by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : March 2014
fed MD shrink format is showing very high growth at ±9.5 percent, but from an extremely small volume. This is a technology to watch. In mold labels showed modest growth in 2012 at ±2.5 percent. Europe is the “c enter of excellence” for IML applica- tions, but it is a mature market offering limited growth in blow molded formats, and growth in injection molding at around GDP. In North America, blow molded technologies command the significant part of the market, and for several years AWA has questioned whether injection molded formats are at the tipping point, but so far have failed to demonstrate their full potential. This, we believe, is partly because of differences in pack- aging standards. For example, U.S . ice creams are most widely packaged in cartons, not in plastic tubs. SUSTAINABILITY The recycling of release liner waste, both paper and film, from pressure sensitive labeling operations is today a focus. Suppliers, converters and end users are collaborating to offer solutions and to make the spent release liner handling processes more environmen- tally sympathetic, but the value chain needs to drive more action to secure its own future. Certainly, linerless labels are becoming a hotter topic. Recycling PET containers labeled with pressure sensitive and heat shrink sleeve labels has been proving prob- lematic. Concerns currently being addressed by various industry bodies include: • Identification of the underlying bottle material • Density differences between label material and bottle in recycling • The presence of adhesive contam- inant The issue is not straightforward, however, because the reverse situations pertain in relation to polyethylene bottle recycling. End user interest in material sustain- ability, waste reduction at source and recycling continue, along with specified demand for certain material types (par- ticularly films) based on environmental sustainability perceptions. PRICE PRESSURES For several years now, cost pressures have placed considerable strain along the value chain. Label printers/con- verters have contained label costs by in house gains in efficiency and by the economies of scale offered by mergers/ collaborations/acquisitions. However, there is only so much that these gains can absorb, and there are indications that the “squeezed middle” cannot bear any further cost increases. The current AWA raw material cost index, which is published quarterly, is showing some welcome stability on raw materials pricing in some areas, but in others, following a period of price stability and even reversals, there are indications of further upward pressures. LOOKING FORWARD Looking at the future opportunities and challenges that labels face as a method of product decoration on a www.flexography.org MARCH 2014 FLEXO 17