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In a world first, automated shrink sleeve production is to feature as part of the Automation Arena at Labelexpo Americas 2018.
Automation Arena debuted at Labelexpo Europe 2017, but this year will mark its first appearance at a trade show in the Americas. More importantly, automated shrink sleeve production will be shown for the first time at a trade show anywhere in the world.
This will see slit rolls of flexo-printed shrink sleeves transferred to an Accraply ASFC fully continuous forming and seaming machine. There, an identification barcode is scanned and the instruction file from the code read to automatically set-up the forming and seaming operation. Secondly, the lay-flat shrink sleeves are transferred to an Accraply DM12 Shrink Sleeve Inspector, a compact vertical seaming inspection machine used for lay-flat quality checking.
This element of the Automation Arena will come after labels are printed using digital and flexo technology.
Alongside Accraply, Avery Dennison, AVT, Cerm, Esko, Grafotronic, Klockner Pentaplast, Kocher + Beck, Matho, MPS, Xeikon/Flint Group, WLE and Zeller+Gmelin are taking part in the Automation Arena at Labelexpo Americas 2018.
Between them they will be digitally printing several different self-adhesive label designs and flexo printing shrink sleeves - all on two fully automated live press lines.
The Automation Arena will cover job creation, right through to pre-press, printing, inspection, finishing, waste removal, warehousing and customer invoicing. This will all be centrally managed by a Cerm management information system (MIS), and integrated with an Esko software platform, supporting end-to-end label and shrink sleeve workflow.
Located in Hall F of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Chicago, the Automation Arena will be showcasing three 30-minute demonstrations on the first two days of the show at 11am, 1pm and 3pm, and a further two on the last day at 11am and 1pm.
 Each session will be filmed live and relayed via large screens to show visitors every detailed aspect of the job.