Danielle Jerschefske highlights some new technology and feature areas of the show to look out for at Labelexpo Americas in Chicago in September.

I'm looking forward to hearing Rosemary Grabowski, Labelexpo’s keynote speaker from Dassault Systemes, jump-start the show with a discussion on 3D simulation and experiential imaging coupled with product life-cycle management (PLM). Following her acumen, it will be great to review all of the MIS systems and package design software to see what new attributes have been added to help converters improve a brand’s speed to market. There have been multiple developments amongst these software providers as they continue to collaborate to streamline label and packaging manufacturing, improve quality, reduce waste and more, all while allowing for accurate, immediate data collection and product preview. 

High Definition (HD) Flexo and Extended Color Gamut (ECG) advancement/adoption are two other movements I’m stoked to explore in Chicago. Both require the most advanced presses, dies, inks, plates, substrates, registration equipment, skilled operators, etc, that the industry has to offer. Both meet brand owners’ desires. With HD Flexo converters can produce offset and gravure quality labels at a lower cost while ECG improves consistency and reduces downtime, increasing speed to market. A number of OEMs will be demonstrating their machines’ capability to produce this work throughout the Labelexpo Americas show floor. Check them out. Also ask suppliers about color management systems they have to support these developments.  

There's no doubt too that the debut of the Technology Workshops will be priceless to the education of the industry as a whole. During these sessions converters and brand owners will be able to evaluate various digital printing technologies, and advanced flexography, including HD Flexo, to compare and analyze what fits best within their business growth strategies and current job profiles. 

The conference program, in collaboration with TLMI, offers valuable sessions that will review all of these aforementioned trends in detail. There is also a session on social media and packaging that should not to be missed. AC Golden – a microbrewery that’s part of the Coors family – will be giving a fascinating presentation about its Colorado Native lager and the use of SnapTag technology on its labels. Used to reach the uber-socialized 21-35 year old consumers, the SnapTag is bad-ass packaging that speaks.  

With the onslaught of social media matched with the vibrant consumers of the modern, globalized world, interactive packaging will soon gain traction in the Western world. Colorado Native is the first product to use this technology on packaging; it will not be the last.  

Be sure to use the Labelexpo and Labels & Labeling smart phone applications that will available (L&L is running now at www.labelsandlabeling.com/m) and follow us on Twitter @LabelsNLabeling, @AndyThomasEmans, @DanielleJersche, @JamesQuirk, @RogerPellow and @Labelexpo for regular industry updates.  

While I’m sad that sweet summertime is coming to a close, I’m keeping my excitement (and hopefully my tan) in anticipation of this year’s Labelexpo Americas. See you there! 


Danielle Jerschefske is Labels & Labeling's sustainability consultant.

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