Interview series: What’s the next game-changer? – Answers from Marzek Etiketten+Packaging

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 Johannes Michael Wareka, CEO Marzek Etiketten+Packaging, think about the latest developments within our industry in the past year and in the immediate future!

Johannes Michael Wareka,
CEO Marzek Etiketten+Packaging


  1. Looking back at 2016, what were the most important developments in terms of technology and production workflow to affect the label industry?

The most important developments in the field of production technologies are digital printing and converting. In addition, improvements will also be made in digital and analogue workflows, data handling and the stability and efficiency of systems.

We have already introduced the fully integrated and networked company software Dynamics AX in the fields of lean production and lean administration. Another focus is on the increased use of synergies within the Marzek Etiketten+Packaging group of companies referring to cross selling, common procurement processes, research & development and technology exchange. In addition, in 2016 we laid the cornerstone for our new production facility for flexible packaging in Hungary (M-FlexiLog) which will start production in the second quarter of 2017.

  1. 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?

The implementation of Industry 4.0 is not a one-step-issue but a continuous and ever faster process of change. It affects areas like internal and external communication, internet, public relations, web based shops, information systems, administration, the exchange and management of data, planning, analogue and digital production workflows, machine control, logistics, inventory management, quality management, controlling of processes, feedback from machines, reading devices and sensors and finally accountancy.

This goes along with networking with integrated data bases for ever complex systems. However, complexity always bears the threat of interference and risks. In this context one should not underestimate the human factor as a crucial element of such integrated systems.

The challenge is to be able to optimally utilize the benefits of such systems to improve company efficiency and at the same time keeping the degree of complexity on a still manageable level.

  1. 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?

The changes within the label industries are taking place in areas like production technology, digitisation, workflows, materials, embellishment and personalisation of products. At Labelexpo Europe 2017 there will be an increasing number of hybrid systems on display. As far as investments in such systems are concerned one has to be aware to combine the benefits of both worlds (analogue and digital) instead of cumulating their respective disadvantages and limitations. The manufacturers of machines and equipment have to sharpen their focus on the efficiency of their products. Examples for this are shorter makeready times in the face of lower print runs and higher flexibility, the printing process and finally digital and analogue converting processes.

Important issues for material suppliers are innovative substrates, cost reduction, new ways of marketing, technical features and sustainability. The field of printed electronics is still in its infancy and will enjoy a major breakthrough within the next five to ten years.

  1. Do you currently have digital printing capability? Will you be investing in a digital press (or presses) in 2017?

In Austria, the first professional digital imaging device was supplied by Barco (now Esko) and was  installed 30 years ago. In 1999 the development of the first Intra and internet based image database took place which earned an innovation award. In Europe, the installation of the first HP 6000 series digital print systems took place at Marzek Etiketten+Produktion in 2009. Since then, digital productions has grown continuallyat a double-digit rate. In addition, the use of state-of-the-art hybrid converting units opens up new production opportunities previously unachievable with conventional machinery. In general, the investment cycles for digital production means are significantly shorter and for 2017 we expect further installations.

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already published answers of our survey amongst labels printers, converters and associations in this overview

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