• Functional and customizable labeling machines for the food sector

    Identify the product and ensure its integrity.
    Labeling in the food industry is a crucial point of the entire production process, in fact it allows you to decorate the product intended for consumption, while indicating the essential information such as content, expiry date, origin, nutritional values ​​and any other data that may require a food product. To meet the typical labeling needs of this sector, ALTECH has developed a line of labeling systems particularly suitable for products such as tubs and trays.

    The line in question is called ALbelt, and contains a range of extremely functional and customizable labeling machines that lend themselves to labeling a wide range of products. A particularly requested configuration is the one designed for semi-wrap (C-wrap) labeling of thermo-formed food trays, or clam-shell. In this application, the label is adapted on 3 sides of the product, the front one, and the upper and lower ones , and for this it assumes a dual role: to identify the product, and guarantee, just like a tamper evident seal, its integrity.. To carry out this operation, the ALbelt system consists of a two-section conveyor, an upper labeling head (ALritma model) equipped with a marker (for printing variable data, such as expiration date, promotional labels and barcode) and an adapter specially designed for this type of labeling placed in the space between the two sections of the conveyor.

    The system is completed by a double tape spacer and a lateral ribbon stabilizer to hold the products during labeling. All labeling parameters can be managed from the 7-inch color touchscreen panel that guarantees excellent readability and extreme ease of use. The ALbelt system thus equipped is able to reach a labeling rate of 60 pieces per minute.

    In addition to applying one or more labels on several parts of the product, the ALbelt system can assume particular configurations for different applications, such as the laying of labels above and below, even in non-stop configuration, i.e. without line stops for label changes.

  • Mondi celebrates eight wins at the 2021 WorldStar Packaging awards

    12 January 2021 – Mondi, a global leader in sustainable packaging and paper, received eight awards in three categories at this year's WorldStar Packaging awards. In this annual competition of the World Packaging Organisation, judges from 55 countries recognised achievements in packaging innovation and technologies worldwide, with a focus on sustainability, product protection and end-user convenience. 

  • Inex Belgium chooses Sidel’s aseptic solutions to package UHT milk in PET bottles

    Belgian milk producer Inex has selected Sidel’s aseptic PET packaging line to help meet a growing demand for locally produced milk, prompted by the COVID-19 restrictions in March. Thanks to Sidel’s new and sustainable packaging line, Inex plans to boost production capacity by supplying ultra-high-temperature (UHT) milk products in PET bottles. 

  • Milliken PP additive for thermoforming uses cleaner chemistry to deliver brighter look

    -- New Hyperform® HPN® 909ei offers one less SML for food-contact applications

  • XTO – TTO HOW IT SHOULD BE

    NOVEXX Solutions & EIDOS present the XTO 2ie

    Eching, November 2020: NOVEXX Solutions and its subsidiary EIDOS – a NOVEXX Solutions company – introduce the XTO, a TTO printer developed with a strong focus on user-friendliness. With an excellent print quality, superior uptime, its revolutionary modular concept for highest flexibility, 100 % tool-free maintenance and the best price-performance ratio on the market, the XTO is the perfect fit for almost any production line.

    The XTO promises Thermal Transfer Overprinting in a new dimension. It has been developed based on extensive market research and with a strong operator-centric approach. The innovative TTO printer combines excellent print quality and an outstanding uptime with several features that make the machine particularly flexible and easy to operate.

    Outstanding ease of operation

    The XTO was developed with the operator in mind for maximum user-friendliness. For example the ribbon change is easy and fast. In addition, the printhead can be changed without using any tools. Furthermore, the operator menu for settings, print job selection and printer performance visualization is very intuitive. Another operator friendly benefit is the quick and easy accessibility of components for maintenance and service.

    Ribbon change within seconds: the QUICKRIBBON X-LOADER

    With the QUICKRIBBON X-LOADER the XTO offers a revolutionary plug & play mechanism for automated ribbon feed and super quick ribbon change. The ultralight loader is affordable, extremely easy to handle and results in increased uptime.

    SMART X-MOTOR for optimal print performance

    A motor drives the printhead for optimal and controlled printing, resulting in improved performance and uptime. Since no compressed air is required, integration is less complex and operating costs are significantly lower.

    The QUICKTRONIC X-CHANGER

    The XTO is built on a separation of mechanical and electronical parts. The whole electronic unit can be detached easily even while the XTO is still installed in the packaging line, resulting in improved unit uptime and reduced idle times. All electronic components are easily accessible for fast servicing and maintenance.

    The QUICKCHANGE X-PLATE

    The XTO has an innovative print plate offering a flexible exchange using VelcroTM material. In case the print plate is damaged or used up, the first layer of the plate can easily be exchanged using the innovative hook and loop system. This results in a reduction of downtime in maintenance as there

    is no need to uninstall the whole print plate.

    Superior print performance and increased uptime

    The print area of 53 x 100 mm is about 30 % larger than the market standard and allows more flexibility. The increased “safe operating area” guarantees increased accuracy and excellent print quality even at high printing speed. Additionally, the XTO’s intelligent ribbon save function and maximum ribbon length of 1,200 m lead to an increased uptime.

    Revolutionary modular concept

    The XTO consists of a print unit, a separate power supply and a separate HMI touchpanel, making it easy to integrate into any existing packaging line. This modularity also leads to increased flexibility in offer and price as every component is optional.

    Connectivity and IoT

    Various interfaces and features ensure that the XTO is future proof in terms of connectivity and IoT. The printhead includes a crypto chip to store important information such as running kilometers, running hours and print head dotline status. A web server application guarantees maximum

    flexibility in controlling the XTO. It can be integrated into the display of the packaging machine, run on a separate touch screen or be displayed on an external screen via the browser. This allows a greater operational flexibility as well as remote diagnostics, setup, and maintenance.

    “With the XTO, we have achieved a true milestone in the history of TTO technology”, says Paolo Bori, Managing Director at EIDOS – a NOVEXX Solutions company. “It combines usability, flexibility and first-class print performance in a unique way and has the best price-performance ration on the market.”

    About NOVEXX Solutions GmbH

    NOVEXX Solutions stands for outstanding products and individual complete solutions when it comes to industrial labeling and identification along the supply chain. NOVEXX Solutions combines 50 years of top-class, international expertise with the straightforward flexibility of a powerful mid-size enterprise. The product and service portfolio of NOVEXX Solutions includes hardware and software solutions, high-quality consumables, and professional on-site service. NOVEXX Solutions operates in eleven locations across three continents. For more information, please visit www.novexx.com.

    About EIDOS – a NOVEXX Solutions Company

    Eidos is one of the leading companies in the design and manufacturing of printers for labeling, marking and automatic coding of industrial products. For over 40 years the company benefits from a proprietary technology for the digital thermal transfer printing that prints variable data in real time. Since 2017 EIDOS is a subsidiary of NOVEXX Solutions GmbH.

    For further information about Eidos please visit http://www.eidos.

  • Bundling and packaging matchboxes

    Paper or film bands hold matchboxes and other small boxes securely together and help to reduce packaging material. In an automated packaging line, a banding system certainly also takes over automatic size recognition via sensors, stacking as well as feeding and forwarding, if required

  • Design: “A Beautiful Lipstick Case is an Object that has Meaning and Style”

    What makes a product desirable?

    Elie Papiernik: A desirable object is an object that has meaning and style. Its desirability is born of its intrinsic value, its reality as an object: its shape, material, color. But beyond all that, the object is also an ambassador for its brand and must embody some kind of meaning in society. The brand must have a story to tell through its products, so that consumers can appropriate this story for themselves. Brand values should also generate desire for the product when they’re aligned with customer beliefs.

     

    What constitutes a beautiful object in the lipstick market? What can we convey through lipstick packaging?

    Elie Papiernik: As an example, I’d take our client Kiko, an Italian makeup brand that works with the country’s best suppliers to make very affordable products. They have a highly usual point-of-sale concept: Like some DNVBs (Digital Native Vertical Brands), Kiko has its own stores and operates with no middlemen. Despite this innovative business model, their packaging was fairly standard, and that was what we had to work on: creating a brand platform, coming up with a style, thinking about product desirability.

    So we chose to highlight the brand’s “Italian-ness”, something perceived as being synonymous with quality, and focused on the shape, with an impeccable design that rivals the finest luxury brands. We also examined the physical and manual dimensions – how could we intelligently revisit these by creating lipstick cases that open differently? A brand’s identity is more than just visual – it must impact the five senses! There must be sincerity in the design of a beautiful object, and Kiko expresses this through its superb transparency about its products’ origins.

    How do you think social networks impact the shapes and objects that cosmetic brands sell?

    Elie Papiernik: Social networks have added a new element to a product’s desirability: It must now be “Instagramable.” That’s become truly essential for clients. You also have to explore the product’s storytelling on social networks and what consumers will be able to say about it. Youtube influencer reviews on cosmetic products are very popular: They rate the quality, test how it’s used or applied, and evaluate the texture or feel. So social networks are now essential and an integral part of any brand’s development strategy. Nevertheless, the design must be given tremendous importance – you cannot disappoint a customer when they receive the product, as that can have catastrophic results.

     

    Do different countries and populations react differently to design and brand image? In China, for example, which accounts for more than half your business?

    Elie Papiernik: The Chinese love our French brands, even though they want to develop their own products based on a strong cultural model. Chinese customers are now enjoying ever-increasing purchasing power. But they’re extremely demanding when it comes to product quality, are very attuned to brand storytelling, and extremely savvy. So Chinese customers now favor honest and authentic brands and aren’t fooled by marketing ploys that might be a bit cheap or opportunistic.

     

    And in Europe?

    Elie Papiernik: On the European continent, these kinds of preferences vary from country to country. To put it simply, the Germans have a functionalist side, greater concern about price. The English also have this rational side that you don’t see so much in southern Europe. The French, Italians, and Spanish are more attuned to brands’ stories, to their emotional, multi-sensory side. In South America, things are even more different in Brazil.There, they care a great deal about the challenges of sustainable development. They’re very involved consumers and they love French brands. This love of beautiful brands is also seen in Middle Eastern countries, where the customers are connoisseurs.

     

    What do you see as the future of design and your profession?

    Elie Papiernik: Design’s role within companies has changed a lot. Designers have gradually gained importance and become part of the management committee. In 2020, design has become a key element of any development strategy. Now, as creative forces, our role is to make things happen: reduce the environmental impact of packaging, encourage slow beauty, adapt to new uses, develop new aesthetics. Today, methods like design thinking means we can rely on collaborative intelligence and co-creation to make innovation a priority in our projects. Projects that are visionary by necessity, projects that build “brand intelligence” and encourage new societal models entailing greater respect for consumers and the planet.

    A former student of the École Nationale Supérieur de Création Industrielle (National School for Industrial Creation), Elie Papiernik is Artistic Director at centdegrés, the independent creative agency he co-founded in Paris with David Nitlich in 1988. The firm has around 100 employees and operates in 11 countries. Working for clients like LVMH, Givenchy, and Coty Beauty, it generates an annual sales turnover of 12 million euros.

  • What is banding?

    Do you know the tapes printed with "Action" that bundle several products into multipacks in the supermarket? Or the transparent bands that hold together the different sized goods ordered online in the shipping carton? Do you take all the information about zucchinis, bananas or apples in cardboard trays that you buy in the vegetable section at retail from printed bands? Are you familiar with the bands that hold together stacked printed items, cardboard or corrugated cardboard in such a way that the edges of the fragile products are not damaged? Or have you ever bought convenience food or other products where a double-side printed band up to 100 mm wide, for example, holds a tray packaging securely together and at the same time takes care of all the communication around the product? That - and much more - is banding.

    How banding works
    In banding, a band of paper or film up to 100 mm wide is placed around one or more products by a banding machine and welded with the use of a sonotrode with ultra-sonic technology or, in fewer cases, with a hot wedge. Glue or other adhesives are not used. The continuously adjustable tension of the band varies depending on the properties of the product or application. It reacts to the resistance of the product to be banded. For soft and fragile products, the band tension is alternatively controlled by a fixed length or soft length. Also possible: Sensors measure the product to be banded and automatically adjust the band length. This variant is used, for example, when banding mail packages of different sizes that are fed to the banding machine by a conveyor belt (end-of-line automation).

    Printed and unprinted bands
    Depending on the application, bands are used unprinted, printed on one or both sides in advance using the flexographic printing process, and additionally or exclusively printed with a thermal transfer printer during banding. While the flexographic printing process focuses on the branding of the product, thermal transfer printing is used to print variable information such as the producer, the best-before date, the batch number, the weight or a bar code. Printed bands therefore also replace labels. Unprinted bands are often used in intralogistics when logistical units have to be formed to simplify processes.

    Different banding machines for different applications
    Depending on the production volume and requirements, different banding machines are used: mobile stand-alone models or fully automatic banding machines integrated into the production line.

    In the simpler standalone models, the banding process is usually triggered manually (e.g. via a foot pedal).
     
    In automated applications, sensors and I/O or bus-based interfaces come into play. Example: A robot holds the product to be banded in the banding machine, the sensor confirms the presence of the product and the banding process is triggered via the interface.
     
    In fully automatic applications, the banding process is triggered by a PLC (programmable logic controller). Depending on the application, the process is optimized by different signals and factors. Depending on the machine design and the system concept, a performance of up to 300 products per minute or 100 banding processes per minute can be achieved.
    Banding is environmentally friendly
    Banding stands for "only as much packaging as necessary". Bands often replace shrink films or sleeves, thereby significantly reducing plastic and material consumption. Ultrasonic banding machines are also extremely energy-efficient and thus help to reduce CO2 emissions. Because a banding machine with integrated thermal transfer printer also replaces the labeling machine, additional material and energy can be saved depending on the application. In most countries, bands made of coated paper are recycled via the paper cycle. If the band has to be made of paper, but the proportion of foreign material must not exceed 5%, our partially coated paper is used. Bands made of film are made of pure and high-quality PP, HDPE or PLA. The amount of recycled material is at least 20% for all foils. The thinnest film (FTU) has a thickness of 50 my. All banding films are considered mono-material and are 100% recyclable.

    Banding stands for frustration-free packaging
    Banding not only reduces plastic and packaging material, but also stands for frustration-free packaging. Bands can be opened by hand without any problems: Either at the weld seam in the case of bands made of film or at any position in the case of bands made of paper. Amazon shows what constitutes frustration-free packaging and how important it is in the video Frustration Free Packaging.

  • Symphony Environmental USA Receives 2020 Best of Jacksonville Award

    These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.  Various sources of information are gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category.

    The 2020 Jacksonville Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Jacksonville Award Program and data provided by third parties, in recognition of the contribution that small business makes to the U.S. economy.

    Nivaldo Bosio, who is responsible for the US market commented that he was delighted to receive the reward for the second consecutive year, both for Symphony USA and Symphony Environmental Limited in the UK.

    He also added a special thank you to the Symphony Environmental team, who this year celebrate 25 years of providing solutions, in particular biodegradable and antimicrobial/virucidal plastic technologies, to health and environmental problems.

  • Astronova Reports Third-quarter Fiscal 2021 Financial Results

    Bookings of $27.9 million
    Backlog of $23.2 million
    Revenue of $28.0 million
    Operating income of $0.4 million
    Net income of $0.0 million, or $0.00 per diluted share
    EBITDA of $1.7 million, or 6.1% of revenue
    WEST WARWICK, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- AstroNova, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALOT), a global leader in data visualization technologies, today announced financial results for the fiscal 2021 third quarter ended October 31, 2020.

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