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FLEXO Magazine : August 2014
A 25TH ANNIVERSARY Labelexpo Americas’ 2014 installment also marks the quarter century anniversary of the U.S. iteration. Beginning in 1989 in Rosemont and moving to its biennial schedule the following year, this year is the 14th event. Charting a course through the show’s history, its ebbs and flows mimic that of the flexo indus- try as a whole: 1989: The first Labelexpo Americas show—and the only to occur in an odd numbered year—drew 3,500 attendees and 80 exhibitors. Following the 1989 event, organizers elected to move the show to even numbered years to alternate with the CMM show. 1990: A show that “filled a large void,” as the November 1990 issue of FLEXO® wrote, attendance surged in a single year to 7,941, with 182 exhibiting companies. 1992: Attendance jumped again, to 11,500. Highlights included presses with downsized web inspection systems and electronic controls specifically geared to the narrow web market. 1994: Some 316 companies exhibited at the show. Environmental issues became an important topic of conversation and visitors saw a wider range of paper and film materials and adhesives. 1996: Each of the three days was given a specific theme: • Management & Financial Trends in The Pressure Sensitive Converting Industry • Material Trends & Technology in The Pressure Sensitive Tag & Label Industry • The New Generation of Tags & Labels 1998: Narrow web growth is the talk of the show, with a projected 7 percent growth rate. “Narrow web is pretty much riding the top of the wave as far as other [flexo] disciplines go,” FTA Narrow Web Leadership Council member Peter Mulheran told FLEXO®. 2000: The first Labelexpo Americas of the new millennium filled 500,000 square feet of floor space. Covering all that area were presses—many made their worldwide debuts and others came to North American shores for the first time. 2002: Twenty-eight seminars padded the three day schedule at the event and 65 exhibitors set up shop inside the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center for the first time. Falling on the one year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the show opened with a reading from a local minister, moment of silence and Irish Rover bagpipes performance. 2004: Of the companies headed to Rosemont, 150 were FTA members. Discussion topics included: • Quality management and process control • Inspection procedures • Web inspection techniques • Handling web stretch • Total quality management 2006: The 10th Labelexpo Americas show brought more attendees and exhibitors than two years prior. Radio frequency identification (RFID) was a major focus, with a full day of conference events allotted to the technology. 2008: The label market’s continued growth, constant change and numerous opportunities were the subject of FLEXO®’s in depth interview with Tarsus team member and Labelexpo show planner Mike Fairley, who offered insight into what the show will focus on and new technologies and trends on display. 2010: Looking outside of its comfort zone, Hall C of the Convention Center took the name Beyond Labels and showed opportunities for converter exhibitors that combined packaging solutions and different product and market applications. 2012: As the world of technology slows for no one, new implementations and processes were demonstrated, some with an audience for the first time. A three and a half hour Printing Master Class closed out the expo, featuring a smattering of advice from printing experts. From FLEXO® archives From FLEXO® archives From FLEXO® archives From FLEXO® archives From FLEXO® archives From FLEXO® archives 58 FLEXO | AUGUST 2014