Labelexpo Asia 2015 highlights growth and efficiency prospects

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Labelexpo Asia 2015 closed on a high last week after attracting a record breaking attendance of 22,104 visitors; an increase of 3.2% on 21,416 in 2013. As part of the world’s leading and most international exhibition series for the label and package printing industry, Labelexpo Asia again showcased many new innovations and put the spotlight firmly on the major trends facing the Asian label printing sector going forward.

The two-day conference program proved very topical with delegates and was well attended with highlights including the keynote presentation given by Sharon Xiao, sustainability manager, Greater China of UPM Raflatac. Exploring how to increase profits through sustainability, Xiao co-presented with Mingming Sun, senior officer of WWF China’s sustainable paper and palm oil program. They shared guidance on how to improve operational efficiency and identified environmentally sound products such as the FSC Forests For All Forever branding which can help create environmental awareness with consumers.
 
Other stand out conference sessions included overviews of the latest available technologies and also the event’s first ever converter panel discussion. Featuring senior level converters from the Asia-Pacific region, speakers included Ajanta Packaging’s Shailesh Nema from India, Alex Tan of Singapore-based Orient Quality Print, QLM Label Makers’ Peter Woods from Malaysia and from China; Yi Sun of RAKO Group and Henrich Quek from Top Print Labels. Fielding numerous questions from the audience, the panel members were straightforward and open in discussing their own experiences and sharing best practice advice with their printing colleagues.
 
The 300 industry suppliers exhibiting at the show announced strong sales and the generation of well qualified leads from right across China and South East Asia. There were also numerous new product launches which provided a compelling reflection of how the Chinese market is developing in response to and in line with global market trends and newest technological advances and associated applications. 
 
Digital, as it is worldwide, was a key trend and Xeikon reported an excellent show and used it as the world launch of a press dedicated to the Chinese and Asia-Pacific markets. The Xeikon 3020 has a 10in web width which is common to the letterpress and offset presses in this market and means converters can use their existing conventional tooling. There was also a wave of new anti-counterfeit solutions unveiled at the show with AVT citing that it had received its highest number of enquiries for verification and track/trace vision systems and exhibitors like Univacco debuting sophisticated anti-counterfeit systems.
 
The show also saw a move towards flexographic press platforms in line with the Chinese government’s commitment to a sustainable future for print. OMET demonstrated its XFlex X4 UV flexo press which combines shaft driven with servo-drive technology and Iwasaki showed an innovative intermittent flexo press system. Zhe Jiang Wei Gang Machinery - up to now an offset press manufacturer - successfully launched a new flexo press, announcing multiple sales.
 
James Samuel, events portfolio director at Labelexpo commented: “This year’s Labelexpo Asia ended on a massively positive note. The market here is rapidly maturing and there is an evident shift towards sustainability, particularly as the Chinese government is encouraging converters away from more traditional solvent-based printing technologies towards using flexography. With a continued rise in visitor numbers, exhibitor feedback was extremely upbeat with many meeting new contacts from across the wider South East Asian region. Business was brisk with many closing big sales during the show including OMET, Xeikon and Zhe Jiang Wei Gang Machinery. The Asian market is experiencing an exciting time of change and we look forward to returning in 2017.” 
 
- Ends -
 
Quotes from exhibitors and speakers:
 
Jan 't Hart, Avery Dennison: “Interest in the subject at Labelexpo Asia was relatively high and I think this will generate momentum in the Chinese market that is hungry for innovations.”
 
Michael Panzeri, DPR Group: "First time for DPR Group attending Labelexpo Asia in Shanghai but really satisfied for the high success of this event, our booth was always crowded by potential leads on all exhibition days. The show offered the opportunity to sign distribution agreements with Asian companies based in Japan, China and Malaysia."
 
Sam Chan, Flint Group: “Labelexpo Asia 2015 was an exciting event, with very good organization which provided a very good platform to the label industry in Asia to have deep communication and discussion. As an exhibitor and speaker, Flint Group Narrow Web always focus on what can we do for our customers and our innovation can help them to expand their business. Customers gave us very positive feedback during the show and panel discussion.” 
 
Summer Chen, ITW Dynatec Adhesive Equipment Suzhou Co.,Ltd: “Labelexpo Asia is the region's largest event for the label and package printing industry. This year, during the four day show, we received 167 qualified leads and 22% hot leads. Another interesting insight is that more and more interests/quotations are generated from printing machinery according to our leads analysis. We gained a lot from the show, whatever the qualified leads or the industry insights/trends and technologies. The greater Asian region, especially China‘s label consumption is still growing rapidly, and we would like to bring our new technology and high-end adhesive application solution in label and printing industry.”
 
Paolo Grasso, OMET: “It's been one of the most successful Labelexpo Asias we’ve ever taken part in. An amazing number of hot and nicely oriented printers visited us, not just from China. OMET sealed two deals at the show and more are expected to come before the Chinese new lunar year. We feel the Chinese label industry has now matured and OMET works to become an even bigger co-partner of this.”
 
Sharon Xiao, UPM Raflatac: “Labelexpo Asia is absolutely the best and largest event for all parties and stakeholders along the label supply chain to learn about the industry trends, latest technology and market progress in the Asian area. As one of the long-term partners, UPM Raflatac was happy to engage with visitors and show them how UPM Raflatac grows business through its sustainable initiatives.”
 
Bent Serritslev, Xeikon Asia Pacific (ASPAC): “This show was perfectly timed for Xeikon to present the latest addition to its 3000 family of digital label presses. In China, label printers are ready to adopt our market leading technology, as demonstrated by the many very encouraging conversations we had during the show with operations keen to maximize on the opportunities digital printing of labels offers. In particular, visitors from China and Southeast Asia welcomed the launch of the Xeikon 3020 which is ideal for digital production of the 10-inch labels popular in these geographies. As the largest digital press exhibitor at the show, we attracted a great deal of attention and are looking forward to following up with our visitors to learn more about how we can help them revolutionize their businesses. We had high expectations for this show, and it certainly met them. We were also pleased with the turnout for Jackie Chen’s talk on digital print production. We plan on being back next year!”
 
Sally Sun, YPB Systems: “It was a great success at Labelexpo Asia 2015. Through this event we are delighted to see more and more visitors paying attention to functional labels, especially anti-counterfeit label application and production. During the anti-counterfeit conference session, attendees were very interested in the topic and interacted actively with speakers. It reflects the growing demand on anti-counterfeit and brand protection. This event has offered YPB a great platform to introduce itself and learn more about market requirements.”

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