Archive for the ‘Packaging’ Category

  • Visual Impact a hit with exhibitors

    More than 60 of the industry’s leading players have signed up to showcase their latest technologies at next month’s Visual Impact and inaugural Exhibitions Expo in Melbourne.

    Peter Harper, Visual Connections

    “We are absolutely delighted with the calibre of names on our exhibitor list and believe it will be a very important event for anyone who is seeking the best information, ideas and innovative technologies,” said Peter Harper, general manager, trade shows, for Visual Connections – the new suppliers’ association which is hosting Visual Impact and Exhibitions Expo.

    Visual Impact stands will feature latest technology, systems and materials from companies such as Australian Visual Solutions, Canon, Graphic Art Mart, Jetmark, Mimaki, Multicam Systems, Neopost, Roland DG and Trotec, alongside displays from a range of suppliers covering most aspects of the industry, including ADI Displays, Alfex, Australian Laminating Company, beMatrix, Celmac, DES, Display Systems Australia, Epson, Impression Technology, Tommotek and Willenco.

    Free ‘Windows, Walls and Floors’ workshops will show how to apply the range of window, wall and floor films available from Avery Dennison, Arlon and Aslan, and free vehicle wrapping workshops will be available from Avery Dennison and Graphic Art Mart (pre-bookings must be made – email

    A seminar program will feature experts on topics ranging from building engagement, developing your team and managing change, to building successful social media campaigns, sponsorship management programs and exhibitions.

    Visual Impact 2015 is co-locating with the inaugural Exhibitions Expo – the new expo for trade show products and events – which will include latest offerings from names like ADI Displays, beMatrix, Display Systems Australia, Exponet, LED Works, Showgizmo, Showtime Events, SAS Signage Accessories and Visionary Digital.

    Hundreds of sign, display, wide format print and exhibition professionals have already placed a vote of confidence in the shows by pre-registering online, said Harper.

    “To continue to prosper and grow your business in an increasingly competitive market, industry professionals need to stay ahead of the game and that’s where events like Visual Impact and Exhibitions Expo can play such an important role,” Harper said. “With a strong track record gained over more than 25 years of delivering the ideas, solutions and technology that businesses need to build success, Visual Impact is looking better than ever in 2015, both in terms of exhibitor numbers and expected visitor turnout, and this year it will be complemented by the co-location of the new Exhibitions Expo.”

    Visual Impact and Exhibitions Expo will run from 10am to 5pm on Thursday, September 17 and Friday, September 18, and from 10am until 4pm on Saturday, September 19, at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

    Visitors are encouraged to pre-register online for the shows to ensure entry into prize draws to win trips to Florida or Fiji. To find out more, or to register for Visual Impact or Exhibitions Expo, go to




  • The Recyclability of Everything

    We have been much occupied of late with a project to ensure that printed matter can be effectively recycled. It has to be said that standards work, and this work in particular, can be tedious beyond words. Other so very much more tempting options beckon. There’s the temptation to straighten ones speaker wires or rearrange the cutlery draw in age order, to name but two. It requires a will of iron to resist such urges.

    Laurel Brunner

    We are not alone in working on documents that are an aid to recycling, though we may be alone in finding this work so deeply uncompelling. The only hope is that awareness of the value of recycling is rising around the world, not least because one man’s (or woman’s) waste is another man’s (or woman’s), raw material. Within printing we have all manner of juicy controversy surrounding the deinkability of digitally printed matter which influences its recyclability. This basically comes down to the fact that if the print isn’t deinked using modern deinking technology, it might pollute the pulp used to create new papers. Obviously this is not good, but isn’t reluctance to invest in modern deinking technologies worse? The problem persists elsewhere, with other industries facing equivalent problems, which is where ISO/TR 17098:2013 comes in.

    This Technical Report (TR) is a comprehensive overview of materials and substances that can wreck or otherwise impede a recycling process. It covers the “materials, combinations of materials, or designs of packaging that may create problems in collecting and sorting before material recycling; substances or materials that have the potential to create problems in the recycling process; and the presence of substances or materials that may negatively influence the quality of the recycled material.

    The list includes materials that influence the quality of packaging products made from recyclate and for which it is unlikely that technical solutions can be expected any time soon. But there is a problem with relying on a list like this. Different regions have different recycling operations and it is virtually impossible to keep track of all technology developments everywhere. And packaging materials are very often mixed up which can make it hard to produce new packaging materials that are reliably fit for purpose.

    Sustainability depends on understanding and controlling environmental impacts, so business owners need to keep up with both international legislation and technological advances. It’s important to quantify product requirements and to design products so that their components can be recycled. In addition we need much more sophisticated and consistent sorting routines, especially across large geographies, where recycling policies can vary from town to town. Investment into such organisation will help cut negative environmental impacts and provide the basis of transparent supply chains for recycling and raw material quality control. It’s a long and slow road, and it’s work that must be done, no matter how numb and bludgeoned it leaves the little grey cells.

    – Laurel Brunner

    Verdigris supporters who make the Verdigris blog possible include: Agfa GraphicsDigital Dots,  EFI,  Fespa,  Heidelberg,  HPKodakMondiPragati OffsetRicohShimizu PrintingSplash PRUnity Publishing and Xeikon.

  • NPCIA CEO exits in ‘refresh’

    Stan Moore, former CEO, NPCIA

    Stan Moore has stepped aside as CEO of the Australian Packaging Covenant as part of an organisational restructure ahead of an updated Covenant due to begin next year.

    Given the proposed future direction and its timing and the need to transform the governance arrangements of the National Packaging Covenant Industry Association (NPCIA), the NPCIA Committee and CEO, Mr. Stan Moore, have agreed that it is timely to refresh the leadership of the NPCIA to implement these changes,” said a press release announcing the move.

    The Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) is a sustainable packaging initiative that aims to change the culture of business to design more sustainable packaging, increase recycling rates and reduce packaging litter.

    Moore, who previously had been critical of the federal government’s commitment to the APC, left the organisation on Monday, 17th August after four years in the job.

    Last year Moore urged government ministers to support the APC model. “It’s absolutely critical to remove uncertainty to allow industry to get on with initiatives and meet critical timeframes to ensure progress does not stall,” he said.

    The Australian Packaging Covenant is in a transitional year as the NPCIA and governments work to finalise the arrangements for a refreshed Covenant to commence in July 2016. Governments and industry are currently developing the future strategic direction that will be in place for the next five years,” said the NPCIA press release.

    During his time as CEO, Stan has overseen extensive growth in industry participation in this important product stewardship scheme, which has contributed to improved litter reduction and recycling outcomes for packaging waste. The NPCIA thanks Stan for his contribution and dedication to the Packaging Covenant.”

  • The great noodle mystery – Brunner

    The packaging industry is quite amazing in its complexity and poses an absolute chaos of problems and possibilities for packaging printers. One of the more slippery aspects of this industry sector is compliance with health and safety and especially with environmental regulations. These vary around the world both in their detail and in their enforcement. The recent situation in India, where Maggi noodles were banned because they had apparently been mislabelled and contained higher levels of lead than are permissible, is a case in point.

    Maggi noodles have been sold in India for more than 30 years and Nestlé maintain that they are “completely safe” and the accusations of contaminants are unjustified. Nestlé chose to withdraw the product from the Indian market, rather than keeping the product on the shelves whilst resolving the problem. The company claims that the concerns are unfounded and that even though the product is safe, Nestlé doesn’t want to confuse their customers. This sounds a little disingenuous and it’s more likely to be a damage limitation manoeuvre to protect the Maggi brand.

    Nestlé is however trying to work out what has happened and says that “the trusted Maggi Noodles will be back in the market as soon as the current situation is clarified.” Their efforts for clarity are unstinting. Nestlé is working with authorities in Uttar Pradesh, the state where the problem occurred. The company has also been busy testing samples of the noodles from some 1,000 batches at its own accredited lab, as well as from 600 additional product batches using external testing labs. Getting to the cause of the problem is important because according to Nestlé “the trust of our consumers and the safety of our products is our first priority.”

    It’s important that this gets fully resolved because this is a serious contamination. Knowing how the lead got into the noodles will help to identify the bits of the supply chain where process control is lacking. However knowing the cause of the problem, will help other companies as well as Nestlé and its customers. Food processing companies routinely add extra chemicals to their products to preserve them or enhance their flavour. Managing how such additions are controlled is as important as making sure that inks and packaging materials contain no contaminants.

    What is really needed is the adoption of common food safety and packaging standards at international, national and local levels. There is a considerable range of international options, ranging from standard label requirements through to restrictions on the packaging used to transport dangerous materials. The problem isn’t a lack of standards, but one of awareness. Too few packaging printers even know standards exist or how to implement them effectively. There is also the problem that local governments aren’t necessarily aware of work done in other geographies that could be applied for the benefit of their citizens.


    – Laurel Brunner

    Verdigris supporters who make the Verdigris blog possible include: Agfa GraphicsDigital Dots,  EFI,  Fespa,  Heidelberg,  HPKodakMondiPragati OffsetRicohShimizu PrintingSplash PRUnity Publishing and Xeikon.


  • Courageous women of packaging

    The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) has launched a mentoring program designed for women in the packaging industry.

    My Mentor Courageous Women is a 12-week program designed by AIP in collaboration with coaching group Emberin and is aimed at women either starting their career or already working in the food, beverage, manufacturing and packaging industries.

    The program provides mentoring in a number of formats and requires no attendance at offsite workshops. Creator Maureen Frank will mentor participants on CDs while industry leaders share their lessons, advice and stories on DVDs.

    Emberin has mentored almost 20,000 women with its My Mentor programs, according to a joint Emberin/AIP press release:

    The My Mentor program is based on global research: the areas of focus that women need to hone. It is packed with practical tips, strategies and actions you can implement.  It is the practical ‘how to’ guide for your career success.  The My Mentor program results are measurable and we have seen some phenomenal results: high promotion rates; increased engagement; higher performance scores; movement across divisions – and many heartfelt personal challenges conquered!

    This is how it works: 1. Sign up for the program. 2. Receive your copy of My Mentor Courageous Woman. 3. Program launch (webinar). 4. Fortnightly webinars – where you can participate and share your story. 5. Connection with an industry ‘peer group’. 6. LinkedIn Group for all participants to connect and network with each other.

    Registrations are now open for the 2015 program and an Early Bird offer closes on Friday August 28, 2015, while all registrations close by September 10.  The cost is $750 per person plus GST and P&H.   Early bird registrations are $650 per person plus GST and P&H. For further information please call the AIP on +61 07 3278 4490

    The program is supported by the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA), the Label and Tag Manufacturers Association of Australia (LATMA) and the Packaging Council of New Zealand (PAC.NZ).



  • Membership drive for Printing Industries

    Within days of appointing new CEO Jason Allen, the Printing Industries Association of Australia (PIAA) is launching a new membership drive.

    A free webinar next week that’s open to both PIAA members and non-members will outline the range of benefits and services available to association members. The event will also look at the association’s leadership role in recent lobbying of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over price changes announced by Australia Post, and PIAA submissions to the Fair Work Commission.

    Yoshi Itoku, Printing Industries' Member Services Manager for NSW and the ACT

    “For members, this will act as a reminder about the many services Printing Industries provides that can help them to better manage their businesses or improve their bottom line,” said Yoshi Itoku, Printing Industries’ Member Services Manager for New South Wales and the ACT, who will host the webinar. “For prospective members, it’s an invaluable insight into the benefits of association membership and an opportunity to hear first-hand and without any obligation how membership can advantage their business.

    “Many companies see their membership as something of an insurance policy for them to be able to call on us if they have an issue, but there’s many more advantages to membership and that’s what we intend to cover through this webinar.”

    Itoku said association services included creating employment contracts, terms and conditions of trading, business transformation, benchmarking, preferential purchasing and even waste disposal contracts. “We can help businesses to redefine themselves, train staff, access grants and even advise on hoax quotations and related scam emails,” she said.

    The webinar will cover:

    • Workplace Relations & Industry representation
    • Print Promotion/Sustainability
    • Business & Economic Advice
    • Knowledge
    • Better Business – Exclusive bottom line deals

    The event will be held on Wednesday August 5th at 1pm AEST. It will run for 30 minutes and be followed by a Q&A session.

    Click here to register.

  • Sydney’s Access Print expands into Adelaide

    Sydney-based printing and packaging company Access Print Solutions has acquired Adelaide’s Graphic Print Group as part of a national expansion strategy. “It’s a great fit for us and supports our mission to grow the business and improve our services for clients,” said Norbert d’Souza, owner of Access Print, which is located at Granville in Sydney’s west.

    Graphic Print Group, a family-owned printing business established more than 40 years ago, employs over 60 staff at its factory in Richmond, an inner suburb of Adelaide.  Access had traditionally concentrated on the publications market but expanded into the packaging and corporate sectors after upgrading its production capabilities to include three large format 5-colour presses.

    “We’re always looking to grow and it’s all part of giving our clients a better offering,” said Access spokesperson Brenda Esterhazy. “Both companies are family owned with a long history and compliment each other, especially with their location and packaging capabilities, so it’s a good fit.  We’ve bought a very well-run business with stable management so there will be no changes. All the staff will be retained and everything will stay the same.”

    Access was looking to expand into the Melbourne market when the opportunity arose in Adelaide, said Esterhazy. “They’re about the same size as us and it gives us more of a national presence. We deal with a lot of national clients so it’s more convenient for many of them. Our company likes to keep a very low profile and doesn’t like waving flags but we are looking to expand further and we’re still keen on doing something in Melbourne.”

    “Access has come a long way in 11 years in a tricky market but it’s all part of improving services to our clients,” she said.

  • Imports increase pressure on folding box market

    Australia’s folding boxboard market is under increasing pressure from substrate imports and consolidation looks inevitable, according to the latest Pulp & Paper Edge Intelligence Report from industry bible IndustryEdge (IE).

    “Despite the depreciation of the Australian dollar, imports of pre-converted folding boxes (or converted cartonboard) further eroded the domestic sector, growing by 3.9% for the year to end of May 2015,” says IE.

    “Further evidence of the resilience of imports is that the average price has observably continued to grow over the last year. At AUDFob2,631/t, the average price is 19.9% higher than a year before. Price increases of this magnitude suggest that the segments being supplied by the imports are reasonably stable though observably under pressure. From a supply perspective, China has dominated imports to Australia for several years and in May 2015, it delivered 57.5% of the total.

    “The structure of Australia’s folding box-board market is similar to most major packaging markets in that a relatively small number of producers dominate delivery to a wide range of end-users. Inevitably, this gives rise to a very wide supply offering, which is considered to represent operational challenges in a small market.”

    Converters and their merchant suppliers are obliged to tightly manage inventories, yet must retain a volume of supply to meet diverse demand, says IE. “The impact on margins can be acute, particularly in a conversion market that is over-capacity, faces constant challenges from the seemingly more innovative flexible packaging sector and that ultimately, seems to be overdue for a further round of consolidation.

    ‘The suspicion is that the value of folding boxes is not being rewarded in the market with the prices that a rationalised sector could command. The sector’s fragmentation has seen pre-converted imports rise, further eroding domestic market opportunities and value.

    “Without overplaying the situation, IndustryEdge considers sector rationalisation cannot be far off. Perhaps how that will happen, remains the better question. For its part, Colorpak has done some heavy lifting. It consolidated the former Carter Holt Harvey operations in Australia into its business over the four years to the middle of 2014. Orora, the largest player in the market, is the logical player to make a rationalisation move. Their options are quite broad because any single acquisition would still see their market share below 50%. Others, including the always-capable Visy, could expand their share of the market through acquisition and rationalisation.”

    There is at least one other option being considered in the market, according to IndustryEdge.

    “The recent acquisition of Jalco by Pact Group Holdings gives rise to some options for consolidation. Jalco’s product lines include personal care & cosmetics, food & beverage and promotional packaging components, each of which uses, to some extent, folding boxes. It is not clear whether Pact’s strategic interests extend to the cartonboard sector, but there is speculation in the investor community about such a development being possible.

    “Rationalisation remains challenging however, in part because the cost of entry to the conversion sector is relatively low. Import competition is also an element of concern to those who might be considering rationalisation. Ultimately, those issues cannot be addressed in the market until there is sectorial consolidation and tighter integration.

    “Most of the discreet sectors of the Australian packaging market are rationalised or at least, undergoing consolidation that will lead to rationalisation. Such a move is overdue in the folding box conversion market and value seems to be the victim right now.

    “No party in the supply chain – including the end-users – is immune from the pressures. Regardless of the importance of end-users, it is the converters that need to make the moves to improve the structure of the sector. It may not yet be urgent, but it is increasingly important, as fragmentation is demonstrating.

    “That said, we are only observing the beginning of a sector wide awareness and activity on the consolidation front. If that is the case, the situation of challenging value extraction may need to get tougher, before it can get better.”


  • Amcor buys Indian packager for $35 million

    PIPL's Pondicherry plant,150 km south of Chennai.

    Australian packaging giant Amcor has acquired a publicly listed specialty packaging company in India for $US26.4 million ($A35 million).  

    Amcor bought Packaging India Private Limited (PIPL) from parent company Essel Propack to expand its footprint in Southern India. PIPL has three plants located in the north and south of India and produces flexible packaging products mostly for the food and personal care markets. The business services multinational and local customers and generates annual sales of approximately US$40 million.

    Amcor currently has four flexible packaging plants across the north and west of India. The acquisition expands Amcor’s presence into southern India as well as adding to its existing blown film and cylinder making capabilities.

    “India is a very attractive market for flexible packaging driven by strong economic growth, favourable demographics and rapidly changing retail formats,” said Ron Delia, Amcor’s MD and CEO. “The PIPL acquisition provides an opportunity to further expand Amcor’s customer base and enhance our unique value proposition in this important, high growth market.

    In March, Amcor became the leading flexibles packaging player in the African market with the acquisition of South African-based Nampak Flexible.


  • PIAA scores Jason Allen as new CEO

    New PIAA CEO Jason Allen

    Former Waratahs CEO Jason Allen will replace Bill Healey as CEO of Printing Industries, effective 20 July 2015.

    “I’m looking forward to an exciting journey with a great team at the Printing Industries,” said Allen. “Building further on the success is a challenge I accept with confidence, determination and fierce ambition.”

    Healey, who is retiring after four years in the job, welcomed the appointment of his successor and said Allen’s background would complement the board’s vision for the future of the association.

    Retiring CEO Bill Healey

    “Like all organisations, The Printing Industries Association of Australia needs to constantly reinvent itself to remain relevant,” Healey said in a statement. “Jason has shown in his previous positions that he has the skills required to transform organisations. I am sure he will work with the board to implement a strategy to take advantage of the opportunities that have been identified, to ensure the ongoing success of the organisation.”

    Allen has more than 20 years’ experience in a variety of senior executive positions with blue chip companies across Australia. He was CEO of the NSW Waratahs super rugby franchise before resigning last year, CEO for Australia’s largest V8 Supercars Event, the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, and a national general manager Australia for the consumer business of Vodafone. He also sits on a number of boards.

    “The Printing Industries’ board and I are simply thrilled to have Jason on board as the incoming CEO,” said Printing Industries president David Leach. “We strongly believe that his talent, depth of experience and thirst for innovation will deliver positive outcomes for our members, and for the wider printing industry, throughout his tenure as CEO and beyond.”

    Allen will be responsible for “effective, financially viable management of the Printing Industries and setting of, implementation and measurement of the Association’s future strategy in serving its members,” said a Printing Industries press release:

    With the assistance of Bill Healey during the hand-over period, Mr Allen will also take control of initiatives such as $11.5m Future Print program, increasing research and industry transition projects, plus numerous negotiations with the government to improve the lot of Australian printers.

     The industry and the association are on the verge of an exciting era through transformation from its traditional heavy metal manufacturing base to a broader, technology driven communication and information industry. The appointment of a new CEO lights the touch paper for a bright and exhilarating future.

    Bill Healey took the reins in May 2011 as Printing Industries moved from a state-based council system to a single national board. Turbulent times followed as Healey tackled the job of aligning roles and personnel across the country.

    Recognising the need for industry consolidation on the association side to reflect that of the production sector, he  oversaw the incorporation of GASAA into the Printing Industries. He was fortunate in having David Leach come on board as President to help drive further change.

    He will also be largely recognised for securing Federal Government funding for the industry and initiating the Future Print programme that has been transformative for the industry. He will depart the position of CEO leaving a national association that is hugely changed from the one he inherited.

    “During five years of working at the Association I have learnt so much about the industry and the challenges and opportunities it embraces,” he said.

    “I am proud of our achievements, particularly the initiation and implementation of the Future Print projects. These have set in place the foundations our members need to develop the future skill sets and business models necessary to successfully transition in the broader technology driven communication and information industry.”



  • Heidelberg defends Chinese partnership

    The MK Promatrix 106CS

    Heidelberg’s new partnership with Chinese manufacturer Masterwork Machinery (MK) is part of a plan to extend its reach into the folding carton market. Heidelberg dismissed suggestions it might be ‘diluting its brand image’ by allying with an Asian manufacturer.

    “Anyone who has visited the MK plant cannot fail to be impressed by the quality of its research, design and manufacturing facilities,” said Heidelberg board member Harald Weimer.  “We set a high benchmark for quality here at Heidelberg but we had no qualms about working with MK, because we detected a similar working philosophy.

    We see this partnership with MK as an entirely positive move for Heidelberg as a manufacturing supplier and for the global carton converting market.  Their technology is first class, and our sales and support network is second to none.  I see it as a ‘win-win-win’ situation – Heidelberg benefits from having new technology to sell, MK benefits from having foreign markets to develop, and the converters benefit by having an exciting range of competitive machines to improve their businesses.

    “MK is the largest manufacturer of die cutters in China with a 90% share in the tobacco market and 50% of the overall Chinese packaging market” he said. “But it has only a limited export business because it lacks a network of sales, service and parts support – and this is where Heidelberg can step in and bring its expertise and the professionalism that customers demand from a supplier these days,” said Weimer.

    “We visited several Asian manufacturers but were in no doubt that MK was the stand-out company,” said Dr Frank Schaum, head of post press at Heidelberg. “They have more than 80 technicians working in R&D alone.  To be as successful as MK is in the Chinese tobacco industry, which has some of the highest added value print in the world, speaks volumes for its quality.

    “Because the finished product is key, the whole process is vital and in post press this involves a greater involvement of labour than elsewhere in production,” said Schaum. “With run lengths shortening worldwide there is a real need not only to strip out cost, as wages are rising everywhere, but also crucially to simplify and shorten make-ready – and increased automation offers the solution as well as providing better quality control.  Time to market is the driver,” he said.

    It is this need to manage technology and respond to market changes that Heidelberg sees as key to its future growth in the packaging post press sector.  The partnership with MK forms the platform on which it can build its business globally, said Weimer, but he’s keen to point out that while its new MK Promatrix and MK Easymatrix die cutters will become its volume sellers in the carton market, the existing 100 or so users of the Dymatrix and Varimatrix ranges will continue to receive full support.  “What the new MK die cutters will do is allow us to tap into the volume market as well, where high levels of sophistication and performance are not as important as reliable day-to-day production at a price level that more can afford.”

    “We are delighted to be working with the market leader,” said Wells Fu, international trade manager for MK and Heidelberg’s liaison man with the Chinese factory.  “Heidelberg offers MK the opportunity to grow our business in the global market in a way that we could never have achieved alone.”


  • ‘Eye candy’ packaging: drupa expert report

    Des King

    Looks count and first impressions matter. How products are judged by their many differing attributes – not least fitness for purpose, consistent reliability and value for money – will determine the extent to which they build market share on an ongoing basis. Prior to that, however, it will probably be a particular spot color, a distinctive font, or else the artful application of a metallic ink on the exterior of the pack that initiates the relationship between a brand and a consumer.

    “Thanks to impressive print packaging, brands can seduce customers into a change of purchasing vote at the point of purchase,” says Superbrands founder Marcel Knobil. “We would end up with less brand and more bland were it not for the attention that the packaging attracts.” Superbrands is acclaimed worldwide as being an independent authority and arbiter of branding excellence, committed to paying tribute to exceptional brands and promoting the discipline of branding.

    The impact of a winning combination of text and graphics extends way beyond fronting up that initial beauty parade. As well as being the ‘eye candy’ that hooks the consumer in the first instance, a perfectly reproduced external image provides consumers with an often subliminal product recognition and reassurance that can be the brand owner’s banker in a congested retail space.

    Today’s packaging trends are driven by longer supermarket opening hours, continually enhanced print technologies and capabilities and demand to protect brands and increase recognition. Not only surviving but attaining the status as the preferred choice under such highly testing conditions is one half of the brand owner’s greatest challenge. The other is to meet it at an affordable cost.

    Controlling quality

    With the high probability of color variations occurring not only between different substrates, but also print processes – and indeed from one printer to another, not only in different locations but even when they are running presses made by the same manufacturer – maintaining consistency can be a complex undertaking.

    The best way to meet it is to ensure that all the contributory links within the supply chain which are engaged in steering the progress of a printed pack from hatch to dispatch are all able to interact via an open entry web-based platform.

    “Our vision is to connect the supply chain from the brand owner to the retailer and to make that flow broader and richer,” says Jef Stoffels, Esko Marketing Director.

    “We do this by adding greater functionality which meets the go-to-market and quality needs of CPG (consumer packaged goods) businesses and retailers. We also make it possible for the brand owner to ensure that the flow of data is secure and transparent, mistakes and errors can be picked up early or avoided altogether and the net result is to get products to market faster.”

    Similarly web-based color management systems can extend the same degree of comfort and control to brand owners over how pre-determined color parameters are then replicated accurately irrespective of substrate or supplier, ensuring a guaranteed consistency of color reproduction that underpins brand authenticity and integrity. The X-Rite PantoneLIVE color management solution is ideal for the brand owner as it has control over the pre-determined color parameters, these are then stored in the cloud for use as and when required by his supply chain. This ensures accurate replications of the accredited brand image irrespective of substrate or supplier.

    Bobst F&K 20SIX flexo press

    Pressed to perform

    Converters equipped with smarter production facilities can be more directly instrumental in achieving cost and performance benefits to brand owners. Using high-definition flexo plate and software technologies, it is now possible to meet the requirements of 85% of current flexo-printed, flexible packaging without detriment to the finished result from CMYK + white rather than using special inks.

    “Working out of a reduced color palette means there are less plates and less waste ink. It ticks a lot of boxes,” says Ultimate Packaging (UK) Sales Director, Chris Tonge. “Whilst global players like Unilever and P&G have been specifying these solutions for the past 10 to 15 years, smaller brands are realizing there is a cost advantage in that you can control the colors a lot better if you set the right standards.”

    It’s not just improvement at the front-end that is raising quality and performance standards in flexo, still the sector’s most widely used print process accounting for over 40% of a current global printed packaging market worth around an estimated €250bn per annum, particularly for flexibles and corrugated board applications. Speed on the press and consistency across substrates are key. Ultimate Packaging has recently installed two additional servo-driven Bobst flexo presses ahead of drupa. Offset has also responded positively to deliver cost-efficient shorter run-lengths, for example Heidelberg’s Speedmaster Prinect Inpress Control inline automated turbo charged system which can change plates between jobs within ten minutes.

    Digital mindset

    What has sparked these improvements in analogue press technology is the increasingly potent challenge posed by digital print; not least in meeting brand owner requirements for cost-efficient shorter run lengths – and thereby, lower inventory levels – and the ability to differentiate products on-shelf through customization. Whilst affordably utilizing variable data has always been part and parcel of the digital print proposition, it’s now clearly on the retail marketing radar following its successful adoption by high-profile retail marketing campaigns run by Coca Cola, Heineken, Nutella and a steadily growing band of global blue-chip brands. “To take our brand off the packaging and replace it with something other than the Coca Cola script wasn’t easy to do within a structure like ours, where we operate according to very tight brand guidelines to protecting it,” says Coca Cola Packaging Innovator Greg Bentley. “The digital print capability enabled it to happen, but the marketing campaign is the really smart thing.”

    “The combination of technological muscle and marketing inspiration is what it takes to make customization fly,” says Paul Randall, HP Worldwide Brands Business Development Manager.

    “It’s breaking away from the mindset of packaging being the static bearer of logos and ingredients tables and using it as a media opportunity for consumer engagement to the benefit of the brand. The media landscape has changed. It is becoming increasingly fragmented between above the line spend (bought media), PR and below the line (earned media), and packaging (owned media) – with the latter two increasingly linked together. Not surprisingly, brand owners are now regular visitors to HP’s Graphics Experience Centre in Barcelona.”

    Likewise Xeikon’s technology centre in Antwerp. “For brand owners attending our Xeikon Café program, it’s a two-track learning curve,” says Labels & Packaging Marketing Director, Filip Weymans. “First, understanding how the benefits of digital production can be translated into diversifying communication towards the audience they’re reaching out to and second, how the technology can address needs within their business model – notably, being faster to market and making better use of working capital.”

    “While the adoption of digital is an accelerating trend, despite the buzz being created it’s still under-selling its potential,” says SAB Miller Global Packaging Manager, Doug Hutt. “The top ten brand owners in the world are generating over a quarter of a trillion dollars in sales. If just 10 – 20% of these were digitized with the balance going to analogue, that is still a very large potential revenue that converters haven’t yet grasped.”

    “FMCG companies should be more proactive in going out and talking to the packaging industry – and the packaging industry should be addressing those issues and coming up with solutions,” says Doug Hutt, SAB Miller Global Packaging Manager.

    Meanwhile, faster-running inkjet technology looks poised to dictate the next chapter in the digital packaging print story, not least via the keenly anticipated commercialization of digital guru Benny Landa’s ‘nanographic’ presses engineered to deliver variable data printed material at offset speeds.

    The finishing touch

    Customization is not the only route to catching the consumer’s eye on-shelf. Short-run, cost-effective special effects such as high gloss, glitter, metallic without recourse to hot-foil stamping and even Braille are also within the remit of next-generation digital post-press enhancement technology now establishing itself within the finishing sector. Also providing a more cost-effective means of achieving greater stand-out is the take-up of cold foiling using the analogue process – notably as an alternative to laminated / metalized substrates for labels and cartons.

    Meanwhile, at the higher end of the scale is the arresting 3D effect achieved through the use of Fresnel lens technology providing instant ‘stand-out’ in retail duty-free for cartons containing the global gin brand Bombay Sapphire. “It’s obviously more expensive than a normal foil by about one-third, but you do get significantly greater impact. If you want something that is undeniably eye-catching and alluring then that’s what it takes,” says Dominic Burke, Webb deVlam UK Managing Director.

    The new frontier

    “The adoption of online-oriented technologies is pointing the way towards next generation applications aimed at facilitating greater engagement between brand and consumer,” says Sun Branding Solutions Packaging Technology Director, Gillian Garside-Wight. “Who would have thought that the Apple watch would be available five years ago? Brand owners need to deliver what consumers want including smarter packs that integrate with a digitally driven smarter life-style.”

    Quite a number of applications on the market bring into play mobile technology. For example, on-pack augmented reality (AR) applications pioneered by Blippar that allow users to simply look at an object through the camera on their smartphone to activate an instantaneous digital search and draw down information from the web. In a recent campaign for Perrier, the invitation to consumers to shake their phone like a cocktail shaker to reveal a recipe was a typically innovative way to highlight the overall concept and add fun by using the technology to unique advantage.

    Rather than position an icon on-pack to facilitate interaction, UK-based prepress specialist Reproflex3’s proprietary ‘PackLinc’ scanning technology embeds a hidden code within the ink itself, enabling the consumer to effectively treat the entire pack as a portal. Most recently applied within a limited edition run of the children’s POM-BEAR crisp packet, the system was the recipient of EFIA (European Flexographic Industry Association) and the prestigious Starpack gold awards last year. Debbie Waldron-Hoines, EFIA Director says, “Brand owners need a deeper understanding of the processes so that they can help make considered decisions on what is best suited for their brand. Both flexo and digital can work wonderfully together to enhance the brand.”

    Underpinning product security and thereby underpinning brand integrity is another obvious avenue being explored by smart technologies. A fully printed near-field communication sensor tag (NFC) developed by Thin Film Electronics for Diageo’s Johnnie Walker whisky doubles as a security and anti-counterfeiting device as well as interacting with smartphones to dispense product advice and information.

    As a lot of the labeling and pre-printed information currently required to be displayed on-pack is gradually phased out, just imagine the potential for branding afforded by that freed-up real estate. Brands are currently getting maybe only 40% of the pack’s surface for its primary purpose. However, if one small interactive barcode resolves all the regulatory and legal requirements 90% of the print surface could be released for marketing the product.

    “Ironically, the most practical bridge linking brand and consumer might simply entail upgrading the humble linear barcode into a 2D format,” says Domino Printing Sciences Global Account Manager, Craig Stobie. “Brand owners are yet to fully realize the potential in having a machine-readable code that not only contains a lot more data but with the same footprint or smaller than a human-readable, but can also actually be cheaper.”

    “Whether it be products that communicate with your tablet or temperature or time sensitive thermochromic inks that indicate when your lager is perfectly chilled or provide the re-assurance that pre-packaged meat is safe to eat, the facility for interactivity ticks all the right boxes for forward-looking brand owners,” says Eef de Ferrante, Managing Director of the Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA).

    “Brand owners need to meet the challenges faced by counterfeiting, product security in the supply chain, consumer engagement and ‘Big Data’ management. Brand protection and better marketing of their products are major starting points towards averting potential reputational damage and simply saving money.”

    Eye-catching and innovative printed packaging is a shrewd investment towards building a loyal and enduring customer-base, concludes Des King. Whilst consumers are exercising greater versatility than ever before in choosing how and where they are able to gather information through which to determine product preferences, packaging offers the brand owner a uniquely guaranteed opportunity to control how they communicate with prospective customers face to face in-store at the very point of purchase. No surprise then that the ways in which the package is printed will occupy center-stage at drupa 2016.

    Executive summary

    Printed packaging is the key mechanism enabling brand owners to build expanding and enduring customer loyalty in order to out-sell and out-perform their competition. Changing patterns of communication have elevated the role of packaging from protective wrapper to front-line sales & marketing tool. In a media-neutral environment it’s a function that is increasingly as much marketing as technology, and that provides the brand owner with guaranteed profiling and exposure in front of the consumer.

    In order to optimize consumer response at the point of sale, brand owners will want to invest not only in imaginative, innovative and well-executed creative design in order to achieve distinction and differentiation, but also in the appropriate colour management technologies to ensure its accurate replication irrespective of substrate or geographical location. The latest developments in web-based workflow platforms and systems that link all components within the packaging print supply chain will be on show at drupa 2016.

    Whilst a consistently reproduced and instantly recognizable image is vital in underpinning authenticity, brand owners are increasingly required to be able to demonstrate rapid response agility in order to maintain competitive edge via updated printed messaging and as these tactics are often short-term and invariably short-run, as cost-effectively as possible. The same level of expediency applies to the introduction of brand extensions and new products. Enhanced analogue process print and next-generation digital equipment designed to deliver accelerated cost-effective time to market will compete for attention at drupa 2016.

    Special decorative effects and added functionality are increasingly providing an added value finishing touch that can extend beyond the point of purchase to enhance the consumer’s relationship with the branding proposition throughout its life expectancy. The appropriate systems and solutions to accomplish all of these imperatives are not only readily available to print service providers but are constantly updated and extended. Applications to facilitate the synergy between printed text and graphics, the internet and social media through the development of on-pack interactivity accessed by smart mobile technology will constitute a growing area of visitor interest in Dϋsseldorf.


    Author: Des King

    Des King has worked as a freelance journalist in the printing & packaging industries for the past twenty years. During this time he has appeared regularly in leading UK magazines as well as several of the leading European & international trade publications. He writes a regular monthly opinion column in Packaging News. Des is a long-standing member of IPPO, The International Packaging Press Organisation.

    Over the past four years he has edited UK print & packaging industry supplements within The Times, the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph and has been responsible for editing the English-language version on-site show newspapers at interpack ’08, ’11 and ’14 in Düsseldorf.

    Prior to joining the ranks of the ‘fourth estate’, Des King was marketing director at Reed Exhibitions (UK) for seventeen years, during which time he was responsible for the promotion of PACKEX (packaging); INTERPLAS (plastics) and IPEX (printing) events.

    His main interests within the packaging sector are the increasing impact of digital technology in accelerating time to market and increasing on-shelf impact; the role of packaging within product branding strategies; and ways in which packaging can be made more user-friendly to fellow ‘grey consumers.’

  • Package deal for Mimaki and Esko

    The OGPS from Mimaki and Esko

    Mimaki and Esko have teamed up in a joint development project to simplify digital packaging production for packaging converters and commercial printers.

    The Original Good Package System (OGPS), a design-to-finish system, is aimed at streamlining digital packaging production for companies that produce packaging samples, small packing runs and personalised packaging goods.

    “Packaging converters, commercial printers and design firms are experiencing a growing demand for a more cost effective means of producing samples, mock-ups and small lots of customised or personalised packaging,” said Mike Horsten, marketing GM of Mimaki EMEA. “Our goal was to simplify the process of packaging design and production to bring professional packaging design within the reach of original goods manufacturers of all sizes.

    “By combining a subset of the market-leading ArtiosCAD software by Esko with affordable printing and cutting technology from Mimaki, our OGPS is well-positioned to change the way small lot packaging is designed and produced.”

    The OGPS features three elements: the ArtiosCAD Designer Solution, the Mimaki UJF-6042 and the Mimaki CFL-605RT. The ArtiosCAD is CAD software for package design, which comes with 400 templates as well as tools for original mock-ups. The UJF-6042 flat-bed printer has a maximum print dimension of 610 x 420mm and is suitable for printing on a range of objects and packaging materials. The CFL-605RT compact cutter supports on-demand production with multiple functions such as cutting and creasing also for packaging and cushioning.

    Users can also use specialised tools to create their own custom designs and include them in the final design. The system offers a solution not only for the design and creation of product packaging and cushioning but also for printing directly onto a product. Users that don’t need the predesigned templates available in the ArtiosCAD DS software can create custom designs with the guide function.

    “Once a design is final it can be printed on the UJF-6042 in full colour and if needed with varnish effects,” said Horsten. “The printed design can then be cut and creased using the CFL-605RT cutting plotter that matches the printer size. A finished package can literally be produced in minutes, either as a mock-up or sample using actual target substrates, for small lot packaging production, and even personalised or serialised packages. This total solution will allow designers, packaging converters, commercial printers, and small manufacturers to revolutionise the way they design and produce small lot packaging.”

  • What the market wants, the market gets – HP Indigo in Israel #2

    When HP Indigo launched the B2-size Series 4 presses – HP Indigo 10000, HP Indigo 20000 and HP Indigo 30000 before last drupa, the company had clear market segments in mind – commercial, labels and packaging respectively. Since then it has sold 250 of the large presses; 200 of the 10000, 33 of the 20000 and 17 of the 30000.

    Yoav Lotan, product manager, explaining the virtues of the game changing WS8600 at the HP Indigo event at Kiryat Gat in Israel.

    It’s been a remarkably successful assault on the large size printing market but it hasn’t gone exactly as its designers planned. At the HP Indigo customers’ event in Israel, it quickly became clear that the industry has little appetite for a large-scale label press such as the 20000. Of those installed, I was told only three are running as dedicated label presses, the rest are for flexible packaging.

    I won’t say it came as a surprise to Alon Bar-Shany, head of HP Indigo and his team; flexible packaging was always promoted as a strategic use for the press.  But it has caused a change in how they talk about it and how they see the market. It also reinforces why they like to bring customers to their factory at Kiryat Gat, in the south of Israel – to listen and learn. It’s a worthwhile exercise.


    The HP Indigo manufacturing site in the south of Israel has some clever neighbours. Across the road is chipmaker Intel, a potent symbol of the region’s high-tech make up. Palm trees line the roads of the industrial park and there are plenty of signs of heavy industry. The sprawling facility is a lot bigger and more settled than the raw structure I first visited many years ago. A massive new building, built entirely to accommodate the production of the Series 4 B2-size presses, has expanded its scale. This impressive site is where HP Indigo makes all its presses. It also houses one of its the electro ink plants (the other in Singapore) as well as the Scitex wide-format ink factory.

    We arrive after 45 minutes driving from Tel Aviv through a bright, hot, summer morning. Three hundred milling customers, prospects, analysts and journalists are herded into the canteen for a welcoming address by Bar-Shany. His easy going, longhaired style can easily disguise the fact that he’s been at the wheel during the company’s quite impressive growth over the past ten years. He’s passionate about Israel, unabashedly promoting its virtues, while giving a nod to its challenges. He’s also quite a charismatic in his passionate belief in the unique advantages of the HP Indigo technology. Maybe it comes with the job.

    Change is the challenge

    He focuses on the big C, or rather lots of them … competition, currency, consolidation, commodification, China and chaos, before hitting his theme of dealing with Change. Promoting partnering with reliable others as a strategy for survival and success, it’s no surprise that he sees HP Indigo as a suitable candidate.

    He dwells on the successes of the brand, pointing out that print volumes from HP Indigo machines have multiplied by as much as 28 times since 2001. HP Indigo label presses will produce more than 600 million metres2 in 2015, representing 10% of market volume.

    It soon becomes apparent that Bar-Shany sees the future of the company as intimately wrapped up in its success of moving beyond commercial print, which as a sector is flatlining at best, into the growth sectors of  flexible cartons, labels, and packaging. It’s not just wishful thinking – HP Indigo has long been engaged with labels and packaging, producing its first press targeted at the sector, the Omnius, in 1995.

    Series 2 in the early part of the new century after HP took over, saw it refine the concept with the release of the WS4000 models, which enjoyed good success in moving the brand into the industrial printing market.

    Dvir Hertsberg (left) is the new plant manager at the Electro Ink factory. Less than a month into his role he was happy to welcomes Patrick Howard to his domain.

    The Series 3 WS 6000 label press, launched at drupa in 2008, was the game changer. It’s robust production accelerated the adoption of digital technology by the label industry worldwide. Australia and New Zealand embraced the marque where it captured over 90 percent of the digital label market  With 800 presses installed worldwide since launch, the narrow web digital press has catapulted the company into being the leading label press manufacturer, not just digital, in the world. Since its introduction it has produced over 3 billion labels in over 50 countries.

    The introduction of the WS6800 last year moved the debate along with 100 already sold around the world, a fine example of a press that absolutely meets the market’s requirements. Its design was based on the feedback from customers of their need to diversify into producing a wider range of products, such as wraparounds, in-mould, shrink sleeve and speciality labels, as well as labels.

    In the bright summer light of Kiryat Gat it soon becomes apparent that the company really wants very much to talk about the Series 4 B2 presses. These are already producing over 30% of its revenues and it clearly is where Bar-Shany sees the most growth potential, especially in flexible packaging/labels and folding carton packaging.

    The local market in Australia and New Zealand enjoys one of the best take-up ratios in the world with 10 of the HP Indigo 10000s in commercial printers around the region. So far though, the local industry has been reluctant to follow into the larger industrial printing presses, a comment, perhaps, on the state of manufacturing in the country.

    Mark Daws, Currie Group product manager, is here, escorting a representative of a well-known Melbourne label printing company, who asked to remain anonymous. Jason Beckley, HP Indigo Australia, is also attending, shepherding the scion of a high-profile Queensland packager who has long been considering his digital moves.

    Straight after the opening presentation we have a customer panel of printers from France, Israel and Mexico talking abut how they’re making money with digital applications on the big presses in what was until very recently a flexo and gravure market. One fact stands out clearly, the 20000 is a flexible packaging press, first and foremost.

    We are treated to accounts of how the capabilities of the press are driving innovative packaging products. Tellingly, none of the presenting customers are using the big 20000 for label production, all for flexible packaging. (The programme for the following day includes a visit to Tadbik Group, the country’s largest label printer, where the 20000, one of two the business has bought, is also used exclusively for flexible packaging with two WS6000s and one WS6800 fully occupied printing labels.)

    It’s not that the 20000 cannot be a hugely productive label press across its 73.6cm (29 inch) web, but that’s just it, the width. Although UK-based engineering manufacturer, ABG as HP Indigo’s preferred label conversion manufacturer, has developed a slitting option, not too many label converters have enthusiasm for changing their narrow wed width. especially with the availability of the WS6800.

    Touring the manufacturing halls later in the day it becomes apparent that HP Indigo is keeping busy. It may not be operating at full production capacity in press construction but I’m told it’s turning out 187 presses, of all types, per quarter. Combined with the company’s R programme for refurbished and up-graded presses to the market, it plays into approximately 1000 presses per year. Parlay that into a guesstimate of an average of $700K per press, including Series 4 and – do the math – you’re looking at press revenue in the region of $700 million per year. According to Alon Bar-Shany, consumables contribute about the same level of earnings with a significant, if much smaller service stream adding to the pot, and HP Indigo is about a $1.5 billion business. Not bad for a 1993 start-up in a market where many press manufacturers have since gone bust

    All in all, it’s a fine example of how the market ultimately is king. Series 4 is proving a success, moving digital printing into mainstream commercial and industrial production. It may not be playing out exactly as people figured it would but that’s OK.  Printers recognise the unique characteristics of a press, what it’s good for, better than any manufacturer. The 20000 is proving to be an excellent digital flexible packaging machine.

    It proves that it pays to listen to your customers, which is what HP Indigo is doing again during this event in Israel.


  • Tas. opens ‘champions of tomorrow’ awards

    Nominations have opened for this year’s Tasmanian Apprentice & Young Executive of the Year Awards. Printing businesses in Tasmania are being encouraged to nominate their best young apprentices for the Media Super Apprentice of the Year Award and Young Executive Awards that are being held in conjunction with the Diemen Awards.

    Printing Industries’ CEO Bill Healey said that the awards recognised the high levels of talent and commitment to the industry. “The Media Super Young Executive Award demonstrates that, as an industry, we are serious about promoting achievement and excellence to help develop the industry champions of tomorrow,” he said.

    Companies can nominate apprentices who completed their third or fourth year apprenticeship or an accelerated apprenticeship (three years or under) during the 2014 calendar year. Organisers said that ‘those nominated should display exemplary promise as future champions of the print, packaging, communication and information sectors.’

    Finalists will be presented at the Diemen Awards to be held Saturday, 24 October 2015 in Hobart when the winner will be announced. The winner will then be nominated to represent Tasmania at the national Media Super Young Executive Award to be held in Melbourne in May 2016 during the National Print Awards. They will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the 2016 National Print Awards for the judging and presentation dinner. The national Media Super Young Executive Award winner will receive a trophy and a $2000 contribution toward their superannuation account.

    Entry forms can be found here. More information is available by contacting Jenny Berry, Printing Industries’ acting State Manager, Victoria & Tasmania: or 0419 342 622.

  • Spotlight on package printing at Labelexpo 2015

    Labelexpo Europe 2013

    Package printing will be a major focus of this year’s Labelexpo Europe in Brussels – set to be the biggest event in its 35 year history.

    Labelexpo Europe 2015’s show floor and feature areas will put the spotlight on “the lucrative commercial opportunities that package print production offers,” said organisers.

    “Package printing is now central to the label printing community and Labelexpo experience,” said Lisa Milburn, managing director of the Labelexpo Global Series. “With 53% of our total exhibitors showing products for flexible packaging and 32% featuring products for folding cartons, Labelexpo Europe offers all printers the most extensive showcase of package printing solutions available. Nowhere else will print industry professionals find such a comprehensive range of suppliers and technologies which will help gear up their business, improve profitability and add value for their customers.”

    Taking place at Brussels Expo in Belgium from 29 September to 2 October, the show is aimed at trade professionals including label and package printers, brand owners and designers. Visitors to the show will be able to see and source the latest label and package printing solutions from over 600 exhibitors.

    Leading industry suppliers will be there in force with exhibitor highlights including Soma Engineering showing a working press for the first time. Soma 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 shrink sleeves, retort stand-up pouches and sachets, in-mold and wraparound labels, as well as paper sacks, cups and plates.

    Soma’s Optima will be running live job demonstrations throughout the show. The press being displayed will be equipped with eight printing stations and will feature fast web changeover, intelligent impression adjustment to reduce start-up waste and Soma’s new, award-winning print cartridge system for spot colours, which offers printers a means of significantly reducing ink costs on printing jobs where expensive colours, special effect and metallic ink formulations are required.

    In addition, the award winning REVO team – consisting of Nuova Gidue, Flint Group, Apex International, AVT, DuPont, Esko, UPM Raflatac and packaging converter Adare Group – will bring new technology to Labelexpo Europe demonstrating how low migration UV flexo inks can be used to convert flexible packaging. Currently, most food-grade flexible packaging is printed with either solvent or water-based flexo inks or with solvent gravure. UV has been considered problematic because the photo-initiators can migrate if not fully cured. The REVO team claims to have developed a technology to guarantee that every meter of film within a roll has been fully cured, and that brand colours are consistently matched by a seven-colour process ink set.

    Covering an unprecedented eight halls, Labelexpo Europe will also host an array of educational feature areas. The Packprint Workshop will give practical insight into how printers can diversify and grow their business with press demonstrations by Xeikon using its 3500 for digital folding cartons and Nilpeter showing its FA* flexo press for flexible packaging capabilities.

    The Smart Packaging Lab will focus on opportunities in intelligent and active packaging, while the inaugural Packaging Design Studio will give show-goers a chance to network with some of the industry’s leading creative designers.

    HP Indigo and partners will present their package printing solutions with the return of the Print Your Future feature area. Visitors will be able to see a wide range of applications, including flexible packaging, shrink sleeves and labels alongside new advanced colour management tools and inks. Both the HP Indigo 20000 and WS6800 Digital Presses will be on display.

    An early bird discount rate is available until 18 September with entry to the show costing €55. Visitors can register to attend.

    Labelexpo Europe 2013


  • Deluge for 2015 Packaging Design Awards

    Tea by Birdy, Best of Show 2014

    Entries are pouring in from manufacturers, brand owners, designers, retailers and raw material suppliers for the 2015 Australian Packaging Design Awards (APDA) run by the Packaging Council of Australia (PCA).

    “We’re a notoriously last-minute industry but entries are going very well this year and we had a flood of registrations in April before the cut-off date for the early bird special,” said Jennifer Salem, PCA’s Awards & Divisional Manager. “The final closing date for registration is Wednesday, July 29.”

    The APDA is an annual competition targeted towards the entire packaging supply chain and recognises companies who are ‘imaginative, innovative and creative’ in producing packaging. The event is designed to assist companies launch new products into the market, increase their business profile and build media and brand awareness.

    There are six categories to choose from when registering: Food, Beverage, Health & Beauty, Household & Office, Industrial & Supply Chain and Seasonal & Promotional.

    More details here.