Inkjet & Digital Printing

BOBST – Learnings from Labelexpo Americas 2022

Thursday 20. October 2022 - Around 15,000 people visited Labelexpo Americas 2022, including a solid representation of converters from Mexico. All attendees were glad to see each other in person. With the label industry continuing to transform, what were the main take aways from this event?

Not one single flexo press was at the event – just digital and hybrid. This was a first. The future is towards the digitalization of label production, from the PDF to the final products.
Converters’ main challenges ahead are how to cope with manpower shortages, substrates & supply chain tensions, increasing short runs and last-minute orders.
While the HP Indigo V12 & Mark Andy HD had significant traffic, digital embellishment was present in many booths, demonstrating that label production is more than label printing. Laser cutting was also noticeable, and in the long term we will see end-to-end digital.
UV technology is under the spotlight with new presses across the globe, including from Chinese suppliers. UV inkjet is the fastest growing segment poised to be the 2nd leading technology after Flexo.
While digital print quality was still a big debate 10 years ago and TCO 5 years ago, the main discussions today lean towards “end-to-end” label production with automated lines and quality control. In this regard, we see the rise of All-in-One (hybrid) presses combining the best of different technologies and the new BOBST DM Series is in pole position with its inline quality control solution.
Today, digital label production represents 15% of the printed volume and 30% in value according to analysts. The demand for more flexibility will continue to fuel the digital category for the coming years, especially with the rise of “All-in-One” or hybrid machines.
Yes, some clients have a fragile confidence for 2023 and some visitors expressed their fears about potential print volume declines, but the long-term outlook is profitable growth, driven by more automated production lines.
In short, at Labelexpo Americas 2022, we saw the tipping point of the “All-in-One” category moving the debate from label printing to label production. For US and Mexican converters, if you missed the BOBST VIP event at Labelexpo, you are invited to the US premiere of our Digital MASTER series in our Alpharetta Competence Center on Dec 5-8th 2022.
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