BOBST – Takeaways from Labelexpo Americas 2022
Atlanta Experience Center
Approximately 15,000 people visited Labelexpo Americas 2022, including a strong representation of processors from Mexico.
All participants were happy to see each other in person. As the label industry continues to transform, what were the key takeaways from this event?
Not a single flexo press was present at the event, just digital and hybrid. It was a first. The future is in the digitization of label production, from PDF to end products.
The main challenges ahead for converters are how to deal with labor shortages, substrates and supply chain tensions, increased short runs and last minute orders.
While the HP Indigo V12 and Mark Andy HD had heavy traffic, digital embellishment was present in many booths, demonstrating that label production is more than label printing. Laser cutting was also noticeable, and in the long run, we’ll see digital through and through.
UV technology is in the spotlight with new presses around the world, including from Chinese suppliers. UV inkjet is the fastest growing segment and is set to become the second leading technology after Flexo.
While digital print quality was still a big debate 10 years ago and TCO 5 years ago, the main discussions today lean towards “end-to-end” label production with automated lines. and quality control. In this regard, we are witnessing the rise of all-in-one (hybrid) presses combining the best of different technologies and the new DM series from BOBST is in pole position with its inline quality control solution.
Today, the production of digital labels represents 15% of printed volume and 30% in value according to analysts. The demand for more flexibility will continue to drive the digital category for years to come, especially with the rise of “all-in-one” or hybrid machines.
Yes, some customers have shaky confidence for 2023 and some visitors have expressed concerns about a potential drop in print volumes, but the long-term outlook is for profitable growth, driven by more automated production lines.
In short, at Labelexpo Americas 2022, we saw the tipping point of the “All-in-One” category shift the debate from label printing to label production. For US and Mexican converters, if you missed the BOBST VIP event at Labelexpo, you are invited to the US premiere of our Digital MASTER series at our Atlanta Experience Center from December 5-8, 2022.