The first edition of Labelexpo Europe since 2019 opened its doors at the Brussels Expo to present more new technologies and live demonstrations than any previous show.
With over 600 exhibitors participating, the key focus areas for new technology launches include flexible packaging, digitisation and automation.
Durst introduced Hawk Eye, a new system that goes one step further by correcting print mistakes, such as missing nozzles, in-line and in real-time, without any setup necessary or operator intervention. The company also promotes the successful Tau 510 RSCi printing at a remarkable speed of 80m/min at a printing width of 510mm, producing over 3,000 square metres per hour.
HP, for example, premiers the HP Indigo V12 Digital Press in Europe, along with the HP Indigo 200K Digital Press, also showcased for the first time in the region, running a “digital pouch factory” ecosystem demonstrating pouch manufacture and finishing of other unsupported films including shrink sleeve labels.
Xeikon demonstrates digital printing of paper-based flexible packaging materials on the new TX-500 Titon toner press and Screen on the Truepress Pac520P – seen for the first time at Labelexpo.
Flexo makes a significant comeback at the show. Nilpeter, Lombardi and Bobst demonstrate the printing of flexible packaging and unsupported label film materials on 26in/670mm mid-web UV flexo press lines. Omet made the show debut of its KFlex modular flexo platform, and Mark Andy launched the Pro Series flexo press, upgradable to a hybrid machine.
Sustainability, a prominent theme at the show, is highlighted with new launches, including UPM Raflatac’s Ocean Action plastics label, sourced from ocean-bound plastics waste, and Avery Dennison’s AD LinrSave and AD LinrConvert linerless label systems targeted at the prime label market.
Visitors can attend an expert-led masterclass organised by The Label Academy, which covers sustainable labels and packaging.
Major Labelexpo Europe 2023 features include the Automation Arena and Flex Pack Trail. The Automation Arena features a full “lights out” production workflow, from file creation to turret rewind, with automated inspection and MIS integration without manual intervention. The participants include Cerm, Esko, Xeikon, KURZ, Grafotronic and Fedrigoni Self-Adhesive.
On the Flex Pack Trail, visitors can learn about digital and conventional press technologies, flexible packaging material constructions, coating, laminating, ink and curing requirements, in-line and near-line decoration options, QC and migration testing.
A new feature for Labelexpo Europe 2023 is Flexo’s Future – ECG, a series of presentations and guided tours on Expanded Colour Gamut (ECG) printing.
Daily presentations by renowned ECG expert Dr Kai Lankinen take place on the show floor, examining all aspects of fixed palette printing, where up to seven inks (CMYK+OGV) are used to reproduce spot colours.
Visitors will also get the chance to attend the Dieline Forum. This two-day design conference will explore the latest trends and innovations shaping tomorrow’s brands, focusing on sustainable branding.
Labelexpo Global Series managing director Jade Grace said, “The volume of exhibitors participating at this year’s show has been truly incredible, not only in the number of returning companies but also the number of new exhibitors joining us for the first time.”
“We promise visitors an exciting show across nine halls where they can see a burst of new technology and products, everything from pre-press to materials, eco and sustainable products and digital and conventional print and converting technology. Add to this a world-leading series of educational events, our focus on automation, flexible packaging, sustainability and expanded colour gamut for label converters, and you have an unmissable Labelexpo experience.”
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