Label Industry Global Awards 2018 – Shortlist announced and R. Stanton Avery Pioneer Award goes to Alex Knott

The shortlist of this year’ Label Industry Global Awards as well as the winner of the Avery Pioneer Award were announced: Alex Knott, of the Dow Chemical Company, has been chosen as the recipient of the R. Stanton Avery Pioneer Award for the 2018 Label Industry Global Awards. The Award ceremony will take place during Labelexpo Americas in Chicago.

Judging for the 15th annual awards program took place on 6 June during the recent FINAT European Label Forum (ELF) in Dublin, where the panel of international judges met to consider entries across four award categories. Rosina Obermayer, editor of NarrowWebTech was for the second time in a row part of the jury.


The R. Stanton Avery Pioneer Award

The winner for the updated Pioneer Award is Alexander Knott from Dow Chemical. Sponsored by Avery Dennison, the R. Stanton Avery Pioneer Award honors the contribution an individual has made which has really impacted the label and package printing sector, whether their pioneering work has spanned two years or two decades.

Knott is a senior scientist in the company and leader of a global team that has pioneered the latest innovations in pressure-sensitive silicone release liner coating technology, including the introduction of Dow’s Flat Release Systems. This technology has not only revolutionized high speed, low coating weight, high performance and labelstock release liner production, but has also been a key factor in helping to drive down silicone coating costs.

Knott started his career as a development chemist in 1987 in the pressure-sensitive industry at Dow Corning – today a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company. Since then he has held application engineering, technical leadership and senior scientist roles within this industry, and today has a solid global reputation as an authority on silicone pressure-sensitive systems.

The R. Stanton Avery Pioneer Award is bestowed in memory of Stan Avery’s pioneering spirit and values. The award is an update to the previously named R. Stanton Avery Lifetime Achievement Award in order to better reflect the industry as it is today – one embracing innovation and tackling major environmental challenges such as label waste – so is the explanation of the sponsoring company.

During the same meeting, the judging panel also discussed at length and agreed the finalists for the three other categories. They are:

The Award for Innovation (for companies with more than 300 employees), sponsored by Flint Group Narrow Web (in alphabetical order):

  • Esko
  • Fujifilm North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division
  • Paper Converting Machine Company
  • Rotometrics

The Award for Innovation (for companies with up to 300 employees), sponsored by Flint Group Narrow Web (in alphabetical order):

  • Dienes Corporation
  • Eaglewood Technologies
  • Hamillroad Software
  • MGI
  • Phoseon Technololgy

The Award for Sustainability (in alphabetical order):

  • Avery Dennison
  • Signode India Ltd
  • UPM Speciality Papers

Mike Fairley, chair of the judges said: “As the highest accolade within the label and package printing industry, the quality of entries to the Label Industry Global Awards is always extremely high and drawing up the finalists is no easy process. However, the judging panel felt that Alex Knott was the stand-out choice for this year’s R. Stanton Avery Pioneer Award, with multiple recommendations from around the world.
“Alex is undoubtedly one of the most recognized global experts in silicone-based paper release coating technology, with exceptional in-depth knowledge of silicone coatings right through to the most advanced solventless Platinum systems. During his time at Dow, silicone coat weights have reduced from around two microns to one micron or less, Platinum levels have reduced from 100 ppm to 50 ppm or less, whilst at the same time coating speeds have risen from around 80 /min up to 1,000 m/min or more.”

“For the label converter and end-user, such innovations have contributed to superior waste stripping performance at ever-increasing press running speeds, as well as enabling much higher label application line speeds on the latest automated product decoration systems.”

Alex Knott from Dow Chemical is the winner of the R Stanton Avery Pioneer Award 2018 (Source: Labelexpo)

Previous winners of the individual award (formerly Avery Lifetime Award) include: Professor Tan of PEIAC, Tomas Rink of Ritrama, Helmut Schreiner of Schreiner Group, Suzanne Zaccone of GSI Technologies, and Neil McDonough of FlexCon.

The judging panel

The chair of the judges was Mike Fairley. The other members of the judging panel for this year’s awards were: Chris Ellison, president of FINAT; Dan Muenzer, chairman of TLMI; Rosina Obermayer, editor of NarrowWebTech, James Quirk, group managing editor, Labels & Labeling;; and Steve Katz, editor of Label & Narrow Web.

All winners and official presentations of the prizes will be announced during Labelexpo Americas, held in Chicago, at a gala evening event on 25 September 2018. Tickets are available to purchase at

Visit for a taster of what’s in store for this year.

The Label Industry Global Awards were created in 2004 to celebrate innovation and excellence within the label and package printing sector. The Awards ceremony alternates each year between Labelexpo Europe (Brussels) and Labelexpo Americas (Chicago). The 2018 Awards will take place in Chicago in September.

You want to know the winners from last year? Take a look at the Label Industry Global Awards 2017!

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