Labelexpo Asia 2023, the region’s largest label and package printing technology event, celebrates its 20th anniversary this week as the show opens at the Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC) over four days from December 5-8.
Visitors to Labelexpo Asia can see the integration of labels and flexible packaging, labels and folding cartons, the latest technological achievements in RFID, material innovations, and cutting-edge technologies and products related to intelligent manufacturing on site.
The exhibition is also providing a platform for shared learning throughout the label and packaging industry by jointly hosting the International Label Printing Summit with the China Packaging Federation.
The show has a strong focus on RFID through the Smart Label Trail, giving converters insight into the RFID technology trends and practical applications and how they can set up their own RFID converting operation. China is the main producer of ultra-high frequency RFID labels, with production accounting for approximately 80% of the global market share. In 2021, the production of ultra-high frequency labels in China reached 16.8 billion pieces.
Another key show feature is focusing on short-run flexible packaging. The trend towards short-run flexible packaging has brought new opportunities for label converters to expand into this new business area. This is the reason for bringing the new Digital Pouch Factory zone to Labelexpo Asia 2023.
The Digital Pouch Factory is centred on an HP Indigo 25K mid-web digital press along with a Zhoutai AMD350LMSC solventless lamination machine, and AMD350LMSC bag-making machine with workflow software provided by hybrid.
The Digital Pouch Factory demonstrates the complete process of prepress workflow, printing, lamination, and manufacturing of the final flexible packaging product, including pillow-type packaging and standup pouches.
Labelexpo Asia 2023 showcases China’s increasingly sophisticated conventional press technology suppliers. There has been a major shift in the last ten years from narrow web letterpress to intermittent offset technology, and today those offset manufacturers are diversifying into inline flexo presses. This move into flexo is strongly supported by the Chinese government as an alternative to solvent-based print technologies.
These are sophisticated machines, increasingly fully servo-driven and with high levels of automation built in, responding to the skilled labour crisis which came to a head during the Covid pandemic.
Chinese manufacturers have a long history of successful intermittent press development, firstly letterpress and more recently with intermittent rotary offset. These machines have been particularly successful in a range of export markets, including Europe, for applications requiring high-quality print and inline embellishment.
Chinese suppliers are also developing increasingly sophisticated UV inkjet presses and building digital print engines into a new generation of hybrid presses. These machines are using the same inkjet head suppliers as other global inkjet press developers.
In many cases, these new digital presses have been developed either by flexo press manufacturers offering hybrid solutions, or companies already involved in wide format digital print moving into the single pass UV-inkjet space for the first time.
As well as being a showcase for the domestic press technology industry, Labelexpo Asia 2023 also features top global suppliers. This includes Konica Minolta, which displays both its new AccurioLabel 400 and the well-established AccurioLabel 230.
This is the first China showing of the AccurioLabel 400, a toner-based print engine printing CMYK plus an additional White compared to the AL230. The AL400 also prints faster, at 39.9 m/min with a print resolution of 3,600 x 2,400dpi. It is fitted with automated colour management and the IQ-520 automatic intelligent quality monitoring system.
Durst is demonstrating its Tau RSC-E digital press, the entry-level press to the Tau range with the same print engine imaging at 1200 x 1200 dpi. The press comes as standard with CMYK+ high opacity White, but can be upgraded to CMYK+OVG+W.
HP Indigo is running an online demonstration of its new HP Indigo 200k mid-web press, which is a faster and more productive upgrade to the established 25k press for flexible packaging and shrink sleeve applications.
For more information visit Labelexpo Asia