Printers Survey: What is happening in the label industry? – Part 6 with Marzek Etiketten+Packaging
What do label printers and converters worldwide think about the challenges? What are their plans for 2018? In our 2018′ survey label printing and converting companies as well as associations points our to what is currently going on at the “label production front line”. Dr Johannes Michael Wareka from Marzek Etiketten+Packaging outlines his opinion about label production, digitalization, sustainability and more.
Dr Johannes Michael Wareka
CEO, Marzek Etiketten+Packaging
- Looking back at 2017, what were the most important developments in terms of technology and production workflow to affect the label industry?
Dr J. M. Wareka: By listening to the market our company is monitoring a continuous trend towards smaller order quantities and more diverse packaging and promotions. In terms of conventional and digital production the trends vary. More sophisticated combination printing, premium embellishment, more focus on haptic of material, special varnishing and 3D-effects are just some of the areas worthy of mention. I guess that a continuous dynamic growth of digital production will happen and self-adhesive will show a moderate growth in developed countries. Alternatives to self-adhesive products (sleeves, wrap around, flexible packaging etc.) are showing an ever-increasing demand for these technologies. In addition, integrated MIS systems are becoming more and more common.
- What do you expect in 2018? What trends or developments will be most relevant?
Dr J. M. Wareka: Digitally produced packaging in general is growing, especially high value, partly and fully digitally produced premium products with embellishment and top-quality finishing. Design is taking advantage of the benefits of digital, including variable data, personalisation and design variations (such as each label is unique in design).
The tendency towards flexible packaging, sleeves and wrap around continues.
There will be further optimisation of MIS systems, integration and direct connection of MIS systems with prepress and intelligent production equipment with data interchange in both directions. Efficiency and productivity of administration and production in combination with minimization of material waste are other focal points. Marzek Etiketten+Packaging is also closely monitoring the long-term trend towards intelligent packaging, such as Internet of Packaging (IoP). This sees packaging as a two-way communication media (producer <->consumer) via codes, NFC, RFID and more.
In addition, ecology is an issue, which is becoming more and more important. There will be a change towards a holistic view, which not only includes the packaging material, but also the packaging process, logistics and recycling effects on the environment.
- Do you intend to invest in new equipment, e.g. digital printing press? What plans do you have for 2018?
Dr J. M. Wareka: In 2017 we opened a new plant for flexible packaging, “M-FlexiLog”, in Hungary. Marzek Etiketten+Packaging will install two more wide format printing machines (solvent and UV) for films, flexible packaging, sleeves and wrap-around products in Hungary and Ukraine in 2018. Furthermore, tests are running on newly developed digital equipment from different suppliers for digital embellishment. Our company always has a focus on new technologies and long-term trends – machine investments should always be made with a perspective of the whole lifetime of the equipment.