small sign shops, require a high-speed cutting table to keep up with the manufacturing process, but floorspace comes at a premium,” Stuart Fox, President, Kongsberg Precision Cutting Systems. “The high cost of owning or renting space is a serious problem for many in the sign and display market. With the new Kongsberg C20, there is no longer any need for those businesses to compromise on production and quality due to a lack of available space.”

The new industrial Azon Matrix MonsterJet+ flatbed printer is suitable for industries such as custom electronic enclosures and custom rack-mount builds, wood and furniture, sheet metal constructions and much more. Besides the possibility to print on high substrates, it can also print Braille letters, 3D embossed files, printing several layers in one pass, one pass printing of white and colour, etc.

WestRock Company announced the future retirement of Jeff Chalovich, president of Corrugated Packaging and chief commercial officer, after a 23-year career with WestRock.

“Jeff is well respected across the industry as an expert in corrugated packaging, and he has led the commercial and corrugated team incredibly well during his time with our Company,” David Sewell, president and CEO.

In addition, the company announced a new commercial and operational leadership structure aligned with WestRock’s goals of leveraging the power of the enterprise, accelerating innovation and leading in sustainability.

Patrick (Pat) Lindner is assuming the role of president, Commercial, Innovation and Sustainability. In this role, Lindner is responsible for leading the company’s strategy, marketing, innovation, sustainability, enterprise commercial operations and machinery business.

Patrick Kivits is assuming the role of president, Consumer Packaging. This business includes folding cartons and specialty packaging in the branded consumer, healthcare and food and beverage businesses.

Pete Durette is assuming the role of president, Corrugated Packaging, leading the converting sales and operations for the corrugated box business.

John O’Neal is assuming the role of president, Global Paper. This new organization combines the sales and commercial operations of the Consumer and Corrugated paperboard and containerboard businesses. Tom Stigers is now responsible for the operations of all WestRock mills in the role of president, Mill Operations.

Xaar has signed a cooperation agreement to establish a ‘Joint Digital Printing Laboratory’ with the Beijing National Innovation Institute of Lightweight Ltd. (BNI).

Over the years, Xaar has developed a strong partnership with BNI in the field of 3D printing. Built on the innovative technologies from both parties as well as their expertise in inkjet printing, the Joint Laboratory will develop new applications in digital inkjet such as printing glass, electronics, 3D and automotive spray painting.

“We are delighted to be partnering BNI in establishing our Joint Laboratory in Beijing. This important new facility will maximize our complementary advantages and strengthen our collaboration in the future development of digital inkjet technologies.” John Mills, Xaar’s CEO.

Monday, 12 July 2021 22:10

Stora Enso sells German newsprint mill

Stora Enso is selling its Sachsen newsprint mill in Germany, with the new owners planning to convert the facility to make containerboard.

The €35m (£30.2m) deal to sell the mill to the Model Group involves an agreement whereby Stora Enso will continue to sell and distribute newsprint made at the facility for an 18-month period after the sale completes.

The sale is expected to complete in Q3. It leaves €8.55bn turnover Stora Enso with one remaining paper mill in Germany, Maxau Mill which makes supercalendered paper and deinked pulp from recovered paper.

Todd Zimmerman, a longtime graphic arts executive, has joined Electronics for Imaging Inc. as its new vice president and general manager of display graphics.

He comes to EFI from Fujifilm USA, where he spent 15 years in various roles, most recently as division president and corporate VP of Fujifilm Global Graphic Systems. Prior to joining Fujifilm, Zimmerman worked in sales with Kodak Polychrome Graphics.

“Todd brings a wealth of valuable knowledge to a role that is key to EFI’s ongoing success,” says Scott Schinlever, COO, EFI Inkjet. “His experience and management style are significant assets to accelerate an EFI Display Graphics portfolio that offers best-in-class technologies today and will deliver breakthrough technologies in the near future.”

Zimmerman will lead EFI’s largest inkjet business segment, a display graphics business that develops superwide-format UV LED and dye-sublimation inkjet printers and inks.

“EFI has an outstanding portfolio of offerings for the sign and display graphics market, and I am looking forward to helping the company further enhance those offerings,” says Zimmerman. "This is a unique opportunity, and I am happy to be joining a highly talented team that has demonstrated the ability to not only listen to, but also respond quickly to changing market trends and customer feedback."

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) has acquired all the shares of Nakai Industrial, a film-coating manufacturer, and converted the company into a consolidated subsidiary.

MCC decided that it could build a system that can quickly respond to the sophisticated demands of a wide range of customers through synergies with the technology, knowhow, human resources, and processing facilities possessed by Nakai Industrial. Accordingly, MCC made the decision to acquire all the shares of Nakai Industrial.

MCC is implementing a growth strategy, including adding a new line in Indonesia, for the purpose of addressing brisk demand for its high-performance polyester films, which are mainly used in optical applications and telecommunication devices. MCC will be able to accelerate its undertakings by expanding its processing technologies through this recent acquisition of shares in Nakai Industrial.

Thursday, 08 July 2021 18:08

Heidelberg Increases Prices

In order to cushion the disproportionately sharp rise in material, logistics, and other procurement costs. Heidelberg will be increasing the prices for its equipment business with immediate effect. This adjustment is being made in an economic environment of rising demand and costs for raw materials and is a necessary step in order to continue offering customers innovative solutions and first-class service.

“The current price development of raw materials shows an unprecedented upward momentum,” Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of the company. “Primarily due to the high demand from China as well as the global megatopic of electromobility, procurement costs have risen significantly in the short term. In recent months we have exhausted all possibilities to avoid an imminent price increase. We want to grow together with our customers and continue to be a reliable partner to them in a changing market environment. The moderate price increase that is now necessary will allow us to further expand our innovation leadership and is therefore also an investment in the future.”

Digital inkjet roll-to-roll UV LED printers from Electronics For Imaging, Inc. have achieved an important certification for the quality and durability of prints used for décor applications. EFI roll-to-roll UV LED printers have earned a Type II certification for wallcoverings based on The Wallcovering Association W-101 and ASTM F793 standards.

Wallcoverings submitted to gain the certification were printed and tested on the 20 oz. DreamScape line of wallcovering base material from Rockaway, N.J-based Roysons. The Type II certification is an indicator for quality, safety and durability of wallcoverings and, unlike other Type II certifications for digital inkjet printers, EFI’s new certification covers wallcoverings produced without lamination or coating.

“These certifications should assure print service providers that the product they can produce meets all of the critical regulatory aspects of a true commercial wallcovering,” Roy Ritchie, Jr., president of DreamScape. “In addition, EFI customers who print on DreamScape base wallcoverings can enjoy increased efficiency and productivity, since they do not require the additional step of coating or lamination to reach this level of durability. DreamScape has worked closely with EFI for several years and it is easy to recommend their advanced and versatile roll-to-roll machines.”

EFI’s new Type II certification applies to EFI’s extensive portfolio of UV LED roll-to-roll printers – including the EFI Pro 32r+, and VUTEk 3r+/5r+, D3r/D5r, and new Q3r/Q5r printers. The wallcoverings were tested for durability and tear resistance; scrubbability and washability; color fastness; Class A fire retardancy and safety; and more.

Along with the Type II certification, EFI roll-to-roll digital UV LED printers also received the Class A fire rating according to The Wallcovering Association’s evaluation and ASTM E84.

“There has been a rise in popularity for wallcoverings and interior décor applications these last years, which for us is an exciting trend as we offer a wide range of products for that growing market with our roll-to-roll UV LED printers,” Hanan Yosefi, vice president, EFI Inkjet Israel. “This certification proves once again EFI’s approach to delivering the best to the market – giving its customers the ability to produce a wide range of challenging applications with the highest print quality at the lowest cost of production.”

Xaar has launched the Xaar Nitrox inkjet printhead, for printing speeds of up to 100m/min.

Xaar’s TF Technology recirculation minimizes temperature changes within the printhead, virtually eliminating print density variations and controlling viscosity to provide consistent printing across the swathe throughout each job.

The Nitrox Core is designed for applications using oil-based inks, such as in ceramic tile decoration, while the Nitrox Pro can handle more demanding fluids including soluble salts and frit used for printing glass.

Backwards compatible with the Xaar 1003, there are three variants of the Xaar Nitrox - the Core, Pro and Elite.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021 00:48

Durst introduces P5 Tex iSub

Durst has launched the P5 Tex iSub, which uses Sublifix dye-sub ink developed by Durst, and has integrated in-line fusing for direct printing on polyester fabrics. The Durst P5 Tex iSub also has an integrated finishing unit, which can be used to sew and stitch media. A dual-roll option allows two rolls with a width of 1.6m to be printed.

"The P5 Tex iSub combines efficiency, quality and productivity at the highest level. At Durst, we are convinced that our solution will give a significant boost to the soft signage market," Christian Harder, VP sales, Durst.

The German papermaker has been badly hit by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in a significant decline in sales of its papers.

Zanders entered a form of administration in March and attempted to reorganize, but this has proved unsuccessful.

As a result, operations ceased at the end of last month, and existing orders will not be completed. In a statement, provisional insolvency administrator and Doctor of Law Mark Boddenberg said: “It is with great regret that we have to inform you that the business operations of Zanders Paper GmbH have been discontinued as of 30 April 2021.

“As a customer, you must assume that you will no longer receive open orders. We will inform you about the sale of remaining paper stocks in a timely manner, insofar as possibilities exist”.

Following the recent communication on the shows’ postponement, Mack-Brooks Exhibitions announced the new dates for ICE Europe, CCE International and InPrint Munich.

The collective of converting, paper and print exhibitions was scheduled for June 22-24, 2021 and will now take place March 15-17, 2022 at the Munich Trade Fair Centre in Germany.

“Following our decision to postpone ICE Europe, CCE International and InPrint Munich, we are pleased to be able to offer our usual event slot in March," said Patrick Herman, event director of the Converting, Paper and Print Events at Mack-Brooks Exhibitions. "This hopefully ensures that the live events can continue their critical role in bringing the global converting, paper and print industry together again. In the meantime, we will offer opportunities to exchange knowledge, network and conduct business in a safe online format with further details on digital offerings to be released in due course”.

Friday, 04 June 2021 22:27

ASLAN Expands into North America

ASLAN, a German developer and manufacturer of self-adhesive films, has expanded into the United States with a warehouse in Jacksonville, FL.

The company is sending one of its most experienced sales reps, René Bourgeois, to the United States to be available for customers’ inquiries and to develop the brand in the North American market.

“Growing ASLAN in North America is a great opportunity, both personally and professionally,” says Bourgeois. "We – the dedicated team at the ASLAN headquarters in Germany and myself here in the U.S. – are excited to support all North American clients, users, and consumers with our expertise in self-adhesive solutions to help realize their projects."

Wednesday, 02 June 2021 22:23

Agfa and Hybrid Software Partnership

Agfa has announced that it will partner with Hybrid Software, a subsidiary of Global Graphics PLC.

The OEM partnership with Hybrid will provide Agfa’s Offset Solutions division with access to the group’s specialized technological know-how and full product portfolio, which focuses on enterprise software for the packaging printing industry.

“We are pleased to be able to extend our existing relationship with Global Graphics thanks to Hybrid Software’s offering,” Andy Grant, global head of software at Agfa. “We see this alliance as a logical next step, and as a way to build upon our existing technologies to develop innovative and customer-oriented solutions for our current as well as future printing industry market segments.”

“We are eager to broaden and intensify our collaboration with Agfa. It will enable us to strengthen and grow the Hybrid Software solutions portfolio and to help optimize the next release of Agfa’s software products.” Guido Van der Schueren, Chairman, Global Graphics PLC.

Friday, 21 May 2021 12:39

FPA Announces 2021 Board of Directors

The Flexible Packaging Association (FPA), announced the election of its 2021 Board of Directors. Kathy Bolhous, CEO of Charter Next Generation is the new Chairperson of the FPA Board of Directors. Bolhous succeeds Curt Begle, President of the Health, Hygiene, and Specialties Division of Berry Global, who served as Chairperson of the FPA Board of Directors from March 2019 – March 2021.

The 2021 Board of Directors were elected by FPA voting members via ballot for a one-year term, with the exception of the Chairperson’s two-year term, and assumed their directorship on March 10, 2021, during the virtual Board of Directors meeting. The 2021 Board is comprised of industry leaders from 37 flexible packaging companies.

Vincent Wille will join the Agfa-Gevaert Group as President of the Digital Print & Chemicals division and member of the Executive Committee on May 1, 2021.

“Vincent brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our company, both in the field of chemicals and in the field of innovation. That combination perfectly fits our Digital Print & Chemicals division, which develops and produces both film products and innovative solutions for the printing industry and for promising industrial markets. I am confident that under Vincent’s leadership, the digital print and specialty chemicals growth engines will be able to reach their full potential. I wish Vincent all success in his career at Agfa,” Pascal Juéry, CEO of the Agfa-Gevaert Group.

Trotec Laser announces the opening of its new regional service and support center in Edison, New Jersey.

The new service and support center will be used for individual product demonstrations, open houses, educational workshops, and materials testing. It will house several of the company’s laser systems, a variety of laser accessories, and select laser marking equipment. Visitors can also see a range of products created using a laser.

“The new service and support center will play an important part in broadening the resources, information, and support we offer before, during, and after a laser purchase,” Warren Knipple, Trotec Laser president. “A Trotec laser is a powerful technology and business tool. We want to provide our customers with the knowledge and skills they need to take full advantage of the opportunities that their lasers provide.”

Ricoh announced Carsten Bruhn as the new President and CEO of Ricoh North America.

"The opportunity that lies ahead for Ricoh, our partners and customers is incredible," Carsten Bruhn, Ricoh Presidente and CEO. "Customer behaviors, the increasingly changing workforce and the speed of digital transformation are driving toward the need for new business models, including digital services and subscription models, to name a few. And there's so much to be energized about in North America specifically. We have a tremendous customer base, a passionately dedicated team and a network of dealer partners who share our commitment to solving challenging business problems today and into the future."

Mactac, a LINTEC Company, announced the acquisition of Duramark Products Inc., previously known as Ritrama USA. The acquisition consists of the company’s Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Moore, South Carolina, facilities, including its new coaters and advanced automation technologies. Both locations will be rebranded under the Mactac name, creating one of the largest, most diversified pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) suppliers in North America.

“We are thrilled to make this announcement and to maximize Duramark Products’ recent investments in state-of-the-art equipment and processes,” Ed LaForge, president, and CEO of Mactac. “We will leverage our experience and established network to help both locations reach their full potential, bringing much-needed product diversification and capacity to the industry.”

“With this acquisition, we are able to expand upon our core strengths in adhesive and film innovation, distribution, and personalized service to bring increased value to our customers,” Ed LaForge, president, and CEO of Mactac. “This investment is one step of the major strategic expansion plan that we have been executing since last year. We look forward to realizing the possibilities this acquisition brings to our employees and to the market.”

The digital finishing manufacturer is now known as Kongsberg Precision Cutting Systems (Kongsberg PCS). Kongsberg has started a new chapter as a standalone company following its acquisition from Esko last year by private equity firm OpenGate Capital.

Kongsberg PCS said the acquisition will enable it to innovate and expand into new markets.

“This is truly an exciting day for everyone at the company,” Stuart Fox, Kongsberg PCS President. This is an opportunity for the Kongsberg team to realize its ambitions, and to explore new markets,”

The acquisition includes the original research and development facility in Kongsberg, Norway, and the production facility in Brno, Czech Republic.

Friday, 07 May 2021 12:12

Fujifilm brings together graphic ops

Fujifilm revamp its business organization with a new structure that brings together its Graphics Systems division with the former Fuji Xerox organization.

Fujifilm’s technology agreement with former partner Xerox expired on 31 March. The Japanese group announced last year that Fuji Xerox would be renamed Fujifilm Business Innovation, and this came into effect on 1 April.

The fresh Fujifilm corporate structure involves a new Healthcare Field division, and an Imaging Field wing (including photo imaging products, optical devices and electronic imaging products), which also came into effect on 1 April.

The Graphic Field division, which will integrate Graphic Systems and Fujifilm Business Innovation, will be integrated from 1 July.

The manufacturer said the integration would result in the end-to-end delivery of production printers based on Fujifilm Business Innovation’s xerography technology, “as well as Fujifilm’s Jet Press series of inkjet digital press, wide-format inkjet printers, digital press for the packaging market and printing tools and materials”.

Fujifilm invests in a new facility that would be constructed at its Delaware, USA, Fujifilm Imaging Colorants (FFIC) operation and involves a spend of around $19m (£13.7m); aiming to meet growing demand for water-based pigment inkjet inks.

FFIC makes water-based inkjet inks, and the new production facility will make pigment dispersions using Fujifilm’s own RxD Reactive Dispersion know-how.

“Expansion of our manufacturing capacity is part of a commitment to ensure we can meet increasing demand to support our global customer base,” Ian Wilkinson, president and chief operating officer of FFIC Inc.

Durst Group, is restructuring its successful Label & Flexible Packaging segment. The current Segment Manager Helmuth Munter will retire at the end of 2021 after more than 40 years with the company. He will be succeeded in the role of Global Sales Manager Label & Flexible Packaging by Thomas Macina.

Until his retirement, Helmuth Munter will continue to be involved in the transition and provide advice and support to the new management team, which also includes Martin Leitner as Product Manager.

“We made good use of the situation in the COVID pandemic and arranged the succession for Helmuth Munter, who has been responsible for the success story in the label segment,” Christoph Gamper, CEO and co-owner of the Durst Group. “All of us at the Durst Group would like to thank Helmuth for his great dedication, excellent performance, and loyalty. What could be better than retiring at the zenith of one’s career? We wish Helmuth all the best in this new phase of his life.”

“At the same time, I would like to warmly welcome Thomas Macina to the Durst family,” adds Christoph Gamper. “We are delighted to have gained a real market expert for the company, and someone who also has his roots in South Tyrol. The current pandemic situation has also been favorable to us as it has given us sufficient time to ensure an smooth transition. I am convinced that Thomas will continue to drive the Tau success story together with the entire label team.”

automation during the pandemic

Photo courtesy

Talking about automation and artificial intelligence was a trend even before COVID-19. Long before this global situation happened, there was already talk about the future of work being in automating processes. We always saw that issue as something that would happen gradually and over several years. Who would tell us that a virus would accelerate this process.

COVID-19 helped to accelerate the adoption of automation and AI, not just for luxury but more as a need to continue working without closing the production lines. Automation allows both workers and companies to increase productivity through the use of technology and has become one way to reduce transmission, protect employees and customers from a highly contagious disease and to keep operating costs low.

automation during the pandemic

Photo courtesy

The pandemic pushed companies and consumers to rapidly adopt new behaviors that are likely to stick. During last year, automation allowed millions of workers and students to work and learn from home to mitigate the spread of the pandemic.

Businesses have controlled unpredicted costs during the pandemic by adopting automation and redesigning work processes, which reduce the share of jobs involving mainly routine tasks.

Machines have made jobs obsolete for centuries. The spinning jenny replaced weavers, buttons displaced elevator operators, and the Internet drove travel agencies out of business. The pandemic has caused millions of lost jobs, and a quick adjustment to working from home for those who kept their jobs as offices closed.

The actual trends, given how fast the pandemic shut down certain industries, are that many companies are considering seriously automating part of their process line, both manufacturing and administrative replacing employees with automation, to avoid taking risks in the face of another possible pandemic.

automation during the pandemic

Photo courtesy

automation during the pandemic

Photo courtesy

Pandemic Trends, which are likely to continue even when this ends

From sending employees home to limiting in-person interactions, COVID-19 has completely changed the way we live, work, and interact with each other.

Maybe the most obvious impact of the actual pandemic on the labor force is the increase in employees working remotely.

Working from home might become much more widespread and accepted, now that it has been tested on a large scale. Remote work and virtual meetings are likely to continue, even after the pandemic, although not as much as when it started.

automation during the pandemic

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Companies are shifting to flexible workspaces after the experiences with remote work during the pandemic, this move will reduce costs incurred in running a large office with many employees.

E-commerce and other virtual transactions are booming. Thanks to the current situation many consumers discovered the convenience of e-commerce and other online activities that they can perform from the comfort of their home and within reach from any mobile device.

The pandemic has changed the way we work and interact with machines. From being a tool that helps in some processes, to becoming an essential instrument to carry out work even without being in front of it. The surge in remote working has magnified the need for unmanned work operations.

automation during the pandemic

Photo courtesy www

Many companies deployed automation and AI in warehouses, grocery stores, call centers, and manufacturing plants to reduce workplace density and cope with surges in demand. However, not everyone benefits from the effects of automation, specially those whose jobs are eliminated as a result of automation.

A study by the McKinsey Global Institute (Manyika et al. 2017) estimated that accelerated automation could raise productivity growth significantly and replace half of today’s work activities by 2055.

While COVID-19 pandemic came to reinforce the trend that has been happening for many years, automation will continue to have vastly different effects depending on the sector we are we are analyzing.

Should this situation be considered the fourth industrial revolution?

X-Rite Incorporated and Pantone LLC enhanced their automated scanning solutions with the launch of IntelliTrax2 Pro and eXact Auto-Scan Pro for integration with the ColorCert Suite.

IntelliTrax2 Pro and eXact Auto-Scan Pro deliver instant feedback to the press operator about job performance after each color measurement, allowing print operators to make immediate adjustments to correct color drift.

Full integration between ColorCert Suite and IntelliTrax2 Pro or eXact Auto-Scan Pro allows press operators to easily implement an end-to-end connected workflow solution for daily press side-scanning and scorecard reporting into brand packaging quality control programs

“As more consumer package goods (CPG) brands implement packaging quality control programs and monitor color tolerances, converters and package printers need color measurement solutions that integrate directly with scorecard systems,” Ray Cheydleur, Printing and Imaging Product Portfolio manager, X-Rite. “The new IntelliTrax2 Pro and eXact Auto-Scan Pro are part of a powerful G7-aligned workflow that provides press operators with performance visibility, real-time guidance on how to achieve the desired colors quickly, and seamless reporting back to the ColorCert Scorecard Server.”

Sappi Europe will increase prices of all of its Packaging and Speciality paper grades by 7%-11%, valid for deliveries from 1 April 2021.

In a statement, the paper manufacturer said: “Sharply rising input costs, particularly relevant to pulp and energy in combination with very high freight rates due to global logistic constraints make price increases unavoidable.

In January, the company had already announced an increase to the price of its coated and uncoated woodfree paper grades by 8%-10% across Europe. This increase, on sheets and reels, was due to be implemented “by 1 March at the latest”.

Also, Flint Group Packaging said it intends to increase the prices of its ink and coating products, also effective as of 1 April 2021, though specifics on the increases were not available at the time of writing.

The company said it is facing “an extraordinarily turbulent set of supply chain conditions, exacerbated by the global pandemic” and that its costs are increasing and supply is tightening across almost all procurement categories.

“The unusual set of supply chain conditions currently witnessed are some of the most severe I have seen. Our business is facing substantial cost and availability headwinds, across multiple raw material categories. Resins, solvents and pigments, including titanium dioxide, are particularly problematic.” Doug Aldred, Presiden, Flint Group Packaging Inks.

Tarsus Group, organizer of the Labelexpo Global Series of exhibitions and summits, has announced that Labelexpo Europe will now take place at the Brussels Expo Centre on April 26-29, 2022.

The next edition of Labelexpo Americas, meanwhile, will take place on September 13-15, 2022 at the Donald E. Stevens Conventional Center in Rosemont, Chicago.

At the same time Tarsus announced a new event, Label Congress 2021, which takes place from September 29 - October 1st, also at the Donald E. Stevens Convention Center.

“Due to continuing uncertainty about the speed of the vaccine rollout in Europe and the ability of our global visitors to travel to Brussels, we have made the decision, in consultation with our exhibitors, to postpone Labelexpo Europe until April 2022. Label Congress 2021 will be our first physical gathering for the US label industry since the pandemic began, and we look forward to welcoming attendees to this keynote event.” Lisa Milburn, managing director of the Tarsus Labels, Packaging and Brand Print group.

“It is definitely the right decision to move Labelexpo Europe to April 2022, when we should have returned to some sort of normality as regards international travel and social mixing. I for one cannot wait. I am really missing the buzz from walking the aisles of the world’s leading label show, seeing first hand new technology from the world’s leading suppliers, meeting with old friends and making new contacts.” Chris Ellison, managing director of OPM Labels & Packaging group and president of European label federation FINAT.

Printing Packaging and Allied Machinery Manufacturers’ Association (IPAMA) has announced the new dates for the Printpack India – 20 to 24 December 2021.

The 15th edition of this international exhibition was originally scheduled at the India Expo Centre, Greater Noida, from 3 to 8 February 2021 but Due to the Covid-19 outbreak and pandemic and the ensuing lockdown constraints the exhibition was postponed to December 2021.


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