Momentum is building for the first edition of Labelexpo Europe since 2019, with the world’s largest label and packaging printing show set to open its doors at Brussels Expo on September 11-14. Labelexpo Europe 2023 presents more new technologies and live demonstrations than any previous show, with over 600 exhibitors taking part. Key focus areas for new technology launches include flexible packaging, digitization and automation, all of which will be showcased at this year’s show.
HP, for example, launches the 200k mid-web digital press, successor to the hugely successful HP Indigo 20000 and the company runs a ‘digital pouch factory’ ecosystem demonstrating pouch manufacture and finishing of other unsupported films including shrink sleeve labels.
In addition, HP will host a leadership panel on Tuesday 12 September at 11am. Speakers on the panel include Dimitri Stamatiou, VP Innovations and Engineering at MCC, Lee Pretsell, VP Healthcare and Specialty at CCL, and Jens Nilsson, CTO at All4Labels. They will discuss macro-economic trends impacting the labels and package printing industry including sustainability, labour shortages and automation.
Digital printing of paper-based flexible packaging materials will be demonstrated by Xeikon on the new TX-500 Titon toner press and SCREEN on the Truepress Pac520P – seen for the first time at a Labelexpo. Flexo makes a major comeback at this show. Nilpeter, Lombardi and BOBST will demonstrate printing of flexible packaging and unsupported label film materials on 26in/670mm mid-web UV flexo press lines.
OMET makes the show debut of its KFlex modular flexo platform and Mark Andy launches the Pro Series flexo press, upgradable to a hybrid machine. Sustainability is another key theme, with new launches including UPM Raflatac’s Ocean Action plastics label, sourced from ocean-bound plastics waste, and Avery Dennison’s AD LinrSave and AD LinrConvert linerless label systems targeted at the prime label market. Continuing the sustainability theme, visitors will get the opportunity to attend an expert-led masterclass organised by The Label Academy which will cover sustainable labels and packaging.
Speaking ahead of the sustainable labels and packaging masterclass, Gabriela Neves Ferri, VP of Global R&D and Sustainability at All4Labels said: “We at All4Labels believe that sustainability encompasses not only environmental stewardship but also about empowering people from all walks of life. Our commitment to environmental, social and governance principles reflects our belief that a company's strength comes from prioritizing the wellbeing and diversity of its people.”
Major Labelexpo Europe 2023 features include the Automation Arena and Flex Pack Trail. The Automation Arena features a full ‘lights out’ production workflow. Visitors can see a fully automated workflow from file creation to turret rewind with automated inspection and MIS integration, without any manual intervention. The participants include CERM, Esko, Xeikon, KURZ, Grafotronic and Fedrigoni Self-Adhesive.
On the Flex Pack Trail, visitors will learn about digital and conventional press technologies, flexpack material constructions, coating, laminating, ink and curing requirements, in-line and near-line decoration options, QC and migration testing. This is supported by a Label Academy masterclass on flexible packaging.
A new feature for Labelexpo Europe 2023 is Flexo’s Future – ECG, a series of presentations and guided tours on Expanded Color Gamut (ECG) printing. Daily presentations by renowned ECG expert Dr Kai Lankinen will take place on the show floor, examining all aspects of fixed color palette printing, where up to seven inks (CMYK+OGV) are used to reproduce spot colors.
Visitors will also get the chance to attend the Dieline Forum, a two-day design conference that will explore the latest trends and innovations shaping the brands of tomorrow including a focus on sustainable branding. Jade Grace, Managing Director of Labelexpo Global Series, said: “The volume of exhibitors participating at this year’s show has been truly incredible, not only in the number of returning companies, but also the number of new exhibitors joining us for the first time.”
Grace continued: “We can promise visitors an exciting show across nine halls where they will see a burst of new technology and products, everything from pre-press to materials, eco and sustainable products and digital and conventional print and converting technology. Add to this a world-leading series of educational events, our focus on automation, flexible packaging, sustainability and expanded color gamut for label converters and you have an unmissable Labelexpo experience. We can’t wait to welcome all visitors and exhibitors next week at Brussels Expo.”