This month we offer a broad selection of topics, all of which have a common thread in highlighting the strengths of our industry and some of the encouraging prospects for its future.
First off, we look at some of the issues packaging converters need to consider when deciding which inks to use in order to achieve the best results most efficiently and cost effectively, while also meeting regulatory and environmental requirements. This feature also puts the spotlight on a number of innovative developments that add effects which enable brand-owners to produce striking designs on their packaging. Among these is Ball Packging Europe's Sunlight Effect ink, which can be used to print a design that only becomes visible when the product is placed in sunlight.
In another feature this month, Andrew Manly gives us a packager's view of recent developments in coatings and laminates, where new formulations and technologies, particularly nano-coatings, are delivering significant advances, enhancing flexible film performance where it matters: in waste reduction and product integrity. According to Industry Intelligence, demand for barrier, safety, decorative and micro-porous applications (where packaging is 65% of the market) is expected to reach about 11.1 million tonnes in 2019, from a base of about 7.5 million tonnes in 2012.
In his perspective on the flexo printing sector, Tim Sheahan focuses on how technological developments, sustainability drives and a migration from rigid packaging are bringing significant growth for flexible packaging. According to Smithers Pira, the global flexible packaging market is expected to grow by 3.5% per annum until 2018 - a rate higher than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and faster than other packaging markets.
Tim reviews some of the many notable flexo innovations exhibited at Labelexpo Europe, a show that just keeps going from strength to strength. Our report on page 26 sums up this year's event - the largest in its 33-year history, with 31,795 visitors, nearly 600 exhibitors, and a host of new product launches.
An equally successful industry show in its own field is Packaging Innovations, and this issue includes a final review of the most recent in the series, held in London and another record-breaker for the organiser.
The Last Word in this issue goes to label industry 'guru' Mike Fairley, who gives his views on the press investment decisions that label converters face today