Label Manufacturers’ Association of India (LMAI) hosted fifth conference for the Indian label fraternity. Attended by more than 600 delegates, the three-days event discussed new technologies and the way forward for the industry.
Detailing Indian label industry trends, Manoj KM, director business development and international business, Avery Dennison said that consumer behavior will force the packaging to change. ‘India will have one billion internet users in the next three years. Mobile phone will be the go-to-device for developing any market through digitization. It is, however, important to recognize that the Indian market will develop differently from the US and Europe.’
He further predicted that dialog on sustainability will get stronger and customers will voice their opinion. ‘Packaging trends such as connected packaging, closing the loop, reinventing the box and plastic-free will rule the roost. NFC, RFID and augmented reality will be more popular for more interactive and smarter packaging,’ said Manoj. Other trends on the horizon include personalization, premiumization and online marketing that will shape packaging shapes and formats.
‘Pressure sensitive labels will continue to grow at seven percent in the coming years and flexo will remain the dominant printing technology. Digital printing will be a significant contributor and water based inkjet technology will show high growth,’ he said.
Parag Bagade, manager technical services, Avery Dennison, South Asia and Sub Sahara Africa discussed key influences to sustainability and announced a matrix waste recycling program in India.
Ajay Mehta, managing director, SMI Coated Products, spoke on technical aspects of applications of labelstock and explained the relevance of involving a labelstock manufacturer when deciding a new label to avoid any challenges with the application.
Press manufacturers and suppliers focused on suggesting that converters opt for the right press for their jobs and discussed current trends.
Ranesh Bajaj, director, Vinsak said that industry must start re-thinking of them as solution providers and not just label printers. He said that increasing number of converters are moving to wide web presses. ‘Those with 330mm wide machines are already moving to 430mm and atleast 20 percent converters have already opted for 530 or 630mm wide presses. The future, therefore, is wide width and diversification to flexible packaging segment,’ said Bajaj.
Echoing same thoughts, Amit Ahuja, sales director of Multitec Aids said that this is the key trend in the label industry. ‘We see an increase of stand-up pouches being printed on wider width presses.’
Appadurai, country manager for HP Indigo pointed out that small and mid-sized companies are scaling up and therefore, converters should focus on catering to them as they increase their volumes and SKUs. Citing examples of craft beer industry in the US, he said; ‘6000 craft beer companies together have impacted 30 percent volume of Budweiser company sales. We see this happening everywhere in different industries.’
He further said that the lifecycle of product has become very short, to six months, and it is becoming shorter. Therefore, converters must gear up to cater to millennials.
Discussing the newest technology, hybrid label printing, David Ellen, divisional director, Domino Digital Printing explained that a hybrid press is more suited for long run jobs. ‘It’s a much longer machine so waste is more compared to roll-to-roll digital press. All units have to be set-up so make-ready time increases. Do your due diligence and let your book of business decide which digital asset suits your needs. Factors to consider before evaluating a hybrid machine includes total production length, number of SKUs, finishing capabilities, need of embellishments and metallic inks, and capital budget. Printers must also have a clear understanding of what digital is going to do for their business and how will it increase their margins,’ he said.
Ian Pollock, director, UK and EAMER region, Mark Andy spoke on future of printing technology and summed up the requirements of the converters. He said printers today want simple to operate presses with shorter learning curve, advanced print quality, expanded capability with a wide variety of applications, flexibility to scale the equipment, faster changeovers, higher throughput for higher productivity, environment friendly press to enable reduce waste materials of substrate and inks.
Manish Kapoor, head of sales, Nilpeter India asked the audience the question of scale and scalability in the Indian label industry. ‘We must do a careful evaluation of how to run this competitive business,’ he suggested.
The event also organized three panel sessions – one each with printers, suppliers and the young generation in family-run printing businesses.
The conference was supported by more than 30 companies including Avery Dennison, SMI Coated Products, Pulisi Technology, Domino Printech India, DuPont Advanced Printing, Heidelberg India, HP India, Vinsak India, Apex Asia Pacific, Bobst, Brotech Digital Graphics, Dragon Foils, Flexo Image Graphics, Flint Group India, GEW, Insight Print Communications, J N Arora, Loparex, Luster LightTech, Multitec Aids, Nilpeter India, Numex Blocks, Retail Solution & Technologies, Rogler International, RotoMetrics, Weigang, Acme Rolltech, Baldwin Vision Solutions, Cosmo Films, hubergroup, Lintec India, Martin Automatic, Monotech Systems, and Repro Graphics.
Read the detailed report in Labels & Labeling issue 5, 2019.