India Label Show


The third edition of the India Label Show was held at the Pragati Maidan complex in New Delhi along with the first edition of the India AIDC Show between the 6th and 9th of December 2006. Concurrently, Label Expositions Private Ltd. – the organisers of the shows, also staged the international Info Label 2006 Conference on the 7th and 8th of December 2006 at the Conference Complex at Pragati Maidan. The Conference was put together and conducted by Alexander Watson & Associates (AWA) of the Netherlands, who are well-known specialists in market research and conferences.
The shows featured over 175 exhibitors representing over 250 companies from all over the world, including many world leaders in their respective fields, and drew 8437 visitors from 35 countries.

The Label Show featured suppliers of materials, equipment, technologies, accessories and services related to labels including many well-known global players and a veritable who’s-who of Indian industry while the AIDC (Automatic Information and Data Capture) Show showcased technologies like Bar Codes, Smart Cards, Biometrics, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), Electronic Surveillance and Product/Asset Tracking.

On show at the ILS 2006 were many running label printing presses, prominent among which were the following:

– 8-colour Mark Andy 2200L flexo press
– 6-colour PROFLEX UV flexo press from Focus, UK
– 2-colour SRN 3030 UV screen press from Orthotec, Taiwan
– Gearless and shaftless FLEXY flexo press from Omet, Italy
– 4-colour KDO-265 flexo press from K2, UK
– 6-colour LX6 textile label press from Focus, UK
– Fully automatic DSB2-2045 roll-to-roll screen press from Luen Hop, Hong Kong
– 4-colour flat bed press from H-Shine, China
– 5-colour RY 320 flexo press from Zonten, China
– 6+1 UV rotary letterpress intermittent Alca Gamut 250 press from Autoprint,India in collaboration with Mida Maquinaria, Spain
– Indigenous flexo presses from Jandu and Apex Rototech
– Flat bed presses from R K Machine Tools and Keen Machinery

In addition, there were booths representing other major press manufacturers like Nilpeter, Gidue, Iwasaki, Rotatek, Heidelberg/Gallus, HP Indigo, Taiyo, Etirama, MPS, Labelmen, Link Label, Aquaflex and Marsons.
There were also many other kinds of running equipment on display like:
– Flytec 2000 web inspection system from ABG International, UK
– VSI 330 slitting/rewinding and inspection system from Rotoflex
– Hot stamping and die-cutting equipment from Bang Sung, Autoprint and Keen Machinery
– The world’s first print process management and 100% real-time defect inspection system for labels from BST Sayona
– Web cleaning systems from Teknek, UK
– Ultrasound anilox and part cleaning systems from AlphaSonics, UK
– Label applicators from Interlabels and MaharshiLabels
– Wide width hologram embossing/transfer equipment and slitter/rewinders from Maan Machine Tools
– MQ 320 die cutting + hot stamping + sprocket hole punching machine and FQ 320 slitter-rewinder from Zonten,China
– Web guiding/tension control/corona treatment equipment from Erhardt + Leimer
– Slitter-rewinder from Apex Rototech
– Ribbon slitting machine from BTS, Singapore
– Narrow web stroboscopic inspection systems from Unilux Inc.
– Wraparound labelling machine fromSwift Labelling Technologies
– A variety of bar code printers, readers and verifiers

There were also many other well-known brands of products ranging from labelstock solutions, holograms, shrink-labelling solutions, films, stamping foils, release liners and pre-press equipment/software to consumables like inks, adhesives, silicone coatings, magnetic dies, anilox rolls, photopolymer plates, doctor blades, thermal transfer ribbons and mounting tapes. There was even a large dealer in used equipment Interteck. Some of the new products launched globally or announced for the first time for the Indian market were:
– Offset intermittent and full rotary presses for the Indian market from Rotatek, Spain
– Xpannd UV offset hybrid press for the Indian market from Gidue, Italy
– Aquaflex full servo press capable of printing substrates from 12 micron film to 400 gsm board from FL Smithe, USA
– ‘No Label Look’ labelstock and removable/repositionable labelstock from Stick on Papers
– A new range of tamper-evident labelstock/paper/tapes for shipping cartons and non-residue “void” security labels from Weldon Celloplast
– High power magnetic rollers from Apex Rototech
– OCS offset cutting system for inline printing, cutting and creasing from Lartec, Spain
– Print process management and 100% real-time defect detection system from BST Sayona
– Heat and tear resistant coated film from Sterimed Surgicals– Label production using laser technology with die-cutting and hot stamping from Cartes, Italy.

Label 2006 Conference

The Info Label 2006 conference was put together and conducted for Label Expositions, the show organisers, by Alexander Watson Associates, Netherlands (AWA).

Session 1 Labeling & Product Decoration Market and Industry Trends in India

Introduced and chaired by Corey Reardon of AWA, Mr. P. Dasgupta of Hindustan Lever presented the FMCG end-user perspective on labelling and listed trends and the various options available. He impressed upon the importance of using the concept of total applied cost of labels. Mr. R. Srinivasan of Avery Dennison traced the development of pressure sensitive adhesive-backed labels and concluded with a case-study on how Anheuser Busch achieved leadership in the North America market for Bud Light by switching to a transparent PS adhesive label on a clear glass bottle that provided the required product differentiation. Ms. Honey Vazirani of Paper Products provided an overview of the label market in India and pointed out that the immediate growth would come from catering to the requirements of organised retail; there would be significant opportunities in the private label segment, barcode labels and smart labels. Mr. J. Nikkila of UPM Label Papers explained how technology has developed in face stock and liner stock production for self-adhesive labels and how cost efficiencies have been achieved by running larger widths at higher speeds. He said the future for PS adhesive labels looks bright but there will be stiff competition from other product decoration processes. Mr. Manish Desai of Mudrika Labels talked about the functional and cost benefits provided by in-mould labels if volumes were large enough to justify going in for them. There was general agreement that the Indian label market is poised for both volume growth as well as an upgrade to higher technology processes.

Session 2 on Printing & Converting Trends and Developments

Started with Mr. Mike  Russell of Mark Andy explaining the benefits of combining the advantages of different printing and decoration processes into one inline operation and how his experience has been that there is a preference for this route for quality output despite the significant additional equipment costs and higher skill requirements. Mr. Claus Witt of Flint Group talked about the latest developments in flexographic plates and how the future trend was going to be direct laser engraving of photopoymer infinity sleeves. Mr. Les Bovenlander of HP Indigo talked about how digital printing was the answer to some of the contemporary trends like shorter runs, faster turnaround times, printing of variable data, on-demand printing and lower change-over times while delivering better print quality. The only disadvantage is lower printing speeds but work is afoot to address this shortcoming. Mr. Dilip Shah of Nilpeter highlighted the benefits and challenges provided by narrow web offset for label production and how hardware developments like servo motor driven gearless and shaftless presses were paving the way for higher efficiencies. Mr. B.K. Sethuram of Rohm & Haas pointed out how water-based adhesives had significantly improved on their performance in the last few years and how water-based acrylic adhesives were beginning to replace conventional solvent-based systems for pressure sensitive tapes and labelstock because of their superior functional properties, ease of formulation, processability and environment friendliness for both paper and filmic substrates.

Session 3 AIDC Technologies

In his keynote address, Mr. Rajan Luthra of Reliance Retail recounted the rapid strides made by smart technologies and their applications in recent times and how their use was limited only by one’s imagination. He pointed out how almost all technologies had potential for use in a wide variety of segments, especially in supply chain management. Mr. Chuck Biss of Hand Held Products emphasised the need for quality verification of barcode symbols and explained the basis on which international standards had been developed for the entire process including the barcode symbol itself, where and how it should be positioned and the readers and verifiers that should be used keeping in mind the traceability required under ISO specifications. Mr. Paul Berge explained how RFID tagging works and presented some case studies on how various organisations derived benefits for different applications using RFID tracking. His advice was “don’t follow the short-term hype, evaluate the benefits in the long-term and go in for it only if the ROI is attractive and justified. It is not a replacement for barcodes and its utility will have to be established on its own.

Preferably, look at a closed loop application to start with”. Ms. Rosemary Huang of Unitech presented an interesting case study on how a system was developed for end-to-end traceability of fresh meat throughout the supply chain for the two largest Japanese meat distribution companies. The system was based on a unique in-house barcode label attached to each box incorporating details of a unique ear tag ID for each animal; the tracking was done using a mobile computer. This solution was awarded the prize for the best solution of 2006 by the Government of Japan. This project is now in its final phase using RFID tags. The session was rounded off with a panel discussion on “Potential Large-scale Applications of Smart Technologies In India”. Mr. Rajan Luthra enumerated potential uses of barcodes/smart cards/RFID tags in supply chain management in organised retail. Mr. S.K. Sinha of National Informatics Centre said they were co-ordinating smart card applications for various ministries of the Government of India and were carrying out pilot projects in areas like citizen ID cards, voter ID cards, driving licences etc. Ms. S. Bassi of Indian Railways talked about their needs to track both cargo and rolling stock, ticketing using RFID tags, sensing hot axles and tracking safety under difficult and harsh climatic conditions. They are also carrying out a pilot project. Mr. Amit Mehta of TCS listed applications that could use RFID tracking while Mr Siva Nagarajan of Sandilyam Automation Systems stressed the need to verify barcode symbols and standardising the whole process.

Session 4 Brand Security and Product Authentication

Dr. W. Llewellyn of AWA started things off by quantifying the global magnitude of the problem and laying out a technology map and overview of solutions. He talked about the importance of using both overt and covert methods and to keep varying the approach to stay one step ahead of counterfeiters. Mr. M. Rajnarayan of XSYS enumerated the range of options available using various printing ink-based solutions. Mr. Harveer Sahni of Weldon Celloplast listed the range of substrate and labelstock based solutions that are relatively “cheap”. Mr. Rohitt Mistry of Holographic Security Marking Systems explained how optically variable devices like holograms still offer the most overt and difficult to copy solutions. Mr. Uday Thakkar of PRS Permacel presented an integrated corporate approach to the problem of brand attack and how the problem was being tackled in India.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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