Harveer Sahni

Harveer Sahni

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Digital label printing in India, the journey has begun!



In May 2015 I wrote on this blog that the verdict from the Indian label industry, after I had interviewed some leading printers was, “Digital for labels has to wait”. In the concluding part of my article I mentioned, “The time frame before digital printing becomes largely visible and used in label printing in India varies between three to five years.” 




Amar Chhajed Huhtamaki PPL-Webtech
I must here appreciate and commend Amar Chhajed of Huhtamaki PPL-Webtech labels for his foresight when he said digital printing in labels will become evident in 2-3 years. He said this in May 2015 and two years hence as we enter the third year since then, we note that some big time investments are being made in digital printing in labels. Digital printing in labels has been registering continuous growth in Europe, followed by that in North America. 



I and Adrian Tippenhauer MD Rako Etiketten
In my reporting on the last DRUPA, I had quoted Adrian Tippenhauer Managing Director of Rako Etiketten Germany. According to him the last 36 label presses acquired by them out of the 100s that they have, are all digital presses. If the Labelexpo-Europe and Drupa are indicators, the visitors to these shows can very well imagine the way forward. Digital was the most predominantly exhibited technology at these events. HP became the biggest exhibitor at DRUPA with an almost 5000 square meter hall showcasing their digital offerings.  Other leading suppliers of digital label presses were all there. The writing was on the wall that it would not be long before the trend starts to flourish in India. Indian label printers have been very cautious towards investing in digital printing of labels. However as they say, you cannot stop an idea whose time has come. When I researched and estimated the size of digital label market in India, the findings became interesting. By latest count the population of leading brands of digital label presses in India has reached 22 in number. This is besides the small low value small printers that some companies may have acquired. Now this is a fairly impressive figure when just a year back we had the industry largely saying that digital has to wait. Estimating the size of the digital label market I made some assumptions. The average width of the press was taken as 330mm (as widths vary from 250 mm to 370 mm), printing speed is calculated at an average of 30 running meters per minute, because it varies from 20 to 50 meters per minute for different brands and working hours assumed at 12 hours per day. This amounts to a total consumption in the industry for digitally printed labels of over 52 million square meters in a year. Self adhesive labels form the largest part of total label market which include besides self adhesive labels, shrink sleeves, wrap around labels, wet glue labels, in mould labels, etc. In October 2016 I had estimated the total Indian label industry size (mostly conventional) at almost 900 million square meters per annum. This translates into to almost 5.8 % of the total self adhesive labels in India to be printed digitally; conservatively we can assume the figure to be 5%.  This surely indicates that for digital label printing in India, the journey has begun!

In the last edition of LMAI’s magazine Label Legacy, Gautham Pai Managing Director of Manipal
Gautham Pai MD Manipal Technologies
Technologies said, ““Digital printing offers a plethora of opportunities for both the suppliers and the clients. With the Indian market trending towards more customized products, a large number of brands, shorter TATs (Turnaround Times) and more ecologically sustainable solutions, Digital printing would prove to be one hallmark technology for the Label Industry.” Manipal Technologies has an HP Indigo installed at its subsidiary UPSL in Chennai. The deterrent so far for the label industry to invest in digital printing equipment has been the high cost of consumables and the end price to consumer including margins, as not being acceptable. However the evolving retail selling patterns and consumables becoming more affordable, the technology is now more relevant. As run lengths continue to shrink, short runs being more in demand and customization or personalization needs become imperative to modern day marketing; it is driving printers to think digital. Added requirement for variable data on the labels that helps companies to track and trace their products, brings about the compelling need to complement their analogue printing with digital printing. In words of Narendra Paruchuri of Pragati Pack Hyderabad who have installed an HP Indigo 6800, ““One of things that all of us must understand and appreciate is that both digital and analog will co-exist. Digital’s greatest advantage is variable data printing. Short runs are cheaper. So the areas are clearly ear marked.” Digital printing of packaging and labels is growing at an enormous pace in the western world. We have touched the tip of an iceberg; it will not be long before the trend picks up in India as well.

Sai Packaging team announcing Epson Surepress Purchase
The ease of use and consistency in print reached in this technology makes it interesting for established printers to indulge. Pravin Savla of J P Printers Mumbai is ecstatic that he invested in an Epson Surepress. He says, “I can print good quality on a variety of substrates using the computer to print capability. He caters to his customer base that demands short runs with so many design changes and is still profitable.” He further adds that reduced need of manpower helps him manage well with ample time on his hands. He says conventional flexo and letterpress technologies are time consuming and have hidden costs. Yet another Epson customer Arvind Shekhar of Sai Packaging Bangalore says, “We have had good experience for short run jobs defined as less than 20,000 labels for bigger size and 50,000 for smaller pharma labels and we have never had colour consistency issues with Epson.” Adding to the views of Narendra Paruchuri Arvind states, “I don’t' see it as a standalone ROI (Return on investment). When you see increased sales on Flexo plus plate costs saved; then the ROI makes sense.” Denver Annunciation from Janus International, perhaps the very first label printer to install an HP Indigo label press says, “Yes the technology has evolved a lot and we are seeing the crossover point shift higher”. While those in the process of acquiring capabilities in digital remain tightlipped yet others like Raveendran of Sel Jegat Sivakasi, Manjunath of Global Printing Bangalore and Rajesh Nema of Pragati Graphics Indore say they are studying the technology and will invest in the near future.

While calculating the number of digital label presses in India, I have not taken into account the
presses that are not operational. Out of the 22 presses, the bulk of the share goes to HP Indigos that employ Electro Photography as a process to print, which is similar to offset printing using liquid inks. Electro photography and inkjet are both improving in quality and speed, there evolution and further developments are challenging the dominance of other printing processes like offset, wide-web flexo and gravure. 13 presses amounting to 59% of the total digital label press installations in India are HP indigo. This is followed by 5 Epson SurePress L-4033AW that use water-based inks and is suitable for segments such as pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food, amongst others. The press uses a seventh white ink to print the transparent no-label look, as well as metallic labels. The opaque white printing on materials, such as clear film and metallic substrates, has the flexibility of printing white first or last. Epson accounts for almost 23 % of the installations, 2 Xeikons account for 9% and one each of durst and EFI accounting for 4.5% each.

59% of all the digital label presses installed are in the West Zone, 23% in South and 18% in North. Out of the 13 HP Indigo label presses working in India, 7 are installed in the west zone. One at Janus International Mumbai, 1 at Diadeis Alia (formerly Alia Creative Consultants) Mumbai, 2 at Astron Packaging Ahmedabad, 1 at Essel Propack Mumbai, 1 at Trigon Digital Mumbai and 1 at Skanem Interlabels Mumbai. 4 HP Indigos are installed in South, 1 at Pragati Pack Hyderabad, 1 at Pravesha Hyderabad, 1 with Huhtamaki (SGRE Labels) Bangalore and 1 at Manipal Technologies (UPSL) Chennai. 2 of the HP Indigos are in North. 1 at Hora Art Centre NOIDA and 1 at Moser Baer Noida (working). Out of the 5 Epson Surepress preses 1 is installed in South at Sai Packaging Bangalore others are in the West zone with 1 at Trigon Digital Mumbai, 1 at J P Printers Mumbai, 1 at Syndicate Printers Goa and 1 with a customer in Pune. Of the 2 Xeikons installed, one is with Huhtamaki PPL-Webtech Labels in Mumbai and one with Kwality Offset New Delhi. The only EFI Jetrion installed is with Reynders in Chopanki in the North and the only Durst is with Astron Packaging in Ahmedabad. I have accounted for most of the recognized brands of digital label presses in India.

Hemanth Paruchuri of Pragati Pack





On further evaluation of data compiled by me 9 out of 20 i.e. 45% of the companies who indulged in digital label printing are either multinationals or corporates and the rest 11 are family owned businesses. It is interesting to note that at least 7 out of the 11 companies have the young generation-next either in command or actively involved in day to day affairs of the company. So evidently it is the corporate mindset or the youth that is driving the march into digital printing of labels in India.







Written by Harveer Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited, New Delhi India May 2017 email: harveersahni@gmail.com

Monday, March 27, 2017

Retired from labels to pursue passions!



Most successful people in life have yearnings of pursuing their passions that are completely unconnected to their successful careers. Silently they nurture the hope and wish, that one day they can retire and indulge in what they wish to do in time which becomes their own. However the mad rush for being one up in life, pressures of modern day business and family needs takes one to a point of time where either the health gives in or one is too old with no energy to indulge.   Rarely do you find a person achieve the fulfilment of pursuing his or her heart’s desires. “Life is too short”, time just moves on and before we know, it is too late in life do what one wished to do. I am reminded of a dear friend Mohan Kini, who was like a father to me. He had an illustrious career as a professional working for large business houses. Being extremely fond of vocal Indian classical music, he would turn on his music system each evening and listen to maestros of their times. He, at times would hum along and somewhere deep within him, he carried a strong desire to learn the raga’s (Indian Classical music) and sing. Then came the day when he retired. Within weeks of his retirement he started to take lessons and enjoy doing what he had wanted to do for long years, “sing by self and not hum long”. I was amazed to see how quickly he picked up and was singing extremely well. I was sure he will soon start giving performances. However God has his ways, tragedy struck and my friend suffered a massive heart attack and could not even reach the hospital.  
 
Steamed chicken bowl with Garlic sauteed spinach
Personally I have always wanted to pursue my passion for cooking and writing, I have been fortunate that now my sons are taking up the bulk of the business responsibilities I have more time on my hand and so can write. This blog is a result of pursuing my heart’s desire to write and express myself and then spending time in Kitchen gives me the satisfaction of creating new dishes. In my younger days I used to spend hours in laboratory creating diverse products like inks, adhesive, cosmetics, label and coated products. I find a striking similarity between a laboratory and a kitchen with the kitchen slab and the spices lined up like chemicals in the laboratory making your imagination run wildly towards creativity. Adding a little spice to this article, I reproduce pictures of a dish made by me recently.



Cut and ready to serve!


 There are nights when I get up in the middle of the night and start thinking what I have to write or what new dish to create. This is the reason that my family says, I can make a different egg dish 365 days a year. The following day starting with the morning is always the nearest time to try out a new dish imagined in the preceding night. In my time spent in the label industry I have come across some amazing personalities who even in retirement continue to excel and deliver value to the society and also draw pleasure. They are inspirational and watching them makes you to realise that life does not end at retirement but starts all over in a more pleasurable direction if you pursue your passions.



Helmut Schreiner and I
Helmut Schreiner retired as Chairman of Germany’s leading label company Schreiner Group a few years ago handing over the reigns of the group to his son Ronald Schreiner. I wrote about him on this blog: http://harveersahni.blogspot.in/2013/05/helmut-schreiner-adversity-to.html. In the closing paragraph I wrote, “Having more time on his hands, Helmut founded a new company “Schreiner Innovation GmbH & Co. KG”. Here he is interested in developing partnerships with other companies as well as dealing real estate. He is also now devoting a substantial part of his time to social activities and charities. He lives his philosophy, to be honest, true to himself and to his people and this has evolved from personal experiences in his life. His philosophy for his company and his people has been clear and value oriented. The values were innovation, quality, performance and joy! This clear positioning was always the bases for his personal happiness and business success.”  A year later I was surprised to note that Helmut had started to pursue yet another passion of his life and that is poetry. I found it an extremely pleasurable expression of time being spent in retirement. So I decided to share this with the print fraternity, it is available at ;
This January he sent to me a beautiful new year’s greeting card along with an amazing book titled, “Reflections, Recognition Rhyme” a compilation of his poetry that is deliverance of his passionate expression! He continues with his social works towards community service and draw pleasure in finding a wonder outlet for his emotions through poetry.

Sandeep Lal while he was heading Metro Label
Sandeep Lal: I wrote about him on this blog many times since 2009, he and his family migrated from Allahabad in India to Toronto, Canada in 1972. He set up a very successful Metro label and eventually sold it to Tapp Labels to pursue life in other avenues. For his parents this would be their second migration, the first one being from western Punjab (now in Pakistan) to India post partition of India in 1947. They had moved with their family to Canada to provide a better life for future generations. Sandeep’s children as they grew up chose to pursue interests outside the business. Sandeep realized that he no longer had the passion for business that he had worked in for most of his life and it was best to find an ownership that had the required energy and a new focus. In July 2015 Sandeep sold Metro Label’s assets to Tapp Label. Tapp was approximately half the size of Metro Label, but had deep pockets and were a financially sound private investor. 

A tree House at Lucero homes!
Funny how things work! Sandeep’s parents took the family to Canada for a better life, the one they found in spades. When success was in there in full measure, in 2003 Sandeep’s youngest sibling Raideep left Metro Label to seek his own dream and relocated to Boquete, Panama.  Boquete is 1000 metres above sea level in the mountains near Costa Rica and about 75km from the Pacific Ocean. Raideep acquired a large parcel of land to build a golf course with a residential development around it. Sandeep and Metro Label subsequently invested in this development. Raideep’s early demise at the young age of 44 in 2010 left the leadership of the golf course in Sandeep’s hands.
So what does one do after retiring from 43 years of hard work in a very successful label business? Enjoy life a little more, have more time for family, grand children and maybe even travel. Sometimes all of those! However Sandeep accepted the challenge of managing and growing Lucero Homes and Lucero Golf and Country Club (www.Lucero.com.pa ) in the country of Panama. He commutes between Toronto where he lives and Boquete, Panama.  His work included completing the last 9 holes of the Golf Course, revising the development Master plan to add more density and planting almost 400,000 coffee plants on their land to become the third largest Coffee grower in Panama. Lucero Golf and Country Club was recently ranked the Best Golf Course in Panama. He is contemplating building a luxury hotel and Spa which will be supported by fruits and vegetable from their land. He talks about how different life is. He is running a development which includes “Seasons” a 110 cover restaurant, hotel rooms, home and condominium apartment construction, coffee plants and fruits trees a large nursery to grow vegetable and flowering plants for the development,  along with the golf course and tennis courts. Sandeep said that he was surprised to discover that many skills which he acquired in running Metro Label are coming in handy. He said that the business is still about managing people, implementing financial controls and reporting protocols, creating and implementing policies and procedure. Having clear goals and expectations and communicating them to the team and ensuring they are motivated to perform. He is using all these skills which he acquired in his career at Metro Label to run Lucero and hoping very soon to have a lot more leisure time with family and friends.

Kurt Walker and I
Kurt Walker, past president of FINAT, after graduating from university, entered the printing industry where he held various positions in sales and marketing. In 1988 he joined the label industry. He continued to be in the industry until his retirement in 2012, as chief executive officer (CEO) of Tesa Bandfix in Switzerland. He became a member of the FINAT board in 1999 and also served as vice-president of membership committee and treasurer. FINAT is the worldwide association for the self-adhesive labeling industry. Kurt became the President of FINAT in 2011.  During his tenure he supported and edeavoured to bring the global label fraternity together by supporting L7 now known as L9, an alliance of label associations in different countries. He was also instrumental in furthering the success of Young Managers Club in FINAT. Now retired, Kurt expresses himself as below;
“After 25 years as the CEO of tesa-Bandfix in Switzerland I retired in 2012. My expectations of retirement were quite different from the reality. I and my wife have become extensive travellers and spend somewhat like 50% of our time away from home. During the cold winter period we usually stay in the south of Africa, which has virtually become our second home. I am still involved in FINAT as president emeritus in the executive board and the organizing committee for the annual European Label Forum. This keeps me in the label family, from which I benefited so much in my life. In my free time I play tennis and golf with friends and visit art exhibitions and music events. Keeping in touch with all the friends in the whole world will be one of my challenges for the future and I hope to maintain all these wonderful contacts.”

Honey Vazirani
Honey Vazirani: A wonderful person, I met Honey the first time in 1989 while she was working at Paper Products Limited (Now Huhtamaki-PPL), Thane (Mumbai). That was the beginning of this girl’s journey into the world of labels. From being a management trainee in 1989, she rose to be the head of the labelling division of the company that specialises in flexible packaging. Vazirani‘s has been a decorative, colourful journey. Since then, she had been at the forefront of PPL’s foray into the production of labels which began in 1991. Her job involved client servicing, marketing, product development and leading the labels team at PPL. She handled customers who are the who’s who of the FMCG sector. This included key customers like Unilever and Dabur and bringing to them the most premium and modern labelling technologies. In the words of Torsten Jung Lenz, who in those days worked for Jacstadt Germany, “Honey Vazirani is married to labels!” Having spent over 20 years in the industry, she took a sabbatical in 2009. She spent a whole year rejuvenating herself by travelling, reading, spending time with friends and relatives and enjoying good food. Yes, she is a self confessed foodie! This is something she and I have in common, love for labels and indulgence in food. In 2010 she returned to Huhtamaki-PPL to head the company’s HR department. A couple of years later she again quit the job to pursue her passions. She says, “I had an exciting 20yrs with PPL, nurturing the Labelling business and being nurtured for leadership roles within the group. When I finally decided to venture out of PPL, it was to find something even more meaningful and fulfilling in a more basic sense. I hope to get back to something that I would feel wonderful doing; it could well be something totally different like running a small dhaba (Roadside food shack) in the Himalayas or it could be back to Labelling again!
While I've been exploring these possibilities, I've had fun helping a friend's Analytics and Reporting business on strategy, worked on social causes like Education and Health, caught up on books, poetry, music, yoga and picking up a backpack and setting off on a trip. What this break has taught me is that it is great to work hard, create great products but amidst all this, it is equally important to step back every once in a while and do things that warm your heart and nourish your soul!”

Suzzane Zaccone
Suzanne Zaccone based in Illinois USA, is a cancer survivor two times over! In 1985 she and her brother Bob Zaccone, founded GSI Technologies to produce prime labels, anti-counterfeit labels and polycarbonate overlays. GSI is now recognized as a world leader in emerging technology, producing advanced functional printed products including strips to measure glucose for diabetics, electroluminescent lamps, smart card displays, sensors and automotive circuits. She served as TLMI’s first female chairman/president from 1998 to 2000.  In an eventful life and career she has set example for other women in the label industry. She helps young people in the medical field and other business areas. Suzanne has been president of the board of directors to the DiTrolio Flexographic Institute since 2000. After beating breast cancer in 2009 she published her book in the year 2010, “A Random Interruption: Surviving Breast Cancer with Laughter, Vodka, Smoothies and an Attitude” She is the first female recipient of R. Stanton Avery Lifetime Achievement Award which was conferred to her in 2014 as a part of Label industry GlobalAwards
In her response to me on her retirement she says, “Retirement, for me has been quite busy. Some time is spent volunteering at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, sitting on three boards, reading as much as possible, relaxing at our lake house which is next door to Bob's lake house and catching up with friends and family. I also was visited by breast cancer, twice, a combined total of five years, and the first bout resulted in a book; A Random Interruption Surviving Breast Cancer with Laughter, Vodka, Smoothies and an Attitude. One hundred percent of all sales benefit The University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation where we sponsor a fellow for one year of schooling in that facility. After the book was published I found myself speaking to women and their families as they navigate through the process back to health. It has been extremely rewarding and in some cases terribly sad. Last year our family foundation opened up a cancer centre in the name of my surgeon and a holistic centre in the name of our family. The universe presents all of us with complete surprises and awesome possibilities and the wheel is always turning even if we wish it to remain still. Each day for me is different - much like when we ran our business. So I get out of bed and work very hard to engage with that day’s plot line. I make an effort to eat healthy, balance my emotions through meditation or maybe for me it is better called daydreaming, I quit smoking cigarettes, continue to attend endless meetings at hospital boards, a nap sometimes finds its way into a day here and there and 5:00 cocktails! I make sure to add a few goals that add meaning to my life and activities that provide pleasure. In this way, I affirm life and pray that my body gets the message. I want to surprise myself by not only surviving, but discovering new ways to enjoy the fact that I did survive. I've yet to find the joy of exercise but I am working on that. I continue to bite off more than I can chew, and I still chew it! And finally, I miss all of you in label land.”  An interesting line in her signature in her emails reads “I spent the first 50 years of my life seeking success and I will now spend the next 50 years seeking significance. - Suzanne Zaccone”

Three of the persons covered by me in this article are recipients of the R Stanton Life Time Achievement Award. It is interesting that instead of becoming recluse in retirement all of those covered by me are vibrant and active. They continue to give back to the society while still making life more significant for them self. They draw satisfaction in their work in retirement and set example for others to enjoy life in pursuing their passions!

Written by Harveer Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited, New Delhi India January 2017
Publications and magazines are free to reproduce this article by giving credit to author.

An edited version of this article was published on line by Printweek India 
http://www.printweek.in/features/retired-labels-pursue-passions-24076 

For advertising on this blog email harveersahni@gmail.com

Monday, March 20, 2017

Focused visitors lend success to Labelexpo India!

Successful international exhibitions have long been linked to venues that have time and again brought in visitors, added to the brand value and image of the show. Show organisers are normally hesitant to shift the show unless the circumstances become compelling. Hannover Industrial fair at Hannover, Drupa at Dusseldorf, Labelexpo Europe at Brussels, Labelexpo Americas at Chicago, Interplast at Birmingham, Auto Mechanika at Frankfurt, etc. are some of the shows that have stuck to their time tested venues and continue to repeatedly attract visitors and exhibitors from around the world. Successful business men who visit exhibitions for exhibiting, buying or acquiring knowledge on new developments have an inherent desire to visit new destinations so as to be able to mix business with pleasure in their free time at the show. However the aspirations and needs of show organizers always remain in repeating the success and improving upon the previous showing. For the last 6 years we have been hearing that a certain section of exhibitors at Labelexpo Brussels have wanted a shift of this premier show to some other location in Europe but the show continues to be held at Brussels for reasons of stability and positive growth of the show reported over the years.
Labelexpo India 2016 was held at ExpoMart, Greater Noida, UP, India in November 2016. Tarsus,
the organizers of the show took a bold decision of moving the show from its traditional venue, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. They must have had very compelling reasons for this decision. There were doubts in the Indian label industry about the success at this venue. The major reason for these doubts coming up was that the venue was far from the earlier venue which was in the centre of New Delhi and connected by all modes of public transport including the Delhi Metro. Greater Noida means another one hour of driving by car, bus or taxi. There is no Metro as yet but being under construction it maybe ready in another 2-3 years. In 1981 I was involved in plastic moulding and had decided to visit Interplast at Birmingham. The show venue at Birmingham NewStreet was between London and Birmingham City. I had to take a train daily from London’s Paddington station and reach the show in one hour forty five minutes. It was an extremely well attended show and had exhibitors and visitors from around the globe. Looking back, I felt this change of venue may really work for the Labelexpo India show to be a more focused event. Only visitors having real interest in Labels would make the effort to travel the distance. The infrastructure at Expo Mart is far better than the one at Pragati Maidan which is a very old venue with huge land holding but surely needs redevelopment. We hear that the renovation is likely to start soon. Meanwhile Labelexpo India made a smart maiden showing at the new venue, dispelling doubts of both visitors and exhibitors.

The show was inaugurated by Sandeep Zaveri-President LMAI (Label Manufacturers Association of India), Sunil Jain- President Delhi Printers Association, Rajesh Nema -Honorary Secretary LMAI and Lisa Milburn-Managing Director Labelexpo Group in a short ceremony before the exhibition was thrown open to public.  With over 200 exhibitors and 8045 visitors, as reported by Tarsus, this becomes the biggest edition of this exhibition in its 14 year history. According to Jade Grace show Director for Labelexpo Group, “50% of the space for the next Labelexpo in 2018 at the same venue is already booked “. If the signs are positive and the Metro Line is extended to Greater Noida by the time of the next show in 2018, Labelexpo India may be here to stay at this venue for a long time.
After a very slow first day the event became quite busy and vibrant on the second day bringing smiles on the faces of exhibitors. Jakob Landsberg of Nilpeter said the show was good but the volume of visitors is not as they expected it to be, this maybe because of the distance from Pragati Maidan which has historic value. This venue he felt was good with great atmosphere but the Capital equipment buying prospects were few. He emphasized that India was an important market for them and they will exhibit wherever the Label Show is held.
Even though some important international exhibitors like Gallus and Mark Andy were not present yet the mix of exhibitors was quite balanced catering to all segments of the industry. Most other global supplier’s presence confirmed the importance of India being a market that grows steadily and is just not a temporary burst in demand. The increasing number Indian exhibitors for both, capital equipment and accessories, shows the local industry is coming of age. Despite the organiser’s claim that number of visitors have increased, many exhibitors did mention a decreased footfall in an otherwise successful and satisfying show. Press manufacturers Nilpeter, who have manufacturing facility in South India and are now planning expansion, will soon move to a bigger premises. They announced sale of two FB-3300S label presses to Sai Com Codes and one to Homemade Bakers, both companies are head quartered in Delhi NCR (National Capital Region).
Speaking about his take on the show Pankaj Bhardwaj, Commercial Director, Avery Dennison said, “The feedback is encouraging!” he further added, “The right audience came to witness the right technologies showcased.” He was all praise for the venue and felt it was fantastic infrastructure of high standard, however logistics was a challenge. They received a high quality of visitors. The theme of the Avery Dennison pavilion was “Power Up,” focusing on helping converters to drive business growth through innovative and creative label and packaging offerings, featuring seven zones aimed at addressing specific solution requirements. Dow’s Padmadas Nair heading their technical team communicated that overall it was a good event for them as they met new customers. They were happy that the tourist visitors were absent.
Marco Calcagni, Sales Director of Italian Press manufacturers OMET and their Area Sales Manager
Paolo Grasso were beaming as they were able to announce the sale of their new first time displayed in India Omet iFlex 10 colour label press to the prestigious Huhtamaki PPL-Webtech Labels on the very first day of the show through their exclusive agent Weldon Celloplast Ltd. On day two they announced yet another sale of iFlex to Kolkata based Insight Graphics. The company informs that the iFLEX label press is simple to use and quick at set-up. The machine has all the impression rollers on Direct Drive with obvious benefits on the print quality and in waste savings. Commenting on the venue Paolo Grasso said “We found the venue of international standard and the visitor profile was what we should have at such events. It adds value and satisfaction to participation”. Amit Singh Arora of Amritsar Printing Press and a visitor at the show confirmed he was happy at the location and that he was seeing a lot of committed printers. Dinesh Dedia, another visitor from Mumbai expressed that the venue was too far and travel arrangements need improvement and adequate advertisement.
Leading Indian press manufacturer Multitec has been in news for all good reasons. They had displayed two label presses at the show. The Ecosmart servo was sold to Hyderabad based Team Labels and the VSI Servo2 to a Zambian customer. Amit Ahuja from Multitec said he was surprised at the focused turnout. He would still prefer the Delhi venue any day due to logistic reasons. Amit Sheth of Intergraphics representing Weigang informed sale of their inspection system to Gurgaon based A & A Labels. He further stated that Weigang had launched their modular flexo press which was well received. Xeikon 3030 plus digital label press displayed at the Xeikon booth was sold to Kwality Offset label printers based in New Delhi, the press has a web width of 330mm. It prints 1,200 DPI at a top speed of 15m/min. Compared to the Xeikon 3030, the ‘Plus’ version offers a higher top speed and handles larger production volumes. Xeikon also informed that they had signed up with Sanjeev Sondhi lead Zircon technologies to supply two Xeikon digital presses. Lombardi Synchroline 430 displayed at the Vinsak stand was sold to Bengaluru based Mangalam Creations.

HP India showcased the HP Indigo WS6800 digital press including the recent labels and packaging
advancements; including advanced automated color management tools, new HP Indigo ElectroInks, upgrade packages, software enhancements for mass customization amongst others. These new innovations allow more customers to capitalize on the growing digital opportunity in a market which is achieving double digit percent page growth year over year. HP also announced the installation of HP Indigo WS6800 digital press at Skanem Interlabels India, at their Mumbai facility. A. Appadurai, Country Manager, Indigo and Inkjet Web Press, Graphics Solutions Business, HP Inc., stated that even though the visitors who came were very focused and knowledgeable yet due to the distance there were very few brand managers who are very important for growth of Digital label printing technologies.

With market evolving towards the LED UV, Flint group was displaying and promoting their LED inks. According to Srinivas Goud of Flint, “We met whoever we were looking for!” Brotech from China had strategically located themselves across the HP stand for whom they are approved partners for digital finishing equipment. They displayed their CDF Digital finishing machine and also a slitter rewinder. Aurangabad India based PGI Tech is ecstatic in announcing that they sold five of their 2-4 colour flexo presses as displayed at the show and 3 high speed die-cutting machines with turret rewinder. They also displayed their slitter, rewinder and inspection machine. Alphasonics UK has confirmed the sale of a Melanie Duo ultrasonic cleaning system to Anygraphics through their agent Weldon Celloplast. The system features dual frequency ultrasonics, along with the patented Betasound technology. The system also includes a second patented technology known as Active Cavitation, which has been designed to greatly speed up the cleaning process. Martin Automatic another exhibitor signed a two-machine order at Labelexpo India 2016 with Kap Cones, based in New Delhi, with an MBS automatic butt splicer and LRD automatic transfer rewinder to ship in 2017. R K Label of Ahmedabad had a range of machines displayed at their stand and it is credible that they announced that all the machines were sold out. This included a modular flexo press displayed which was sold to Delhi based Aar Pee Industries.
UPM Raflatac made an elegant display from a large and well done up stand that attracted most of the established label printers. They also arranged a fashion show on their stand that turned their label materials into gorgeous fashion pieces. “The show was the talk of the exhibition” says Praveen Gupta country Manger UPM. UPM also organized a very impressive dinner and entertainment evening for their customers. The evening was packed and printers hit the dance floor towards the end of the evening. Other prominent exhibitors at Labelexpo included SMI CoatedPapers, Bobst, Loparex, Henkel, DuPont, GEW, HB Fuller, Konica Minolta, Manroland, BST, Vetaphone, Lartec, Monotech Systems, SPGPrints, Webtech Engineering, UVGraphics, Reifenhauser, Kodak and Zonten besides so many more.
On the second day evening, LMAI awards night was held at a well setup banquet on the upper floors
of the exhibition. It was extremely convenient! One just had to take the elevators after the show closed for the day and we were there for the fun evening which included presentations, entertainment, awards distribution, cocktails and dinner. The chaos of awards nights at previous shows was missing. The house was packed with an impressive industry leadership. Lisa Milburn, Managing Director Labelexpo group welcomed the guests and dwelled on the importance of India being a fast growing and evoving market for all to deliver value and prosper. 

Sandeep Zaveri President LMAI made an emotional presentation that left the audience in awe! He listed the work done by his team and his plans. The most touching part was when he ran a video clip that demonstrated his will to deliver both to the label industry and to the society, in one go. He has initiated a program whereby young destitute boys from rural background who are deprived of opportunities in the urban industrial scenario are recruited to be trained as label press operators as the label industry is facing a shortage of trained workers. The project is supported by Avery Dennison. The video presentation and the expectation of what it will deliver to the industry and the society is laudable. 

Anil Sharma, Managing Director Asia Pacific, Avery Dennison took the stage next and assured the
industry of Avery’s commitment to the Indian Label industry. Interspaced with interesting entertainment, the awards ceremony progressed, celebrating the printers whose work during the preceding years had won the honours. The awards were judged this year by Dr Rajendrakumar Anayath, Kiran P Prayagi and Rajiv Dhar, all of whom have long-standing involvement in education and training in the print industry. 




Sponsors for the awards were Avery Dennison, Omet, UPM Raflatac, Orthotec, Iwasaki and Nilpeter. The winners were as follows:
Flexo Line, Webtech; Flexo Line & Screen Tone, Mudrika Labels; Flexo Color Process, Kwality Offset Printers; Flexo Wine & Spirit, joint winners Kumar Labels/Ajanta Packaging; Letterpress Line, Webtech Labels; Letterpress Line & Screen, Webtech Labels; Letterpress color process, Sicon Packs; Letterpress Wine and Spirits, Kumar Labels; Offset Line, Update Prints; Offset Line & Screen Tone, Update Prints; Offset Color Process, Seljegat Printers; Offset Wine & Spirits, Update Prints; Combination Line, Universal Print Systems; Combination Line and Screen Tone, Kumar Labels; Combination Printing Color: joint winners Any Graphics/Kumar Labels; Combination Wine & Spirits, Pragati Pack/RP; Digital Printing, Any Graphics; Digital Printing Wine & Spirits, Pragati Pack; Screen Printing, Wine & Spirits, Any Graphics; Rotogravure, Mudrika Labels; Booklets & Coupons, joint winners LetraGraphix and Unick Fix-A-Form.

The Innovation Award went to Mudrika Labels and the special Jury Award to Any Graphics.






The four day show ended on a positive note with exhibitors and also visitors departing with satisfaction looking forward to return to the show in 2018. Exhibitors unanimously declared their resolve to be at the show in the next edition but as Tapan Patel of BST said, “They have to re-strategise and market it well”. In absence of the unfocussed inquisitive visitors who visit shows to evaluate new investment and diversification, exhibitors felt these new expected customers for capital equipment were few. Yet in words of Manish Desai past president LMAI, “It was a good show and quality of exhibitors and visitors was excellent”. The most interesting comment I got was from Josep Roca of Bobst “The distance from downtown or city centre is challenging since international visitors prefer to explore the city in free time” he added “Inspite of Modi working! Which is for a good cause, the show was worthwhile and delivered value”

Written by Harveer Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited New Delhi India. December 2016  exclusively for Narrow Web Tech Germany. 
 
The article maybe published with the permission of Narrow WebTech Germany giving credit to them and to the author

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