USA • The 15th edition of Labelexpo Americas saw 17,407 label and package printing professionals descend on Rosemont’s Donald E. Stephens Convention Center from 13 – 15 September. According to Labelexpo organizers, as well as posting an 8.5% increase in attendee numbers, the show was also the largest in its history with a show floor size of over 201,000 sqft (19,000 square metres).
Featuring more than 455 exhibitors including over 100 first time exhibitors, the show recorded its highest ever number of product launches. Key press unveilings included BOBST’s M6 mid-web inline UV flexo press, the K600i from Domino, the Durst-Omet hybrid system which sees Omet XFlex X6 modules integrated into Durst’s Tau 330 UV platform, HP Indigo’s 8000, the Digital One from Mark Andy, MPS’ latest EF technology, the PANORAMA, FA-4* and the 22” FA-6* flexo press from Nilpeter and the Xeikon CX3 digital press.
Complementing the vast range of new product announcements, the show floor was also packed with live demonstrations including two new feature areas. With the US annually generating 370,000 tons of liner waste, the Linerless Trail championed ways of improving sustainability and reducing costs and waste with displays by Appvion, Bostik, Evonik, Henkel Corporation, Innovia Films, Maan Engineering, Max International Converters, MPS, NAStar and Ravenwood Packaging. In addition, UPM Raflatac collected the show’s excess label, matrix and liner waste so it can be converted into a new form of energy. The Digital Finishing Experience showcased how to take advantage of short run opportunities in label and packaging personalization, seasonal variations and product fragmentation. Daily presentations were held throughout the show’s three day run with live working demonstrations of Delta ModTech’s Spectrum Finishing System and folded cartons on the Xeikon FDU.
The exhibition was also heavily supported by two Label Academy master classes, the inaugural Shrink Sleeve Workshop and a two-day conference program. Covering a broad range of topics and technologies, conference sessions were well attended including the CEO panel discussion. Presided over by Georges Gravanis of Avery Dennison, it covered the key issues facing the North American market and featured John Attayek of Inovar Packaging Group, John M. Cappy from the Outlook Group, Fortis Solutions Group’s John Wynne, Mark Glendenning of Inland and Charlie MacLean of ASL Print FX.
The all-female converter panel discussion on day two was extremely well received with inspiring, frank and candid contributions from Tara Halpin of Steinhauser, Alpine Packaging’s Jan Lehigh, Sandy Petersen of Digital Label Solutions, AWT’s Michelle Zeller and the Label Printers’ Lori Campbell. Other highlights included a look at new printing techniques to revolutionize design and branding, The Internet of Things and using highly functional smart labels and packaging to leverage consumer engagement.