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Networked Solutions

Apr 1, 2008 12:00 AM

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The PrintCity Alliance hosted a pre-Drupa media summit in picturesque Tegernsee, Germany, this February. The group announced its new theme and plans for Drupa 2008, including seven Competence Centres focused on various segments of the print industry. “Connection of Competence” is PrintCity's core strategy for the quadrennial trade fair, emphasizing its focus on networking between alliance members and their shared customers. Several member companies presented previews of their plans for the show and for participation in the PrintCity Alliance Competence Centres in Hall 6.

Seven core competencies

The seven Competence Centres bring together PrintCity Alliance member companies whose technologies are complementary and can be integrated into comprehensive solutions.

Brand protection

“Effective security comes from a multilayered approach to the challenge of counterfeiting.” The PrintCity project team created a new pharma box to demonstrate the combination of a variety of techniques on one package. Samples and information will be available.

Participating PrintCity members: Jura, Kurz, MAN Roland, Merck, Sun Chemical and Weilburger Graphics.

Food packaging

“The food industry requires packaging that does not impact the contents during their life cycle, and which remains inert to the environment and the food packaged inside.” Specialists from PrintCity members will be available to help visitors address the complex challenge for food packaging printing and converting.

Participating PrintCity members: Adphos Eltosch, Kurz, M-Real, MAN Roland, Merck, Sun Chemical and Weilburger Graphics.

Value-added UV printing

“UV printing and coating is the core technique for value-added printing because it provides the widest range of techniques and substrates to increase product differentiation in the packaging, publishing and promotional sectors.” PrintCity will offer a fully revised second edition of PrintCity's “Optimised Sheetfed UV Printing & Coating” best practices guide. The UV Expert Point ensures that existing and interested new users are fully informed on the process and its opportunities.

Participating PrintCity members: Adphos Eltosch, MAN Roland, Merck, Sappi, Sun Chemical and UPM.

Value-added web offset

“The meeting centre for web offset printers, publishers and print buyers to update on new trends and technologies from leaders in the industry.” PrintCity members will be on hand to explain cross-process projects. “Value-added printing on newspaper presses” will cover the performance of various process choices. Energy efficiency and ultrawide web offset also will be covered.

Participating PrintCity members: Axima, MacDermid, MAN Roland, Megtec, Sun Chemical, UPM and Web Offset Champion Group.

Workflow integration & networking

“The graphic industry is becoming a fully integrated and automated business and manufacturing process. The ultimate goal is the smart printing factory in which each production step responds automatically to the outcome of the preceding one.” This discussion starts with the digital workflow order cycle and ends with the client, encompassing all of the players as well as supporting systems and software for automation and lean manufacturing.

Participating PrintCity members: MAN Roland, Fujifilm and Optimus.

Digital transpromo

“The arrival of cost-effective digital color printing now enables companies to transform transaction documents from cost drivers to value-adding promotional tools. This enables companies to leverage their transaction documents into effective, marketing tools that promote dialogue with customers.” PrintCity experts will discuss how to implement digital transpromo printing successfully.

Participating PrintCity members: Océ, Böwe Group, Lasermax Roll Systems and UPM.

Print meets electronic media

“Print and electronic technologies work alongside each other as complementary choices in the media mix. The next development step will be the convergence of these currently parallel technologies into new hybrid devices that potentially combine the best attributes of both worlds.” PrintCity members will discuss hybrid workflows and future applications, including intelligent packaging, smart inks on printed publications, interactive communication links and RFID.

Participating PrintCity members: EPYXS, Kurz, MAN Roland, Sappi, Sun Chemical, Upcode, UPM, VTT and the Welsh Centre for Printing & Coating..

These Competence Centres are all located in Hall 6 and manned by dedicated teams of PrintCity Alliance member personnel. They will be there to share their knowledge and explain to visitors how networking companies work together to provide customer benefits and add value.

Step into a virtual forest

UPM (Helsinki, Finland; Westmont, IL) will showcase a wide variety of paper grades for different end uses and printing methods as well as innovative service solutions in Hall 6, stand C43. UPM is a major paper supplier for several print machine manufacturers during the fair. With the market introduction of new XXL sheetfed machines such as the KBA Rapida 205, UPM marketing vice president Jussi Toikka noted that demand for the company's extra-large paper formats is expanding massively.

At Drupa, UPM Technical Services will launch new concepts including a UPM Printing Simulator for training use and a new iRoll “Tape Solution” for press troubleshooting. iRoll brings the tools used in papermaking to printers, providing tape-based analysis for fixed-width rollers.

Juha-Pekka Juuti, director of energy asset management for UPM, highlighted the company's efforts on the environmental front. These include sustainable forestry, improved energy efficiency in production, use of renewable fuels, reduction of fossil carbon dioxide emissions, and recycling. Drupa visitors can step into the UPM stand's “virtual forest,” created with interactive digital presentation technology. UPM's stand also will feature the new ProFi deck made from recycled wood fiber and plastic.

The company also introduced WISA-Image, a coated plywood substrate for large-format inkjet and silkscreen printing. Designed for long-term outdoor end use, the durable, rigid panels can be reused or recycled.

‘Working for you’

Sun Chemical (Parsippany, NJ) unveiled the first details of its plans for Drupa, which will involve innovations covering publication, packaging, commercial and industrial sectors.

Felipe Mellado, corporate vice president of marketing for Sun Chemical, said, “Our customers' needs are driving the way forward. These days, it's not just about having the best products, it's about having the complete customer-focused value-added package. Sun Chemical exceeds, not just aims to meet, its clients' needs. Our global footprint enables us to deliver solutions in local markets worldwide.”

A subsidiary of Dainippon Ink and Chemicals (Tokyo), Sun Chemical has a global network covering 300 locations in 56 countries, 12,000 employees and 10 research and development centers. “We have patented one innovation every two weeks, on average, for the past four years,” said Mellado, “and our intention is to increase that pace.” He also announced Sun Chemical's parent company will launch a new name, DIC Corp., and logo as it celebrates its 2008 centennial.

Quality, service and innovation — as well as environmental issues — top Sun Chemical's Drupa agenda. The company's inks will be used on many of the presses that will be running at the show, and its theme in Hall 6, stand B75, is “Working for you.”

“Drupa will be the perfect showcase to demonstrate our latest innovations as part of the strategic direction driven by Rudi Lenz, our new CEO and president,” said Mellado. “These will range from the latest low-migration products in packaging to new technologies for newspapers, new environmentally friendly sheetfed inks in the commercial market, and new products for very-large-format graphic printers. We also will be unveiling the latest developments in color management, such as SmartColour.”

Stay tuned, as Mellado noted that a new ink series for straight and perfecting presses will be introduced at Drupa, in response to market demand for a versatile, high-productivity ink with a low carbon footprint.

Océ evolution

“It's by far not enough for a printer today to buy a printing system with a workflow solution — you have to have the business plan,” said Peter Wolff, vice president of graphic arts for Océ (Venlo, The Netherlands; Chicago). “You have to integrate digital printing with your business plan, for the business of your customers.” Following the launch of several new digital printing lines, acquisitions, partnerships and distribution agreements with companies such as Konica Minolta and Fujifilm, Océ has positioned itself to support a wide range of digital print operations.

Océ will be introducing new color technology for wide-format printing in Hall 6, stand A44, according to Wolff, as well as exhibiting the new JetStream 2200 inkjet production printer and several recent introductions in its toner-based digital printer line: VarioStream 8000 and ColorStream 10000. Wolff noted that while the JetStream is geared toward transactional and transpromo markets, the ColorStream 10000 with enhanced PRISMA workflow software, single-pass duplex and non-contact fusing is best suited to take digital commercial printers to the next level. It prints 168 letter-size pages per minute and handles a volume of 5 million pages per month.

“As the first digital color press in its class designed for the graphic arts environment, the Océ ColorStream 10000 defines a new category for full-color digital printers,” according to Sebastian Landesberger, CEO, Océ Printing Systems GmbH. “The combination of high quality, full color and monochrome flexibility, continuous-feed productivity, dynamic pricing and production speed opens new opportunities.”

Expanding horizons

“This is the first time we've had a product that is the same name and same quality globally,” said Berry Wiersum, CEO, Sappi Fine Paper Europe (Brussels, Belgium). Tempo Silk, a coated wood-free paper, was invented by Sappi to offer printers increased productivity and faster job turnarounds.

The culmination of extensive trials over the past 12 months, Tempo Silk uses a new coating design (Sappi patents pending) to provide a super-smooth silk surface that delivers excellent printed results and fast ink setting and drying, as well as superior scuff resistance. The brand also enables printers to reduce their use of anti-setoff powder reportedly up to 100 percent, with both environmental and health benefits.

Sappi will exhibit Tempo and other paper lines in Hall 6, stand B40.

Procemex (Weinbach, Germany) managing director Mika Valkonen shared some news about the web monitoring camera maker's expanding product line. Procemex will launch the Flex 1.3-megapixel camera in Hall 6, complementing the company's successful line of Procemex-7X cameras. The Flex model offers 100 percent digital TCP/IP-based signal processing at 500 frames per second and 1280 x 1024 resolution.

“You have to look at the paper, the press and yourself [the operator] to achieve press efficiency,” said Valkonen, who touted web monitoring cameras' effect on efficiency improvement.

Megtec (De Pere, WI) touted the ecological soundness of its Dual-Dry RTO for high-volume heatset web presses, reporting that it reduces gas consumption by 50 percent and, in some cases, uses no gas.

The company's DLC 6000 splicer is designed for 80-page presses using 60-inch diameter rolls for a 31 percent reduction in roll changes. Based on the DLC 5000, it runs at 18 m/s and is PECOM controlled.

“We're planning ahead for 3 meter web widths, which we believe are on the horizon,” noted Andreas Keil, director of marketing and product development PPG, Megtec. See their latest in Hall 6, stand C41.

Lightweight boards

“Drupa 2008 will demonstrate that packaging is gaining ever greater significance, that its image-building function is growing and that it is becoming the major factor in consumers' purchasing decisions. At the same time, environmental aspects are also playing an increasingly important role,” said Peter Karell, vice president, cartonboards business, M-real Consumer Packaging (Helsinki, Finland). Against this background, M-real is presenting innovative product optimizations including lightweight cartonboard at Drupa, Hall 6, stand C61. The term lightweight is used to describe board that was developed specially with environmental compatibility, sustainability and cost-cutting in mind. “And, the board also had to retain its high level of quality in packaging construction and design, as well as printability, finishing and packing efficiency,” Karell noted.

M-real's Consumer Packaging business area considers “lightweighting” a key to sustainable packaging. The critical feature of this innovation is that the board boasts precisely the same properties as previously, but weighs considerably less. M-real's lightweight Simcote, Carta Integra and Carta Solida grades are among the transformed paper lines. Karell added, “We are setting new industry standards with our tighter tolerances in values such as board thickness and stiffness.“

Sustainable stability

MacDermid (Denver) has completely reengineered its offset blankets. Gérard Rich, vice president of innovation, introduced Stabil-X, “the new standard in printing blanket.” Its thicker compressible layer boasts a high robustness and a better resilience, enabling format flexibility and less edge marking. Solvent-free production of its compressible layer and carcass reportedly ensure low energy consumption in production and lower usage of blankets in printing.

The company is expanding the use of Stabil-X technology, and noted the next step will be RefleX, a new printing surface built on strong polymers and solvent-free production.

Trelleborg recently acquired MacDermid. See pg. 14.

Versatile hot stamping foils

Kurz (Fuerth, Germany) also has expanded its environmental programs, installing ultra-modern production facilities and preparing a global foil disposal plan that is expected to be implemented by the end of 2008. Leonhard Kurz, management board member and vice president, sales and marketing, described the company's new “allrounder” hot stamping foils. It is suitable for a wide range of surfaces, including those with UV-curing lacquers, aqueous dispersion lacquers and those that have been laminated with oriented polypropylene.

Kurz will be presenting a new line of holographic foils supplementing the “Light Line” product range in Hall 3, stand C46.

Denise Kapel is managing editor of AMERICAN PRINTER. Contact her at

The PrintCity Alliance

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2008, PrintCity shares global expertise from independent companies in the graphic arts industry. Members work within a comprehensive prepress-through-postpress workflow across the packaging, commercial and publishing sectors. The goals:

Connecting the competence of members to offer added value solutions worldwide.

Delivering knowledge through seminars, trade fairs, project studies, publications and the Internet.

Promoting the value of print and packaging as media to responsibly satisfy the world's needs.

Encouraging networking within the entire industry to stimulate worldwide cooperation among all partners.


PrintCity for print buyers

At PrintCity's pre-Drupa media event in Tegernsee, Germany, February 13, PrintCity Alliance president Helmut Dangelmaier announced two new projects: Print+X and the Print4Life Lounge.

Print+X, “The secrets of added value,” is a PrintCity Alliance project with Germany's f:mp (Fachverband Medienproduktioner) to determine the capability and benefits of value-added printing through research. Three virtual brands of lifestyle and electronics products were designed to be used as subjects in the testing process. The available options of value-added printing will be scrutinized and evaluated by study groups from different universities to strengthen the validity of the results. PrintCity will present the Print+X study findings as well as sample media at Drupa.

“Print4Life is a platform for brand owners to have a dialogue with printers and direct marketers on the impact of print,” said Rainer Kuhn, managing director, PrintCity. The Print4Life Lounge will be in the central PrintCity Alliance plaza area in Hall 6, where print customers can learn about the opportunities available through PrintCity members' technologies and knowledge. The lounge is complementary to the aims of the separate “drupacube” project and is focused on international print buyers from all markets. It is dedicated to exchanging views on how print can add value to positioning, differentiation and branding in the market place. Print samples feature new ideas for newspapers, packaging and commercial printing with a special focus on value-added print technologies with the Print+X project.

Print value and efficiency

MAN Roland’s (Munich, Germany; Westmont, IL) 4,000 sq. m stand in Hall 6 will focus on these major themes: value-added printing for sheetfed presses; applied innovations on web presses; and PRINTVALUE, which covers services, consumables, networking, consultancy and energy efficiency. PRINTVALUE entails the combination of four modules: printnet for CIM; printservices for press lifecycle management; printcom for supplies; and printadvice consultancy. Hot topics at Drupa will include the future of packaging, RFID, brand protection, service/parts, targeted advertising, direct mail and process optimization.

Dr. Gerald Schobesberger, director of product marketing for MAN Roland Druckmaschinen AG, explained the company’s two-pronged approach to its value-adding stragegy: cutting costs through production efficiency; and raising revenues through better quality and different applications.

Following on the heels of the PrintCity summit in Tegernsee, MAN Roland held a media conference in its Augsburg, Germany, print museum. CEO Gerd Finkbeiner further discussed the press manufacturer’s drive toward “inline everything,” noting Prindor is now available on the Roland 500, and automation. “It is certainly accurate to say we are not in a growth market,” he said, noting the company is stressing efficiency advances to offset the lack of growth in the print market. “What matters most at the end of the day is cost, quality and, in that respect, profitability.”

MAN Roland executive board member Paul Steidle discussed web press advancements on the Colorman as well as inkjetting developments including the incorporation of Kodak Versamark heads for adding variable data to newspaper printing. “Twenty-four/seven production means you need high reliability,” he noted, citing the company’s APL (automatic plate loading) and other automation features as key to productivity.