Category Archives: Ravenwood Times

Labelexpo Success for Ravenwood

Labelexpo Europe, proved yet again to be a great success for Ravenwood Packaging and its network of raw material suppliers.

The company reported large numbers of visitors to their stand at Labelexpo including their supplier network who represent different disciplines within the label industry chain. Ravenwood decided to do its own linerless trail this year with very positive results.

Taking centre stage on the Ravenwood stand was the imposing Com500 Coater on their life-sized labelling video wall. The Nobac 500R ready meal machine and Nobac 125 were also proudly on demo. There was much interest in the Nobac 500R which automatically applies ready meal sleeves that come supplied on a roll. Alleviating the need for manual application.

The company also hosted their very own linerless trail; the ‘Quest for the Circle of Linerless’, commandeered by ‘Sir Fauxalot’ – mascot and member of the Fauxlafel family. The trail encouraged people to visit all of Ravenwood’s raw material suppliers at Labelexpo in the ‘Circle of Linerless’. These included Ashland, Antalis, Evonik, Innovia Films and Henkel. A considerable amount of visitors embarked on the trail, proving that the interest in their linerless technology is continuing to gain momentum. All who embarked were entered into a prize draw to win a B&O speaker – winner to be announced shortly.

Overall, visitors to the Ravenwood stand were mostly from the European community but they also welcomed interested parties from India, Philippines, Brazil, and Japan.  The number of leads the company gained also succeeded previous years and the same was reported from their network of suppliers – not only in terms of linerless but with regards to interest in their own raw print materials/products.

MD Paul Beamish said: “This show still proudly holds pride of place as being the biggest packaging and labelling show in the world. We found this to be clearly evident due to the sheer amount of quality leads and the type of visitors we welcomed to our stand. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that so many label printers are experiencing a marked increase in linerless label enquiries as a direct result of packaging and labelling specialists looking to streamline production. With no backing paper, liner waste is eliminated as well as the disposal, so saving on space and cost.”

Innovia Films reported that their BOPP alternative for paper, PVC, PE85 and PET in terms of linerless label technology proved extremely popular. Innovia featured a thick film, showcasing the material as an alternative to paper on their display stand where visitors were given the opportunity to handle both the tray and assess the label material, and application itself. The combination sparked much interest with Innovia directing people to the Ravenwood stand resulting in increased visitor traffic.

Lauren Shimmin, Assistant Communications Manager at Innovia Films said: “The Linerless pod was very busy throughout the show, proving this disruptive technology is very clearly gaining interest. Our films offer the market outstanding performance for wet and frozen environments, and for the Brand Manager to showcase their products.”

Evonik’s Marketing Manager, Annegret Lange, also welcomed a great number of visitors to their stand with regards to linerless and their release coating technology.

With nine halls, the show itself proved to be even bigger than 2015 with Labelexpo reporting in excess of 600 exhibitors and 37,000 visitors in total. Compared to the 2015 event, there was a marked increase with machinery demonstrations and many new product launches.

Ravenwood’s linerless technology is becoming increasingly popular as the go-to label of choice for many food manufacturers. Linerless is the eco-friendly replacement for traditional labels that carry non-recyclable wasteful backing paper. With 20 years of linerless experience and a range of labelling solutions to help increase production efficiency, the company can tackle almost any packaging challenge in the food sector; from fish and meat, to fresh fruits and vegetables including dairy, ready meals and bakery.

For further information, contact Natalie Bonner on +44 (0)1284 749144 or natalie@ravenwood.co.uk. Visit our main website (new site currently under construction) or visit our Contact page.

Com500 Coater
MD, Paul Beamish explaining how the Com500 Coater creates linerless labels…
Labelexpo
Commercial Director Dave Gooding, by the ‘linerless trail’ station…
Linerless Trail
‘Sir Fauxalot’, ‘Sovereign of Linerless’ and Leader of the Fauxlafels – ready and waiting to commandeer the linerless trail…

 

It’s nearly time for Label Expo 2017

We’re all set for this year’s Label Expo, the largest label event in the world – set over 4 days, 9 halls and with 650 exhibitors in attendance!

This year we will demonstrate two of our linerless applicators, the Nobac 500 Ready Meal machine and the Nobac 125. We’ll also have our Com500 Coater running on our life-sized dazzling video wall. The coater is the only coating system dedicated to running and delivering high quality Ravenwood linerless labels. Designed to work to the correct specification required for applying labels to food stuffs with our Nobac 500 machine range.

And new for this year will be our very own linerless trail, the ‘Quest for the Circle of Linerless’ – commandeered by our bravest and most trustworthy Fauxlafel of them all, ‘Sir Fauxalot’.  We invite you to embark on a journey of ‘linerless discovery’ to seek out our approved network of material suppliers. All of our suppliers are gurus in their respective fields and will be ready and waiting to discuss the role that they play for the production of faultless Ravenwood linerless labels.  Quest cards will be available to collect from all exhibitors included in our linerless trail.  Those that complete the trail will be entered into a prize draw to win a Bang & Olufsen A1 Beoplay speaker – find out more here>

The full line up of suppliers on our trail, is as follows (click on the company name and you’ll be taken through to their exhibitor listing):

Read all about the ‘Circle of Linerless’ here>

So if you are going then be sure to join Paul, Dave, Jez and Glyn, and ‘Sir Fauxalot’ of course, on stand C645! Visit the Label Expo website and register here>

For further information, contact Natalie Bonner here> or email us at marketing@ravenwood.co.uk. Our new website is under construction but you can still visit the current website here>

Ravenwood Packaging at Label Expo 2017
Ravenwood Packaging will be Hall 6, Stand C45…

Ravenwood Grow Linerless Market

At its annual congress, Ravenwood introduced new technologies and marketing initiatives designed to grow its share of the global linerless label market. Andy Thomas reports.

Outside of logistics applications, the global market share of linerless labels has not moved much in the last decade – despite the clear sustainability advantages of the technology.

Perhaps the main reason has been the requirement for end users to adopt specialist application machinery which is able to apply a label without peeling it from a backing liner.

UK-based Ravenwood, however, has achieved enormous success in the linerless label market by ‘closing the loop’ between linerless label production and application. The company operates a licensing system which includes the whole linerless supply chain from specialist materials to coating equipment and application equipment for the end user. The whole system is supported by Ravenwood certified engineers and by intensive training of licensees to ensure a standard, consistent and predictable product is delivered at the end of the packaging line. Currently over 1,000 applicator machines are installed worldwide.

Ravenwood has grown around 20 percent year-on-year since the 2009 crash and today 35 million linerless prime labels a week are produced on its machines by global brands and retailers.

Ravenwood was founded in 2004 by Paul Beamish, who had previously worked at SE Labels and then Skanem, both linerless pioneers. The company has recently expanded its headquaters in Bury St Edmunds. The building contains showroom, of ces, training facilities and R&D, and was the location for this year’s congress, bringing together suppliers, printers and distributors.

Ravenwood linerless ‘labels’ do not have to be adhesive backed – some of the company’s most successful products are ‘slideable’ sleeves supplied on the roll. Printed onto thicker materials, up to 300gsm and at sizes up to 500mm x 225mm, they are designed to replace cardboard sleeves on trays sealed with clear film, as typically seen in the ready meals market. The sleeves are applied on Ravenwood’s Nobac 500 series applicators.

Paul Beamish says these linerless label/sleeves are up to 30 percent more sustainable than cardboard sleeves. ‘And our products are flexo printed, which is as good quality as litho-printed cartons, and they retain their image right the way through the supply chain.’

Other Nobac machines can apply ‘Skin pack’ labels and can be attached to weigh scales to deliver complete fixed or variable weight packaging solutions. The latest addition to the Nobac line is the 500R, which applies a full ready meal wrap in format sizes up to 225mm.

A constant problem facing Ravenwood and its licensees is ‘non-approved’ labels, either pirated labels which ‘look’ like the real thing, or cheaper substitutes bought outside the authorized supplier network.

‘Pirated or non-approved labels do not work well on our applicators and at the end of the day these copies are of poor paper and adhesive quality,’ said Paul Beamish.

‘The production manager often won’t know that the buyer has cut corners and purchased these sub-standard labels and when things go wrong, many are quick to blame the applicator. Our engineers provide ongoing support and can spot these poor quality labels instantly, proving that any downtime or product recalls are as a direct result of these inferior copies. So going forward, we are now placing more emphasis on marketing and promoting our approved network of machine suppliers, printers and partners to emphasize the importance of using Ravenwood linerless labels.’

New developments

Ongoing material and machinery developments are key USPs for Ravenwood and the company works closely with its supply chain to identify areas for improvement.

Innovia, Ashland, Evonik and Henkel were present to talk about new developments in materials, silicone and hotmelt adhesives.

Explained Beamish, ‘We are being forced to go faster and faster, which is why we spend so much time working on materials, and why we need to make sure printers are using the latest materials.’

A high quality print surface is particularly important, said Beamish. ‘Dive characteristics and adhesive/silicone relationship are crucial. You could buy any paper but find the adhesive will be sucked in and the silicone relationship is wrong so the labels don’t release properly, and that in turn affects the machines. It is vital to guarantee 120 packs a minute, and this needs the whole chain to be working together.’

A wide range of application machinery was on show at the event, including the new VXR end-of-line quality control system. It detects contaminants and checks both label accuracy and tray seals, all within a 1.9m footprint. The x-ray inspection system uses leading edge Sapphire carbon nanotube field emission technology. The whole unit is food safe. Also introduced at the congress was a new flexible packaging variation of the linerless sleeve system.

What of the future? Paul Beamish sees major opportunities in direct thermal linerless labels supplied on the reel for logistics applications using handheld printers. And there are many more products which could be handled on the Nobac applicators, including fresh foods like cress, and fresh meat and fish, which require special coatings to enhance shelf life.

Primary linerless labeling, in 8-9 colors and using value-added materials is another area for development.

Linerless coater

For the label converter, the core production technology is the Ravenwood Comac coater, designed to coat silicone and adhesive in a form compatible with the Nobac range of applicators.

The Comac applies multiple lines of release and adhesive between 3-25mm wide, coating labels with silicone on the front and adhesive on the back at speeds up to 450fpm (137m/min).

The labels can be printed on both sides before silicone and adhesive coating. The silicone sits on top of a special lacquer developed for linerless, and the laquer and silicone together act as a protective layer against UV, moisture and chemicals.

New Comac developments announced at the congress include the ability to run digital media. Ravenwood is also looking to add flexo units for varnish and reverse print, as well as potentially a slot coater and chill rolls so thermal materials can be run.

‘We are looking at new coat heads for more accurate coat levels,’ said Paul Beamish. ‘We now have on board an industry professional who says he can measure glue weight on clear film more accurately.’

Marcus Greenbrook, international sales manager at GEW, explained to delegates the N2 nitrogen inerting system used on the Comac silicone coating station. A nitrogen blanket reduces oxygen in the chamber to 50PPM, preventing it inhibiting the silicone curing process. ‘We control web movement into the chamber so we can get the gap much closer and stop oxygen being dragged in,’ said Greenbrook. The result is decrease of odor and migration – key for food grade applications – and the ability to cure at a lot lower power levels.’

Continued Greenbrook, ’Our Rhino power supply gives us better control of the UV system and reduces nitrogen consumed compared to older systems.’ UV output monitoring is integrated into the E2C lamphead, with up to seven sensors mounted across length of the lamp. GEW is now looking at closed loop control of lamp output based on sensor readings, said Greenbrook.

Ravenwood will be exhibiting at Labelexpo Europe. Visit the Label Expo website.

The above article was written by Andy Thomas, Strategic Director at Labels & Labeling and is featured in the June/July issue of Labels & Labeling. Flip to page 49 and read the online article.

Ravenwood Packaging
Ravenwood Packaging

2017 Ravenwood WorldCon Post Event Review

This year’s Annual Conference was held in the new build of our HQ in Suffolk. During recent years, we have mostly hosted the event off site due to the accelerated growth of our Distributor network. So with the new build complete, it was great to be able to welcome our delegates back to Ravenwood again, allowing us the opportunity to show off our new offices, meeting rooms, workshops and training areas!

The event proved to be our busiest and most successful to date.  Day one welcomed machine distributors and day two, our printer partners.  Agendas for both days included machine demonstrations and presentations from both Ravenwood staff members and industry key note speakers.

Many machines were on demo including our new game-changing VXR system, unveiled at Pro2Pac. The ‘end of line’ solution provider to meet the food industry’s stringent requirements! The VXR boasts 3 technologies incorporated into just 1.9 metres. And our Comac Coater, designed to work with our Nobac 500 flagship linerless label applicator was also on proud display. The Comac allows for the application of multiple release and adhesive lines, coating the labels with silicone on the front and adhesive on the back.

Our Partners in vision and x-ray provided an insight into our new VXR system which boasts ‘Sapphire’ carbon nanotube field emission technology. Delegates were also informed of the latest in Coater developments and Ravenwood staff presented updates on key areas of the business including sales, service, parts and marketing.

Evening entertainment was laid on at our MD’s (Paul Beamish), motorcycle emporium – Krazy Horse. It was here that we presented awards to our ‘Distributors of the Year’ based on sales and overall performance. GH Ulma scooped the title of ‘Machine Distributor 2017’ and WS Packaging for ‘Printer Distributor 2017’.  Winifried Hamann, Head of IM EMEA – RC Silicones at Evonik was also presented with an award for his long service and dedication to Ravenwood and linerless. Winifried retires this year and we wish him well! Each were presented with a set of three cast metal flying pigs – a retrospective take on the ‘Three Flying Ducks’.

Overall the event proved to be engaging, entertaining and most importantly an education.

For further information, email Natalie or Sarah at marketing@ravenwood.co.uk.

Ravenwood Packaging
Raveneer Jez providing an update on ‘The Bigger Picture’
Raveneer Jez (left) featured with team Evonik at Krazy Horse! Winifried Hamann pictured 2nd left.

Pro2Pac 2017 Raveneer’s Post Event Update

The Pro2Pac food and drink packaging exhibition at ExCeL London has been hailed as a roaring success!

Packaging professionals from across the land including retailers, restaurateurs and caterers, as well as a host of FMCG companies descended on Pro2Pac to discover the very latest pioneering technology and cutting-edge innovations.  More than 120 exhibitors were in attendance, including leading global names such as Tetra Pak, Fischbein-Saxon, Coveris, Henkelman and non other than linerless gurus, Ravenwood Packaging.

The Ravenwood stand attracted a whole host of visitors from many different realms, most notably from the UK, Singapore, Turkey, Poland, Chile and Spain. We showcased three of our Nobac applicators with each applying linerless to skin pack, MAP and ready meal formats. And taking centre stage for its grand unveiling was the almighty VXR System, our very latest game-changing innovation!

Our Raveneers reported an extremely busy show. The Fauxlafels slept for three whole days after returning home to Ravenwood Towers. Read all about the new VXR system here.

For further information, email Natalie or Sarah at marketing@ravenwood.co.uk.

Ravenwood Packaging at Pro2Pac
Our Raveneers and the Fauxlafels of course enjoying a great show at Pro2Pac!