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  • 21 Jan 2020

In conversation with Askold Zimmermann

Keynote speaker at Label Summit Latin America talks about regional trends

Askold Zimmermann, business development manager at and keynote speaker at Label Summit Latin America 2020, speaks about the company - which is also gold sponsor - and gives a sneak preview about his presentation. He also shares his insight into some of the key trends in the region.

Can you tell us why decided to become gold sponsor for this year’s Label Summit Latin America in Chile?

It’s all about automation! [This is what we hear from the market.] Digitalization and automation are still topical issues and the new slogan Industry 4.0 shapes the industry. We became a gold sponsor this year because of the feedback from the print and packaging market in Latin America last year, with a high level of interest in automation. Our new manager for Latin America, Suleik Quintero, will support our customers and partners in Latin America.

Tell us a little bit about, its reach in Latin America, and your role. is a new platform and community for everyone with responsibility for quality control and quality assurance. connects people and topics like automation, Industry 4.0, workflow, artwork management systems and many others.

Can you give us a sneak preview of what you will be speaking about in your keynote session?

I’ll be talking about how to automate quality control in the packaging and label industry. For example; barcode verification can be fully automated with existing technologies. Starting from the brand owner, agencies, marketing, regulation, right through to prepress, repro and print – fully automated with no people intervention.

The second part of the keynote will be a real case of Industry 4.0 in the labeling Industry – connecting workflow, ERP, printing machines, physical archive, correct order of print, KPIs, prepress and brand owner.

How is automation having an impact on the label and package printing industry in the region currently, and can you give some examples?

There is no way around automation. Why? Because with the same number of resources, the label and packaging industry is facing more jobs in less time with the parallel need to increase the quality.

We can see three areas where the label and packaging printing industry is being impacted:

Firstly, in prepress, where tasks like proofreading have become automated. Through this automation, the quality increases and manual tasks become automated.

Another area affected is production, where for example printing tools like flexo plates, gravure cylinders, die cuts, screens, and embossing tools can be automatically identified, tracked and reused.

And finally, the impact for the brand owner and their all suppliers, with the need and request for traceability. For example, printing tools like printing plates – what jobs were printed with this plate and in what condition is the plate. This is only possible with automation.

In your opinion, what are the label and package printing industry’s biggest growth areas in Chile and the wider southern cone? How can converters and brand owners take advantage of these?

In my opinion, the highly developed wine export sector is still the area with most growth potential in Chile and the wider Southern Cone. Converters and brand owners can take advantage of this with high quality products. The key to be being faster, with higher quality, is smart automation, by transferring the non-added value work to automation and to focus on the added value work.

What do you see are the biggest challenges facing the label and package printing industry in Chile and the wider southern cone, for the next 5 years?

Two things: standardization and then automation.

Latin America is closer to North America and Europe than China and India. Chile worldwide is well known for high-quality wine and spirits products. We can see the challenges in the automation of prepress and print workflow. Because it’s not only software and technology, it’s also knowledge and budget for services to implement such automation workflows. But we see as well great chances and opportunities for Chile and the wider Southern Cone, to start to automate the non-added value work and tasks with existing and proven technologies.

Hear more from Askold at the keynote session ‘Automation for plate management and quality control’, which takes place from 12:15-13:00 on Tuesday 10 March at Label Summit Latin America 2020.