Thessaloniki 2021 – An encouraging perspective for gravure’s future

The conference included a presentation from Alessandro Baldo of the Italian press manufacturer Uteco (left). On the right, Secretary General James Siever (Source: ERA)

Representatives of the European gravure industry met at ERA’s Annual & Packaging/Decorative Gravure Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece, from 21st to 23rd September. Despite the ongoing corona restrictions over 80 delegates followed ERA’s invitation to discuss challenges such as sustainability in packaging printing and alternative galvanic technologies.

The conference pointed out an encouraging perspective for gravure’s future, and it was noted as a success of the ERA that the EU Commission finally approved the authorization to further use chromium trioxide until 2024. To secure the future of chromium plating using chromium trioxide beyond 2024, Kaspar Walter has made an application at the European Chemical Agency which covers gravure cylinders and embossing cylinders. Furthermore, during the conference, promising alternatives to the traditional cylinder plating were presented by Rossini (Ecogravsystem), Contitech (Dynasurf) and Kaspar Walter (HelioChrome Neo and HelioPearl). Finally the press manufacturers Bobst and Uteco presented their solutions of press enhancements for use with water-based inks, which will further improve the sustainability of the gravure process.


Gravure award for sustainable packaging

During the conference, the winners of the 2021 “Gravure Award for Sustainable Packaging” were presented. In the category “Printed Products”, the Thessaloniki-based Greek packaging printer Hatzopoulos received an award for mono-material coffee packaging printed exclusively on PP film. In addition, Vietnamese packaging printer Thành Phú was awarded 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 Swiss company Rheonics was rewarded with an “Emerging Technology” certificate for their new inline viscometer technology for ink viscosity measurement in the press.