The consensus from many in the European packaging and converting sector is that 2013 is building to be something of step-change in the press manufacturing space.
Developments in the narrow web market and the advent of larger, faster, better digital presses for folding cartons, flexible packaging and labels have helped catalyse a sense of expectation and, dare I say it, excitement from companies ready to re-equip their pressrooms in the coming year.
In this issue we look at the most important recent developments to take place within the digital print sector. A mainstay in the commercial and wide format sectors, digital is arguably coming of age, and the technological developments are coming thick and fast from a raft of manufacturers.
The combination of shortening run lengths, the demand for personalised targeted marketing, and an ever-present focus on cutting waste levels have all contributed to digital's increased foothold within the production print mix. It will be fascinating to see an increasing number of installations of new presses from manufacturers such as HP and Océ as the year progresses.
Also in this issue is an insight into the latest developments in the narrow web market from technology expert Nick Coombes. He points out that converters, who are under pressure to deliver clients a product that is "better and faster and cheaper", are turning to the ingenuity of the machinery manufacturers to aid new productive and efficient ways of working. Thankfully, companies such as Edale, Gallus and Nilpeter have responded in kind with an array of developments that help combat production bottlenecks and combine a range of processes inline, among others.
And fi nally, we are edging ever closer to ICE Europe and the latest iteration of the easyFairs-organised Packaging Innovations trade show event, which takes place on 27-28 February in Halls 18 and 19 at the NEC Birmingham, UK.
Featuring brands such as Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Nestlé and Gü, the two-day show is certainly not to be missed. I hope to see you there. later this month.