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40 Years of Flexo - excerpt from Labels & Labeling

Nilpeter introduced its first inline flexo press in the late seventies. At this time, the ink system was either water or solvent-based. 

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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.

Flexo- and UV-Letterpress

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.

40 years of Flexo Nilpetery

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.

The Beginning of Automation

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.

Label and Package Printing Industry Predictions for 2019

From a technological point of view, our industry is refining existing solutions left, right, and center. L&L reports:

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Jakob Landberg, Sales & Marketing Director at Nilpeter:

"With the aim to improve performance and accelerate sustainability, we anticipate the growth of 2018 to be lower than 2017 in terms of printed square meters. Converters are focused on replacing obsolete technology with high efficient solutions, both conventional and digital. More and more turn their focus to niche areas, such as short-run flexible packaging and ECL, avoiding the downsides to commodity printing, creating a huge market for modern technology with multi-substrate and application capabilities.

The borders between different product decoration techniques will disappear, and narrow-web converters will continue to increase their abilities and offerings in a large number of applications, such as self-adhesive labels, in-mold, tube laminates, and shrink sleeves. We also predict that inkjet hybrid solutions, personalization and event-specific labeling and decoration will gain an even stronger position, and additional market share.

However, with today’s political and financial climate, we will experience unprecedented levels of uncertainty. Even the stable world has become unpredictable. Nevertheless, one thing is certain with 2019 to be a year of anniversary. Nilpeter will turn 100 years old as a family-owned company, currently managed by third and fourth generations."

2018 brochurer86cmx86cm_poster_TECHNOLOGY CENTER 2018 No Dots HighRes_Page_2Click to watch the image: The Journey of Innovation, in full size

 Read the full article about label and package printing industry predictions for 2019 in L&L

Chennai is the global hub for the FB-Line

Chennai is now the global hub for Nilpeter’s FB-Line which is being exported to North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Mahan Hazarika of The Packman reports:

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Recently, the Danish printing press manufacturer opened a new manufacturing and development facility in Chennai. It may be recalled that the FB-Line is currently manufactured only in India, as production in the US was discontinued in 2017. Earlier, the FB-Line was manufactured both in the US and India.

_DSC2723x700Manish Kapoor, Alan Barretto and Jakob Landberg of Nilpeter with the FB-350 at Labelexpo India 2018

Explaining the reason for taking FB-Line to a single-site production, Alan Barretto, managing director of Nilpeter India, said, “Nilpeter’s other product line, the FA, is made in US and Denmark, while Denmark also makes the MO-Line. So we kind of rationalized our production lines and started manufacturing the FB-Line in Chennai. In next one year, we are targeting to manufacture 24 presses in Chennai – however, I think we will have to ramp it up to at least 36 presses, that is at least three presses a month. Of this, 10 to 20% will be sold in India. The scope in India for our company to grow is immense because now we are the global supplier of this machine.”

_DSC2763x700At Labelexpo India 2018, Nilpeter had the FB-350 on display

“And this also means that we are exporting various parts of the machines – that we are building in India – to Europe, America, Latin America, South East Asia and Africa. So, we have more than doubled our capacity in Chennai but we still need more capacity,” added sales and marketing director of Nilpeter, Jakob Landberg, after Barretto. In fact, the land area at Nilpeter’s new center has space for additional expansion over time.

An FB-Line press rolled out from Nilpeter’s new expanded factory received great appreciation when it was displayed for the first time at the recently concluded Labelexpo India 2018 exhibition in Greater Noida. It was in fact one of the showstoppers of the event with lots of people crowding the Nilpeter stand all through the exhibition days. “The press displayed at the Labelexpo India event was the new generation FB-350 with new frame and structure with increased automation over the old FB-3300. We have introduced two new features on this press: the flatbed foiling system FP-4, a product made in Denmark, incorporated within the flexo units; and end-of-the-line automation,” explained Barretto.

“What we showed at the event was a unique combination of foiling, hot foiling and embossing on beautiful wine labels. At the end of the press, we had put a starwheel stacker and we went from the roll directly to cut out glue labels,” said Barretto. According to Barretto, “no other competitors have a hot foiling system as integrate-able as we have.” He added, “There are companies which make hot stamping systems but that is offline. While for inline hot stamping systems, it is a very expensive proposition when it comes from our competitors. On the other hand, for the stacking system, no other companies develop end-of-the-line automation like we do.”

Need for more capacity in store
The Indian retail industry has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast-paced industries due to the entry of several new players. “However, it has not reached the level where it should be today. Once that really happens, then there will be more business for everyone – the machine manufacturers as well as the printers. Right now, the average consumption of labels is still quite low in India. I come to India twice a year and every time I come, I see new shopping centers and retail shops coming up. So, that market is definitely growing. That of course means that in times to come there will be need for more capacity rather than having an overcapacity,” said Landberg.


The Nilpeter team in front of the FB-350 at Labelexpo India 2018 exhibition

The future – tip of an iceberg so far
“The label market will continue to grow but as it continues to grow so will be the need for automation. It is a very fluid situation right now,” said Baretto.

“Most of the people we were talking to at the Labelexpo India exhibition were commercial printers. More and more commercial printers are looking at the label industry either as a means of diversification or as a means of reducing their dependence on commercial printing because of opportunities the label industry holds. It is a market where you have an opportunity to differentiate and that is why we at Nilpeter introduce new developments and innovations so that label printers can differentiate their products and rather than just fighting on price, he can fight on features, service, brilliance and functionality of labels. We have only seen the tip of an iceberg so far – there is a lot of opportunities ahead of us,” concluded Landberg.

Read the full article here

Offset printer orders FB-3300 press
Offset printer Novelty Creations orders Nilpeter FB330 press. Aakriti Agarwal of Labels & Labeling reports.
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Gujarat, India-based converter Novelty Creations has invested in an 8-color Nilpeter FB-3300 press as the offset printer looks to diversify into roll-to-roll label production.

Baby Joseph of Novelty Creations said: ‘We are an offset label printer and print high volume jobs from 50,000 to 100,000 labels for the agrochemical industry, and we cater to pharmaceutical industry as well.

‘We felt the need to convert labels in roll-to-roll form so have opted for a UV flexo press with value-added features such as cold foil, delam/relam and turnbar, among others. This will not only speed up production but also will give high quality labels to our customers.’ 
‘It is a modular machine and any unit can be retrofitted to it according to the customer’s requirement,’ said Manish Kapoor, country head of sales at Nilpeter India.

Novelty CreationsFrom left: Mr. Manish Kapoor, Baby Joseph of Novelty Creations, Sathish Khanna, and Alan Baretto

Novelty Creations will soon open a new factory for its flexo business in Ankleshwar, Gujarat. The company is also evaluating slitting, rewinding and inspection systems at Labelexpo India.

Of the response received at the show, Kapoor added: ‘We have seen people from Bangladesh, Rajkot, Kochi and Sri Lanka who we met at roadshows and who have visited Labelexpo India this time. We are pleased with the response received here this year.’

See the article here: Labels and Labeling

Cambridge Label about the impact of the FA
Deanne Sinclair, GM and owner of Cambridge Label, joined packagePRINTING to discuss the impact the press has had on the company.
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Cambridge Label

Cambridge Label is the largest printer of trade labels in Canada. As a label supplier exclusively for trade, Cambridge Label manufactures custom printed labels in quantities as few as 100, and up to several million. Cambridge Label specializes in print for food and beverage, health and beauty, household products, industrial products, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical, as well as medical facilities.

Cambridge Label PackagingPrinting Story

Click to watch: Deanne Sinclair, GM and owner of Cambridge Label, joined packagePRINTING to discuss the impact the press has had on the company

Cambridge Label takes innovative step forward

with the new FA

This business model perfectly suits Cambridge Label’s latest investment into The All New FA flexo press from Nilpeter. The All New FA is an innovative press designed and manufactured for the modern press operator. With intuitive operations and high automation, the FA is the ideal solution for consistent and repeatable manufacturing of high quality products. The fully automated 8-colour 17-inch wide press is equipped with full UV and a wealth of value-added features. The FA allows CambridgeLabel to continue serving existing customers more efficiently, while creating new application opportunities.

“Our primary focus is on manufacturing high quality products while providing superior customer service, and fast on-time delivery,” says Terry Sinclair, President and Owner of Cambridge Label. “We strive to deliver in 3-5 days. In this business everyone wants it yesterday, and the quicker, you can deliver, the better. In order to deliver a high quality product quickly and consistently, you need to invest in the best equipment possible.”

“We were drawn to the FA because of its efficiency and improved print quality. We anticipate we will be able to nearly double our print speeds, while also drastically decrease our press setup times. These time savings will translate into more competitive pricing for our customers, allowing us to win more long-run jobs,” says Terry Sinclair.

“In addition, the FA registers amazingly well at high speeds, allowing us to print the most technically challenging labels efficiently. We currently have a high quality digital label press, and matching the digital print quality on our existing flexo pressesm while also maintaining efficiency, has proven challenging at times. We don’t foresee that challenge anymore given the capabilities of the new FA,” he continues.

“Nilpeter has always been a good supplier to us, offering timely support and advice whenever needed. We are excited to take this innovative step forward with Nilpeter at our side,” Terry Sinclair concludes.

New generation FB-Line at Labelexpo India 2018
At Labelexpo India 2018, Nilpeter will showcase their new generation FB-Line: The 16” FB-430. The press configuration on display is a unique combination of flexo, gravure, hot foil, and cold foil.
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Join us at stand #F15 and experience a wide variety of jobs including pressure sensitive labels, shrink sleeves, and In-Mould Labels run during the show.

Nilpeter will demonstrate the strength of their array of value-adding units such as the Gravure Unit, the FP-4 for hot foil and embossing, die-cutting solutions, as well as specialized conveying and stacking solutions.

We welcome you all on November 22 – 25, at the India EXPO CENTRE & MART, Greater Noida, Dehli NCR. Labelexpo India is the largest event for the label and package printing industry in South Asia.


Your Starting Line for High Performance

The FB-Line represents the latest generation of highly efficient label printing. Nilpeter has added a large number of innovative features and packaged the machine in an attractive, new design.

The new FB-Line is an answer to the request for increased automation, higher ease of use, and operator friendliness.

The new FB is introduced with a number of added features such as Automated Plate Positioning System (APPS), pre-register and re-register functionality. The new FB is designed to print value-added labels in the most efficient way at high speeds. While the new FB looks entirely different, it will still feel intuitive to the printer already accustomed to work on the popular FB-Line.

Click to read more

New Nilpeter PANORAMA installation
Evolution of Digital Printing arrives in the S.Giuliano Milanese plant
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Do you know that feeling of wonder, euphoria and excitement when you achieve a long and strongly dreamed project, and suddenly realize the endless conceivable opportunities of it? For us that’s exactly the installation of the first Nilpeter PANORAMA Hybrid printer machine in our S. Giuliano Milanese plant. The role of packaging has undergone profound changes over the last few years. From a simple tool of protection, transport and containing of the product, packaging has started to assume a key importance in the Marketing and Communication Strategies of the Brand. Creation of value through packaging, but safeguarding and optimizing cost and sustainability issues. To meet these needs it was essential to develop technologies that would allow us to obtain very high aesthetic results in terms of coverage and quality of the colors, which would support the compression of development time and the reduction of lead-time and printing batches, which would best use resources both in terms of plant design and installation and processing efficiency with reduction of waste and disposal of equipment (plants, slabs, cylinders, etc.). A printing platform that could combine the benefits of digital technology with the potential of conventional technology in order to get the best from both.

The perfect convergence of two worlds that today are divided and separated. 5-colors digital engine (W + CYMK), 3 conventional printing groups, cold foil application and inline die-cutting. This is the configuration we chose for our printing machine. Reduced machine start-up times, reduction of waste both during start-up and production, reduction of electrical absorption of UV lamps, reduction of inks consumption, reduction of chemical substances related to flexo-polymers, reduction of screen printing frames, production in a single passage without off-line machining eliminating in fact multiple start-ups and re-handling of raw materials. The first performance indicators developed during the test phase are extremely positive and promising, confirming the potential of the hybrid printing technology, which we believe will play an increasingly important and focal role in future marketing strategies.

However, the beautiful stories never end and even in this case what might have seemed a point of arrival becomes in reality the beginning of a new path made of improvements and continuous developments typical of every technological process. Today the challenge is characterized by making these opportunities usable far beyond what currently represents digital printing and its applications. Variable and random data, serializations, customization, combined prints, coverings, tactile finishes, special effects, etc.; today hybrid printing offers us a range of solutions and opportunities that are probably greater than those that we are able to conceptualize and design. Making the best use of them for the creation of real value (for the consumer) and shared value (for the whole supply chain) requires a path of growth and knowledge: an “hybrid” thinking and designing making converge around the same table all the available technologies and leave also space to diverge and explore adjacent possible infinities.

We are ready… what about you?


Nilpeter establishes new manufacturing site in Asia
Nilpeter opens a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing and development facility in Mahindra World City, Chennai, India, to expand on the company’s current global setup.
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The manufacturing site in India will complement the current sites in Denmark and the United States.

With a stronger presence in India, Nilpeter is able to provide fast service and support to all customers in the region. Moreover, the new Technology Center facilitates the perfect conditions for press demonstrations and trials for customers and strategic industry partners.

An example of contemporary industrial design

“2018 marks the 10th year of operations for Nilpeter India, and we are delighted to celebrate the occasion by moving into brand new facilities,” says Alan Barretto, Managing Director, Nilpeter India Pvt Ltd. “The new factory is located in Mahindra World City, 35 km south of Chennai on the south east coast of India, approximately 45 minutes from Chennai International Airport. The 3,500 sqm modern building houses manufacturing and assembly lines, R&D environment, Customer Care Center, and a large Technology Center. If we choose to expand, the land area also allows for additional expansion over time,” Alan Barretto adds.

EntranceThe Main Entrance of Nilpeter’s new manufacturing and development facility harmonizes with the certified Green Township of Mahindra World City, Chennai, India.

Increased manufacturing capacity and market reach

“The new facility will house over 70 Nilpeter India employees and will more than double the current press manufacturing capacity. Starting out as an assembly unit catering to India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, the last few years have seen us expand with shipments to Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe. With the new facility and the corporate decision to move all FB-Line production to India, we expect to supply more presses to Europe and the Americas in the near future,” Alan Barretto concludes.

Reception HallA fresh welcome awaits in the Reception Hall of Nilpeter’s new manufacturing and development facility in Mahindra World City, Chennai, India.

Mahindra World City – Green Township

Mahindra World City Chennai, established in 2002, is India’s first integrated business city and IGBC Gold (Stage 1) certified Green Township, i.e. reducing environmental impact by applying efficient land use, habitat preservation and restoration, effective transport management, efficient use of resources, water and energy, etc. Today, Mahindra World City Chennai is a preferred destination of more than 64 transnational companies, like Nilpeter, housing the likes of BMW, Infosys, and Tesa to name a few.

An important strategic milestone

“We are excited to open the new factory in India as this is key to our global manufacturing strategy. Mahindra World City provides the right platform and infrastructure that we were looking for”, says Peter Eriksen, Chief Operating Officer, Nilpeter A/S.

“After years of successful operation in India, we have created a highly competent organisation. The team is a very important asset to the support of our global activities within manufacturing and development”, Peter Eriksen continues. “We will continue the development and manufacturing of our popular FB-Line in the Indian factory. The product line has undergone a tremendous progress and been completely modernised with various design and automation features. Moreover, we have developed a number a exciting auxiliary features to complement all Nilpeter product lines, which we believe will be very popular in the global label printing market”.
Alan Barretto adds: “We look forward to work closer with the global Nilpeter family, and invite all our partners and customers to visit the new factory and Technology Center, and experience the new FB-350 and FB-430 presses”.

Assembly HallNilpeter’s new facility in Mahindra World City, Chennai, India houses state-of-the-art manufacturing and assembly lines inspired by the open layout of Company Headquarters in Denmark. 

Trisan Printing strategizes growth

The Bangkok-based printer targets rapid growth after installing its second Nilpeter press. Aakriti Agarwal of Labels & Labeling reports

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Bangkok, Thailand-based Trisan Printing is targeting a turnover of US$9 million after completing an expansion at its facility with a new Nilpeter flexo press in October 2017. 

Managing Director Piyapong Wongvorakul says, “We grew at 12 percent in 2017-18 fiscal. However, prior to that we were growing at more than 20 percent year-on-year because business started from a small base.”

Trisan Printing started operation in 2000 with one flatbed letterpress from Korea that produced barcode and text printed nutrition labels for local food companies for three years, before it decided to invest in Taiyo, a Japanese rotary press, in 2003 for printing color labels. 

“It was around 2003-04 when brand owners in Thailand started using label applicators to apply labels on containers,’ says Wongvorakul. ‘So, we had to invest in a roll-to-roll web press to cater to the changing requirements of the market. Moreover, letterpress ran efficiently for short run jobs but we could print jobs up to 20,000 linear meters using the Taiyo.” Though the company sold the intermittent rotary press in 2017, it still runs a flatbed letterpress. 

To remain competitive in the evolving market, Trisan Printing decided to invest in flexo technology with an Omet press in 2011. “We realized that the quality on a flexo press was great and there was less setup time, compared to letterpress, also because it is a more automated machine. Though the initial cost was high, it saved us a lot of time and money,” says Wongvorakul. 

The company had also shifted to its new factory in 2011, spread across an area of 2,200 sqm in Sinsakhon Industrial Estate on the outskirts of Bangkok. With enough space for future expansion, Trisan Printing invested in its second flexo press in 2012, this time a Nilpeter, followed by the second Nilpeter last year. 

With four machines running on the production floor, the company now prints pressure-sensitive, in-mould, wet-glue and booklet labels, mainly for the Thai market. 

Wongvorakul, however, reveals that the growth of in-mould labels is slow in Thailand because most material gets imported from Turkey. “Therefore, it is more reasonable to have these labels printed outside Thailand. However, for blow molding, most printers use the same material which is expensive throughout the world. So, it’s cost effective to produce those locally as well,” he says. 


Piyapong Wongvorakul, Managing Director at Trisan Printing, with their new Nilpeter press

As for short run jobs, Trisan prints them mainly on its letterpress and a small table-top inkjet unit. Wongvorakul says, “We have been looking at ways to offer short run labels to customers at a better price because the market in Thailand is very competitive. We evaluated a digital label printing press, however, we find that there are many inkjet printers here and a digital press cannot compete with their price.”

Equipped with ISO certifications, Trisan Printing has mainly catered to the food market since its inception but is now foraying into pharmaceutical and cosmetics. It has been certified with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certificate that will enable it to cater to new industries. 

“Companies in these new segments want printers to offer them a complete package including labels, leaflets and a box. We are fully geared to cater to their requirements with a 6-color Komori press equipped with inline inspection system and a 2-color Heidelberg press. We also have an inline inspection and workflow system on the Omet and one of the two Nilpeter presses,” Wongvorakul says. For finishing, the company uses one slitter rewinder each from Web Control and Grafotronic. 

Turning to material costs, Wongvorakul says, “We don’t face a lot of price pressure from brand owners because our costs are in sync with market requirements, and we are constantly working towards being more efficient. Moreover, the ink price has come down in the country over the years and substrate manufacturers have reduced prices, too. Labelstock manufacturers change adhesive and use lighter grammage of material so the cost reduces, but the performance of the label remains the same. Multinational and local labelstock manufacturers are very competitive in the market. However, the cost of logistics and wages have gone up for which we need automation and be more efficient in-house.”

Trisan started using enterprise resource planning (ERP) software in 2008 and is now in the process of implementing ERP from Microsoft. “It will enable us to get precise information from all departments and all data will be centrally located. It also automates a lot of repetitive and routine tasks that saves a lot of time, and simplifies human resources functions,” says Wongvorakul.  

Trisan is also adopting Manufacturing Execution System (MES) that allows machines to communicate with the ERP system. “Live data from presses, such as linear meters printed, number of stops, time the press started running, amongst others, are fed into the system which allows for better workflow,” explains Wongvorakul. Due to automation, Trisan today has a workforce of 47 people as opposed to 70 last year. 

With increasing automation and quality control systems, Wongvorakul is looking at increasing its export market share which currently stands at 0.2 percent of turnover. “We need a bigger sales and marketing team to reach our full potential. We want to cater to the Japanese market because it’s mature and customers offer good value for a quality product. Many Japanese companies have started business in Vietnam and Cambodia. However, we still need to study logistics so we can further reduce our shipping cost. Increase in turnover doesn’t necessarily translate to more profit without in-house efficiencies,” he says. 

Trisan has also started producing film without adhesive, which can be used in the electronic labels sector. “It is a high growth potential segment for export and we need to diversify from printing only pressure sensitive labels to be able to grow,” says Wongvorakul.

Waste management 

While growing the company, Trisan Printing is also making efforts to be more sustainable and environment friendly. Being in an industrial estate, the company follows standard regulations for waste disposal that include water treatment before disposal, managing chemical waste, such as ink and varnish, which is outsourced to a company with expertise, and recycling of labelstock. 

While matrix waste is sent to a local company for landfill, liner waste, without adhesive and matrix, is sold to waste management companies for recycling. Each area has a designated collection truck that goes to every factory to pick up silicone liner, metal and other waste that can be recycled. Several truck-loads of waste are collected and sent to a company for recycling. 

“Though we know the amount of liner that gets wasted at a customer site and have the capability to collect and get it back to the factory, most brand owners prefer to sell it to waste management companies at their end and make money from it. Therefore, each manufacturing unit handles waste at their end in the industrial area,” says Wongvorakul.

Labelmaster expands with Nilpeter press

Helping make the world a safer place. That may seem a lofty goal for a label printer, but it is the long-standing operational mantra of Labelmaster, Chicago, Illinois. Greg Kishbaugh of Flexo Market News reports:

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Labelmaster specializes in labels for the transport of dangerous goods, substances that when mishandled or with inappropriate guidelines pose a risk to health, safety, property or the environment.

When the average consumer considers dangerous goods, they invariable think of explosives, radioactive materials, flammable liquids, dangerous or volatile chemicals, strong acids, compressed gases, poisons and aerosols. What they may not know is the abundance of everyday items that not only fall onto this list but also make up its majority. Items such as teeth whiteners, cosmetics, perfume, nail polish and cell phones.

story LM Manufacturing Management Team

Labelmaster's management team welcomes the increased capacity capable with the new Nilpeter press, (left to right) Greg Selan, Mike Kaufman, Robin Conner, Alberto Pina and Greg Marks.

The average consumer would also be surprised to learn that, according to U.S. government statistics from 2014, there are 1.4 million DG shipments per day, with 94 percent of those transported by highway. 

The importance of Labelmaster’s work is reflected in a story the company often relays at company functions. In 1947, in the port city of Texas City, Texas, a ship carrying ammonium nitrate exploded, killing nearly 600 people and destroying more than 500 nearby homes. It remains the deadliest hazardous material accident in U.S. history and it underscores the great responsibility inherent in the company’s work.

“We occasionally share the Texas City story … to remind ourselves that what we do really matters,” said Dwight Curtis, Vice Chairman and former President. “If the right steps aren’t followed, problems can ensue. And sometimes those problems can have tragic consequences.”

Safe transportation

Founded by Harry Fund in 1967, Labelmaster’s first products were labels for transportation companies. When the U.S. Department of Transportation released new regulations regarding transporting hazardous materials, Fund realized a need for labels that offered instructions on care and safe shipping. In response, the company introduced placards for trucks signifying there were hazardous materials onboard.

In 1970, the company introduced Spacemaster® 100, a flip placard system familiar to all motorists that allows trucks and tankers to display various signage indicating the vehicle is transporting dangerous goods. The system has become an invaluable tool for first responders, alerting them to the contents on the truck when arriving on the scene of accidents.

One of the company’s key technological breakthroughs came about in the mid 1990s when a multi-national delivery service approached the company asking for guidance. The delivery service was having difficulty shipping dangerous goods and the company found itself in the position of having to refuse any hazmat packages. To combat this problem, Labelmaster developed and introduced MasterForm, a computerized form filler and checker. 

Expanding Base

Labelmaster currently counts more than 70 Fortune 100 among its customer base and serves more than 500 industries in total. Last year, the company printed 125 million individual labels and 8.1 million individual placards. 

Without question, the biggest obstacle for companies involved in the production and transport of Dangerous Goods is the mountain of regulations for which they must adhere.

“Keeping customers informed about changing regulations is the most challenging part of our jobs,” said Mike Kaufman, Vice President, Production and Technology with Labelmaster. “We spend every bit as much, if not more, time talking with our customers about compliance issues than we do about our products.”

“The value of compliance is of immeasurable importance,” said Mike Brown, Senior Marketing Manager. “one goal is to help our customers’ businesses grow as we help them meet and exceed what is expected of them in terms of regulations.”

Kaufman worked at Labelmaster from 1995 to 2000 and then returned to the company in 2013. The pace of change since he’d been gone is daunting, but he feels it’s been the most rewarding element of his new position in the company. “The pace of change is amazing,” he said. “The world is much quicker paced, which means we must react accordingly and we cannot make any mistakes.

“As technology advances,” said Kaufman, “so do customer demands. We must be prepared to offer quicker turnaround times without sacrificing in quality.”

The ability to continue to meet customer expectations and satisfy needs led the company to recently install a brand-new FA press from Nilpeter. The press offers a host of features such as clean-hand technology; vertical auto-lock system; driven chill rollers; multi-operator interface; custom-built configuration; new CLEANINKING design; multi-substrate printing; sleeve-based printing; and value-adding units ready.

Embracing Change

The cornerstone of Nilpeter’s press is its embrace of a changing workforce and the ways in which technology can help flexo printing change and grow. “Presses with the fastest changeovers and minimal waste are to be expected, our current machine innovations are clean hand technology solutions for a generation [that] has been raised on disruptive technologies,” the company states.

“Our press operators were quick to embrace the new technology,” said Kaufman. “Our average operator has been with the company about 20 years and have been very happy not only with the press speed but with its ease of use and quick set up times. The press runs so much faster than previous presses we had to install an ink pumping station to keep up.”

“The new press has allowed us to dramatically increased capacity,” said Brown. “It allows our capacity to meet our needs.”

“There are always issues to resolve when installing a new press,” said Kaufman. “Always. And this is really where Nilpeter set itself apart. The company was so quick to respond to our questions and addressing any issues that came up. And the training the company provided made certain our operators were given the proper tools to make the installation a success.”


Corporate Head Office

Elmedalsvej 20-22,

Slagelse, DK-4200, Denmark

Phone: +45 58501166

Fax: +45 58505060

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