INTERVIEW  Mario Castelli, sales director for Italy and Greece for the Packaging Graphics area of DuPont de Nemours, takes stock of Labelexpo Europe 2011 and talks about flexo and digital; plastics and environment

At the end of the event Mario Castelli was fully satisfied.
In agreeing to answer our questions straight off, he confirmed the good performance of Labelexpo Europe 2011 and the vibrancy of the labels sector:
«We registered a high number of visitors, especially from Europe, and an unexpected influx of operators from outside Europe, mainly from Africa, South America and Asia, who have expressed a lively interest in labels and narrow web».
We pose the question: what were the visitors’ main interests and intent? Here are some reflections of the manager on trends regarding the market and technology.

How is the market performing in this moment in time?
What are the main trends in demand?
The label industry – and I think particularly of those who print using flexo – has been growing steadily and today confirms its positive trend.
All the same a more detailed analysis shows, among other things, the growing use of labels printed on plastic substrates at the expense of paper: a phenomenon that, given the quality standards currently achieved by flexography, contributes to the expansion of this printing technology.
What were the main products presented by DuPont at the fair? And what needs do they cater for?

DuPont’s stand was set up like a typical supermarket aisle, with a vast display of consumer products with labels made with our technologies.
The intent, of course, was to spotlight the performance of our pre-press processes, thus introducing the presentation of the latest DuPont technologies: Starting with DuPontTMCyrel® Fast round and Cyrel® round for creating flexo sleeves, developed primarily with the aim of standardizing the printing process.
We launched them at Labelexpo in collaboration with several partner companies, who were also present at the fair.

What are their main features?
These are integrated systems that include easy-to-use equipment and consumables. They enable the continuous production of high quality and high precision sleeves, ensuring rapid start-up times and completely eliminating the use of solvents, resulting in reduced environmental impact.
The line of DuPont Cyrel® branded products what is more, also includes the Cyrel® round solvents, that stand as a complete, fully digital solution, comprising a family of print sleeves "ready for engraving", a system for UV exposure, as well as solvent washing, drying and finishing equipment.
The advantages offered by this technology are obvious: continuous printing, perfect register, and the elimination of mounting operations and the double-sided tape, reduction of start-up time and related waste material…
In addition, DuPont’s offer has the additional advantage of being very complete, since it also includes the FAST thermal plates and solvent based plates, that can be used with any type of application and substrate. Lastly, I would like to emphasize that at Labelexpo we received confirmation of the growing and effective attention of the market to  environmental issues and the sustainability of print processes. This was born witness to, among other things, by the huge interest  also aroused at the fair by our solvent-free Cyrel® Fast platemaking system.
Compared to other markets, the Italian market have some peculiarities in terms of its structure and requirements. What are the inclinations and products-services that DuPont Italiana are fielding on their home ground?
In Italy the transition to digital technology is almost completed and analogue plates are now less than 10% of the total; in the label industry, in particular, the impact
of the digital workflow is close to 100%.Consistent with these trends in demand, over the years we have developed specific products of high quality, such as DFH and DFQ thermal plates for Fast, and the DPU, DPI, DPR plates for solvent development. In this context, the “round” technology presented at the fair stands as one of the most innovative developments.        

Adapters for flexo printing
DuPont Packaging Graphics has signed an agreement to market a series of adapters for the printing and imaging of CDI products produced by Inometa as part of their Cyrel ® round flexo printing workflow. These are compressible adapters, designed to optimize the performance of the Cyrel® round Thin and Cyrel® round FAST Thin sleeves while providing at the same time registration accuracy and superior print quality, low dot gain and a constant yield during the run, even at high speeds.
The Inometa adapters have rubber stops and bayonet locking system for easy use and greater durability, and are available in all standard sizes.