Labels: always driven by technology

It is estimated that the global annual losses due to counterfeiting is $600 billion every year, resulting in many mishaps like people getting injured or dying due to using counterfeit products. Hence, it is very important to build counterfeit deterrence and protect brands by using security features into the design of labels or the packaging as a whole. Hence, new innovations and technology are increasingly being used in this industry.

The label industry is huge, estimated that around 50 billion sq m of label stock of all kinds is produced every year. In developed market, pressure-sensitive labels dominate and this trend is growing in emerging markets as well. Packaged food market is growing tremendously and so is the need for labels. Health and personal care products, pharmaceuticals and organised retailing, logistics and distribution labelling and private brand labelling are some growing fields for the label industry.

Globalisation has brought a lot of knowledge and skill transfer in the local industry and so emerging countries are now providing international quality labels locally, thereby giving them an export opportunity as well. Indian labelling industry had undergone drastic change and we are now fully-equipped to offer international quality labels produced locally. Many commercial printers are diversifying into packaging and labels, as this is the highest growing segment in the printing industry. Best-in-class label printing machines with value-added features are increasingly being installed by such printers.

The digital printing has opened up enormous potential in labels. Customisation and personalisation has become the key. Short-run in line printing is the need of the hour. What can go digital, will go. Web label presses are increasingly being used for label production. There are a variety of digital presses to choose from, right from low-cost 4-colour entry-level digital machines to 8-colour and hybrid presses. Infact, it is estimated that around one-fourth of all new press installations in developed countries are digital, and this is set to increase in coming years.

Another important trend in the label industry is that brand owners are using various technologies to enhance customer engagement, such as QR codes, RFID, augmented reality, personalised labels, etc. These technologies will further change the face of the label industry.

The industry seems to be in a happy space. In this backdrop, Labelexpo India 2016 is organised in Noida and the industry is looking to witness some of the latest technologies on offer. The label industry will always be a technology-driven industry and we can look forward to many new innovations in this field.

Happy printing!

Sonal Khurana
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