June 2003 Issue


Fixing a Fable

No longer the new kids on the block, ultraviolet (UV) and electron beam (EB) technologies are firmly entrenched in the package printing industry. In the last decade, usage of UV/EB curing and inks has continued to grow to the degree that it can no longer be fairly characterized as new. Yet, many converters continue to ignore the benefits of UV/EB for no other reason than doing so would constitute change. packagePRINTING sat down with a few industry experts this month in an attempt to dispel some of the long-held misconceptions against UV/EB curing and inks. Myth: UV/EB materials are unsafe Tony Bean,

In-the-Round Plate Imaging

VALIDATION OF AN idea comes with commitment. Creo (Bedford, Mass.) and Esko-Graphics (Vandalia, Ohio) are only two of the companies that demonstrated their commitment to packaging and flexo digital plating at CMM in April. Both announced enhancements to their flexo CTP devices. With several hundred machines out there now, and the assumption that CTP technology is here to stay, each company has focused on speed, automation, and improved sleeve, or in-the-round, imaging capabilities. I had the opportunity to get a close-up as Creo unveiled its next generation ThermoFlex. The result of more than 18 months of engineering, the machine design seems to consider every

Spring Cleaning

ANILOX ROLL CLEANING is a necessary part of the printing process. Without proper care, anilox cells clog and lead to inadequate ink distribution, poor color densities, and difficulties in matching colors. There are several cleaning systems on the market today, most suited for a variety of roll widths, diameters, and line screens. No matter what cleaning method is used, "Today's systems must be safe, effective, consistent, and efficient," said Wes Stone, technical manager at WS Packaging-Superior Label Systems (Mason, Ohio). Chemical wash Chemical wash systems clean aniloxes by enclosing the rolls in a washing machine where it is sprayed with a chemical cleaning agent.

Time for the Payoff

ELISHA TROPPER, PRESIDENT of Prestige Label Co., Inc., must have been real busy over the last three years. Under his direction, the company's plant in Burgaw, N.C. has been completely retooled—from front to back. The three-year, $3 million capital program had three key objectives: upgrade capabilities, infrastructure, and capacity. When the Tropper-family-owned Central Financial Group purchased the company, the plant consisted of six flexo presses and two slitter/rewinders. In addition, the plant produced flexo plates using a 25-year-old DuPont platemaking technology that consisted of step-and-repeat machines with cameras and films developed in pans. Tropper and VP of Plant Operations Tim Keegan planned and

Top Tag and Label Converters

AS REPORTED IN packagePRINTING's 2003 State of the Industry Report for tags and labels (March, p. 54), label printers are continuing to tighten their belts, waiting for a solid recovery to ignite from the smoldering embers of our economy. The responses to our 2003 Top Tag and Label Converters Survey indicate that these efforts appear to be paying off. Similar to the levels achieved last year, 55 percent of respondents reported increased sales from 2001 to 2002. As an indication that the bleeding may have stopped, just 11 percent indicated sales decreases, down from 41 percent in last year's survey. These numbers seem