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July: 2019: Last March, Reflex Label Plus acquired a 14-colour FA flexo press from Nilpeter, for its Keighley site in England, to meet customer demands for unique designs, high quality and embellishments, and to achieve ambitious business expansion goals. We checked back a year on from installation to see if their initial goals have been met, hear what feedback they have received, and learn about their plans and expectations for the near future, in this Q&A with Shaun Hanson, Operations Manager, Reflex Label Plus.
Q: Let’s start from the beginning – what were your thoughts and ambitions prior to acquiring the FA?
A: “Well, as you know, we deal in wine and spirits, beers, cosmetics – label jobs that require high-end printing capabilities, lots of embellishments, textured varnishes, foiling etc. With that in mind, and in order to meet our expansion goals, we came to the conclusion that we needed to invest in new, state-of-the-art equipment. After a full evaluation process including our own in-house experiences, we decided that Nilpeter’s new FA was the way to go.”
Q: How was the process leading up to installation, and did you feel confident going into it?
A: “During the build-up, the Nilpeter team invited us on many, very helpful training sessions – myself, and three members of my team, were invited to Italy to see and work with the press in a live environment, to ensure that no stone was left unturned. And in Denmark, during the press pass/acceptance test, we were just filled with confidence that we were going to hit the ground running as soon as the press was installed.”
Q: You and Group CEO, Ian Kendall, spoke of anticipating future market requirements in advance, and a more effective use of materials. Has the FA helped in that regard, and can you give any specific examples?
A: “For starters, the installation took about two weeks, and by week three we were in full production. Myself and group ownership are over the moon with direction this press has allowed us to go in – production numbers are absolutely fantastic, and we have been able to progress into different fields, in large part thanks to this press. From a numbers standpoint, we are now running 100% more efficiently on around 50% of our jobs.”
Q: Has the FA helped you seize the opportunity and capacity for rapid growth in high-end label production, you mentioned the last time we spoke?
A: “Prior to acquiring the FA, we were primarily printing wine labels, but since its arrival, we’ve been able to attack different avenues in the spirits market, labels that require higher embellishments, the use of more expensive materials, while demanding full job control with zero spoils. The FA, our partnership with Nilpeter, and cooperation with their Customer Care unit, has given us the confidence as a business, and the opportunity, to succeed with this expansion.”
Q: Overall, would you say that you are happy with your Nilpeter press?
A: “To summarize, and I think the best way to answer your question would be to say, that our next investment at this site will most definitely be another FA from Nilpeter, with more features and added embellishment options. I like the “your printing partner” slogan, and the partnership has indeed been key - the collaboration on both sides of the table, from start to finish. We are extremely excited for the next step in this journey!”
The Reflex Group was formed in 2002 with the goal of being “the world’s most sustainable packaging company” – a goal still entrenched at the heart of operations. Reflex seeks to be on the forefront of innovation, investing in technology and people for continuous improvement. Today, Reflex is one of the largest companies of its kind in the UK, and with an international customer-base, Reflex serves a broad range of customer sectors. Products include self-adhesive labels, shrink sleeves including R.O.S.O., liner-less labels, flexible packaging, in-mould labels, artwork, and design. The company prints high-end labels in combination for many bespoke brand owners through their Reflex Label Plus division.
Under the 100-year anniversary banner, Nilpeter will exhibit two of its FA-Line flagship flexo presses at Labelexpo Europe 2019. The FA-Line presses, which have already exceeded 100 installations worldwide since launching at Labelexpo Europe two years ago, will feature a number of new, groundbreaking technologies.
The first FA-Line press on display is 17’’ wide, features cold foil and lamination, as well as Nilpeter’s new high-speed Semi-Rotary Die-Cutting unit. Introduced to the market for the first time, this press will run in combination with two new technologies: the High-Build InkJet Varnish and High Opacity White InkJet units. Nilpeter will demonstrate the press’ versatility and value-adding capabilities within Wine & Beverage applications.
Effective Flexible Packaging
The second press on the show floor is the all-new multi-substrate 22’’ FA-Line. It features a new 22’’ Quick-Change Die station, UV-lamination, and UV-LED drying. With this press, Nilpeter will demonstrate how to effectively print various Food & Beverage flexible packaging applications throughout the show.
Join Nilpeter as they raise a glass to mark the company’s 100-year milestone, and display exciting new developments at Labelexpo Europe 2019 – as always in Hall 7, stand 7B39 & 7B35, Brussels Expo.
On June 13, 2019, the Nilpeter USA Technology Center hosted the first co-sponsored Open House by Nilpeter and SCREEN Americas. More than 80 guests and partners were welcomed by SCREEN Americas President, Ken Ingram, and Nilpeter USA Managing Director, Lenny Degirolmo. The two leaders shared their vision of the partnership, and the common sense approach of bringing digital and conventional offerings together to provide a powerful solution for its customers.
Joined by many industry co-suppliers and educators, guests had the opportunity to learn more about what these technologies offer, and more importantly, how to integrate them into their workflows in order to maximize output through added automation – streamlining operations and improving efficiencies. These sophisticated technologies allow company partners to modernize their facilities and overcome workforce challenges by investing in new technology.
Multiple presentations were given by leading suppliers that support the printing and converting process from order entry to finishing. Avery Dennison started out by sharing new innovations in substrates and top-coats that directly impact the digital UV InkJet market space. Techkon gave an insightful presentation on “Running to Color”, inline color measurement solutions through automated measurement devices that can provide direct feedback to the printer. On the embellishment side, Color Logic shared their solutions for metallic embellishment utilizing colour management techniques on foils and reflective materials to create the most appealing packaging. Automation through the entire workflow is a key step for improving efficiencies, and One Vision gave a great presentation on how to automate workflow and prepress processes by utilizing the latest software solutions.
Nilpeter USA also presented and debuted the all-new REFINE Finishing offline modular finishing and converting line. This offering gained a lot of interest with guests. Its simplicity and technically advanced operations, as well as a very cost-effective solution for offline finishing and converting, was met with wide eyes. Nilpeter USA and SCREEN Americas representatives are very excited to add this product to the program.
Some of the most rewarding information of the day revolved around industry trends and consumer demands. Gary Walton from Cincinnati State University gave a high-energy presentation on workforce challenges and how to overcome them. A new program called “Friends of Print” has been established for industry professionals to engage and increase the awareness of the printing and packaging markets to a new workforce. NAPCO media’s Nathan Safran provided an in-depth research study of the digital market space, brand owner requirements, and consumer trends. The study effectively broke down each digital technology, uncovering strengths and weaknesses. This presentation provided exceptional information to converters, allowing them to make educated equipment decisions for their business models.
After a very filling working lunch and a lot of networking amongst all, it was time to see the hardware in action. It did not disappoint. Prior to press demonstrations, Nilpeter USA provided tours of the factory, showcasing their journey through automation and big data control. The new Nilpeter operations have been very well-received by all partners, who see the clear advantages and efficiencies of investing in automating workflows. Next up was a full demonstration of the Nilpeter FA platform, showcasing to partners the platform of the future as well as the clean-hand solutions utilized as the base of the company’s digital hybrid offerings. Following this, Nilpeter USA partners, SCREEN Americas, gave a very intuitive presentation on the complete workflow of the PANORAMA DP3+ offering, and all the flexibility on offer. Visitors were provided a clear explanation on the stand-alone, near-line converting, offline converting, and full hybrid solutions. As an added bonus, presentations from earlier in the day had provided all the information necessary, to help them determine the proper solution for their needs.
Finally, full demonstrations of the REFINE Compact unit took place. The Compact unit was an eye catcher for all involved. It offers as much if not more flexibility than many other competitive units at a fraction of the cost. Nilpeter USA is already seeing good activity with this technology.
All in all the co-sponsored Open House was a very successful and rewarding day. The companies received nothing but positive feedback, good comments on the presentations, facilities, equipment, and alignment of the Nilpeter USA and SCREEN Americas teams. Combining resources along with the support of key industry suppliers will allow Nilpeter USA and SCREEN Americas to build brand recognition as the leaders in the Digital UV InkJet market space, with focus on innovation and printing technologies.
June 11, 2019: In May, Nilpeter A/S hosted an Open House for leading print houses and industry partners from the Polish printing industry. Nilpeter’s new agent in Poland, Koenig & Bauer CEE, accompanied the many visitors to the Open House, which also served as an introduction to the new partnership between the two companies.
Several representatives from the Polish narrow-web printing industry visited Nilpeter HQ in Slagelse, Denmark, for a Day of Technology, complete with presentations from industry partners, guided tours of Nilpeter’s modern manufacturing facilities, live press demonstrations and more.
The day began with presentations in Nilpeter’s Technology Center, including insights into the company history, DNA, and product philosophy. Following a tour of Nilpeter’s manufacturing facilities and an introduction to Nilpeter’s modular platform design philosophy, the guests enjoyed lunch in the company’s open plan canteen with bio walls that enhance the indoor climate.
Nilpeter’s Technology Center performed live demonstrations of the FA-Line and PANORAMA Hybrid presses, as well as the REFINE Compact finishing line, before Nilpeter industry partners, Hubergroup, CMC, EyeC, JONVAC, REFINE Finishing, and 3M supplied valuable information related to production management and efficiency.
Nilpeter would like to thank Koenig & Bauer CEE for helping organize the event, partners in attendance, press (Poligrafika, Swiat Poligrafii, Swiat Druku), and visitors for joining them at corporate headquarter.
Pictures courtesy of Swiat Poligrafii.
The competition grew from the notion that winemaking, and the wine label, is “first of all, a love story” and therefore centered around the lovers par-excellence: Romeo and Juliet. With any great love story, you need a great wine, and we chose one of the most refined wines available in Italy, the Nodo d’Amore.
Nilpeter would like to thank all the designers who took part - we saw an impressive 433 registered teams, with 557 designers, from a total of 30 nations. Of these, 77% were professionals, and 23% were students.
At the June 7th Award Ceremony, held at the Farina Winery in Verona, a cash prize of €10,000 will be awarded to winners selected by a well-renowned jury including our own Lars Eriksen, David Carson of David Carson Design, Bruno Bertelli of Publicis Italia, Davide Bonazzi, Elena Farina of Farina Wines, Riccardo Guasco, Davide Mosconi of Auge Design, and Mariano Diotto.
Starting Monday April 15th and leading up to the Award Ceremony, these winners, gold and honorable mentions will be showcased on our Instagram page – nilpeter1919, with the 1st prize winner revealed following June 7th. We look forward to sharing the results of this exciting task and learning experience with every wine and label enthusiast.
During the visit we experienced Olympus’ advanced production setup – with six Nilpeter presses on the floor - and got a glimpse into their planning and sales practices. Olympus is very focused on efficiency and sustainability, thus putting a great deal of effort into limiting waste in both setup and job processes.
The company has seen solid growth over the past many years, primarily in the field of high-end value-adding labels in combination print - flexo with hot foil, screen, cross-over, and so forth.
Scroll down to see a selection of photos from the day, and click here to read about Olympus latest Nilpeter acquisition. Thank you, again, to DLA, Adrian Brown, and his wonderful team at Olympus Print.
At the show, we highlighted our impressive centenary, and presented the FB-350S automated UV-flexo press, featuring a Fuji LED system, Nikka 100% inspection equipment, and a Lundberg Waste Management System.
The press, quite possibly the most modern, high-tech piece of equipment of the entire show, drew a lot of attention during press demonstrations where pressure sensitive (PS) labels and shrink sleeves were produced at speeds of up to 200 m/min.
A tour of technology and innovation
Also on display at the Nilpeter booth was the new Compact finishing line from REFINE Finishing - a successful official worldwide launch, we might ad. The Compact is a user-friendly, software-based converting solution in a sleek, compact design, taking up less floor space than any other machine of its kind in the market.
Last but not least, the booth also featured flat precise plate mounting equipment from Heeford, and entry-level digital printing equipment from Trojanlabel, for a full tour of technology and innovation.
Brand-new Technology Center
Nilpeter concluded a number of press deals during the show, but more importantly, got in contact with many new customers and scheduled showings at our brand-new Technology Center in Sao Paolo, Brasil.
All the equipment displayed at Flexo & Labels is already installed at the Technology Center, so please contact us if you are interested in visiting us and seeing our latest innovations in a lean production environment.
Effective February 18, 2019, Walt Mesik has taken over sales and partner support of the region. Walt Mesik brings with him a wealth of knowledge and support to continue Nilpeter’s presence as the premier press manufacturer.
Walt Mesik has over 25 years of narrow-web printing experience as a professional solutions provider. Over the past 18 years, Mesik has been the owner of Flexo Solutions, providing engineering and custom application support for converters across America. Walt Mesik also has a vast background in narrow-web press manufacturing and support, with tenures at Webtron, Aquaflex, and even as a past Nilpeter employee.
“There is no better person to step into his role than Walt Mesik. He will hit the ground running without hesitation. Nilpeter is very fortunate to have the depth of resources that continues to make our brand stronger. We know our partners will be in very good hands and are excited for Walt’s return to Nilpeter,” says Paul Teachout, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Nilpeter USA Inc.
Northeastern Senior Sales Consultant
Nilpeter USA Inc.
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: +1 513-315-0884
May 1, 2019 will be a special day at Nilpeter Headquarters in Slagelse, Denmark, as the company celebrates its 100th anniversary. Founded by two old friends in 1919, Nilpeter started out servicing newspaper printing machines in central Copenhagen, before launching its first semi-rotary printing press, The Simplex, in 1924, which in various versions remained part of the company’s product range until the 70s.
With the introduction of the self-adhesive substrate, Nilpeter targeted its business towards the label market, and the rest is history. To this day, Nilpeter remains family-owned and -managed, with Lars Eriksen and Peter Eriksen, father and son, and the 3rd and 4th generation of owners, leading the company towards new historical milestones.
Caption: 100 years in the making, Nilpeter remains a family-owned business. Lars Eriksen and Peter Eriksen, the 3rd and 4th generation of owners, lead Nilpeter towards new historical milestones.
Today, Nilpeter manufactures printing presses for labels and flexible packaging on three continents: Europe, North America, and Asia. Consistent quality is a key driver, achieved through in-house manufacturing of all vital components, high levels of automation, and comprehensive quality control.Nilpeter has a number of subsidiaries, which supports the company’s global Customer Care strategy to deliver a high level of customer support to both the local and the multinational printing companies.
The Nilpeter press design has always been easily recognisable. The Danish tradition for clean design lines mixed with a high level of functionality is a constant priority in the development phase, and is evident in today’s product lines. Nilpeter’s developments in press design cater to a new generation of machine operators that requests a modern operator interface and intuitive handling.
The 5 modern Technology Centers located in Denmark, USA, Thailand, India, and Brasil have the latest Nilpeter products on display and provide the perfect scene for engaging with printers. Moreover, co-suppliers and industry partners utilise the facilities to test new technology trends in a local setting.
Caption: Nilpeter presses delivered in the anniversary year, 2019, will be equipped with a special “100 YEARS OF INNOVATION” emblem.
Throughout the years, Nilpeter has pushed the boundaries of technical excellence and created many significant innovations that have shaped the label printing industry – innovations, such as UV-flexo printing, drop-in rotary screen printing, and the first true platform-based offset press. Today, Nilpeter is a healthy company with a strong vision for the future.
“The Nilpeter brand is positioned stronger than ever due to years of important partnerships and product innovations. We value partnerships – with customers, suppliers, and industry partners alike. We strive to share our experience and work closely with leading technology providers, in order to generate value with and for our customers. Inspired by the latest technological trends, our skilled, intelligent workforce is constantly developing and implementing new solutions, allowing us to remain a driving, innovative force in the printing industry. While we benefit from 100 years of experience, we are not rooted in what has worked in the past, but focused on what will work in the future. That is the essence of …your printing partner.”
Nilpeter looks forward to celebrating 100 YEARS OF INNOVATION with employees, customers, partners, and suppliers, marking the anniversary in various ways throughout the year.
Nilpeter introduced its first inline flexo press in the late seventies. At this time, the ink system was either water or solvent-based.
Nilpeter has been at the forefront of innovative flexo printing presses within the narrow-web market for decades. In 1977, Nilpeter introduces the first full rotary flexo press to the label printing market called the F-200. And then in 1985, Nilpeter is the first to launch the UV-based flexo press to the market. The Introduction of the sleeve-based FA-Line for labels and flexible packaging creates a new industry standard within flexo printing in 2004.
The inline UV-Letterpress was introduced in the beginning of the eighties, and both technologies had advantages over the other. Flexo was less expensive, had digital colour change (anilox), simpler print setting, lower web tensions, etc. However, the UV-Letterpress had finer screen (less transfer point and harder plates), instant ink curing, analogue colour control, constant colour strength, fewer wash ups, etc.
Image: Three generations of Nilpeter presses
UV-flexo was first introduced as an inline varnish process for the UV-Letterpress. This development made it possible for Nilpeter to supply flexo machines configured for running with UV-Flexo inks, thereby incorporating some of the advantages of the UV-Letterpress.
In the beginning of the nineties, the developments of printing plates, anilox rollers, and ink for UV-flexo had reached a point, where the difference in print quality between the two technologies became smaller and smaller.
An Increasing in UV-Print
In the mid-nineties the on-going development in UV-Flexo had reached a point where about 10% of the flexo presses were equipped for printing UV-Flexo. During the next decade, the number of flexo presses equipped for UV-printing raised to 90% of presses built.
During that same period, the demand for new UV-Letterpresses was reduced, and the product line was discontinued due to the competition from UV-Flexo and from inline UV-Offset.
Servo drives were first used in Nilpeter flexo presses in the mid 00s. At this time, the servo drives replaced main shaft and bevel gears, which were a weak point (vibrations, etc.) in flexo printing.
In later press designs, servo drives have replaced not only main shaft and bevel gears but also format gears. This print head design with servo drive and steering by wire has brought the level of automation to a point, where job settings can be stored and reloaded with an accuracy, which brings the need for operator adjustments to a minimum.
We now see an on-going development in plate and anilox technology, which will increase predictability of printing quality to a level, where the differences between flexo and offset is reduced.
Another important point in the future is the current development in curing technology and inks.
The New Tomorrow
Today, the need for stability and accuracy of the press mechanics is pivotal, if the benefits of the electronic controls are to be fully exploited. There is no advantage to storing hundreds of positions of the moving parts, if the flexo press platform itself isn’t accurate.
Nilpeter has chosen to invest in in-house manufacturing of parts to control the quality, stability, and accuracy across the product lines. This is the way forward to exploit new technologies such as IA, IoT, and remote diagnostics for instant support.