In my presentation at FINAT ELF in Dublin, I will be looking in more detail at the growing links between labels and flexible packaging, and how label converters are well positioned to take a niche share of the fast-growing flexibles market.
There are several aspects to this. Most importantly, the dominant label converting technology – in-line combination presses – is today capable of printing both self-adhesive (supported) substrates and filmic (unsupported) substrates on the same press line.
Servo drive technology on web transport and print units, auto-registration and impression setting and the trend towards wider presses all make the handling of thin, heat-sensitive films possible while matching the larger format size required for flexible packaging.
The most surprising factor in the success of label printing in Ireland is that it is not a surprise. As a race Irish people have always shown a capacity for creativity and resourcefulness: from the invention of colour photography, the ejector seat and the Ferguson tractor to the discovery of a cure for leprosy and of pulsar stars. Why then would we wonder that our label printing industry is one of the most vibrant and innovative in Europe? The challenges facing the print industry in the island of Ireland and the impact of Brexit seem to pale by comparison.