Company News • 09.09.2014

A Label is a Complex Technical Construction

Annual congress of the label industry’s international association, FINAT

A Label is a Complex Technical Construction
Source: FINAT

Delivering a ‘label’ is not just a matter of printing it. It involves a complex value chain that also spans the material to be printed and the machinery to apply it – whatever the technology employed.

The ‘battle of decoration technologies’ was the focus for an expert panel of suppliers who came together at the annual congress of the label industry’s international association, FINAT, to debate the challenges and opportunities. Their discussions provided valuable insights that set the context for improved communication between brand-owning end users and their ‘label’ suppliers – including printers.

Representatives from key – and different -- aspects of today’s industry supply chain formed the discussion panel. They were Stefan Richter (D), Krones, leading manufacturers of advanced process, filling, and packaging equipment – including different label application systems; Geert-Jan Kolkhuis Tanke (NL), Avery Dennison, representing a leading global supplier of label materials, both paper and film, particularly for self-adhesive labels; and Raul Matos (USA), founder of Karlville Development LLC, global leaders in shrink sleeve converting and application equipment as well as pouch converting.

The opportunity to cross-question suppliers was enthusiastically embraced by the congress delegates, who were encouraged prior to the debate to submit questions to moderator Marc Büttgenbach – himself worldwide sales director for labels and consumables for Bizerba, worldwide providers of a wide-ranging portfolio of hardware and software products, particularly in the food arena.

Which technology?

‘Why would a brand owner choose any particular labelling technology for a product?’, Mr Büttgenbach asked. For shrink sleeves, Karlville’s Raul Matos said that it is the ‘ability to label different shapes and sizes of container. Sleeves on smaller single-serve bottles are economically-viable’, he said. The choice driver for self-adhesive labels, said Avery Dennison’s Geert-Jan Kolkhuis Tanke, would be ‘the huge selection of materials and products available to meet every price requirement – and changing with innovation, as with other technologies.’

In fact, the panel agreed, we are living in a multi-technology society – and a society where the materials employed will work with both conventional and digital presses. ‘Krones today make multi-technology labelling machines’, said Stefan Richter, reviewing current trends. ‘While wet-glue labelling is declining,’ he added, ‘it is still only possible to achieve the “no-label look” with self-adhesives.’

Ever-changing demands

Indeed, the demands of a ‘label’ are ever-changing – not just in response to brand owners’ marketing and promotional needs, such as QR codes, but – particularly today -- in response to legislative requirements for expanded label content. The resultant for greater label space, and bigger labels, is certainly challenging brand owners and the label supply chain. In this respect, Avery Dennison’s Geert-Jan Kolkhuis Tanke drew attention to the value of leaflet labels, which he described as ‘applying labels to labels’, and which have been a successful feature of self-adhesive labelling – particularly in the field of pharmaceuticals -- for many years now.

Expanded label content is also a topic of focus for the very distinct production characteristics of shrink sleeve labels, according to Karlville’s Raul Matos. He observed: ‘QR codes, for example, need to be placed on an area of low shrink’, he said, underlining the need to involve the whole supply chain, from the designer onwards, in creating a successful shrink sleeve.

Security and ‘smart’ data functionality

Barcodes and other ‘smart’ printed data also have a role to play in product authentication and track-and-trace activities – which are only one part of the opportunities to create layered overt – visible -- and covert – invisible -- security elements in and on a self-adhesive label, as Mr Kolhuis Tanke pointed out. RFID labels are, of course, a good example of the successful application of this principle although, as Mr Matos added, they are today primarily ‘interesting as a security device for high-priced products’.

Conversation moved on to a subject which the panel agreed is definitely a coming technology: linerless labelling, which is already achieving a strong presence on supermarket food prepacks, and to another developing pathway for label converters -- printing flexible packaging. Mr Matos observed: Our industry currently only has a tiny percentage of this market’, he added, ‘but we could have much more!’ He reminded the audience that two different, but complementary, businesses exist within the broad packaging arena -- primary and secondary packaging – both of which could, today, be addressed by label producers. He added, however: ‘In our industry, this requires a mindshift... we need to embrace flexible packaging as a closely-related brother industry.’

He drew attention to a good example of a practical enabler in this respect -- the latest HP Indigo digital press for both paper and film webs up to 750mm wide, which is capable of printing flexible packaging.

Price versus sustainability

The moderator directed the conversation to a major focus for FINAT members: the issue of ‘price versus sustainability’. The true definition of ‘sustainability’ needs to be established, said Mr Kolkhuis Tanke for Avery Dennison, because, he said, ‘it is also about efficiency on the production line, and TCO – total cost of ownership: can it bring savings?’

Mr Matos, for Karlville Development, expanded the discussion to include shrink sleeves, which, he said, are in some “green” communities not considered a sustainable solution. ‘But’, he underlined, ‘new technology DOES now allow sleeve separation in PET recycling.’ He added that he believes ‘shrink sleeves will continue to grow as packaging continues to change: refills, pouches with closures these are the things that will create the tipping point.’

‘Sustainability is also about the trend to thinner materials’, Mr Richter pointed out, highlighting a key factor for Krones’ business platform. They, however, ‘require more skill at the application point, and underline the need for quality labelling materials – even though thinner materials are driven by price!’

Threats?

Two pathways to product decoration were identified as threats to the label industry – both primarily focussed on the increasing capabilities of digital technologies. ‘With all our currently-available technologies’, said Krones’ Stefan Richter, ‘we still can’t decorate a three-dimensional surface!’ 3D printing’s challenges are partnered in the threats arena by direct-to-container print, which do away with the need for an additional label substrate, as shrink sleeve expert Mr Matos pointed out.

The future?

Currently, Krones are experiencing increasing evidence that brand owners are choosing a ‘mix’ of labelling technologies, Mr Richter said. ‘In fact’, Moderator Büttgenbach added, ‘labelling and packaging are merging together, more and more. What, then, is the likely scenario for five to ten years’ time?’

For Mr Kolkhuis Tanke and Avery Dennison, it will mean ‘more self-adhesive products, greater efficiency, high-speed label application, and much more in the way of ‘smart’ labels and Near-Field Communication (NFC) -- which not only influence consumer behaviour but also significantly augment label functionality’. For Karlville, Mr Matos expects that the medium term will see full automation in the application of shrink sleeves as the market matures, plus a larger share in flexible packaging – particularly pouches. Whatever the case, the label application machinery has a key enabling role to play, said Krones’ Stefan Richter. ‘There will be a highly-flexible “open system” of application – but material suppliers need to involve the application industry earlier in their developments to facilitate change at our end.’

Will any one technology be the ultimate winner, was the moderator’s final question. The panel agreed that there is room for everyone. ‘We will all be part of a growing business’, said Mr Richter.

FINAT is actively pursuing the promotion of a broader technology base than has been traditional in label printing companies, and the topics raised by delegate questions in this valuable panel discussion prove that the association’s membership is also enthusiastically embracing a wider definition of a ‘label’.

What did industry players think of the FINAT Congress 2014 and why do they come back each year to this event? See the video here:

Source: FINAT

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Light up the future with Posiflex at EuroShop 2020...
11.02.2020   #kiosk terminals #Trade fair special EuroShop 2020

Light up the future with Posiflex at EuroShop 2020

Serviced IoT solutions: personalized, flexible and connected

The Posiflex Group, a synergy of world-leading POS, kiosk, and industrial computing technologies — will bring its Serviced IoT solutions to EuroShop 2020, the leading Europe trade fair for the retail industry, from February 16th – 20th ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Poindus VariPOS TSE Solution
11.02.2020   #security #pos systems

Poindus VariPOS TSE Solution

TSE for German fiscal regulations

Kassensicherungsverordnung (KassenSichV) regulates the technical requirements for electronic recording and security systems, such as Point-of-Sale (POS) systems & electronic cash registers in order to end the manipulation and potential tax ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Toshiba demonstrates the future of shopping at EuroShop 2020...
13.02.2020   #self-checkout systems #Trade fair special EuroShop 2020

Toshiba demonstrates the future of shopping at EuroShop 2020

Toshiba spotlights innovations enabling retailers to create “moments that inspire”

Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions offers EuroShop 2020 attendees a look into the future via its ‘Frictionless Store’, Feb. 16-20, hall 6 booth C41 in Düsseldorf, Germany. Toshiba’s innovative solutions enable retailers to ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Toshiba bolsters point-of-sale performance with latest Intel technology...
21.01.2020   #pos marketing #self-checkout systems

Toshiba bolsters point-of-sale performance with latest Intel technology

9th generation Intel® Core™ processor enhances retailer operations and customer experience

Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions continues to empower retailers and enhance the customer experience by integrating Intel’s latest processor technology within its global point-of-sale (POS) systems. The 9th Generation Intel® Core™ ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Online payment fraud losses to exceed $200 billion...
02.03.2020   #online trading #mobile payment

Online payment fraud losses to exceed $200 billion

Ongoing high level of data breaches and fraud innovation driving losses

A new study from Juniper Research has found that businesses in e-commerce, airline ticketing, money transfer and banking services, will cumulatively lose over 200 billion dollars to online payment fraud between 2020 and 2024, driven by the increased ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Wow factor affects the bottom line at Denmarks largest garden center...
22.01.2020   #consulting #electronic shelf labels (ESL)

Wow factor affects the bottom line at Denmark's largest garden center chain

ESL results in time savings for employees and creates a positive customer experience

The rollout of electronic shelf labels is in progress at Plantorama, which expects both economic and operational benefits by replacing the paper shelf labels in all of the chain's garden centers. Staff members need more time for customers and it ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Collaboration of Hobbii.dk with Delfi Technologies...
01.04.2020   #electronic shelf labels (ESL) #electric displays

Collaboration of Hobbii.dk with Delfi Technologies

Danish e-commerce company has found the recipe for physical stores

In August 2019, the popular e-commerce store, Hobbii.dk, opened its first physical store in Roskilde. Within the next three years, the yarn store expects to open another 60 stores. The store universe must be the same offline as well as online - a ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Self-Service for the ultimate customer experience...
19.02.2020   #brick and mortar retail #self-checkout systems

Self-Service for the ultimate customer experience

EuroShop 2020: iXtenso spoke with Diebold Nixdorf

Diebold Nixdorf as a leader in connected commerce offers innovative technologies for the optimized mix of self-service and checkout systems. With the program Storerevolution™ their solutions are a benefit for customers and retailers at the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Solid Lines 2020, a product range …
01.02.2020   #refrigeration cabinets #Trade fair special EuroShop 2020

Solid Lines 2020, a product range …

… designed with the idea of generating unforgettable shopping experiences

New architectural and design concepts are appearing in the conceptualization of current supermarkets, especially aimed at improving the customers' shopping experience by incorporating solutions that generate value, allowing to optimize energy ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Digital tool helps MENY in the fight against food waste...
13.02.2020   #sustainability #app

Digital tool helps MENY in the fight against food waste

Printing discount labels directly from the app

After a convincing test, Dagrofa rolls out the food waste app ‘Whywaste’ in all the Danish MENY stores. At MENY in Solrød, the store has already managed to achieve a significant reduction in food waste. In addition to the app, the ...

Supplier

Poindus HQ - Taiwan
Poindus HQ - Taiwan
5F., No.59, Ln. 77, Xing-Ai Rd.,Neihu Dist.
Taipei City 114
Checkpoint Systems GmbH
Checkpoint Systems GmbH
Ersheimer Str. 69
69434 Hirschhorn a. Neckar
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen
VR Payment GmbH
VR Payment GmbH
Saonestraße 3a
60528 Frankfurt am Main
Saint Gobain Sovis
Avenue de la Republique
2407 Chateau Thierry Cedex
MAGO S.A.
RUSIEC ALEJA KATOWICKA 119/121
05-830 Nadarzyn
Nagarro Allgeier ES GmbH
Nagarro Allgeier ES GmbH
Westerbachstr. 32
61476 Kronberg im Taunus
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
Am Zubringer 8
32107 Bad Salzuflen
Burkhardt Leitner Modular Spaces GmbH
Olgastrasse 138
70180 Stuttgart
APG Cash Drawer (Germany)
APG Cash Drawer (Germany)
Leichtmetallstr. 22a
42781 Haan-Gruiten