packagePRINTING magazine presents:

Coca-Cola Expands Its 'Share a Coke' Campaign to the United States

PALO ALTO, CA—September 10, 2014—HP announced its role in helping The Coca-Cola Company expand its popular "Share a Coke" campaign to the United States, enabling consumers to make meaningful connections with the largest volume of personalized Coca-Cola labels ever produced for a single country.

The campaign, introduced in Australia in 2011, launched in the United States this summer, adding more than 250 popular names, nicknames and terms of affection to customized Coca-Cola products. Printed on HP Indigo WS6000 series digital presses, the personalized labels captured broad attention, providing an emotional and tactile experience with the brand.

"'Share a Coke' would not be possible without digital printing, and it gave Coca-Cola the unique ability to engage in one-to-one communication with customers," said Scott Biondich, group director for Sparkling Packaging and R&D Equipment Development at Coca-Cola North America. "Label production for this highly complex campaign required meticulous attention to variable data, consistent productivity and flawless color management. HP Indigo was the clear choice because of its proven print quality, productivity and strong global network."

Using targeted consumer demographics data and variable data printing, HP worked with Coca-Cola to segment the production lanes of its HP Indigo WS6000 series digital presses to produce varying run lengths of each name based on U.S. regional demand.

"Coca-Cola is at the forefront of one-to-one marketing, engaging consumers and increasing shelf appeal with digitally printed personalized labels and packaging," said Yishai Amir, vice president and general manager of the Americas Graphics Solutions Business at HP. "HP Indigo digital printing technology offers brands like Coca-Cola a unique value proposition to connect with people in a more meaningful and measureable way with the quality and productivity to support campaigns of any size."

Running 24 hours per day and six days a week for approximately three months, the HP Indigo WS6000 series digital presses delivered the productivity and quality required to meet Coca-Cola’s weekly production minimums and hit launch volume specifications. HP supported production with around-the-clock technical service to maintain maximum press utilization.

To create a strong, durable label, able to withstand the fast speeds of U.S. bottling lines, a new substrate and a laminate construction replaced the original media and varnish overlay technique used in Europe. Coca-Cola Red Ink was reformulated to accommodate the new substrate, and the updated color was maintained across all U.S. print providers’ HP Indigo digital presses to ensure color consistency worldwide, upholding Coca-Cola’s strict brand standards.

About HP
HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. With the broadest technology portfolio spanning printing, personal systems, software, services and IT infrastructure, HP delivers solutions for customers’ most complex challenges in every region of the world.

Source: HP.

Small Saves Money: Epson ColorWorks Printer Reduces Costs up to 50 Percent

LONG BEACH, CA—September 9, 2014—Private label branding, regulatory compliance and supply chain optimization are driving the increased use of product pictures, logos, color warnings and variable data elements. To help industrial manufacturers and label converters overcome these challenges, Epson America is introducing the ColorWorks C7500 Label Printer with Just In Time Color (JITC) Labeling. Powered by PrecisionCore print chip technology, the durable, bench top printer will introduce greater efficiency, productivity and cost savings – up to 50 percent in total labeling costs – for higher volume industrial and manufacturing applications.

The C7500 system is designed to meet the needs of industrial manufacturers fulfilling high mix label requirements and variable printing demands. Epson’s patented PrecisionCore technology enables the new printer to deliver speed, economy and print quality to manufacturers. The modular print chip merges enhanced print speed, image quality, ink durability and color resolution with the flexibility to cost-effectively scale up production as needed.

“Whether it’s chemical compliance or private labeling of hardware goods, manufacturers everywhere are facing new labeling challenges and rising costs,” says Andy Scherz, senior product manager at Epson. “The integration of PrecisionCore technology into our new ColorWorks printer will deliver improved performance, productivity and cost savings to a wider group of manufacturers facing these issues.”

The C7500 is Epson’s first ColorWorks industrial printer with a print head configured in a linehead configuration. This new linehead technology delivers an image resolution of 600 x 1200 DPI at faster speeds with precise dot placement and high-speed media handling. The four-color printer delivers the same cost per label and image durability of previous ColorWorks labeling solutions while increasing print speed by as much as 430 percent and ink capacity tenfold. The printer is constructed with an industrial grade metal casing for added durability in demanding manufacturing environments.

Enhanced operating features on the new system enable fast, easy transition from inefficient, legacy printers and existing pre-printed label stock. The ColorWorks C7500 comes equipped with ZPL II programming compatibility to allow direct plug-in replacement for manufacturers operating two-step printing with traditional thermal transfer printers. In this application, the printer can produce full color labels from blank stock by automatically merging “color pre-print” images in memory with existing monochrome data streams.

“Inventory and cost management is a central concern for plant managers and label converters looking to cost-effectively integrate multi-product, short run label production but the idea of switching to a new process may seem costly and daunting,” adds Scherz. “The ColorWorks C7500 makes this transition easier, enabling companies to realize the benefits of on demand color labeling sooner.”

Source: Epson.

Why Buyers and Sellers Must Be Confidential Agents

By James A. Russell

In our column in the October issues of Printing Impressions and packagePRINTING, my New Directions Partner colleague Albert J. Reijmer and I will tackle the subject of preserving confidentiality in activities related to mergers and acquisitions. We’ll discuss several critical M&A phases where mum’s the good word from the viewpoints of both buyers and sellers.

Keeping things to yourself in an M&A transaction may seem the most natural and commonsense behavior in the world—a rule that literally goes without saying. But, no matter how seriously we take confidentiality, it’s a rule that’s prone to being broken in the stress and distraction of transferring ownership of one company to another. When this happens, the consequences can be messy.

I’m thinking of an owner who wasn’t as careful as he should have been in restricting the number of employees given advance knowledge of his intention to sell the company. It turned out that one of them, a top-producing sales rep, personally disliked the prospective buyer and was letting his unhappiness be known. Without the sales rep and his book of business coming along in the deal, the buyer would no longer be interested. What could have been a post-sale issue for the new owner to resolve was now an emergency that threatened to scuttle the seller’s plans.

Buyers can be loose-lipped, too. I recall one who signed a binding confidentiality agreement with the seller—par for the course in M&As—and then went out and violated it by discussing the deal with outsiders. This deal was saved only by virtue of some pretty strenuous apologizing and pleading on the talkative buyer’s part.

An extreme example of the opposite kind was the deal in which the buyer, for various reasons, could not come to town for 10 days after closing to announce the purchase to the employees of the company he’d just acquired. Nevertheless, the company ran just fine, with only the former owner and two key employees aware that it was actually operating under new ownership. As you can see, there are times in M&As when silence, like action, speaks louder and more reliably than words.

When respected and upheld by both parties, confidentiality streamlines the entire M&A process and leads to the seamless transitions that all buyers and sellers want to achieve. Breaching it, on the other hand, produces nothing but aggravation: rumors, employee distress, personnel defections, difficulties with suppliers, and bad feelings all around—to say nothing of legal liabilities when non-disclosure covenants are in place.

In our upcoming article, Al and I will recommend strategies for staying out of this trap with best practices for communication between the parties, disclosure to employees, and more. In this case, please don’t keep your thoughts and comments secret—we look forward to hearing them.

About New Direction Partners
New Direction Partners (NDP) is the print and graphic communications industry’s leading provider of advisory services for firms seeking growth and opportunity through mergers and acquisitions. NDP assists its clients by giving them expert guidance and peace of mind at every stage of the process of buying or selling a printing company. Services include representing selling shareholders; acquisition searches; valuation; capital formation and financing; and strategic planning. NDP’s partners have participated in more than 300 mergers and acquisitions since 1979. Collectively they possess over 200 years of industry experience with transactions in aggregate exceeding $2 billion.

For information, e-mail info@newdirectionpartners.com.

Hybrid Software and Fujifilm Bring Native PDF Editing to Packaging

LANGHORNE, PA—September 10, 2014—Hybrid Software has announced that Fujifilm North America, Graphic Systems Division will be a distributor of Hybrid’s PACKZ native PDF editor and related products.

“The benefits of a true native PDF workflow with no normalization or format conversion have been proven in the commercial printing industry for years, but it took a real commitment to innovation to bring native PDF to the packaging market,” explains Guido Van der Schueren, Hybrid Software’s chairman. “Having a single file that contains all design elements, images, and fonts makes PDF an efficient format for production, and the ability to use the same native PDF file for hard and soft proofing, step and repeat, and output insures the integrity of the printed packaging. We are very pleased to be able to work with Fujifilm to bring the power of PACKZ to their XMF Workflow customers.”

Though PACKZ can assist with the entire packaging and label production process, Fujifilm found the most important features to be the ability to create technical separations including spot varnishes, complex trapping, and trap editing, and automatic step and repeat to CAD die structures for folding carton work.

“Fujifilm is committed to providing our customers with workflow tools to support their packaging needs, and PACKZ is a key part of our packaging workflow for offset and flexo customers,” says Jason Kammes, business development manager-workflow solutions for Fujifilm North America, Graphic Systems Division. “We will be featuring PACKZ with XMF Workflow in our booth at GRAPH EXPO later this month and look forward to unveiling it to our customers.”

To learn more about Hybrid Software, contact Michael Rottenborn at (215)852-8095 or miker@hybridsoftware.com.

To learn more about Fujifilm, contact Jason Kammes at (630)338-2068 or jkammes@fujifilm.com.

Source: Hybrid Software.

Globally Slick: LiquiGlide About to Go International

CAMBRIDGE, MA—September 10, 2014—LiquiGlide Inc. has announced it has initiated international patent filings to protect the intellectual property (IP) of its liquid-impregnated surface technology. Protecting LiquiGlide's unique IP globally is a top priority as the company looks to swiftly commercialize internationally. The international patent filing is directly related to United States Patent 8,574,704—granted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) by the U.S. Patent Office. MIT currently holds two patents for the slippery coating technology with more than a dozen pending, and LiquiGlide Inc. is the sole commercial entity with exclusive licensing rights.

The '704 patent was originally granted in November 2013, and describes the company's unique method for creating permanently wet slippery surfaces by stably trapping liquids in a matrix of solid, micro-scale engineered features—reducing friction for viscous liquids moving across treated surfaces. In addition to the liquid-impregnated surfaces patent, MIT has also been granted United States Patent 8,535,779 for self-lubricating surfaces for food packaging and food processing equipment, which relates to LiquiGlide's practical, non-toxic applications for sticky foods like peanut butter and mayonnaise.

As part of LiquiGlide's international patent strategy, the company filed an international patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), in relation to the '779 patent in order to seek protection of its IP in 148 countries. As a result of that application, the European Patent Office (EPO) acting as the International Searching Authority (ISA) has conducted a patent search and issued an International Search Report (ISR), which did not identify any references that would preclude patentability of LiquiGlide's non-toxic coating technology. This is a major milestone in LiquiGlide's initiative to protect its unique IP.

"It's critical that we take steps to protect our IP, and we're making that investment now as an important step toward global commercialization," said LiquiGlide CEO and Co-Founder Dave Smith. "We know we have something special; LiquiGlide is the only commercially viable solution for creating permanently wet slippery surfaces. We have a global-reaching technology with immense potential and broad applications. We believe not only will LiquiGlide become an industry standard for consumer goods, but it will have immense implications far beyond the packaging sector, including eliminating waste, enabling innovation and even saving lives."

LiquiGlide's moves to expand IP protection for its innovative technology come as global interest in the company's coatings continues to increase. LiquiGlide currently has more than 30 international clients, including clients in France, Germany, Japan, Norway, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

To learn more about LiquiGlide's platform technology, visit: http://liquiglide.com/tech.
To see videos of LiquiGlide's technology in action, visit: http://liquiglide.com/videos.

Source: LiquiGlide.

Thirteen Ashland Varnishes Receive RIT Certification

DUBLIN, OH—September 5, 2014—Ashland Specialty Ingredients, a commercial unit of Ashland Inc., received certification from the Rochester Institute of Technology for 13 ultraviolet and water-based overprint varnishes within the PureRad and PureKote overprint varnish product lines. These products can now be used commercially with HP Indigo narrow web presses.

The clear print-receptive coatings better fixate ink on multiple substrates, protecting the graphic from damage.

PureRad and PureKote overprint varnishes better adhere to HP Indigo ink and provide resistance to scratches and chemicals. The products available commercially are PureRad 53830 high-gloss, heat-resistant OPV and PureRad 53860A high-gloss UV resistant OPV.

“Ashland offers one of the broadest array of RIT-certified overprint varnishes for use with HP Indigo to meet the increasing manufacturing and application demands for digital printing and mass customization,” says David Hatgas, global director of packaging and converting, performance materials.

The RIT/HP Indigo overprint varnish performance program allows for users to have water-base and UV coatings evaluated with HP Indigo digital certified media.

Source: Ashland.