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FLEXO Magazine : January 2011
INDUSTRY INDICATORS ing print control systems, training and information on new products and sustainability. • Envelope business remains level. Absorbing the rise in energy costs is a major concern; as is additional raw ma- terial increases, tight credit and bad debit from customers. • Interest in sustainability is running high, but concerns over costs associated with going green are often present and verbalized. • Emerging technologies of interest include automation, RFID (radio frequency identification) chips, wireless power, and offline web applications. Demand for active and, intelligent packaging is pro- jected to climb 8.3 percent annually to $1.9 billion in 2013. Growth will be propelled by robust gains for time- temperature indicators (TTIs) and emergence of smart packaging systems offering product differentiation. - Like FTA, PRIMIR notes that, one of the more exciting growth areas for flexography is printed electronics. Accounting for $3 million in sales in 2008, the printed electronics market is forecast to grow to $89 billion by 2020. - Dr. Peter Harrop, chairman IDTechEx, tells FTA, “For 40 years, so -called integrated circuits have integrat- ed little more than transistors, diodes and sensors onto one piece of material. Today, there are many more integrated circuits arriving where most electri- cal and electronic components are co-deposited on flexible substrates. Those flexible substrates are key to making these new electronics affordable and desirable on everything from apparel to electrical and consumer packaged goods, where surfaces are only rarely flat. ” - F lexible films emit and detect ultrasound and can act as loudspeakers. They can even change shape under an electrical field, thanks to use of electroac- tive polymer film. - Polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) and its derivatives are made into ferroelectric ink, which is used to print non-volatile rewritable random access memory on flexible film. It can also form a film itself that be- comes a smart substrate for printed electronics. - Smart papers for printed electronics can be environ- mental and biodegradable. LABELS—THE WORLD VIEW North America boasts one of the world’s most sophisticated label industries and stands at the forefront in developing labeling technologies ranging from pressure sensitive to electronic article surveillance and “active” labels, such as those employing thermochromatic inks. Label demand in the region is projected to advance 2.6 percent per year through 2013 to 11 billion square meters. Production volumes are set to outpace Western Europe and Japan. Global market share calculated out to 25 percent in 2008, with the United States responsible for 4/5ths of that volume—a full 20 percent of worldwide label manufacturing. Analysis from The Fredonia Group, reveals those statistics; and it also indicates that: Demand for pressure sensitive labels will outpace the over- all market. Fastest growth will arise from the much smaller stretch and heatshrink sleeve product segments. Paper will continue to lose market share to plastic stock materials. Fredonia’s analysts report, “The food sector represents the largest individual component of the North American label market. However, through 2013 the pharmaceuticals segment holds fastest growth prospects, while the mature food seg- www.flexography.org JANUARY 2011 FLEXO 11 Diecutting labels on a narrow web press. Photo: Anderson & Vreeland; The Label Co.
Sustainable Winter 2011