The Soft(ware) Side of LabelExpo Europe 2019

Pat McGrew
Sep 30, 2019

Every two years LabelExpo Europe occupies the majestic buildings of Brussels Expo. It is a large venue with multiple halls capable of handling the variety of analog and digital print hardware and supporting accessories, finishing, media and software that enable the label printing industry. This year the show vibrated with software, AI and IIoT solutions in support of making label and packaging more efficient. While other team members will bring the hardware analysis, this is a quick review of some of the trends at this year’s show.

Start with software in the infrastructure. The team at Global Graphics won an InterTech Award for their PrintFlat(tm) screening technology. Currently in use by a number of unnamed hardware and RIP vendors, PrintFlat simply does a better job of screening for inkjet environments. The proof is in the print, but their wall graphic gives you an idea of what to expect. If you have experienced banding, you’ll recognize the value.

Another interesting screening technology came from Hamillroad Software. They were demonstrating screening technologies for offset and flexo. Bellissima DMS screening technology promises more stability on press, improved print quality, and 12-18% ink reduction. This is an area to keep an eye on through the run up to drupa 2020 as printer’s look for more ways to take more control of their overall ink costs in both analog and digital technology.

The team from Rogler International came with an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) story focused on the MIS/ERP segment, but with a surprise that made us stop. Using their solution a company can integrate robots to stock the warehouse with raw materials and move finished goods to specific locations in the warehouse, all under the control of a central dashboard. Already serving major global clients, their technology will be worth watching. Below, Joseph Schachermayr, Senior Consultant with Rogler, was demonstrating the solution in their stand, which they will also show at drupa next year.

Baldwin Technologies also brought a remarkable demonstration of a beta solution for reading the sensors from their equipment and tracking all of the data through a configurable dashboard. There was enough discussion of IIoT and automation of the production processes to make it notable. Compared to two years ago, the 2019 edition of LabelExpo had a more vibrant approach to showing workflow solutions designed to reduce the costs of goods sold and optimize the manufacturing process.

As the possibilities for manufacturing complex labels continues to expand in analog, flexo and digital production, smart workflows will be required to manage costs. This year’s LabelExpo also showed that solutions continue to evolve.

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