- May 01, 2003, Nsenga Byrd Thompson, Staff Editor
DI-NA-CAL adds capacity for its heat-transfer label production with a new Rotomec gravure press.
From cutting-edge graphics to innovative application processes, labels are taking on a new face for the 21st century, and in an effort to expand their capabilities, converters are paying close attention.
Already mastering the possibilities is DI-NA-CAL Label Group. This division of Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. is becoming adept at providing complete heat-transfer label solutions. With its main operation housed in a 350,000-sq-ft facility in Cincinnati, OH, (and a second facility in Jacksonville, FL), DI-NA-CAL is committed exclusively to the production of the heat-transfer decorating process.
Seamless “no-label-look” labels are created using DI-NA-CAL's innovative heat-transfer technology, which allows the labels to bond physically to the surface of containers — becoming a part of the package itself. They are formulated with a special protective lacquer and custom-designed adhesive print coating.
To produce the labels, rotogravure-printed graphics are delivered in roll form and transferred to plastic containers by automatic decorating machines. Precise, consistent label positioning is ensured by an advanced electronic registration system with stringent quality controls.
The company has an impressive assortment of proprietary equipment, including a line of application equipment that is used not only during the DI-NA-CAL process, but is marketed for retail sale. The converter recently introduced its Model HTD-5000 Flex Line Decorator capable of labeling panel bottles from 12 oz to 2.5 gal and containers with curved and tapered panels. The decorator also can handle label rolls up to 16.5 in. dia allowing for longer uptime.
DI-NA-CAL labels can be seen in the automotive, food and beverage, household chemicals, and personal care industries, with notable clientele including Diamond Products Co., Nestle Purina PetCare, Minute Maid Co., Playtex, Welch's, and Shell Oil Products.
Quick Gravure Changeovers
Another notable addition to DI-NA-CAL's production floor is the Valmet Rotomec 11-station rotogravure press. According to Marty Dennis, sales and marketing director at DI-NA-CAL, the press, which joins a 10-color Rotomec press purchased in 1997, provides additional capacity for the production of its heat-transfer labels. The new 33-in.-wide press also is reported to be the first electronic line shaft press to be used for the printing of heat transfer labels at the facility.
“This second Rotomec is awesome. It's an electronic line shaft press and is the first one ever installed in a heat-transfer label operation. That means the individual units are all servo controlled; there is no single drive shaft driving it. The web path is reduced, meaning less waste, and less material to web to press,” Dennis explains. “The press also allows quicker changeover, so you can get in and out of the units easy and make changes.”
Dennis explains the decision to choose Rotomec wasn't a difficult one.
“[Rotomec] had a higher quality press. They cost a little bit more, but they were higher quality. They were more willing to adapt to our type of business, and they had equipment with better changeover capabilities. There were others with really good equipment, but Rotomec just seemed to be able to customize the press for our process.”
Keeping in stride with its impressive printing capabilities, DI-NA-CAL also recently purchased Creo Synapse InSite, a Web-based proofing solution.
“We have the new system by Creo, Creo InSite. It's a Web-based system where we can actually take the artwork, load it into the system, and the customer can view it via the Web,” describes Dennis. “It's password protected, so they can only view their artwork. They can't make the changes [themselves], but they can go in and make annotations on the changes they want…. It eliminates these proofs that have been, in the past, back and forth in the mail.”
Dennis is proud of the commitment DI-NA-CAL has made in providing a complete label solution, which he says separates them from other label suppliers.
“Our application equipment really sets us apart from any other label supplier because most people will supply labels and that's it. What we really supply is a label system. We have state-of-the-art printing and prepress equipment to handle the needs of the customers for their graphics; we have the application equipment that will meet their needs for containers, to be able to decorate and give them a quality application; and we have the service and technicians that go out and service that equipment.
Complete solutions. It's a concept DI-NA-CAL is accomplishing, leading the way to a new wave of label converting diversification.
DI-NA-CAL Label Group, Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. 4500 Beech St., Cincinnati, OH 45212; 513/396-5685; smurfit-stone.com/dinacal
Valmet Rotomec SpA San Giorgio, Italy; +39-0142-4071; valmetconverting.com
Creo Burnaby, BC, Canada; 604/451-2770; creo.com