The European gravure industry met at ERA’s Annual & Packaging and Decorative Gravure Conference which recently took place in Thessaloniki from 21 until 23 September. Despite the ongoing corona restrictions over 80 delegates followed ERA’s invitation to discuss face to face challenges such as sustainability in packaging printing and alternative plating technologies.
The conference which stood under the headline “Gravure – the sustainable print process” underlined the functionality of modern film based packaging material to protect the filling good, and thus to significantly reduce CO2 emissions. In this respect an encouraging perspective was pointed out for gravure’s future.
It was noted as a success of the ERA that the EU Commission finally approved the authorisation to further use chromium trioxide until 2024. To secure the future of the galvanic chromium plating beyond 2024, Kaspar Walter has made an application at the European Chemical Agency which covers cylinder plating and embossing.
The conference also discussed several promising alternatives to the traditional cylinder plating: Rossini presented their Ecogravsystem, Contitech their Dynasurf project and Kaspar Walter their HelioChrome Neo and HelioPearl technologies. And finally the press manufacturers Bobst and Uteco showed their solutions of press enhancements for use with water based inks, which will further improve the sustainability of the gravure process.
The winners of the Gravure Award for Sustainable Packaging were presented during the conference: in the category printed products were rewarded with an award the Thessaloniki based Greek packaging printer Hatzopoulos for a mono material coffee packaging printed exclusively on PP film and the Vietnamese packaging printer Thành Phú for their dog food pouch printed on a mono material PE/PE structure. In the category Innovation, Bobst Italia received an award for their press developments to facilitate the use of water-based inks, while the Swiss company Rheonics was rewarded with an “Emerging Technology” certificate for their new inline viscometer technology for ink viscosity measurement in the press.