The Gulf Print & Pack official launch event was held last month at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai. The event targeted printers and suppliers in the region and took into consideration their requirements from the market. Presentations and panel discussions from experts gave an introduction into the current and emerging trends as well as the key technologies to be displayed at Gulf Print & Pack 2013.
Roger Pellow, Managing Director of Gulf Print & Pack welcomed the audience and gave a summary of the latest global packaging and printing trends. He highlighted the challenges faced by the industry and also offered solutions to overcome those. He also gave a picture about the future trends that the industry will be seeing.
Later on, Hendrik Verbrugghe, Marketing Director of Canon Middle East gave a market study that addressed various outlooks of print. Referring to the findings of an independent research commissioned by Canon, Hendrik observed that only high quality and innovative print materials will rein in future marketing space. “While choosing a potential print service provider, buyers prefer value for money rather than the lowest possible cost. Lately, environmental credentials are emerging as a noteworthy factor during the selection process,” he added.
Hendrik in his presentation pointed over to the fact that 87% of the organizations in Europe rely on professional-standard printed methods for communication.
Digital Print Solutions: Impact on Label & Packaging
Later at the event, Mike Fairley, Director, Strategic Development, Gulf Pack & Print talked about the latest digital printing technologies, trends and applications. Explaining about the evolution of digital colour label printers, he said that during initial stages digital label printer’s attained little success. “In the year 2003, new generation digital presses were introduced in the market by companies like HP and Xeikon. Today digital presses are built more like conventional label printing machines rather than offset machines, and they have become much faster and reliable. Digital label presses offer enhanced output and a higher breakeven against conventional printing. After 2008, inkjet label presses entered the market space and during drupa 2012 some new presses and finishing equipments for label and package printing were launched.”
Mike informed the audience that over 2000 label machines were so far installed globally and in that 44% of the digital presses were installed in Europe, ME and Africa, while 34% in North America, 15% in Asia Pacific and the remaining 7% in other regions.
Mike explained that in digital colour label presses, 85% of them were based on Electrophotographic toner technology and in that HP Indigo has the largest installed base of toner-based presses, followed by Xeikon. Inkjet units from EFI, Jetrion, AGFA:dotrix, durst, domino, Caslon, Epson and other suppliers make up the rest of the installed base of colour POD presses.
Trends in Digital Label Press
According to industry reports, 19% of the narrow web press sold are digital and the net worth of the global digital print market has reached US$ 3 billion.
Mike said that there has been a significant rise in inkjet press and technology solutions, of late. “There are considerable advances in software solutions, pre-press, finishing and business models for digital.” Different variants of digital label presses are available in the market, which include presses that run on electrophotographic liquid toner, electrophotographic dry toner, UV Inkjet, water based inkjet and nanographic technology.
According to Mike the key factors to be kept in mind while selling digitally printed labels and packaging (for a profitable margin) include, ‘Understanding the needs of customers, providing better solutions with digital, selling digital on added-value service, do not sell digital on price, develop new business opportunities, talk on a broader level than price and to go directly to the brand owners and marketing people and not to the label buyers.’
Later on a printer panel discussion was held, which was chaired by Mike Fairley and participated by Balasubramaniyam Thyagarajan, Manager of Q.C. and Special Projects, Emirates Printing Press, Chinnadurai Natarajan, Director, ENPI group – Future Pack, Rohit Garg, Vice President, Positive Packaging and Manoj Garg, General Manager, Gulf Scan.