Printers Survey: What is happening in the label industry? – Part 5 with Graham Backhouse, BPIF labels
Which challenges the label producer worldwide have to meet? In the NarrowWebTech 2018′ survey a range of label printing and converting companies as well as associations discuss what is currently going on at the “label production front line”. In the fifth part of our survey, Graham Backhouse from the British label assocations, BPIF labels, comments the current challenges for label printers and converters, the best way to meet them and tries an outlook for the most relevant developments in label printing and finishing in 2018.
Managing director, BPIF labels
Looking back at 2017, what were the most important developments in terms of technology and production workflow to affect the label industry?
Graham Backhouse: The label industry continues to develop in what seems to be an ever-increasing pace across all areas. However perhaps most significantly our industry is understanding, more and more, the potential to link and automate systems and processes across all areas of the manufacturing process.
Developments have been made at almost every stage of the sales, manufacturing, packing and shipping processes. Business management software now links seamlessly across the business enabling faster and more accurate processing of graphics and information. Graphics processing and image management software is becoming increasingly connectable to the management MIS and machinery suppliers are also making sure their software can link into those systems
- What do you expect in 2018? What trends or developments will be most relevant?
Graham Backhouse: The developments we have seen up to and including 2017 are making more and more companies grasp the potential these advancements offer not only for improving speed and efficiency but also in enabling closer links with their clients. The whole interaction between label supplier and client is becoming more automated and professional.
2017 also saw a few forward-thinking companies lever the potential of communicating and collaborating with other providers to offer clients not only a product, but also a more complete service. The systems and technology available to brand marketing manager offers massive potential for personalizing the experience with the end user. A few, more progressive companies are already taking advantage of that potential. I believe 2018 will see many more start that journey.
- Do you intend to invest in new equipment, e.g. digital printing press? What plans do you have for 2018?
Graham Backhouse: As a body representing much of the UK label industry we are not direct investors in equipment. 2018 will be a difficult year for our members to judge as our future relationship with Europe continues to be negotiated. The continued selective leaking of information and wild commentary from all quarters on how the process is taking shape will only make the near impossible more difficult. Strangely, I do not see this holding back many investment decisions in our industry, especially from our more forward-looking members.
Digital will continue its march forward with further new investments from those already in the digital arena. I am sure now that the range of offering from digital press manufacturers has widened substantially there are many companies looking to take their first steps into digital. Likewise, conventional presses will continue to be in demand as the industry becomes more and more competitive and label printers seek the latest equipment to stay competitive and maintain margin.
Want also want to read answers by Hagmaier Etiketten, Colognia Press or OPM Group?