Printers Survey: What is happening in the label industry? – Part 2 with Chris Ellison, OPM Group
Chris Ellison, CEO of UK-Based OPM Group (Source: FINAT)
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 out to what is currently going on at the “label production front line”. Please read what Chris Ellison from OPM Group thinks about automation, the recent press technology and further installations.
Managing director, OPM Group President, FINAT
Looking back at 2017, what were the most important developments in terms of technology and production workflow to affect the label industry?
Chris Ellison: If we look at the evidence presented from events like the FINAT ELF 2017 (European Label Forum) and Labelexpo Europe in Brussels for example, the success of the automation arena, increased visitor numbers etc. I think it is now clear that, as an industry, we can achieve a significant step forward from the adoption and implementation of industry 4.0. Evidence from other manufacturing sectors strongly indicates automation, integrated smart connected assets and workflows bring significant commercial benefits. Marrying this technology with an emerging generation of highly capable digitally driven young people and I believe our industry has a bright and exciting future.
What do you expect in 2018? What trends or developments will be most relevant?
Chris Ellison: Press technology and repro capability in recent years has opened up a whole new world of capability, coupled with opportunity, to the narrow web convertor. I believe entrepreneurs and forward thinking convertors will embrace all the available inspiration from events like the FINAT ELF 2018 and Labelexpo master classes looking for more niche and exciting new industry sectors to expand both their portfolios and turnover. Thus, I predict 2018 will be a year of innovation as our industry accelerates its expansion beyond its traditional barriers.
Do you intend to invest in new equipment, e.g. digital printing press? What plans do you have for 2018?
Chris Ellison: 2018 will be another exciting year to be involved with OPM, some of our plans and investments I can share here but for commercial reasons many I cannot. January has already seen further capital expenditure towards the full automation of our entire press hall with nonstop technology and integrated press links to our MIS system and Esko. This year will also see further press installations, more process automation and disruptive product innovation in our chosen sectors.