Soma Engineering has signed up as an exhibitor at Labelexpo Europe 2015, where it will display its mid web Optima CI press platform to present a ‘completely new concept in flexographic printing presses’ to the label and package printing industry.

More commonly perceived as a wide web press manufacturer, Soma has developed the Optima as a mid web CI press optimized to run label stock paper and film packaging materials, and to bridge the gap between narrow and wide web printing for products such as in-mold and wraparound labels, shrink sleeves, retort stand-up pouches and sachets, as well as paper sacks, cups and plates.

Peter Blasko, Soma Engineering marketing manager, comments ‘The Optima has been a great success with our wide web customers, but we are now also identifying label printers that want to offer a wider portfolio of products such as, for example shrink sleeves. We consider Labelexpo to be the best channel with which to share this successful press concept with the label market. The Optima can handle virtually any product in the mid web field and we will demonstrate this to anyone interested in this growing opportunity during Labelexpo.’

Available in 620mm (24in) and 820mm (32in) widths in up to eight colors, the Optima is capable of speeds up to 300m/min (984ft/min), and features unwind and rewind systems that are located outside the printing unit modules. Soma says this variable design allows the option of choosing any unwind/rewind configuration and in-line upstream or downstream printing and converting units such as cold seal or slitting.


At Labelexpo Europe 2015, on the Soma stand in hall 7, B39, an Optima will be shown running live job demonstrations throughout the show. The press at the show will be equipped with eight printing units and will feature fast web changeover for reverse printing, intelligent impression adjustment to reduce start-up waste and Soma’s new, award-winning print cartridge system for spot colors, which offers printers a means of significantly reducing ink costs on printing jobs where expensive colors, special effect and metallic ink formulations are required.

Pavla Kusa, Soma Engineering Commercial Director, says that, since the Optima was launched to the wide web flexible packaging industry, ‘we have shown that this press fills a gap in the market.


‘[Optima] offers a technology that meets customer needs perfectly,’ she says. ‘Discussions with customers also brought to light label printers struggling under the growth of digital printing pressures pushing down the price of jobs. Offering them the Optima solution and diversification into mid web with existing customers gives a real opportunity for growth and us the advantage of offering not just a machine, but a business plan too.

‘To set new standards for flexible packaging and printing has always been our aim and is the corner stone of our daily work. The Optima is one of our most successful models with sales and worldwide acceptance exceeding expectations across a wide range of customers of all sizes who appreciate what we have done in bringing this type of press to market.’

‘We carried out extensive research with flexible packaging printers and customers and the consensus was that a solution was necessary to meet short run, mid web requirements cost effectively,’ adds Blasko.

Flexible packing and folding carton printing opportunities will be presented to label printers throughout Labelexpo Europe 2015, spearheaded by feature areas such as the Packprint Workshop with multiple exhibitors from up and down the supply chain showcasing technologies and products applicable for these markets.

Read more about package printing’s presence at Labelexpo Europe 2015 in Labels & Labeling issue 4, 2015.

Labelexpo Europe 2015 takes place in Brussels, Belgium from September 29 to October 2.