Self Adhesive Labels Industry In India and The World
The pressure sensitive adhesive labels and packaging industry is growing at a steady and rapid pace in India. It is now time that the contribution of those who have achieved success is chronicled so that those who wish to move ahead have a platform to look for information, news and interaction. This Website intends to provide all that along with inspiration and reference.
The narrow web label industry is a smaller segment of the larger diverse printing and packaging industry. It remains in focus for being the face of all products and an imperative identity providing part of any package. It is estimated by many that the Printing industry in India is growing at over 12% per annum. Some segments get slower and there are others like packaging are growing at a faster pace of 17% to compensate the shortfall by registering better growth. The label industry has been growing in a very wide band between 10 and 25%, the growth has always been in double digits. While Offset is the largest segment of the printing technologies employed yet the past 2-3 decades have seen growth in adoption of other printing processes like flexography, Roto
In recent times the convenience of “just in time computer to print capabilities” has resulted in adoption of digital printing by many printers such that the segment is registering robust growth of 30%. The narrow web label industry that is largely employing flexographic printing has been conservative and hesitant in adopting digital printing for labels because of higher investment in capital equipment, expensive inks and costly printheads needing replacements resulting in costlier labels in comparison to those produced on their existing equipment. The return on investment appeared to be unattractive. It was just a matter of time that the growth of digital printing of labels in India would start to attract investment. Finat, the European label Association with global membership had reported a couple of years ago that European investments in digital presses for labels in a year had exceeded that in flexo presses. We now see an evident interest and indulgence in this digital label printing technology by Indian printers as well.
Recognising the need for knowledge and understanding digital printing technologies since label printing and converting is in an evolutionary phase of adopting digital printing, while still growing with analogue, LMAI-The Label Manufacturers Association of India organized a program titled “DIGITAL PRINTING IN LABELS – THE WAY FORWARD” for the benefit of its members only. The program took place at ITC Welcome Hotel, Chennai on the 20th of December 2019. Unlike the other printing processes digital printing has largely four different tangents; Dry toner printing, Liquid toner printing, UV Inkjet printing and water-based Inkjet printing. To deliver the knowledge, leading companies came forward to sponsor the event as also to make very interesting presentations. The following speakers from their respective sponsoring companies made presentations;
Dry Toner Digital: Xeikon. Presenter; Vikram Saxena, Sales General Manager Xeikon India (Part of Flint Group)
UV Inkjet Digital: Domino. Presenter- Ajay RaoRane, Asst. Vice President-Digital Printing Solutions. at Domino Printech India LLP
Water Based Digital: Astronova Inc. Presenter-Goutham Reddy, Regional Sales Manager
Non-speaking support Sponsors: Avery Dennison and Durst Phototechnik AG
After welcoming more than eighty delegates present and after felicitating the sponsors, LMAI Secretary Rajesh Nema handed over the moderation to Harveer Sahni member LMAI Board of Directors.
Sahni updated the audience on the journey traversed by the label printing industry in India. Starting from the first self-adhesive label made by screen printing process in 1965, he covered many landmarks in the evolution that included the first flat-bed very narrow web Japanese label presses to produce labels in roll form in 1972, rotary label converting in 1982, flexographic label printing in 1993, adoption and development of UV flexo from 1997 onwards, setting up of LMAI in 2002 and the first installation of digital label presses toward end of the decade of 2000.
All the speakers gave important insights in the technologies offered by them and emphasized the need and importance of short runs, personalization and variable data on labels and for that how Digital Printing capabilities are fast becoming a necessity.
Goutham Reddy from Astronova explained the cost effectiveness of water-based process and also dwelled on their offering equipment to print on finished packages,
Ajay Rao Rane of Domino highlighted the strength of UV inkjet and achieving a higher colour gamut besides printing opaque UV white that is needed for transparent films,
Ashok Pahwa demonstrated the success they achieved in personalization of leading brand of beverages giving another dimension to retail marketing of fast moving consumer products and finally
Vikram Saxena of Xeikon informed that digital printing was picking up pace with over 32 high-end installations reported in India. He further informed the benefits of dry toner digital printing technology and that it did not require any precoated media.
It was encouraging to note that despite the event being organized in South India many printers travelled from all over India to attend and to learn the nuance of this emerging technology. Some of the printers seen at the event included Gee Kay-Bangalore, Seljeget-Sivakasi, Fairfix-Tirupur, ITC-Chennai, Manipal Technologies-Chennai, Prakash Labels-Noida, Kwality Offset-New Delhi, Pragati Graphics-Indore, Speclabel-Kolkata, Total Print-Mumbai and Zodiac Graphics-Hyderabad.
LMAI founder members Raveendran of Seljegat, Sandeep Zaveri of Total Print, LMAI founder promoter Amit Sheth and Board member Ajay Mehta of SMI were present at this important industry event.
An interactive question answer session was followed by a vote of thanks by Rajeev Chhatwal Vice President of LMAI. The evening ended with networking cocktails and dinner.
On the 22nd of November 2018 at the LMAI Avery Dennison Awards night, held on the side lines of Labelexpo India, the winner announced in digital printing category-Wine and Spirits was Trigon Digital Solutions, Mumbai. Just over a week later, on the 29th of November 2018, Trigon was declared the Printweek India “Digital Printer of the year”. This was Trigon’s fourth award; the first two were Printweek “Pre-press Company of the year” awards won in 2015 and 2017. It is an incredible performance by a company promoted by first generation entrepreneurs just 10 years ago, with no previous experience in running a manufacturing company. They moved into roll form digital printing of labels merely 3 years ago. They have invested in a digital printing press at a time when we are witnessing the evolutionary shift of label production in India from conventional processes to digital. Digital printing is a segment of label industry that leading label manufacturing companies have been extremely hesitant to invest in, due to high cost of equipment and consumables. AnilNamugade the co-founder, along with partner Milind Deshpande, have promoted Trigon Digital and successfully led it on its digital label journey.
After graduating in Economics from Mumbai University Anil Namugade, also a Printing Technologist from the Government Institute of Printing Technology, took up jobs as a scanner operator from 1994 to 1997 in few of the leading pre-press houses in Mumbai. Here he acquired immense knowledge in repro-colour separation and prepress. In 1998 he joined Heidelberg as a software specialist and continued to work there until 2003. Anil joined Kodak as packaging and proofing specialist in 2003. It was a purely technical job where he developed his passion for proofing, learnt the nuances of colour management and the imperative need of good prepress for excellence in final print. During his stint with Kodak he was also handling technical and sales support which helped him gain experience in selling as well. Unfortunately, by 2007 Kodak was seeing a decline in business and as restructuring process was being put in place, he had to exit Kodak. Suddenly that one day he found himself jobless, away from a stable job in an MNC(Multi National Company). He firmly believed in and followed a simple mantra of success and excellence; “Look at problem as an opportunity and learn to grow and excel”. Drawing inspiration from this mantra, he along with partner Milind Deshpande who is also a printing technologist, set up their maiden start-up venture Trigon Digital Solutions.
From past experience and knowledge he had acquired from working in the previous jobs, Anil knew that customers needing packaging, wanted to see how their product would look, before they opted for actual printing and production. He saw the opportunity in this need, so Trigon was set up as a proofing and mock-up producing company. His knowledge of prepress and colour management helped him to achieve his goal. Earlier it used to be the creative agencies that visualised and created a format for packaging, Trigon creating an actual marketable mock up for the companies was a new and welcome development for brand owner companies. The first equipment they invested in was Kodak Approval NX that printed in sheet format and started to take up proofing and mock-up creation for customers. Finding success in their endeavors he soon realised that being closer to the customer is an imperative. In 2010 Trigon opened a facility in Bangalore and followed it up by setting up a unit in Delhi in 2012. In 2015 they went international by setting shop in Dubai and later an office in Singapore. All the units except the office in Singapore are equipped with Kodak Approval NX.
In 2015 they saw the opportunity in customers demanding label mock-ups in roll form, so in their Mumbai facility they invested in an Epson Surepress to produce samples including Flexibles, Laminates and Labels by digital printing in roll form. Moreover, the production on Kodak was turning out to be expensive and limited to sheet format. Soon their customers upgraded from demanding just mock-ups to ordering short runs for their specialised marketing needs. They also started to see business emanating from the shrink sleeve segment as also a growing demand for other roll form variants. The slow speed of Surepress could not cater to the demand they were getting and also there was a limitation that it could not produce shrink sleeves. At this time in 2017 Trigon decided to take a major step of investing in an HP Indigo 6000 digital press and enhance their capability to produce a larger range of products. A year down the line in 2018 Trigon yet again upgraded their HP Indigo 6000 to HP Indigo 6900 which had enhanced features. On this HP 6900 they could do inline primer coating saving them the time and valuable space, print metallic inks and florescent inks. With a widened customer base and enhanced capabilities they now cater to applications in FMCG, Liquor, Personalised labels, Variable Data labels, QR codes and a lot more. They now produce and sell a range besides labels, offering flexible packaging, complex laminates, lamitubes and shrink sleeves. Anil Namugade firmly believes that digital is the future of printing and innovative packaging. Dwelling on the general apprehension of label printers regarding ROI (Return on Investment), he feels that it becomes better from an expanded vision of providing specialised services to the customer. These services that Trigon offers include brand management, database management including validation, preparing the mock-ups for test marketing before indulging extensively, offering creativity to customers for their evaluation and aiding decision making, personalisation or customisation and incorporating variable information on each label or package at short notice. Their experience in pre-press has helped them greatly and he believes that by adding full post press setup Trigon has become a one stop shop for the needs of brand owners. The additional cost of digitally converted products needs to spell value for customers to justify the cost. Anil asserts that the vision for success of flexo graphic printing and Digital printing should be looked at separately and not as a comparison.
Trigon Digital Solutions plans to remain focused in digital Printing. With already a facility in Dubai and an office in Singapore they are a global entity and they will be expanding their global reach by establishing a setup in U.K. in 2019-2020 as they already have customers in 18 countries including UK and Europe. They have endeavored to remain logistically close to customers to be able to provide service at their doorstep. Surprisingly due to their business model of being linked to packaging development, marketing and brand management, their revenues do not come from purchase budgets of customers but come from their marketing budgets. Trigon making optimum use of space operates out of around 1800 square feet shop floor area of all facilities put together. Headquartered in Andheri East, Mumbai they have a workforce of 102 persons. At Trigon every new creation is a challenge but developing it is not. Anil proudly says innovation, technology, extensive knowledge of prepress, and having “People with Passion” in their team has always been a winning force for Trigon. They are committed to improve upon what the customer wants or brings to them for creation of a label or package that will spell success for their products and brand.
Indian Label industry has for the last many years been registering steady double-digit growth. The industry largely consists of family-owned small or medium-sized enterprises employing 1-5 label presses. A handful of larger enterprises have surfaced in recent times due to acquisitions or mergers by multinational companies.
The size still needs to become bigger to reach the size of large international label producers. Ironically some of the upcoming existing companies in this segment who were growing and appeared to become large players, opted to be acquired rather than go it alone. We do see some Indian owned label companies now rising from the crowds to become evident in growth beyond the average size. It is hoped that they will also not opt to be acquired, we do need indigenous companies that will grow and prove their mettle. There is an imperative need for these companies to break away from being single owner or family driven businesses to become professionally-managed entities. They need to optimise production processes, manage wastages, invest in workflow automation, etc. leading to continuous growth and better profitability. Stronger bottom lines in the industry is sure to enable printers investing in expansion and employment of new technologies leading to evolution of the industry, presenting state of art products. A large population and expanding retail trade are driving the demand for labels. The industry that originated in just the metro cities is now spreading to the interiors of India, there is need for further growth as printers realise the need to be multilocational to be able to service customers in a large country more efficiently. At this time the exhibition Labelexpo is looked at with interest as it provides knowledge not only to existing printers but also to new entrants. It showcases the best of indigenous and international label production equipment, materials and consumables at one place. India’s label association LMAI not only supports this important exhibition but also adds value to it by organising events on the side lines, making it worthwhile for their printer and supplier members.
LMAI, L9 meet: L9 is the informal platform of leading global trade associations for the labels and narrow-web industry which was founded in 2009 for the purposes of communicating regional issues and developments to the global industry, identifying and jointly examining issues of transnational concern to industry members, sharing information, developing and recommending best Industry practices regarding efficiency,
training, technology, safety and environmental matters, recognizing Industry achievements and pursuing such other programmes and activities as may promote and better the industry worldwide. 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). Every year L9 meets in one of the member association countries. At the last 7th L9 meet in Beijing China it was decided that LMAI India will host the next meet. LMAI has made elaborate plans. It is now scheduled to be a 4-day prestigious global meet that will include multiple events and agendas including Label Exchange Program, L9 Board Meeting, Industry visits, Labelexpo visit, networking and leisure activities. The event will also cover a wide range of subjects within the label industry including sourcing and consumption of raw material, future demands, quality parameters, new machinery, innovative technologies and global trends.
Spearheading the program LMAI past President Sandeep Zaveri says, “We are very excited to welcome the L9 participants to India” acknowledging support of his LMAI colleagues Vivek Kapur, Amit Sheth, Ajay Mehta, Harveer Sahni, President-Kuldip Goel, Rajesh Nema, Ramesh Deshpande and Dinesh Mahajan in organising this important event, he further adds, “It is an opportunity for all our label printer friends to meet international label printing leaders and hear them on various ascents like recycling sustainability.” The L9 meet and related events are sponsored by SMI Coated Products as main sponsor and Intergraphic Pulisi.
LMAI Avery Dennison Label Awards Night: This prestigious Label industry biennial event has
traditionally been organised by Tarsus, the organiser of Labelexpo India along with the show Labelexpo. This is the first time that the event is being organised by LMAI under the leadership of their President Kuldip Goel. LMAI Avery Dennison Awards night will take place on the first day of Labelexpo India on 22nd of November 2018 at Expo Mart Greater Noida, UP India. It is expected to be a memorable event full of information, presentations, entertainment and global networking opportunities as the international visitors who will come for L9 meet will also be present. The award categories are as follows; · Flexo Category · Letterpress Category · Offset Category · Combination Printing Category · Digital Printing Category · Screen Printing Category · Rotogravure Category (under Gold Category) · Booklets & Coupon Labels Category (under Gold Category) · Innovation Category (under Gold Category) · Green Sustainable Category The entry to the awards night function is restricted to either invitees or paid ticket holders. PRICES AND BOOKING; · Individual places – per seat price – Rs. 3999 · For LMAI members the cost is subsidised to Rs. 2999 Sponsors for this gala night are as follows;
Avery Dennison Gold Sponsor
Vinsak Silver Sponsor
Nilpeter Silver Sponsor
SMI Coated Products Silver Sponsor
OMET and Dupont Silver sharing Sponsor
Intergraphic Pulisi Silver Sponsor
Gallus/Heidelberg Silver Sponsor
J N Arora and Co. Silver Sponso
Labelexpo India: Labelexpo India is scheduled to be held at Expo Martsharing , Greater Noida, UP India from 22nd to 25th November 2018. It is the largest event for the label and package printing industry in South Asia – with more products, more launches and more live demonstrations! The exhibition will display Digital and conventional printing presses, High tech label and packaging materials, Prepress and platemaking technology, Finishing and converting systems, Inspection, overprinting and label application equipment, Dies, cutters, rollers, Inks and coatings, RFID and security solutions, Software and interactive technology. Spread over 4 days in 4 halls the show has 250 exhibitors which include Avery Dennison, Bobst, Esko, HP, Hyden Packaging, Martin Automatic, Monotech Systems, Nilpeter, OMET, RK Label, Xeikon, and Zhejiang Weigang Machinery. The last labelexpo India in 2016 saw over 8000 visitors.
Brand Innovation Day: Labelexpo India 2018 hosted “Brand Innovation Day” will take place on the afternoon of Thursday 22 November (Day 1 of the show). It will include 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 are expected to attend. The purpose of the program is 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.
Labelexpo Global Series managing director Lisa Milburn, who will open the Brand Innovation Day, said: “Our most commonly asked question at Labelexpo India is how brands can learn how to use their labels and packaging to stand out from the competition. Given the success and popularity of our educational program for our other Labelexpo events including our Americas show in held in last September, we wanted to provide similar opportunities for Labelexpo India attendees. The appetite for labels and package printing continues undiminished in India and it is now one of the biggest growth markets, so it felt the right moment to offer this educational opportunity to brand owners and packaging designers at the show itself. “The Brand Innovation Day” is a rare chance for them to gain industry insights into how a brand can be inspired to innovate, experience the highlights of Labelexpo India 2018, and learn the tricks of the trade from the experts.”
The Labelexpo India Brand Innovation Day is sponsored by HP, Avery Dennison and SMI. The above article is written and compiled by Harveer Sahni, Chairman Weldon Celloplast Limited New Delhi India, October 2018
People are moving from villages to cities to experience the modern-day city life as they see on TV and internet.
The scenario has transformed over the years. As a result of ongoing urbanisation, the urban population in India has now grown from 19.4% in 1968 to 33.5% in 2017. The shift has a direct impact on the consumption of household goods, as daily needs in city dwelling are obviously different and more than that in villages. More so due to the impact of a growing rate of literacy level which is the percentage of people aged 15 and above who can read and write having increased to over 72% percent from 40.76% in 1981. People in the working age group 15-64 years has escalated to 66.2%, from a level of 55.4% in the last 50 years. In 2017 the median age of the country, which is half of the people to be younger than this age and other half older, was estimated to be 27.9 years. In a country of 1.32 billion people a growing need for household goods or consumer goods also referred to as FMCG or “fast moving consumer goods” means there is an ever-growing huge demand for labels and packaging that are a part of the consumables they buy.
According to a report in The Economic Times dated May 01, 2018, consumer products market grew
13.5% in the Financial year 2018, with eight of 10 leading companies posting double-digit value growth, FMCG being the 4th largest segment of the economy. Online sales of consumer goods is also seeing an enormous rise as number of online users is poised to cross 850 million by 2025. According to a report by marketing research firm “eMarketerOnline” retail sales in India are expected to grow by 31% this year to touch $32.70 billion, led by e-commerce players Flipkart, Amazon India and Paytm Mall. Retail market is estimated to reach US$ 1.1 trillion by 2020, up from US$ 672 billion in 2016 further expected to boost revenues of FMCG companies to 104 billion US Dollars. The data herein mentioned indicates a definite, constant and escalating demand for labels and packaging.
Indian Label industry has been witnessing challenging time since demonetisation of currency and later due to implementation of GST. While these measures may be beneficial for the industry at large, yet they slowed down the trade impacting margins and revenues. With capacity growth already committed by existing label companies who had already placed orders for new equipment and by those entering the segment in this period, slow down impacted adversely the positive sentiment in label industry. The Label printing and converting equipment was being upgraded globally by machine manufacturers to achieve efficiency in production, reducing wastages, producing to economies of scale and was becoming more expensive. An industry that was used to a quicker ROI (Return on Investment) and better margins found the situation challenging, decided to be cautious and held-back investing decisions. While the economic parameters of growth as mentioned in the earlier part of this article were on the move all the time, a pause or back stepping for two years created a gap that has resulted in now a positive situation whereby new investments to increase capacity are being made. However still, label printers are apprehensive that this sudden indulgence may result in over capacity, promote unhealthy competition resulting in lower margins and make servicing of loans a little difficult. Despite this the positive sentiment in the label industry is evident as those who have excelled are committed to expand and maintain their position.
Change is the only permanent in a growing scenario, also stagnation leads to deterioration so one has to keep improving, innovating and expanding to remain in reckoning in a vibrant colourful industry. The label industry, much to the discomfort of the existing peers of the industry is seeing a lot of investment from the sheetfed offset printers. The sheet offset industry is used to big time investments in equipment and voluminous sales justifying their lower margins with massive turnovers. They were content with ever growing toplines, yet when the bottom lines needed strengthening labels appears to be a solution. While this would not add much to the top line but would surely contribute positively to their bottom lines. In a conspicuous effort to make their balance sheets look more presentable, it seems the offset printing industry is becoming indulgent in labels. It is for this reason we see label exhibition stalwarts Tarsus targeting the offset printers for their upcoming Labelexpo India. This is much to the discomfort of existing label industry constituents as it would add to the intense competition bringing pressure on already depleting margins in terms of percentage.
The label demand in India continues to grow and investments in label printing and converting equipment is on the rise. Though not much authentic data is available, yet the author based on experience and time spent in the industry has attempted to reach a reasonable size of the market. There are about 1000 label manufacturing companies in India. These include very small and big plain label, barcode label and product label manufacturers both in roll and sheet, spread all over India. The number of machines that each of these companies possess varies from just one machine to multiple machines, in many cases the machines installed are in double digits. On a very modest estimation if I assume an average of just two machines per label company, the total comes to 2500 label converting machines. The number of rotary machines announced in media in the recent past as installed in India over the years till now by leading label suppliers like Mark Andy, Gallus, Nilpeter, Omet, Bobst, Edale, MPS, Weigang, Orthotec, etc. coupled with those supplied by local manufacturers like Multitec 200 machines, RK label 150 rotary plus 600 flatbeds, Jandu 135, Alliance, Webtech and others, is well over 1500. Now if we add the used machines, the intermittent and other flatbed/rotary options, the figure is definitely over 2500. Working backwards for converting capabilities with realistic downtime, the per capita consumption of labelstocks is well beyond 1 square meter.
Calculating quantities of label stock manufactured from the number of coaters installed with Labelstock manufacturers we have, according to the author’s personal estimation, Avery Dennison is leading the pack and SMI following, together they account for over 40% of the production in India with almost 48 Crore or 480 million square meters per year. According to Jandu Engineers, who have been the main coater laminator supplier to the unorganised sector, they have till date installed 150 adhesive coating lines in the country. While Jandu asserts that his coaters run at 100 meters per minute but for a realistic estimation their speed with down time has been considered at 50 meters per minute. Added to this is the production coming from numerous Hotmelt coaters installed and together with the stock lots used, the total again justifies the 1 square meter per capita usage. Another evaluation done with base consumption that most in the industry had agreed at 0.25 square meter in the year 2003. Applying a year on year growth rate of just 10%, this year we cross the 1 square meter per capita usage. The estimation is the author’s personal estimation only, many of the industry peers may not agree with the author’s estimation yet it appears that we have come a long way in the last 20 years. The self-adhesive label production and consumption in India all including roll, sheet, stock lots etc. this year seems to have reached a whopping 1.30 billion square meters!!!
Written by Harveer Sahni Chairman Weldon Celloplast Limited New Delhi India September 2018