Labelexpo Americas 2022 is to play host to a number of world premieres of digital press technology, marking a new stage in the transition between analogue and digital printing.

Whilst the full array of digital technologies to be on show extends from pre-press and to finishing and converting, and is detailed comprehensively in the July/August 2022 edition of Digital Labels & Packaging, cutting-edge digital presses are likely to draw the biggest crowds as Labelexpo hosts its first expo anywhere in the world in three years next month (13-15 September, 2022).

Chief amongst these will be HP Indigo with V12 and Domino with N730i. Both presses were unveiled during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, and whilst Domino machines are already in the hands of converters to test and approve the technology, V12 is only just beginning to emerge from the shadows. All4Labels is due to take the first beta press, to be installed in Europe, with the Labelexpo Americas 2022 demo press then heading onto a converter in North America.

Show attendees will no doubt be eager to better understand the LEPx architecture V12 is built upon and see in action the rotary blanket technology that allows the press to reach speeds of 120m/min in up to six colours.

Domino N730i

The Domino N730i digital label press

For Domino, Labelexpo Americas 2022 marks the worldwide debut of the N730i digital press, a successor to the established N610i. N730i is the first label press to make use of 1200 x 1200dpi Bitstar printhead technology developed by parent company Brother. This press prints in up to seven colours (CMYK+OVW) and can be fitted with pre- and post-digital flexo units. 

Mark Andy is focusing on its traditional mid-market sector customers with the global launch of the Dpro Max press, which achieves speeds up to 40m/min in CMYK+W. Also on show for the first time at a trade show is Digital Series IQ, a mid-market hybrid press developed jointly with Domino.

Konica Minolta is then unveiling for the first time in the US its AccurioLabel 400 five-colour label press (CMYK+W). This is the same print engine that powers the Mark Andy DPro Max and is configured with KM’s IQ501 colour and registration automation system. Konica Minolta is also previewing its PKG-1300 digital packaging press for printing on uncoated and clay-coated materials using water-based inkjet.

Labelexpo Americas 2022 show director Tasha Ventimiglia commented, ‘The sheer number of global digital press launches at Labelexpo Americas 2022 demonstrates the importance of this show – the first time label converters have had the chance to see this exciting new machinery up close and in action for three years.’

For her colleague Andy Thomas-Emans, strategic director, Tarsus Labels & Packaging Group, this more importantly represents, ‘one of the most important milestones in the transition of the labels industry from analogue to digital printing.’

Accu-Label Durst Tau RSCi

Accu-Label has recently installed a 20in-wide Durst RSCi

With HP actively promoting an ‘Indigo-first’ mindset and positioning the V12 head-to-head with flexo – claiming a superior print quality and greater productivity – and UV inkjet specialist Durst challenging four-colour flexography with its Tau RSCi, which is shown for the first time printing at 1200 x 1200dpi resolution at 100m/min on a 20in web in four colours with flexo units both before and after the digital engine, Mr Thomas-Emans continued, ‘The digital technology on display not only challenges basic four-colour flexo but could also replace the legacy press equipment which probably makes up 50% of the installed narrow web base.’

Labelexpo Americas 2022 takes place 13-15 September at the Donald E. Stephens Exhibition Center in Rosemont, Illinois, with Digital Labels & Packaging detailing digital’s role in the July/August 2022 edition; register here to receive future issues of the magazine