Bold new feature area at Labelexpo

The organisers of Labelexpo Europe have announced full details of a new feature for 2017. The Automation Arena will debut at this year’s exhibition as Labelexpo Europe returns to Brussels Expo September 25-28.

Industry 4.0 is the current trend for automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. Demonstrating this shift towards combining industry with the Internet of Things, the Automation Arena will be a practical live workshop featuring two automated press lines for digital and conventional label production. It will show visitors how information management can integrate workflow and automate production, working towards better performance, reliability and profitability for today’s printer.

Located in Hall 11, the Automation Arena is being held in collaboration with Cerm, Esko, Xeikon, MPS, Kocher + Beck, AVT, Rotocontrol, Matho and Wasberger. Three half-hour long real-time presentations will run daily at 11.00, 13.00 and 15.00 over the first three days of the show, and additionally, once at 11.00 on the final day. These sessions will be filmed live and relayed via large screens to show visitors all detailed aspects of the job.

The print jobs run during the Automation Arena will be produced using digital and conventional printing technology. Job creation, artwork uploading and MIS order processing steps will take place in Cerm’s system before the pre-flighting, quality checks, proofing and customer approval are progressed using Esko’s software platform and automation engine. This will be followed by Cerm scheduling, ink and substrate checking, tool ordering and the sending of JDF files ready for printing. Both presses will utilise AT740 film from Avery Dennison, with inks supplied by Flint Group.

The conventional print runs will be produced on an MPS EF 430, 8-color press – with no gear cylinder connection, intelligent pressure setting and zero waste roll change – which in turn will be fitted with a Kocher and Beck UR Precision 440 U non-stop splicer unwind and AVT’s Helios Product Line inspection. A Rotocontrol RSC 340 WFL slitter and turret rewinding unit will also feature with Wasberger’s fully automatic Core Cutter S and Matho’s EM180 Cuttopipe waste removal system.

The final stages in the job automation process will return to the Cerm operator and the audience will be taken through steps including warehousing, job picking, shipping carrier allocation, customer notification and invoicing.

Jade Grace, Labelexpo Europe’s project director commented: “This type of tradeshow feature has never been done anywhere before. The Automation Arena will clearly demonstrate to Labelexpo visitors that automation is not only the promise of tomorrow, but that it’s available today.

“To remain profitable, printers need to plan ahead by integrating their pre-press and production workflows with their management operations and connecting their entire supply chain. Printers automating their business will boost their competitiveness and become more agile with lower costs, increased productivity and better reliability, leading to higher profit margins. The Automation Arena will give attendees a good insight into the benefits of automation and a taste of how label and packaging production may evolve over the next five to ten years.”