On Friday, I went To Sydney Olympic Park at Homebush. It wasn’t to see the Adele concert. Instead, I got there a little earlier in the day for the last day of the Auspack 2017 Packaging & Processing Expo.
The biggest thing I noticed amongst the many exhibitors at Auspack was that technology has a huge role to play in the packaging industry. There were all sorts of conveyor belts, automatic labelling of boxes and even various types of robots. There were machines for bottling but surprisingly there was not a lot for small business owners who wanted to sell their products online or at small retail outlets.
I could not detect any significant trends in label printing at Auspack 2017. I could only see three label printing companies at Auspack. Even though the trend is more labels to be printed digitally rather than with the use of plates, I could only see three companies that specialised in this kind of printing.
The biggest trend is for higher quality, faster printing and digital die cutting. Here at Renton’s Labels we have been digitally die-cutting our printed labels since 2011. This saves many thousands of dollars in setup costs because we have literally printed labels in hundreds of different sizes over the years.
Label Printing Processes Remain Constant
In terms of technology, label printing processes have not altered very much over the last five years. The trend towards digital label printing, i.e. printing without the need for plates and film, is still there and is growing because the machines are getting higher in quality and printing faster and faster. This means a run of 10,000 or 20,000 labels is now more likely to be printed digitally than other methods such as with a flexographic machine or letterpress machine.
However, there are still many labels printed this way as much of the technology is terms of packaging machinery is geared towards labelling bottles and other containers by machine and this is typically done when print runs are in the many tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands. There was one noticeable trend though and that was becoming more common to have printed labels in two runs. This occurs when use-by dates, barcodes or other product identification codes are added to the originally printed label.