SMI Labels and Packaging Materials

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Label industry comments on facing the Pandemic!

Label industry constituents around the world are invited to send their comments, relevant comments will be uploaded every day.
As a prelude to the comments coming in, I am also uploading the efforts being made by the label and packaging industry so that essential supplies do not stop.

Raul Silvestre

Saddened and distressed by the news of how the pandemic Covid-19 is hitting people all over the planet, Raul Silvestre of Lartec Flexible dies in Spain says, “Worst is still to come.” Several million people may die, and alone. It is sad but I hope this will change our mind, economy and priorities in our lives.

We were happy couple of weeks ago, and we didn't know… sad.! People must be responsible and follow the directives for safety. It is the most important thing.

Business is not important now. As our part of responsibility, we have designed a die line and a die for cutting nonwoven material and produce masks for people in our village, hospitals workers and all people that will require. These are being converted (cut) in our associate label company. We have started this production last Monday. We are also looking for plastic in rolls to produce face masks. We'll cut and distribute for free. We must put our technology and knowhow to the service of the society. It is our responsibility. We are not thinking on profits.

Lakshminarayanan Parthasarthy, Business Unit Head - Signode India ( Wintek flexo Prints) Bengaluru, Karnataka, India says “We Salute our SIgnode India - Rudrapur unit employees who are serving for the cause during the lock down - Converting hand sanitizer labels to serve our customer and Country to fight against Covid - 19 . Kudos to Team Signode.

Christopher J Ellison Owner at OPM (labels & Packaging) Group Limited and FINAT President:  OPM are here, working as a team, on site and remotely through these uncertain times. All of our products are produced to ISO 9001:2008, BRC/IoP Global Standard Food Packaging standards Grade AA and PS9000:2011. We will continue to ensure that our clients are supported with their label and packaging needs. 

Manish Hansoti, Director, S. Kumar Multi Products Pvt. Ltd. Ahmedabad India: We at S. Kumar have started partial manufacturing of printed labels that can be supplied for priority and emergency requirements to service urgent orders. We are giving priority to our life saving injectable labels and sanitizer label orders. It is our initiative to serve the community in this critical time. We are mostly dealing with Pharma and edible oil labels, so we must keep open our plant so that essential supplies do not suffer. We are working at 20% capacity with minimum manpower and following stringent norms of keeping distance of 2 meters between workers. 

It is not for any earning but to satisfy the requirement of labels for edible oils, IV fluids, Critical Pharma injectable labels. We got permission from collector’s office who visit us frequently to check all disinfected parameters followed by us. I am personally monitoring this entire operation that we are doing for service to humanity.


As the market leader in laminated tube packaging, Essel Propack is pleased to offer tube packaging, perfect for packaging germicidal hand sanitisers in times of #CoronaVirus Pandemic. We are here to support. 

OMET Srl Italy Never give up! OMET evolves to overcome the emergency and accepts the new challenge, ready to guarantee full operation for any request or new project even in this period. We adopted smart working and new ways of work, offering reliability and safety to all our partners, employees and clients.

All offices are on smart working mode. Factory is open on 50% workforce running 2 shifts to prevent people mixing. Please follow us on LinkedIn and you will get all updates

Comments from the label industry about the Pandemic

It is a trying time for the global population, a single crisis that worries the world and unites it for finding safety solutions to stem the expanding reach of this deadly Pandemic Covid-19 or Corona Virus endangering human race across the planet. In absence of a proven and certified medical remedy, nations are resorting to lockdowns in vast geographical clusters to curtail the infection from spreading to larger parts of diverse communities. Trade and industry with fixed expenses going on, are in a dilemma as losses are mounting with sales and production on hold. The label industry has its own challenges in times when raw material prices are on the rise, increased competition is prevalent and evolving printing and decorating technologies call for more diversification. Comments of Label industry constituents have been invited to share with the rest of the fraternity. The comments vary from worry about the well being of their kin, for employees to remain positive in these trying times, expressing the difficulties that will be faced due to the lockdown and then there are other trying to contribute to save their brethren in the community and industry. One of the best comments came from Raul Silvestre of Lartec Spain who is using his capabilities in service of society and says, “It is our responsibility. Not thinking of profits.” The responses received are listed in a sequence as they were received, and it is proposed to add all those comments that keep coming in. All members of the label community across the world are welcome to keep sending their comments to or

Chris Ellison President FINAT and Owner OPM Group, Leeds UK: The highly mobile and reactive nature of the Self-adhesive label industry means it well positioned to support the challenges our global supply chain is currently experiencing.

Ajay Mehta Managing Director SMI Coated products Mumbai India: We must continue to serve mankind by providing material and labels for essential things, team has decided to continue operations as far as possible to serve essential requirements, while they themselves take all possible precautions.

Manish Kapoor National Sales Head of Nilpeter in India: Labels will stick tomorrow as well, let’s not let Covid-19 stick around. Cheers and god bless all!

Aditya Patwardhan, Director Manohar Packaging Pvt. Ltd. India: It would be of pertinence to shut things down for a while barring those servicing essential commodities. Beyond that...this too shall pass.

Dinesh Mahajan, Director Prakash Labels Pvt Ltd. Noida India: Impacting the work force in the industry because of panic and hence affecting production, deliveries and payments

Sandeep Zaveri Managing Director Total Print Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai India: Our Mother Earth really couldn’t take any more pressure, so corona virus had to come to make the world disciplined with people disciplined. We strongly must believe and not pollute our Mother Earth 🌎 and know it’s high time we realise the discipline to follow and slowdown in our life. Today with “janta bandh” (Public Curfew announced by Indian Prime Minister) we could feel the birds chirping with the sky so clear, this is what is required in India. I do understand all the pressure we are undergoing, with closing of our financial year many challenges are there to face but believe in God, all is going to happen for the good for our generations to come. This also shows the true spirits and true unity we could show and follow, let us all as label printers show the true unity and courage in saving our Mother Earth and  our industry by pricing it correct, following ethics and discipline to encourage the next generation and give them oxygen to inhale.

Rajesh Chadha, Managing Director Update Prints Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi India: Indefinite lockdown and painful economic reality coming ahead.

Anuj Bhargava CEO Kumar Labels Noida India: Lockdown is a must, though it comes with huge financial losses for the industry. In such a situation, ensuring basic amenities by government (food delivery, medicines etc.) to Factory workers is a must. We are also planning our own steps to do so. Keeping one safe and sane is also important during lockdowns. Next round of social media should guide people on how not to go crazy sitting at home. We are planning a WhatsApp training session to many workers on theory of Flexo printing. Larger corporates and brand owners must support print suppliers by paying them in time, despite office closures. This will ensure timely payments to worker class. Using Covid-19 excuses to delay payments is possibly one worry we all must have. Making payments to small suppliers of ours' is also critical so that they survive and pay their teams. Industry leaders like Avery and others should extend a helping hand to print shops in every way possible. Frequent discussions amongst print fraternity is also needed to keep sharing things for everyone's good.

Narendra Paruchuri CEO/Owner Pragati Offset Pvt. Ltd. Hyderabad: Unprecedented times. Sad part with this downturn is that we do not know where the bottom is nor as to when we will turn around. None of us have seen or been in such situations. We hope for the best and keep going. As of now, we only wish that our planet must come out of this Corona mess ASAP. Business we will do as soon as we can. Till then we pray. Lockdown time could also be used to plan next year's strategy, and other work which couldn't be done due to paucity of time...!! Let's look at doing whatever best we can during these tough times for humanity.

Marco Calcagni Sales Director Omet Srl. Lecco Italy: The corona virus is a big problem for all the sectors including label. The most critical point is the time. If this problem does not resolve in a few weeks the economy will be changed in the world. Our market is connected to food, pharma and cleaning products, in theory we may be suffering less than some other sectors but now it is very hard for all the managers to take a decision.

Sanjeev Sondhi Director Zircon Technologies Ltd. Noida India: The impact is huge as production is suspended till 31st March if situation doesn't improve. It is difficult time as label industry is already in a sad state due to many other reasons.

Jakob Landberg Sales Director Nilpeter A/S Copenhagen Denmark: Our Production has put in an extra shift - same staff. Same output - but less feet on the floor at same time.

Raul Silvestre Owner Lartec Flexible dies Alicante Spain: Business is not important now. We have designed a die line and a die for cutting nonwoven material and produce masks for people in our village, hospitals workers and all people that will require. These will be converted (cut) in the label company. We hope to start this Monday with production. Also looking for plastic in rolls to produce face masks. We'll cut and distribute for free. We must put our technology and know-how to the service of the society. It is our responsibility. Not thinking of profits.

Vinod Vazhapulli Managing Director Skanem India Mumbai: Safety and well being of our employees and their families is of paramount importance for us. Business follows thereafter. Necessary precautions and mandates issued by the Government need to be followed to ensure earliest possible stoppage of the Covid-19 situation faced by the whole country. Impact is being felt across all Industries, Label Industry being one of them, should be more prepared to ensure that once the situation is back to normalcy, industry is back on track with the pace that has slackened due to this Viral pandemic.

Suresh Valecha Country Manager-Sales, south of Asia, UPM Raflatac Mumbai India: This pandemic has hit the industry at the slowest time of the decade. At good, India can gain recovery with respect to economy slowdown but due to COVID -19 supplies of raw material can have serious impact on the Industry in near future!!

Himanshu Kapur Director J K Fine Prints Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai India: The entire economic situation was either way heading for a day like today, Covid-19 only made us reach here faster.

Senguttuvan R Chief Executive - Packaging & Printing Division, ITC Ltd & Managing Director - Wimco Ltd.: Corona virus is already impacting the label industry very severely. As more lock downs are planned, the impact will multiply like all other industries 

Pawandeep Sahni Managing Director Omet India Pvt. Ltd. Gurgaon India: Because of COVID-19 we see many of our customers deciding to postpone all expansion decisions till at least June 2020. As far as service is concerned, we at OMET, are doing whatever it takes to make sure there is a continued and streamlined operations for all our customers in India and globally. An action team is already in place who is attending to all customers as and when they need support!

Isidore Leiser, owner Stratus Packaging Belgium: Our 6 production sites are in production. Thanks to our wonderful team we are still supplying our customers in a very difficult time.

Aditya Chadha Director Update Prints Pvt. Ltd. Gurgaon India: Covid-19 poses a dire threat to the growth of the label industry. We still don't know how steep this impact would be, but we are in for testing times ahead. Further we don't know how the markets dynamics, consumer preferences and demand patterns would change post recovery from this crisis. There might be a spike in demand of sanitizers, hygiene products and who knows whether luxury products would continue to attract the customers as usual. But as they say there is always an "Opportunity in Adversity". Hence, we all may need to rethink our business models and strategies to leverage from the opportunity the world will offer in the times to come. Let’s pray and hope for the best.

Aditya Kashyap Director Marks Emballage Chandigarh India: Even under very conservative assumptions, I think the answer is clear, “This is not a permanent state. It is a moment in time,” Yes, there is a big impact to all whether individuals or companies globally, but we need to use this time to review and reflect on our lives and businesses and come out of it more stronger, wiser, leaner and more alive than ever before. I firmly believe that after the storm there’s always a brighter day. My heartfelt wishes to all our industry friends in Europe, China & other countries who are facing a terrible situation. We in India, let’s try and keep it from getting worse. We all must ensure safety of ourselves, our family, our employees and all the people around us. The business can wait! Stay safe. Stay Strong!

Manish Hansoti Owner S Kumar Multi Products Pvt. Ltd. Ahmedabad: We appreciate the efforts to invite to share our view for label industry facing the crisis due to Covid 19 virus spread globally. Being a label manufacturer and label machinery dealer, we are passing thru major crisis due to lock down of major cities huge stock is held up at factory, payments are not getting timely, fixed expenditure like bank interest , worker salary, rent etc. are to be paid without production. It is a beginning and what will happen in coming days, seems scary for all.

Abhay Datta Director UV Graphic Technologies Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi India: These are unprecedented times, we must resort as a community to understand, and see ourselves through these tough times. As you would have already gathered from a variety of media and other sources the we must collectively fight this Virus. A significant measure needs to be undertaken by each one of us. With corporate responsibility, ensuring the wellbeing of all our staff and employees, we have decided for a complete shutdown of our company for the next 7 days to begin with. Stay Safe!

U K Gupta Chairman and Managing Director Holostik Group Noida India: At this point of time, we should forget business and work together to save the existence of human beings on this planet.

Kapil Vaidya Partner Sonic Labels, Vasai Distt. Palghar Maharashtra India: It is time when we need to stand up for each other! This epidemic might stretch for months and effect businesses overall, but our Label Industry is and always will be healthy in terms of business demand and bottom line profits. Once things settle down, slow and steady growth will be witnessed by the end of year 2020 and 2021 should help bounce back. God bless us all and give strength and safety to our employees, friends and family.

Rajeev Chhatwal Managing Director Kwality Offset Printers Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi: Business can wait, let’s support the government order of a lockdown. It is important to ensure safety of all our employees and workers. We should have a long term perspective rather than looking at short term gains. Let’s prey for safety and good health for everyone. Stay home stay safe, Break the chain!

Sachin Arya General Manager Ajanta Packaging FZE Sharjah UAE: This is stressful time for world. Wish and believe, soon world would be Corona free. Really appreciate the initiative and efforts by Government & health care workers. Looking at positive side, world would be much better place post this pandemic is over, people will be more disciplined. All should realize that discipline and hygiene are more important than fight for religion or territory. God Bless us all.

Vinesh Bhimani Managing Director Kimoha Entrepreneurs FZCO Jebel Ali Dubai UAE: This difficult time has thrown up multiple challenges with health concerns and possible exposure of our team to the situation, clubbed with supply chain uncertainties and the increased labelling need for food packaging and personal hygiene applications. As a part of supply chain for the essential goods and services, Team Kimoha is fully geared up to support our customers and the society by keeping the label supply intact for urgent needs of essential products like Milk, Laban, Juice, food products, frozen goods, hand wash and sanitisers, and all other label requirements, while taking utmost care of health and wellbeing of all our family members. We are confident, this situation will pass quickly, and the world, as one family, will emerge stronger soon!

Gourav Roy Managing Director Flexo Image Graphics New Delhi India and Dubai UAE: Stuck in home and no possibility to go out, it is like house arrest. However, this is an important measure to break the chain of infection and for the security for all of us and our stake holders. We in FIG are all working from our homes and support engineers are ready for troubleshooting over phone, apps and emails. Mark Andy still maintains full production and sticking with us to meet commitments made to South Asian and Middle Eastern customers. If this continues FIG might go through cash flow pressure unless our customers start paying overdue amounts. God bless us all and stay safe. 

Arun Gandhi Partner/Director at Capital Graphic Supplies/ A.S Print Aids (P) Ltd. New Delhi: These are unprecedented times, we have to resort as a community to understand, and see ourselves through these tough times. We must collectively fight this Virus. Our commitment towards our customers, community and associates remains as strong as before. Level of our service and accessibility will be undeterred and we will serve you to the best of our ability. We are remotely available from March 23-31st March 2020. We are all in this together. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will follow guidance from public health officials and government agencies, so we can continue to support our customers and communities as needed. Stay Safe

Shakti Jain Managing Director , Great Eastern IDTech Pvt. Ltd. Gurgaon India: Right now, No.1 priority must be to stay at home, flatten the curve & save lives. Won’t be easy on the other side but we can re-build once we get there. Perhaps a better, more efficient version will evolve out of this.

Anand Jha Sales Manager UPM Raflatac Mumbai India: With the current situation we can see how industry segments like pharma/food are so essential in these times. We all in a way are trying to extend our support. Labels are essential always

Keval Karani Partner Dee Dee Label, Bhiwandi, India: COVID-19 has affected all over the world and we don't know the real outcome yet. It is better to keep our production at halt for some time to fight the situation, because if it goes out of hand we might have to shut for months. Safety of our employees comes first. We can cover-up all the losses later but if situation goes out of control it would be difficult to cover the losses. It is better that we keep our employees safe. We will fight against COVID-19 together and overcome this situation soon.

Vivek Kapoor CEO and Director Creative Labels and former President of LMAI: We are concerned about wellbeing of humanity rather than it being hurting us economically.

Written edited and collated by Harveer Sahni Chairman Weldon Celloplast Ltd. New Delhi India March 2020

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Covid-19 impacts global print events industry adversely!

Covid-19 or Corona virus that has struck populations in countries across the globe creating a scare that has impacted adversely most affluent economies in the world. Governments are taking very strong measures to curb the proliferation as also find remedies for curing and containing this virus which is already declared a pandemic. Increasing numbers of affected people and deaths have created an alarming situation whereby vast geographical areas are being cordoned off, schools are shut, travel has become restricted, congregation of people is being restricted and businesses are suffering. The global printing industry at large is also facing the brunt of the impact. Important printing events where major buying decisions are taken and seminars that enhance knowledge besides providing networking opportunities have been postponed. Millions have been invested in planning the event by the event organisers, exhibitors and the visitors. Some of the important events that have taken responsible decisions to postpone in view of public safety concerns are as below.

Sri Lanka Print 2020 Colombo

FINAT Technical Seminar Barcelona

Labelexpo SEA Bangkok

LMAI Digital Label printing event Mumbai

PackPlus South 2020 Hyderabad India

Interpack Dusseldorf Germany

Drupa Dusseldorf Germany

FESPA Brazil 2020 Sao Paolo

Fespa Global Print Expo 2020 Madrid

FINAT European Label Forum 2020, Rome is under consideration

The label industry has been greatly impacted by the spreading virus. China and Italy are two major producers and suppliers of label manufacturing equipment, both countries have been hit badly. Covid-19 originated in China and Italy became one of the largest sufferers of this spreading pandemic with tremors of this being felt by label printers across the globe. Even though China has indicated containment of the virus at their end yet since the virus has spread to other countries, governments around the world continue to make travel advisories and entry restrictions to contain the spread in their respective countries. These travel restrictions or self-control in avoiding travel has greatly impacted the events business. With news of Covid-19 spreading to Spain; FINAT, the European association for the self-adhesive label industry postponed their FINAT Technical Seminar Barcelona. According to Chris Ellison, President of FINAT “Apart from the public health risk, the virus is now also spilling over into the real economy, and members of the label industry are taking measures to contain the risk for their staff’s well-being and their business’ continuity. In some cases, more far-reaching measures are taken than those recommended or enforced by local governments and public health institutes.” He further adds, “We are also reviewing the scenarios for the European Label Forum in Rome next June”.

Tarsus which was looking forward to a successful second Labelexpo southeast Asia at Bangkok has also announced its postponement. According to Lisa Milburn, managing director of Labelexpo Global Series, “We have taken the difficult decision to postpone Labelexpo Southeast Asia 2020 in May due to coronavirus/COVID-19. This is an unprecedented situation and given the vast amount of preparation that goes into our shows, not a decision we have taken lightly. However, the health and safety of our exhibitors, visitors and staff is our top priority, and working on the advice of our local partners and BITEC, we feel the best course of action is to postpone the show until September.” 

Drupa is the world’s leading trade fair for printing technologies. The last Drupa saw 1828 exhibitors from 54 countries, 260,165 visitors from 183 countries with the largest group from outside Germany coming from India totaling at 5% of the total visitors.  Until a few days back the Drupa website stated that the event will be held on the stipulated dates and that the organisers were taking adequate steps to screen the visitors as also to sanitize the venue for safety of all. Then on 13th of March 2020 came the press release from Messe Dusseldorf stating that both Drupa and Interpack are postponed. 

A resilient Indian label industry has had its own share of voes over the past few years. Every time it is faced with a challenging situation it recovers to face yet another tough situation. First came the demonetization, hardly had the effect of that had worn off came the implication of GST. The industry took its time to reconcile and adjust itself on to a growth path but as 2019 was coming to an end the country was facing an economic slowdown stemming the rate of growth. The resilience of this industry segment still makes it go on, sometimes rapidly and other down at a slower pace. Now the Corona virus has brought with it a new kind of situation whereby travel is curtailed, and expansions have gone on hold. With the Indian label industry starting its move in to digital label printing in line with trends in the western world, India’s label association LMAI had planned its 2nd event, “"DIGITAL PRINTING IN LABELS - THE WAY FORWARD" to be held in the evening of March 16th, 2020 at Hotel ITC Maratha Mumbai. The interest in the event got a huge response and was fully sold out two weeks in advance. As the situation of Corona Virus became alarming the LMAI management decided to postpone the event. Amit Sheth founder member of LMAI requesting postponement had said, “The way it is seen it is better to postpone the event. I think this is a National concern!” Commenting on the cancellation Kuldip Goel President LMAI said, “It is so unfortunate that immense effort had gone in preparation but for a humanitarian cause, it was needed to take precaution.!”

While the corona virus goes on unabated it is hoped that the containment happens soon bringing relief to the vast humanity that has got affected. While efforts go on by health authorities globally to find a vaccine, yet it is prudent for all to practice safety as suggested by bonafide governments and certified health authorities.

TLWritten by Harveer Sahni Chairman Weldon Celloplast Ltd. New Delhi India March 2020