Breaking all previous records, the 15th edition of Labelexpo Americas saw 17,407 label and package printing professionals descend on Rosemont’s Donald E. Stephens Convention Center from September 13-15. As well as posting an 8.5 per cent increase in attendee numbers, the show was also the largest in its history with a show floor size of over 201,000sq ft.
Featuring more than 455 exhibitors including over 100 first time exhibitors, the show recorded its highest ever number of product launches. Key press unveilings included BOBST’s M6 mid-web inline UV flexo press, the K600i from Domino, HP Indigo’s 8000, the Digital One from Mark Andy, MPS’ latest EF technology, the PANORAMA, FA-4* and the 22-inch FA-6* flexo press from Nilpeter and the Xeikon CX3 digital press.
Complementing the vast range of new product announcements, the show floor was also packed with live demonstrations including two new feature areas. With the US annually generating 370,000 tons of liner waste, the Linerless Trail championed ways of improving sustainability and reducing costs and waste. In addition, UPM Raflatac collected the show’s excess label, matrix and liner waste so it can be converted into a new form of energy.
The Digital Finishing Experience showcased how to take advantage of short run opportunities in label and packaging personalisation, seasonal variations and product fragmentation. Daily presentations were held throughout the show’s three-day run with live working demonstrations of Delta ModTech’s Spectrum Finishing System and folded cartons on the Xeikon FDU.
The exhibition was also heavily supported by two Label Academy master classes, the inaugural Shrink Sleeve Workshop and a two-day conference program. The all-female converter panel discussion on day two was also well received with inspiring, frank and candid contributions from printing companies.
Tasha Ventimiglia, Labelexpo Americas event director, said: “The label and package printing industry is really galvanised at the moment. Package printing is coming of age, as is digital printing technology and this year’s show had a real buzz around shrink sleeve production and applications. Converters are upping their game all the time with significant investment in their product offering and a constant honing of their commercial capabilities, so Labelexpo really offers them the best place to catch up with all the latest techniques, solutions and trends.”
Corinne Schmid, marketing manager, ebeam Technologies, commented: “We chose Labelexpo Americas to introduce our breakthrough technology, the EID (ebeam Inkjet Dryer) to the US market because we knew we would reach label manufacturers grappling with the challenges of digital print, environmental sustainability, food safety, and quality. We were not wrong. Visitors were interested in how EID can help them dispel fears of photoinitiator migration, the opportunities of heat-free curing on heat-sensitive substrates, and the production efficiencies of eliminating wait time before cutting or slitting labels.”
Tom Hammer, director product portfolio packaging and narrow web, Flint Group Narrow Web North America, said: “There is a learning curve that needs to be gone through and accessing supplier partners who have expertise in this arena is a great start to minimise the time, effort and cost to enter a new, exciting and fast growth market.”
Meanwhile, Filip Weymans, VP marketing at Xeikon, said: “Xeikon remains a fan of the Labelexpo platform as an important forum to show and teach the label printing market how digital print is opening up new possibilities for label converters. Being part of Flint Group now, Xeikon had a strong presence and generated a lot of interest.”
Gerry Stanford, sales and marketing manager, PC Industries, said: “Labelexpo Americas 2016 has proven again to be a successful event for PC Industries. It was an excellent chance to observe some of the newest industry trends. Having a venue like Labelexpo Americas led to us receiving multiple orders at the show for PC Industries’ Guardian PQV 100 per cent Print Defect Detection System and the Graphic-Vision GV-Spectro In-Line Color Measurement System. We are excited that our customers will bring their print quality control and business to new heights thanks to this year’s show.”
Tracey Harmon, marketing project manager, RotoMetrics, stated: “RotoMetrics visited with over 1,000 customers during 2016 Labelexpo Americas. Our customers got to learn about the enhanced performance of our AccuSeries flexible dies, the improved dimensional stability of our magnetic cylinders, our new pressure sensitive material movement solutions and our expanded service offerings. Our synchronised team of experts were able to help new and existing customers unlock the power of precision to help their business excel.”
Kees Nijenhuis, vice president, MPS Systems North America, added: “We had a record number of visitors at the MPS booth as well as record North American sales at the show. MPS introduced together with EMT the Chameleon RobustCut side load die station. Also, we started a partnership with Kodak that resulted in three live press demonstrations at the MPS booth, pushing the limits of flexo. The interest has been overwhelmingly positive. MPS also demonstrated its flagship flexo press, the EF.”
Craig Du Mez, brand manager at QuadTech, commented: “Labelexpo Americas afforded QuadTech a great opportunity to introduce two new colour management technologies that were not previously available to the market. We experienced very high interest and extremely positive response to our ColorTrack and DeltaCam, generating leads from all over the world. Labelexpo gave us an excellent platform to show the industry how we can simplify the colour quality workflow and provide fast, accurate press-side correction of ink formulations.”