Printers Survey: What is happening in the label industry? – Part 1 with Thomas Hagmaier
What do label printers worldwide think about the challenges? What plans do label printers and converters have for the future? Do they intend to invest and if so, in which technology? In our 2018′ survey a range of label printing and converting companies as well as associations points our to what is currently going on at the “label production front line”. Let’s start with Thomas Hagmaier from Hagmaier Etiketten & Druck.
Thomas Hagmaier, CEO
Hagmaier Etiketten & Druck
1. Looking back at 2017, what were the most important developments in terms of technology and production workflow to affect the label industry?
Integration of industry 4.0, or however you want to call it, reached the label industry. If you buy a production line today, there is not only the difficult decision as to which (printing) technique you should choose. It is more and more the question: is your technology or machine partner able to provide the connection between the press, staff and service availability? The time is long gone when you were able to repair or service your machine using your own engineers. Converters are increasingly becoming more dependent on their suppliers which means that the industry is gradually growing together.
2. What do you expect in 2018? What trends or developments will be most relevant?
I am expecting an upheaval in the raw materials market. I am sure that prices for basic materials will rise, but the strategy which the “big 5” are following is not acceptable. Some of the converters will have problems to increase the price of their labels. With regard to printing technologies there will be, in my opinion, price cuts in UV inkjet solutions. If this does not happen, we will not have a breakthrough in this technology.
3. Do you intend to invest in new equipment, e.g. digital printing press? What plans do you have for 2018?
Yes, indeed. After investing in converting in 2017 in accordance with meeting our motto “wider-faster- leaner”, we will invest again in digital printing having the same vision in mind. However, it is a difficult choice to find a printing production line which fulfils all our requirements.