Looking forward

7 January 2008

Well, here we are at the start of another year, hopefully refreshed and not suffering too much from the Christmas festivities. It's customary at this point in the proceedings to reflect on the past year and, more importantly, to consider the prospects and possibilities that the new one holds.

In 2007 the converting industry once again had to cope with rising raw material costs on the one side while struggling to meet the ever tightening demands of its customers on the other. Another factor that also received increasing prominence was the pressure from environmental lobbying and legislation, which looks set to loom larger in the months and years to come.

Our industry continued to battle manfully to go about its business under these conditions, doing everything possible to ensure maximum efficiency and cost effectiveness in order to survive and still make a profit. Inevitably, some companies fell by the wayside while others followed the now familiar course of merger and consolidation.

I expect 2008 will bring us more of the same, but hope to see at least some overall improvement in the industry's fortunes over the next 12 months.

One forecast for the Italian industry, produced by Assografici, Centrexpo and IAFC Bocconi University, predicts a yearly growth of more than two per cent over the three year period 2007-2009, with flexible packaging and paper bags achieving the highest production increase - up to 3.9 per cent and 4.1 per cent, respectively.

If that projection proves accurate and everybody can do at least as well, then we will be on the right track.

This is a drupa year - always a major milestone for the printing and converting world - and a barometer for the level of technological progress it has achieved. We can be sure that many equipment manufacturers and service suppliers will have significant developments to unveil at the Düsseldorf show (May 29-June 11).

Converting Today is a media partner for drupa 2008, and we will be giving it extensive coverage in the build-up to the event, as well as reporting back from the halls after the show closes.

Here's to a successful 2008 for us all!

Mike Taylor


Mike Taylor

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