Some post-Labelexpo Europe 2017 thoughts
Another record breaking edition of Labelexpo Europe is behind us. Digitalization, automation, compliance, sustainability, and innovation were (again) the keywords in the increasingly wider world of labels and packaging that is now covering 10 halls. Brussels Expo is more and more becoming a ‘one stop shop’ for everything to do with high-end label converting and package printing.
FINAT was again proud to be part of it, and at the opening ceremony of the show, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Labelexpo-FINAT partnership.
During that period, not only has the self-adhesive label market in Europe more than tripled in size, its scope has also ‘broadened’ with the adoption of alternative applications for existing narrow-web machinery, the emergence of digital press technology and the recent entry of wider web solutions providers into this space. And not only has the scope broadened, with the development of customized smart and intelligent labels and packaging solutions, the relationship with the market is also deepening.
The re-positioning of our industry beyond just ‘label printing’, as one of innovative decoration solutions providers, opens up opportunities. Continuous innovation, knowledge intensity, complexity and customer intimacy enable us to escape the trap of competition on price that has been seen in other parts of the printing and packaging arena.
It however also brings with it major challenges. First of all, it requires leadership and an open mind to change from the ‘C-suite’ of our industry. Secondly, the accelerated speed of technology innovation and digitization also demands continuous updating of our workforce’s set of skills and competences. And it is exactly the aspects of business relevance, technology awareness and positioning the industry towards the next generation, that are at the core of FINAT’s strategy for the coming years.
These aspects are best understood not only by taking part but also actively volunteering to shape association programmes addressing these challenges as an industry. Together we are stronger!
See everyone soon, at the FINAT committee meetings later this month, the Technical Seminar in Barcelona next March, or latest at the European Label Forum 2018 in Dublin next June!!