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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Press release from the issuing company

Sweeping program featuring Exhibition, Conference and Academy promises actionable revenue-generating ideas and inspiration for packaging innovation 

Antwerp, Belgium – Xeikon Café Europe, a multi-vendor educational & networking event scheduled for 26 to 28 March in Antwerp, Belgium, is shaping up to be the label and packaging industry event of the year. It will feature a Conference program during the mornings of each of the three days followed by an Academy program each afternoon. Visitors can also meet up with preeminent industry suppliers in the Exhibition area where live production of creative label and packaging applications are scheduled to run daily.

“The Conference program is designed to inspire,” comments Danny Mertens of Xeikon Café, “while the deeper dive Academy sessions have a focus on educating and informing about all aspects of digital production: from workflow and printing to converting and substrates. The program details as well as practical information can be found in the Xeikon Café event app which is available for download here. The app will help visitors to plan ahead and guide them through the event once on site. Also the Xeikon Café website is worth checking out, especially the application library with detailed instructions for producing any of the applications shown at past Xeikon Cafés.”

Digital Production Empowered – the Circle of Success

Mertens reports that the Conference will provide a 360-degree view of the trends, challenges and solutions in today’s world of packaging, from the perspective of the consumer, the brand and the printer. Trend Researcher Aljan De Boer of Trendsactive is the featured keynote speaker. “The Trendsactive keynotes are amongst the highest ranked at conferences worldwide, and provide pure intellectual entertainment. Their insights on the changing needs, values and behaviour of consumers help companies to develop more human-centric strategies,” says Mertens. “Conference attendees will learn about the latest trends influencing consumer behaviour, including the now ubiquitous Millennials everyone is talking about, and a visual culture that is critical to effective communications in today’s connected society.”

In addition, brand stories will detail the evolution in brand packaging and explain how digital production can help a brand capture consumer attention for better performance on the shelf. Printers are closing the loop by talking about how they stay ahead of evolving brand packaging requirements by making the right strategic and technology choices.

The Academy Is Back

By popular demand, the afternoon Academy – a technology-agnostic educational forum centred around innovative end-use applications – is scheduled daily. It will provide a thorough look at revenue-generating opportunities from both a business and as well as a technology perspective. An overview of all Academy sessions is available in the Xeikon Café event app.

Following the Business Talks will help attendees acquire knowledge and insights on return on investments, while the practical Tech Talks focus on the technical characteristics of a wide variety of end-user applications. Each Academy session is followed by a related technology demonstration at one of the presses running a live, relevant end-use application. “This gives attendees the level of detail needed to take these actionable ideas back to their businesses,” comments Mertens.

Exhibition Running Live Applications

As always, Xeikon Café will feature an exhibition hall running live applications that highlight end-to-end digital production and provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss them in-depth with technology experts. This includes unique applications such as paper cups, stand-up pouches, food safe in-mould labels, durables, colour matching multi-design health & beauty labels, pharma packaging and many more.

“We are confident we are once again offering a comprehensive event program that is of interest to anyone involved with packaging and label production,” Mertens concludes. “Those looking to learn about complementary printing techniques for flexo or offset will find out how digital can elevate the profitability of their businesses. Attendees keen to connect with other industry innovators will get the chance to debate how to exploit their digital production to the maximum. And brands or printers searching to discover new techniques and applications should not miss this opportunity to identify the right digital printing technique for their business”.

More information can be found on www.xeikoncafe.com, where the Xeikon Café event App is also available for download at www.xeikoncafe.com/en/eventnews/12/54-download-the-xeikon-cafe-app. The entry fee for the three-day Xeikon Café Europe 2019 event is €200, and registration will be open as of Monday, January 14th 2019.

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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Press release from the issuing company

Rapida 106 with nine inking units and coater for Hubei Guangcai

  • Delivery in January 2019
  • Company has operated Koenig & Bauer sheetfed offset technology since 1997
  • Extensive process Automation

Hubei Guangcai Printing recently ordered a nine-colour Rapida 106 with coater and kit for UV mixed operation from Koenig & Bauer. It will be delivered to the company in Guangshui in the central Chinese province of Hubei in January and will go into operation in April. The press will mainly be used for the production of folding carton and cigarette packaging.

L-r: Lianbao Wang, sales and marketing director at Koenig & Bauer in China, Xing Haifeng, general manager of Hubei Guangcai Printing Co., Ltd., and Dietmar Heyduck, senior vice-president sales Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, after signing the contract for the delivery of a nine-colour Rapida 106.

Hubei Guangcai has been using Koenig & Bauer technology since 1997. Haifeng Xing, general manager of Hubei Guangcai explains: “In 1997 we actively expanded our operations in the field of cigarette packaging production. At that time it was imperative to import a state-of-the-art sheetfed offset press. We decided in favour of Koenig & Bauer after comparing and testing the various models on the market and conducting rigorous negotiations with the manufacturers. Koenig & Bauer‘s dynamic team and excellent service won us over. We opted for a five-colour Rapida 104 with coater. The Rapida 104 was the most popular press in Central China at the time.”

Two sites, six Rapida presses

Hubei Huawen is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hubei Guangcai and the two companies have jointly purchased six Rapida sheetfed offset presses since the start of their cooperation with Koenig & Bauer. Hubei Guangcai has developed rapidly with its new technology. General manager Haifeng Xing remembers: “Our investment in Koenig & Bauer presses not only has increased production capacity, but has also driven technological innovation within our company. In line with market requirements, we have developed and introduced new technologies to protect our packaging against counterfeiting, e.g. by using special inks that react thermally or effect coatings that are difficult to copy. Our Rapida presses have allowed us to expand our cigarette packaging business.”

The new Hubei Guangcai plant built in 2014 alone covers an area of more than 120 hectares. A high-end Rapida 106 with UV mixed operation joins two sheetfed offset presses at the site, a seven-colour Rapida 105 coater press and a six-colour Rapida 105 coater press (both with UV curing). The plant generates sales of around 260 million CNY (approx. €33m) annually. Like its predecessors, the nine-colour Rapida 106 is tailored precisely to Hubei Guangcai's needs for sustainable packaging production. Provisions have also been made for the future addition of a cold-foil module.

High efficiency through comprehensive process automation

The company intends to implement energy savings and improve its green credentials with more cost-effective cold-foil processes and the development of new finishing technologies. These measures, plus streamlining production, are essential for Hubei Guangcai to counter rising labour costs. Rapida presses offer every opportunity to boost production efficiency through comprehensive process automation.

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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Press release from the issuing company

Brampton, ON, Canada – K6 Media has wrapped up a project for the Salvation Army's Toy Mountain campaign in Ottawa, Canada, with banners, murals and labels printed onto Drytac ReTac Smooth 150.

The Toy Mountain project distributes toys to families throughout the Christmas period, putting smiles on the faces of tens of thousands of children. Property company Morguard donated the use of a business suite in the Canadian capital for the duration of the toy drive, which received a colourful makeover by K6 Media.

A full-service wide-format printing provider with 15 years' experience and a knowledgeable team including in-house designers, a print production department and a team of installers, K6 Media was ideally suited to deliver the project. This involved installing several 20ft (6m) adhesive banners across painted bulkheads, applying print-and-cut graphics on stainless steel elevators, creating three wall murals measuring approximately 20ft x 9ft (6m x 2.7m) and producing a variety of print-and-cut labels for the donations room to help sort the toys efficiently.

"For this project, we chose to use Drytac ReTac Smooth 150, a matte 6 mil film," explains Juan Runnells, Production Manager at K6 Media. "As this project is a temporary installation in suites donated to the Salvation Army, the removability of the film was very important - a feature delivered by ReTac.

"Also, ReTac's 6 mil thickness allowed us to print quickly on our HP Latex 570 printers and not have to take the additional time to laminate the film, yet still have a printed graphic that was easy to install. ReTac also works extremely well as a print-and-cut material for the same reasons."

Drytac ReTac Smooth 150 6 mil (150μ) white polymeric printable PVC is designed to be easy to install, to reposition and to remove thanks to its innovative self-adhesive technology. As well as excellent compatibility with latex ink technology, it can be used with eco-solvent, solvent and UV printers. For these reasons, Juan Runnells says that it 'is always on hand in our production area'.

He says: "We predominately use ReTac Smooth 150 for short-term wall graphics and have also found it to work extremely well for short-term window murals. We have one client that requires us to install window murals throughout the year - spring, summer, winter and fall - and have found that ReTac works very well in many weather conditions, and specifically that it is easily removable even during the cold winter months."

K6 Media frequently chooses other Drytac products, including Drytac SpotOn white matte PVC film for temporary wall and window projects for the Canadian coffee shop chain Tim Hortons, and Drytac Interlam Pro Emerytex UV laminate film to create information panels for animal rescue organization Little Ray's Nature Centres.

Drytac is a leading international manufacturer of self-adhesive materials for the large format print and signage markets. Its key product areas include window, wall and floor graphic media, laminating films and mounting adhesives, high-performance tapes, industrial adhesives and durable labels. For more information on this product or Drytac's services, please visit www.drytac.com.

For more information on K6 Media, please visit www.k6media.ca.

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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Press release from the issuing company

Kennesaw, Ga. – Hub Labels Inc. of Hagerstown, Maryland is leading the way in the label market with their Labelfire 340 digital/flexo hybrid press from Heidelberg-Gallus —providing shorter runs and lead times while also maintaining their customers’ expectations for high quality.

Hub Labels’ Solution
After 10 years of using a competitive digital press, Thomas Dahbura, President of Hub Labels, was ready to find a digital press that would meet his company’s standards. According to Dahbura, “I wanted a digital press that would integrate everything from the roll to finished labels — including flexo, screen, digital and die-cutting — without secondary options. I told myself I wasn’t going to buy another digital press until I could find one that did exactly what I needed. When I saw the Gallus Labelfire 340 at Labelexpo Europe, I knew this was what I’ve been looking for.”

Combining the latest digital printing technology with the benefits of conventional printing and further processing technology, the Gallus Labelfire 340 is raising the bar in the label market. The Labelfire is a complete in-line solution handling digital, flexo, cold foil, rotary screen, and die-cutting from start to finish — all from a single machine. Running at 50m/min, the Labelfire enables Hub Labels to exceed customers’ demands of shorter runs and lead times.

“While the Labelfire gives us tremendous productivity, I happily found that the press also matches our customers’ demand for quality and color,” said Dahbura. “I’ve seen excellent resolution of 600x600 dpi on other machines, but the 1200x1200 dpi resolution on the Labelfire is just incredible.”

On the digital side, the Labelfire features the latest inkjet technology with 7 colors plus white and three flexo conventional print units. Depending on customers’ label design needs, the press is able to print flexo white or digital white without slowing down the press speeds. “It can be extremely expensive to throw down a heavy coat of white digitally. This analog digital hybrid model allows us to use a less expensive UV flexo white and then hit it with digital to change the embellishment — giving the customer a great finished product,” said Dahbura.

A Platform — Not Just A Press
Jointly created by Heidelberg and Gallus, the Labelfire is run by Heidelberg’s Prinect Digital Front End, which includes spot color matching, the PDF Toolbox, and Prepress Manager. According to Dahbura, “Previously, we had to go through a third-party DFE to drive the machine. With the Prinect Digital Front End included in the press, it has really helped improve our quality and color.”

With the Heidelberg-Gallus integration, Hub Labels receives more than just the combined technical advancements that helped create the Labelfire — they also have access to the entire product and service portfolios of both companies from a single source.

“With my first digital press, I just received what I had purchased — a digital press. With the Labelfire, I’m now working with a whole ecosystem of software, hardware, and consumables from Heidelberg-Gallus that all work really well together,” said Dahbura. “Heidelberg-Gallus offers a complete platform, not just a press, which is the solution that will help Hub Labels succeed.”

Thomas Dahbura, President of Hub Labels, with Labelfire 340.

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Online manufacturing network 3D Hubs has launched a new business entity based in the U.S.

Part of its new B2B strategy, the move has been made to implement the company’s “Fulfilled by 3D Hubs” service in the region.

In addition to this development, 3D Hubs has announced a new tool for its 3D printing checkout to help customers get the most out of FDM, SLS and SLA objects.

3D Hubs Manufacturing LLC.

In the U.S. 3D Hubs will now operate as 3D Hubs Manufacturing LLC. For the customer, this means that order invoices will be sent within the U.S., and local customers won’t incur any international credit charges.

This also means that all orders have been fully switched over to the Fulfilled by 3D Hubs service.

Metal 3D printed part Fulfilled by 3D Hubs. Photo via 3D Hubs
Metal 3D printed part Fulfilled by 3D Hubs. Photo via 3D Hubs

Announced in September 2018, following the “death” of 3D Hubs, the Fulfilled by 3D Hubs service automatically routes manufacturing/prototyping orders to its approved list of partners.

Previously, the customer was given the choice of which service provider, or “hub”, would fulfill their order. The company opted for this strategy in favor of “faster lead times and reliable quality.” Orders to this platform now require a minimum spend of $35 too, “to maintain quality standards,” and the range of previously available materials has been cut until the company can reach appropriate standards for each of them.

One further addition through the Fulfilled by 3D Hubs service is that all Manufacturing Partners have an implicit NDA with any customer submitting an order – providing industrial customers with added security.

Print Orientation & Cosmetic Side Dictation

At present, 3D Hubs’ services cover 3D printing, CNC machining and injection molding. In 3D printing, the company offers a variety of different options. For plastics, there is FDM, SLA, SLS and HP Mult Jet Fusion Technology. In metals, the company offers DMLS/SLM.

In a new update to its 3D printing service, 3D Hubs is now allowing FDM, SLA and SLS customers a degree of further control over end part quality. With the Print Orientation & Cosmetic Side Dictation tool, customers can now decide the placement of support structures on FDM and SLA parts and, for SLS, determine the surface which comes into contact with the print bed. By amending these settings customers can maximize the quality of specific parts of an object, a useful tool when high detail is required.

Juggling a Marvin with the new Part Orientation tool. Clip via 3D Hubs
Juggling a Marvin with the new Part Orientation tool. Clip via 3D Hubs

Print Orientation & Cosmetic Side Dictation will soon be available through 3D Hubs’ new checkout tool. When this goes live, the company is also promising to launch the Manufacturability Analyzer tool, which will provide feedback on the printability of a submitted file, and make recommendations for the optimal manufacturing process.

Other new features in the future include the ability “to select the type of support material (soluble or not), the post-processing method and many other design requirements” for projects.

Make your nominations in the 2019 3D Printing Industry Awards now. 

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Featured image shows 3D Hubs 3D printed Marvin mascots. Photo via 3D Hubs

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