Interview Series: What’s the next game-changer? – Answers from Cabas
NarrowWebTech asked label printers and converters as well as label associations to give their views about the past, the present and the future of the label industry. What was the most important thing to note in 2016? What will be relevant in 2017? Read here what Panos Cabas, general manager at Cabas, think about the latest developments within our industry in the past year and in the immediate future!
General manager, Cabas
- Looking back at 2016, what were the most important developments in terms of technology and production workflow to affect the label industry?
What I believe mainly affected the label industry this past year once again relates to digital presses and technology. Undoubtedly it has been the development of hybrid presses and then it is the digital presses that are starting to feature modular in-line converting capabilities. Those I believe were key factors that have turned the game around and have given the label industry one more reason to further invest in digital technology, in combination with traditional flexo and offset machines.
- Some describe Industry 4.0 as the ‘4th Industrial Revolution’. What is your opinion on this evolution of communications within the production chain, and how does it affect your workflow?
In most cases technology has developed to meet an existing need and in others it is innovation that expands the limits of an industry’s abilities. Although I don’t have direct experience of its use in our company, I believe Industry 4.0 is a revolution that will primarily affect the workflow of bigger companies with complex production needs in many different industries. We shall see how this technology will be implemented in the label printing industry.
- What are your concerns and expectations for the label industry in 2017? What do you consider will be the game-changing developments? How does your view relate to what you might see at Labelexpo Europe 2017?
Our company has been in the label printing business for 46 years but in the last ten years the industry has changed rapidly so companies have no choice but to evolve. Automation is a key trend and will soon dominate every step of the label printing process, both in administration and production workflows. Although I expect that digital technology will keep on developing, I believe traditional flexo and offset will “fight back”. At Labelexpo I expect to see developments for conventional printing that incorporate some of digital technology’s benefits.
- Do you currently have digital printing capability? Will you be investing in a digital press (or presses) in 2017?
We don’t have digital printing capability at the moment, but we soon will as we are planning on investing in digital technology. There is undoubtedly a need for a combination of technologies and we have to cover different demands in terms of quality, substrate, volume, budget and schedule for each job. Run lengths continue to decrease, and label customization or different versions are often required. We have no choice but to respond!