The biggest ever Labelexpo is set to open its doors on Tuesday, with the global label and packaging show set to be the launchpad for a new generation of materials and production solutions.
Tens of thousands of label, carton and flexible packaging printers are set to walk through the gates of the Brussels Expo Centre during the four days of the show, with many leading label and flexible packaging printers from Australia and New Zealand making the big trip.
Some 600 exhibitors are taking part in what is the biggest label and package printing event in the world, which runs between 24-27 September. This edition of the show is set to be its largest to date, on its 40 year anniversary. The original iteration in 1979 had 44 exhibitors.
Around 200 of the exhibitors are new this year, and will be displaying their latest innovations to an international buyer audience of printers, suppliers, brand owners and designers. This includes Canon, whose Océ LabelStream 4000 series UV inkjet press is making its show debut, and Memjet, which is unveiling its third generation printing technology which features new print widths and a long-life four-colour printhead.
Materials, inks, and finishing manufacturers will be especially well represented, with product launches from companies including Pulse Roll Label Products, which is unveiling the next evolution of UV flexo printing inks; and S-OneLP, which is launching its Sustainable ByDesign portfolio of solutions for recyclable and compostable flexible packaging.
Show visitors will have an exclusive opportunity to see two press lines in action at the show’s main feature, the Flexible Packaging Arena. A Xeikon CX500 (digital) and a Bobst M6 (UV Flexo) will be producing indirect food contact flexible packaging to the latest GMP standards, and live demonstrations will be taking place throughout the four days of the show.
HP Indigo will be offering live demonstrations of digital pouch making, showcasing the HP Indigo 20000 digital press, Pack Ready Lamination, and the Karlville pouch-making machine which is making its show debut on the stand. Other HP innovations at the show include the HP Indigo 8000 Digital Press, which will run in line with the ABG Fast Track die, and the best-selling HP Indigo 6900 Digital Press, which can be seen in action showcasing an integrated Kurz DM-Jetliner finishing module.
Reflecting the size of the show, Labelexpo Europe 2019 is also set to present the largest offering of technologies and live demonstrations seen to date, with an increasing number of product launches for the fast growing areas of hybrid printing, flexible packaging, and automation. This includes Bobst, which is unveiling a new hybrid flexo press; and MPS, which is launching a new 430mm edition of the hybrid EF Symjet press. This is presented for the first time with an exclusive Domino digital N617i inkjet printer, in a wider 430mm width. Mark Andy is unveiling a new entry- to mid-level digital hybrid press, which will be demonstrated live at the show with advanced in-line converting.
Flexible packaging machinery launches come from exhibitors including Omet – supplied in Australia by Currie Group – with its new X7. This is a flexo printing machine for labels and flexible packaging with 670mm web width and the latest in their XFlex line. Lombardi is unveiling its Invicta i2 line, designed for flexible packaging in the mid web sector.
Other press launches include Gallus, which is unveiling its Digital Printbar digital embellishing unit designed specifically for opaque white and using inkjet-based digital print technology. Konica Minolta is premiering its recently launched AccurioLabel 230, a new version of its digital toner press, while Nilpeter is launching its 17” wide FA-Line press featuring cold foil, lamination and their new high-speed semi-rotary die-cutting unit. Grafotronic is showcasing seven new models out of a total of eleven machines presented at the show, of which four are new fully modular digital finishing machines.
Esko, Cerm, Sistrade, and Gutenberg are among the companies presenting their latest digital management information software for automation.
Jan Eisby, chief sales officer, Vetaphone – which is exhibiting four machines – added: “You’ll not get a better opportunity to make direct comparisons in technology in one location until Labelexpo returns to Brussels in 2021. It is more than 20 years since we first exhibited at Labelexpo Europe and have been privileged to see how the industry has grown and thrived in the intervening years. We’ve seen flexo become a high-quality process, the launch and development of digital technology, and most recently the arrival of hybrids.”
AstroNova TrojanLabel, which will premiere two new products: the T2-L narrow-format water-based inkjet press with added laminating capabilities, and the T3-OPX next-generation overprinting solution which can print directly onto a wide range of surfaces.