Label Printing 2012 –Polischuk
Label printing takes center stage in this issue of packagePRINTING, with the annual TLMI Products & Services Guide; the cover story on Consolidated Label; and the State of the Industry Report on tags and labels, written by Corey Reardon, president and CEO of market research firm AWA Alexander Watson Associates. But before we go any further, it must be emphasized that label printing isn't just about label printing anymore. As you will note throughout virtually all of the pages in this issue, it's so much more—taking in labels, packaging, and virtually all forms of product decoration.
TLMI recognized this years ago and revamped its mission and vision statements to reflect the future direction of the industry. With their roots established in pressure-sensitive labeling, TLMI converter members are using leading-edge technologies to respond to market trends and expand in virtually all forms of product decoration. It wasn't that long ago that much focus was given to combination printing and the ability to run extensible films on inline presses. Today, with impressive developments in prepress, on-press (servo), and UV inks, combination printing and running film materials are foregone conclusions, and label printers are using the expertise to expand their markets.
Consolidated Label is a good example of a progressive company that is evolving at the forefront of market trends. It has used a steady stream of savy technology investments to expand its product lines to meet the needs of its customers and sustain its own growth plans. As an example, it has broadened its product portfolio during the last several years to include flexible packaging and shrink sleeves, two segments that continue to be bright spots in the package-printing arena. It also was an early adopter of digital printing. Consolidated Label has charted a course to grow its revenue by double digits each year. Having won TLMI's Eugene Singer Award for Best Managed Companies over the last 10 years, there's no reason to believe that the company won't achieve its aggressive objectives.
In his State of the Label Industry report, Reardon acknowledges the impact of on-going economic issues on the label market. With global GDP forecast at 2.4 percent for 2012 and U.S. GDP at 2.3 percent, Reardon says the label market will reflect these patterns "across all technologies currently employed to decorate and identify products, including the 'non-labeling' technologies: flexible packaging; cartons; and direct-printed bottles and cans." He also notes that while some form of labeling will always be needed, significant shifts are occurring in packaging buyers' preferences. "Such change, however, is the sign of a dynamic, healthy industry that is not only accepting, but welcoming of evolution," he maintains.
Tom Polischuk, Editor-in-Chief
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