3rd LMAI Conference – learning and business can be fun

Three days with the Indian label industry in Jaipur

L – R: Vivek Kapoor, Sandeep Zaveri and Gururaj Ballarwad of LMAI inaugurating the 2015 conference and welcoming the audience in Jaipur. Photo PSA

The third LMAI Conference 2015 held from 16 to 18 July in Jaipur received a rousing attendance and response again. LMAI (Label Manufacturers Association of India) started
in 2001 to bring together all the label manufacturers and suppliers operating in India under one roof. While the first two editions of the biennial conference in 2011 and 2013 were held in Goa, the venue was shifted to Jaipur in the North this year.

The president of LMAI, Vivek Kapoor, welcomed delegates gathered from all parts of India as well as from several parts of the world. Kapoor said, “It is a pleasure and honour to welcome all the delegates at the 3rd LMAI Conference in Jaipur. Altogether we have around
450 delegates attending the conference this time, a reflection of the interest and enthusiasm of our LMAI members. We are grateful to our sponsors and speakers as well. ‘Changing Paradigm, Emerging Challenges’ is the theme for this year’s conference and our conference sessions are aimed to meet these relevant concerns of the industry. Change is a way of life and we have to welcome change and let’s make way for the paradigm shift.”

Gururaj Ballarwad, the conference chairperson also greeted the guests and delegates and congratulated all the members for their long-term and continuous support to LMAI. Ballarwad said, “The LMAI Conference is one opportunity for all the label converters and suppliers to meet and not only learn and understand the latest developments and trends but also to have a good time together. It is a great sight indeed to see so many of our friends, associates and colleagues under one roof.”

The LMAI conference is held during the same year that the Labelexpo Europe takesplace in Brussels. The conference becomes a preview of sorts and there is a lot of expectation and anticipation for this year’s show as the Indian label industry looks forward to receive another stimulus this year as at previous shows. Speaking to many of the label printers and machinery suppliers at the LMAI conference, it is quite evident that the Indian industry is looking forward to visiting Brussels and actively participating in the show. Tarsus, the organizer of the Labelexpo said in its brief presentation that this year’s Labelexpo Europe show is going to be its biggest not only in terms of exhibitors, visitors and space but even in terms of new innovations and technology.

The interesting and relevant content on all three days kept the audience glued to their seats. Flexo press manufacturers such as Gallus and Nilpeter made key presentations on controlling costs for a profitable and sustainable future for label printers. Technical presentations from companies such as DuPont and Kodak focussed on their platemaking technologies. DuPont introduced its flat top dot built into the plate technology along with surface technology while Kodak discussed its own digital flexographic plates. Esko indicated that there is a need to increase the shelf appeal and impact of labels through enhanced design elements although the focus needs to be on reducing waste as labelruns are tending to become shorter.

Digital players such as HP and Monotech were present at the conference. In its present- ations ,HP stressed that digital technology is no longer an option only in the case of short-run jobs but is now viable for long-runs. In fact, both Monotech and HP seemed to support the view that digital printing in labels is setting new benchmarks worldwide that are now equally applicable for label printing in India.

Labelstock manufacturers were at hand to discuss the sustainability issues regarding the industry. Both Avery Dennison and UPM Raflatac made it very clear that manufacturers as well as the supply chain including the end user would have to make collective efforts towards sustainability. India’s own global labelstock supplier SMI reminded the audience and the label industry to stay relevant and upgrade its capabilities according to the changing needs of the time.

Serious things said and done, the LMAI conference is also about having a good time and at the end of all days there was some wonderful music to listen to and some authentic local cuisine to keep the taste buds busy as well. Overall, it was a special experience at the 3rd LMAI Conference which had equal measures of business and fun and LMAI as well as the Indian label industry needs to be commended for the overall effort that made it a grand success.

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