Label sector pursues path of innovation

8 May 2013

Welcome to the May edition of Packaging Today, which carries a particular labelling flavour ahead of the next month's Total Processing & Packaging exhibition.

To many, print and apply could be considered be the less glamorous end of the labelling sector but as Nessan Cleary finds out, it's a vital part of supply chain management, particularly in the retail sector where such labels allows companies to use generic boxes,
obviating the need to have a warehouse full of pre-printed boxes.

In his analysis of the field, he notes that while speed and low cost remain the main requirements of the customer, firms areincreasingly looking to integrate these systems and benefit from further efficiency savings.

This month we also take a look at developments within the labelstock market, often an overlooked facet of the process. There is a great deal of focus surrounding innovation within the labelling sector, centring on new printing and finishing technologies, as well as developments in the field of inks and coatings. However, labelstocks are both an integral and important element of the packagingproduction mix, and manufacturers continue to develop new and innovative substrates for label applications.

Rounding off the features in this edition is our equipment focus on capping, lidding and sealing. David Longfield discovers that while
the issue of lightweighting remains high on the agenda for producers, the approach within the industry is beginning to encompass the
overall reduction of costs of manufacture: a plastics cap will, after all, always require a
certain amount of plastics.

Before signing off for this month, I'd like to draw your attention to our Total Processing & Packaging exhibition preview, ahead of next
month's much anticipated show. As a firm advocate of print and packaging trade events, the 4-6 June PPMA/Reed Exhibitions show
looks set to offer a comprehensive overview of equipment developments in the sector.

Although 320 companies are set for the event, Graham Earl, exhibition manager for the show, is fully aware of the tough climate
backdrop against which Total takes place this year. "It sounds counter-intuitive, but tough times can be positive for manufacturers, as
they act as a catalyst for innovation," he says.

"We think that this is where a show like Total comes into its own - it is a place to meet peers from across the industry, share the latest ideas and thinking, and find ways to chart a course through the tough terrain."

For those attending, I hope the show is as good an experience as it's building up to be. To organise any meetings, please contact me

Tim Sheahan,

Packaging Group Editor

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