This year’s Labelexpo Europe was brimming with global launches, in-depth discussions on current market trends, and impressive stands enticing visitors in with the latest industry solutions, cutting edge machinery, and the odd Belgian Beer! Libby White shares Packaging Europe’s overall impressions with a round-up of the show’s features and key findings.

Proceedings kicked off for the press with the Labelexpo Global Series highlights of this year’s show and an overview of current trends. Mike Fairley, Founder, Label Academy, underlined that the industry is currently focussed on ‘evolution rather than revolution’, and Chris Ellison, FINAT President, discussed the current skills shortage in the industry and called for a stronger focus on attracting the next generation over the next few years.

Enhancing Packaging Europe’s popular portfolio of video profiles, our camera crew visited Asahi Photoproducts, The Colour Control Group (a new umbrella group combining four complementary companies) and Unilux to film exclusive footage from the company’s stands.

Watch out for the video reports and in-depth interviews across the Packaging Europe platform gleaned from the show (website, YouTube, social media).


Show floor spotlights

HP Inc. dominated the show floor with a remarkable stand of 2400 square metres enabling it to demonstrate all of its latest capabilities. A new portfolio of solutions was on show for digital printing and embellishment of labels in any quantity for any application, in a move to transform labels and packaging printing from analogue to digital.

Dantex celebrated its fiftieth year in business at the expo with an impressive stand and a global launch of its PicoJet Digital UV inkjet press, demonstrated by R&D Director, Richard Hall.


HERMA takes the unofficial award from Packaging Europe for most inventive stand design. A realistic elephant suspended by its trunk attracted visitors to see HERMA’s latest optimised multi-layer adhesive 62Xpc which ensures immediate tack and prevents labels from slipping out of place.


A Labelexpo first: to drive home its theme of ‘Pioneering Change’, Avery Dennison decided showing was better than telling: The global label-maker presented at the industry-leading trade show with a booth made in part from recycled label waste. Approximately half the materials in the booth were made from label waste collected from Avery Dennison customers.

Ahead of the curve

Two collaborative global business units of DowDupont Materials Science Division convened at their stand with Dow Adhesives and Dow Performance Silicones showcasing complementary portfolios for the first time. Of particular note, Dow Adhesives announced its latest innovation in its acrylic adhesives portfolio: ROBOND™ INVISU™ PS-7910, specifically designed for self-adhesive labelstock producers targeting the growing market of film-based labels.

Delving into the best solutions providing quality control from automated proofreading, industry leader GlobalVision Inc.’s CEO, Reuben Malz discussed the company’s focus on staying ahead of market trends, and stated that attending the show helps the company keep up to date with customer demands. It launched a new scanner and presented its latest advancements in quality control tools, as well as the enhanced 4.1 desktop version of its unified Quality Control Platform.

Shelf appeal

Label designs and the technologies behind them are increasingly pushing boundaries in order to ensure products stand out on the shelf for brands.

Looking towards progressive advances in design and shelf appeal, Xaar's CEO, Dr Doug Edwards, highlighted the effectiveness of its High Laydown Technology, enabling very high levels of UV varnish, ideal for tactile effects on packaging and labels. The latest solutions Xaar brings to the labelling market offer clearly enhanced display standout, for example the realistic effect of water droplets on Nicholson Lager adds a refreshing touch to the design.


Pantec GS System’s CEO, Peter Frei focussed on the high impact effect of embossing to Packaging Europe. The flat bed embossing system RHINO™ was demonstrated live at the show, which offers unique features like registered 3D foil and micro-embossing in combination with different foil colours: all combined on a single, small tool.


Advanced automation and machinery

On BST eltromat’s stand, as well as exhibiting both proven and new web guiding systems, a special highlight was the ekr commander for the ekr 500 digital controller. With intuitive operation, completely revised hardware, new software and a higher-resolution graphical display, the flexible touchscreen of the new ekr commander offers maximum operating convenience.

CRON’s regional director, EMEAR, Derek Sizer, divulged to Packaging Europe that the company has had a strong emphasis on becoming more competitive in the intervening years since the previous Labelexpo. Its focus this year was to introduce Flexo offerings to the European market with three new HDI Flexo models after achieving notable success with its FlexoHDI range in China and Asian markets.


CRON’s advancement in the industry is an ideal example of Mike Fairley’s aforementioned comment opening Labelexpo 2017 that the industry is currently focussed on evolution, not revolution.