SMI Labels and Packaging Materials

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Pankaj Bhardwaj, Avery Dennison: The way forward

The Indian self-adhesive label industry has not only transformed in terms of printing and converting processes but has also evolved tangentially incorporating various technologies to label the products. The evolution is ongoing and keeps presenting immense challenges to label printers, suppliers and equipment producers. An industry focussed primarily on its self-stick capabilities now has moved into diversified label production, decoration, application and dispensing methods. Label is not merely a sticker but a branding tool that can be created and applied in various ways as perceived by the imagination of the Brand managers and marketing professionals. From the mid-1960s when stickers in India started being produced manually by screen printing, the production processes used have undergone a sea change. The printing process evolved from flatbed letterpress, to rotary flexo and then to combination and hybrid printing. These were just the changes that happened either in terms of label substrates varying from paper to filmic or changes in printing methods, may they be letterpress, flexo, screen, gravure, offset, digital or combination. In the new millennium the tangential evolution commenced. Shrink Sleeves providing 360 degrees label space on product came in however still due the sheer inertia of growth, the self-adhesive labels continue to grow. Environmental concerns are bringing in need for thinner liners in self adhesive to reduce the quantum of waste going to landfills, this is also leading to development of linerless labels. Digital labels are catching up fast but the bigger challenge it appears, will come from digital printing and decoration direct on products eliminating need for label substrates, liners and adhesives.

At the last labelexpo India 2018 the author had a one to one discussion with Pankaj Bhardwaj Senior Director and General Manager at Avery Dennison India Pvt Ltd for his views on the way forward for the label industry. He feels that there is nothing to worry as while the consumer story is intact, and decoration of labels is in intact, at Avery Dennison, we are still able to convert users from wet glue to pressure sensitive adhesive labels, achieving a stable double-digit growth on an ongoing basis.  According to him changes need to come from two directions and have started coming in, the first is decoration technology which comes with increasing the means of producing such happy and complex labels.  Technically advanced labels that are the real products like RFID labels and labels with special features are needed to be developed. The second change according to Pankaj is the need to be prudent in prices and focus on the product mix. These two changes are the way forward, he feels. Stagnant price of labels with reducing margins does impact the bottom line of printers negatively. It is thus that, currently; offering the right product at the right price is very important.

When questioned about the challenges emanating out of labels evolving as mentioned in the first paragraph herein, he does agree that linerless labels have come but their extensive growth will happen only when they are technically and commercially viable. RFID surfaced during World war II, it is only now, in the last 3-4 years that it is becoming viable. Avery Dennison is aware of the changes and continues to offer technically advanced products even for linerless labels. They have also invested in a venture producing liquid displays, Printed electronics and will diversify into technically complex products. They are a Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA) label and graphic material producers. While PSA remains their basic offerings, yet they also sell non-PSA products. When asked about the impact of direct-on-product digital printing, he does agree it may affect the usage of self-adhesive labels but there is time for evolution to happen and by then the existing market will also have grown and alternatives developed so the technologies will evidently coexist.

Witnessing the success of labelexpo India and the number of label presses being invested in, he was asked if he felt India was booming in labels. In response he says the present growth of course is positive and is well reflected if we consider Unilever as a barometer, they have reported double digit growth for three quarters in a row. This does indicate a growing demand for labels and packaging. However, he feels this buoyancy is the residual effect of the negative impact on demand due to demonetisation and imposition of GST last year. It created a void that is being compensated by an increased demand this year. Commenting on Labelexpo he said. “It is an important show, here we get to see a lot of technology and in which direction India is moving.” He added that labels as they are being produced now calls for increased capital investments on a regular basis. There is now an evident awareness of environmental issues which indicates that we are moving in the right direction. It is also an imperative that while expanding we make the business model more sustainable. “Surprisingly there is a lot happening at the bottom of the triangle” he said referring to the smaller printers indulging in moving up the value chain. The smaller producers were until recently dependent on pre-gummed sheets printed by offset, old flat bed letterpress machine or even screen printing. These printers are now installing flexo presses procured either from Indian manufacturers of presses or Chinese presses or used flexo presses, providing the growth impetus to the label industry.

When questioned that the industry has seen the top local Avery Dennison management in India move in a typical fashion. Raj Srinivasan, Anil Sharma and now Pankaj, all started with domestic responsibilities and were then moved out on to global responsibilities. He responded, “Avery Dennison is a great place to work with. It is a dynamic company that has recognised the talent from India. They are expanding their business in APAC region and globally utilising this talent effectively.”

Written by Harveer Sahni Chairman Weldon Celloplast Limited New Delhi. December 2018. 

Publications are free to reproduce the above article giving credit to author.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Label Extravaganza!

Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort
From the evening of 18th November 2018 until 25th November; it was celebrations, learning, networking and partying for the global label fraternity congregated in India at Greater NOIDA. Label manufacturers association of India was hosting “L9” world label associations, for four days followed by Tarsus organised Labelexpo India. The L9 meet was held at Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort spread across 9 acres, a super luxury designer resort in Greater Noida. The property is strategically nestled at the lush green premises of Greater Noida, this magical creation is enclosed by the abundant sweep of greenery and is a Golfers delight. L9 is the confederation of nine leading international label associations. The alliance consists of LMAI (India), JFLP (Japan), FINAT (Europe), TLMI (North America), LATMA (Australia), PEIAC (China), AMETIQ (Mexico), ABIEA (Brazil) and SALMA (New Zealand).
L9 meet

International delegates started to arrive at the Jaypee resort from 18th afternoon until late night. 

On 19th November morning after breakfast the delegation was taken for a factory visit to Any Graphics, NOIDA. 

The delegation on arrival were accorded a traditional welcome after being received at factory gates by LMAI President and owner of Any Graphics Kuldip Goel. 

Thomas Hagmaier L9 President

After application of teeka or an auspicious mark on forehead, guests were served refreshing welcome drinks while colourful folk dancers entertained the guests. Professional Turban tying persons tied colourful turbans on all visitors providing a celebratory aura to their welcome. 

At this time factory staff, LMAI Board members and foreign visitors danced with the folk dancers, enjoying their welcome. 

Jules Lejeune, Chris Elliso, Susan Ellison and Harveer Sahni

Once the welcome was done the guests were led to their huge conference room where Naveen Goel Director Any Graphics made an impressive presentation on the vast capabilities of his company and showcased the global as well as domestic awards won by them. 

Naveen Goel


After a visit to their factory shop floor spread over 100000 square feet, guests were taken for lunch in the company’s cafeteria with shehnai music players playing live while the visitors enjoyed a lavish lunch. 

Before departing all guests were presented gifts and photographs of their visit to Any Graphics.

The guests were then taken to Raj Ghat Delhi the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, father of nation. 

This was followed by a visit to a sound and light program on the history of rulers of Delhi at Purana Qila (Old Fort). 

After this the entourage returned to Noida for dinner and cocktails. 

Keren(Mexico) and Ajay Mehta

The delegates were enjoying their visit and danced in joy, they were having fun. 

The next morning on the 20th the visitors were taken to Agra to visit Taj Mahal and returned same evening to attend a dinner hosted by Labelexpo Managing Director Lisa Milburn at Hotel Crowne Plaza also in NOIDA. 

21st November was the official business meet of L9. It started with board meeting of all visiting international associations with board of Directors of LMAI. They deliberated over ways of collaborating and agreed to meet in Mexico in 2020. 

The afternoon session was opened to Indian converters and sponsors followed by dinner and cocktails. 

Carrie Duan-China

Presentations were made by all visiting international associations highlighting activities in their respective countries. 

Ajay Mehta-SMI

The event was sponsored by SMI Coated 
Products and Pulisi. Ajay Mehta MD SMI and the Pulisi representatives also addressed the gathering. The guests visited Labelexpo India next day on 22nd November 2018 and the LMAI Avery Dennison Awards night before returning home the following morning.

On completing his journey Chris Ellison President FINAT said, “Like India’s warm generous people, India’s label industry is colourful, vibrant and passionate to grow.” Commenting on his experience in India, the L9 President Thomas Hagmaier said, “Family you cannot choose but friends you can. We bring nothing to this world but take out friendship. You are great people, Thank you for a wonderful event”. Jules Lejeune MD FINAT saw it as an interesting ride and thanked LMAI and the L9 team for their great work. Ms. Carrie Duan from China was happy to have attended and said, “we will miss you”. Keren from Mexico said, “There are moments that remain in the heart. These are moments shared with you that will remain in my heart. Thank you for being wonderful hosts. See you in Mexico in 2020”.
Labelexpo-India 2018
On 22nd November 2018, the largest Label event in South Asia “Labelexpo-India” opened its door at India Expo and Mart Greater Noida India. Visitors started pouring in right from the word go to witness the products and equipment showcased by over 250 exhibitors, a 25% increase from the number at last show. The show was spread over four halls, continuous flow of very high-quality focussed visitors made it the best Labelexpo India ever. Speaking at the inauguration Lisa Milburn Managing Director Labelexpo Group reiterated the commitment they have towards India and mentioned that this year the focus will also be towards package printing besides just labels. Besides providing knowledge, Labelexpo is a platform for bringing together peers in the industry for networking and increasing their vision in the field.
Lisa Milburn Managing Director Labelexpo
Labelexpo India 2018 hosted “Brand Innovation Day” took place on the afternoon of Thursday 22 November (Day 1 of the show). It included a series of presentations followed by a short tour of key suppliers, highlighting the latest technologies and showing how brands can achieve stand-out product presence. 

About 50 brand owners and packaging designers in India attended. The purpose of the program was to equip delegates with expert insight into making the most out of their brand, how they can overcome key challenges on the path to future growth and staying ahead of competition in a fast-paced industry. 

Sukhdev Saini-General Mills

Speaking at the event Sukhdev Singh Saini, packaging lead AMEA, General Mills said, “Creating environmental awareness in the branding of a product including how to handle recycling of both raw materials and end-use product is imperative now”. Noel D’Cunha editor Printweek in his presentation focused on the use of digital and label and packaging.

Kuldip Goel LMAI President

LMAI Avery Dennison Awards night was organised by the LMAI on their own. In the previous years it was organised by Tarsus the organisers of Labelexpo. The show was well managed, despite entry being restricted to one ticket per member and rest on payment basis only, over 700 people attended the gala event. A global audience consisting of international and Indian exhibitors, L9 Delegates, Printers, suppliers and visitors thronged the event. 

LMAI President Kuldip Goel welcomed the guests and gave a passionate speech comparing the various constituents of the label industry to the four pillars of a temple. 

Interspaced with entertainment programs the awards for excellence were given away to winners and runners up in 23 categories. 

Kumar labels, Any Graphics, Huhtamaki-PPL and Update Prints were amongst the prominent winners in multiple categories. 

The awards ceremony was followed up by cocktails and dinner. Sponsors for the event included Avery Dennison, SMI, Nilpeter, Vinsak, Omet, Dupont, Intergraphic Pulisi, Gallus/Heidelberg and J N Arora And Co.

The show was busy throughout with a continuous stream of visitors not only from India but also from many other countries. 

Raj K Dua with Weldon team with the press he bought

Sales were reported by leading International press manufacturers like Omet, Nilpeter, Lombardy, Weigang, etc. 

Domestic Label press manufacturer Multitec announced multiple sales and signed a cooperation agreement with Domino to build hybrid presses. There was an increased exhibitor presence in the digital label printing segment. Companies who were prominently displaying their digital label printing equipment included HP, Konica Minolta, Domino, Monotech and Dillli.



Raul Silvestre-Lartec Spain

The article is written and compiled by Harveer Sahni Chairman Weldon Celloplast Limited New Delhi November 2018.