|Tomas Rink, Harveer Sahni and Dean Scarborough|
|Lisa Milburn singing and Andy Thomas on keyboard|
On day two and three, the show was all serious business. Innovations and improvements in technologies were being presented to an audience with a voracious appetite for learning more. Tom Rink lead Ritrama, showcased their new innovation a linerless label material. The simplicity of the product left even me as a labelstock manufacturer quite fascinated. I found the idea so simple that it boggles me why nobody could come up with this solution earlier. They have eliminated the liner completely. Normally, one would print on a 50micron film and then laminate it with a 62 GSM liner and use it. However, here, the final labelstock face material is only 37micron instead of 50 micron. The technology is in making a self adhesive laminate with a 25 micron film and 12 micron filmic liner in a conventional manner. This would then be printed at full machine speed of about 200 meters per minute on a normal label press. Then offline on a Prati equipment the liner would be removed turned around and laminated to the same face stock exposing the siliconised side on top and rewound like an adhesive tape, sandwiching the printing in between. The ILTI dispenser would cut and dispense these labels on to the product. So in per se, the self adhesive laminate is using a lesser total thickness of face material i.e. 37 micron instead of 50 micron which means lesser weight for each reel of labelstock and no liner is going to the landfill. This also translates into more labels per reel and lesser machine stops. An ecstatic Tom Rinks stated, “" Labelexpo 2013 is a very special one for me and the greatest ever for Ritrama always in the lead". This does not really mean the conventional labelstocks will lose out, all technologies will coexist.
|Right to left:Antonio Bartesaghi President Omet ,
Sanjeev Sondhi Zircon, Paolo Grasso Omet,
Pawandeep Sahni Weldon,
KD Sahni Weldon
|Wolfgang Klos Geiger|
FINAT the world label association was this time very active and their contribution to sustainability and environment is worth appreciation. They held luncheon sessions on these subjects for the benefits of members. The membership drive also got a boost with FINAT enrolling many new members. FINAT President Kurt Walker commented, “Labelexpo Europe is always an inspiration for me, and it's great to be here in Brussels experiencing the best of my favourite industry. The world is changing in many ways, and FINAT knows that the label industry's future success depends on understanding changing needs, communicating them, meeting them, and always being ahead of the game.” FINAT has been actively promoting the involvement of the generation next in the day to day affairs of the industry and association. The FINAT young managers club (YMC) is becoming more and more active; I was pleased to notice that the next generation is steadily getting into driving seat. Bibiana of Rotatek, Fransesca Egea, Pawandeep Sahni of Weldon and Finat YMC Board President
Dana Kilarska all were very visible by their energy and movements around the various halls. Dana wrote back to me and she says, “I have experienced amazing atmosphere and gained new knowledge about our industry.” She adds further, “These four days full of positive impressions are the greatest four days in our industry!”
As regards Indian participation is concerned, it is indeed strange. Given the currency problems in India resulting in a weak Rupee it was expected that the Indian presence will decline. While at the show even I felt that there were fewer Indians then last time. In the last show we could find a lot of Indians visibly moving around the halls but this time all felt they were lesser in number and the reason was not difficult to imagine. When the figures came out I was stunned! Almost same number of Indian visited the Labelexpo Europe. In 2011 the figure was 429 and this year the figure was just about that much at 421. I wonder why they were not visible. I have dwelled on the subject and finally I feel that the only explanation that I can come out with is that they were perhaps the busiest lot in discussions with prospective suppliers. If this is true, we can expect a much needed investments and increase in capacity to enhance growth in the Indian label industry. Our LMAI secretary Ramesh Deshpande was busy escorting the officials of the ministry of MSME Government of India to all Indian exhibitors’ stands in an effort to get them the subsidy that is available to the industry by the Government. His efforts are appreciated. This time a total of seventeen, the highest number of Indian companies ever, exhibited. While Sanjeev Sondhi of Zircon says that a busy schedule at Brussels left him wishing there was more time. He missed important meetings. Chandan Khanna of Ajanta Packaging with multinational presence said, “Great time spent, meeting friends from all over the world and watching innovations and improvements in the art of printing labels. It keeps getting better every two years. Time well enjoyed. It is fantastic learning for future expansions.” Kuldeep Goel a stickler for innovation feels it was an imperative to be a visitor to this important show. Our lone Indian label Press manufacturer to exhibit at Brussels Amit Ahuja says, “Fantastic response, closed an order and 6 more expected shortly”! Lablestock manufacturer SMI had put up an impressive stand and they have been very busy. Weldon exhibited their tamper evident range of labelstocks and A4 Laser labels. Other important Indians that I met or saw were Amar Chhajed of Webtech, Gururaj of Wintek (ITW), Hemanth Paruchuri of Pragati, Dinesh Mahajan of Prakash Labels, Ajay Agarwal of Syndicate labels, Rajesh Nema of Pragati Global, Manish Desai of Mudrika, Mahendra Shah of Renault, and a host of others.
|The Indian contingent with Sandeep Lal of
Metro Labels Toronto, Canada
|Sanjeev Sondhi, Tempering the lentils (Daal)|
This year I am pleased to say, the party grew bigger and the fun side added to the pleasure of fellowship amongst industry peers. In words of my dear friend Sandeep Lal President of Metro Labels, Toronto, Canada, “The best part of my trip to Label Expo was the evening I hung out with the Indian Contingent at Harveer’s apartment. Thank you Harveer for making that possible.” I thank my friends for being with me…