Label Industry Gathered For The LMAI Conference At Jaipur!

The prestigious conference organised by the Label Manufacturers Association of India (LMAI) was held from 20th-22nd July 2023 in the Pink City of India.

After the hiatus of four years, the LMAI Conference brought back the much-awaited excitement to the industry this year with a magnificent three-day event held in Jaipur. The conference themed around ‘Creativity, Innovation, Sustainability’ saw more than 500 delegates from the label fraternity coming together at the beautiful venue of The Leela Palace Hotel.

The event started off in the evening hours of 20th July with an inaugural event, joined in by all the esteemed core members of LMAI. The lighting of the lamp was followed by a presentation from the main sponsor Avery Dennison. Saurabh Agarwal from the company spoke on how innovation and sustainability has become even more imperative post pandemic and how the company’s advanced range of RFID Labels is meeting the need.

LMAI Conference has also been a curtain raiser for the LabelExpo and this time it highlighted all that is going to happen at LabelExpo Europe, scheduled from 11-14 September at Brussels. Jade Grace, MD, LabelExpo enthusiastically shared that this edition of the Show will host highest number of product launches till date. She invited the Indian Label Industry to join and witness the innovative products and solutions on display at the upcoming Show.

In the late evening hours of the day, Ramesh Deshpande, Secretary, LMAI was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution towards the activities of LMAI.

The day two of the event started off with a presentation by Marc Heylen from Flint Group, who spoke about the Dual Cure Technology for inks which helps reduce carbon footprint. He highlighted the need of using renewable products, non-hazardous chemicals and work towards energy and waste reduction.

David Ellen from Domino Digital Printing Business, shared insights and expertise on driving innovation and sustainability within the label industry.

Vinod Vazhapulli, SMI Coated Products (A part of Jindal Group), spoke about the range of PCR PP film labels offered by the company and also gave a soft launch to its all-new range of sustainable products and services.

Manish Gupta, Konica Minolta spoke about the global label market which was valued at USD 41.75-bn in 2021 and is growing at the projected rate of 6 per cent per year. He said that currently the digital labels have a 18% share of end-user label expenditure, which may be over 30% by 2025. He also talked about the special features of AccurioLabel 400, the latest addition to the company’s digital label press line-u. The press provides more productivity with print speeds of up to 39.9 meters per minute, gives benefits of automated colour and density control and widens the range of print applications through the 5th colour station with white toner.

Neeraj Muni, Maxcess shared that there are about 1200 flexo machines in India with an addition of approx 70 new flexo presses every year. The number of cylinders, anvils, thus keep adding up. He spoke about the all-advanced repair services for magnetic cylinders, anvil cylinders, hydra jack and adjustable anvils offered by Maxcess.

Umesh Kagade, HP Indigo talked about the possibilities they have created with Technova. He spoke on the versatile applications from labels and flexible packaging to folding cartons offered by the brand.

Ranesh Bajaj, VINSAK talked about the important points to keep in mind while diversifying- which are growing market, sustainability and connected packaging. He was also joined by team Iwasaki, who spoke about IF330 flexo label printing press offered by the company.

Power-packed Pawandeep Sahni, OMET India, then took over the dais to speak about how sustainability is the great equaliser. He said that soon we will see the time when as internet is to mobile, sustainability will be to the packaging. He also highlighted the importance of going beyond CMYK and explore innovations in application technologies for metallics, decorative, varnishes, barriers, special effects, primers, coatings and variable data.

Nick Harvey, Apex Asia Pacific talked about enabling standardisation with GTT, which minimizes liquid turbulence and optimizes ink transfer and cleaning.

Phil Baldwin, Mark Andy highlighted how important it is to stay competitive in today’s market and how modern automated servo presses and digital machines can help in the run.

Markus Greenbook, GEW talked about AeroLED, the air-cooled UV LED system for the label and narrow web market, offering greater energy savings and process efficiencies.

Dario De Meo, BOBST spoken on driving the future of packaging production across labels, flexible packaging, folding carton and corrugated board with digitalised and automated workflow.

Day two ended with a motivational and entertaining talk by Boman Irani, the famous Bollywood celebrity who asked people to keep dreaming and believing in the power of hard work, which will make them come true.

More than twenty exhibitors represented themselves at the table-top exhibition held concurrently for all the three days of the Conference at the same venue.

The day three at LMAI Conference began with a panel discussion on ‘Challenges in Creating Sustainable Innovations in Labels’. The discussion moderated by Harveer Sahni, Weldon Celloplast was joined by Ankit Gupta, Holostik; Hemant Paruchuri, Pragati Pack; Akshay Datta, Datta Press; Rajeev Chatwal, Kwality Offset Printers; Upal Roy, Flint Group; Manish Kapoor, Nilpeter; Umesh Kagade, HP Indigo; and Sanjeev Sharma, Avery Dennison South Asia. The discussion revolved around the challenges in creating sustainable innovations in labels, driving the sustainable initiative, maintaining profit margins and if liner-less labels are the way forward!

“India being a very price sensitive market, what we realise is that it is not only about the innovation but also about delivering the innovative products and solutions at right price point,” said Ankit Gupta during the discussion.

The first presentation of the day was given by Hrishikesh Kulkarni, Miraclon who gave the reasons why industry pressures are growing. Rising cost, time consuming processes, shortage of skilled labour and shifting brand expectations- according to him are the reasons behind the burden. He then spoke about the importance of choosing right plates for producing perfect labels on flexo presses.

Krisyanto Ekokurniawan, Luster- Flexo Image Graphics shared his thoughts in today’s requirement of printers and converters, which according to him are higher production speed, higher efficiency, better quality and everything traceable.

Guy Yogev, Esko spoke about the AutoSet solution, designed to enhance the overall print environment by automating job setup and eliminating setup time and the need for manual intervention.

Priyanka Rathi, Monotech Systems, gave a presentation highlighting JETSCI and focusing on how digital label printing solutions help in boosting printing business opportunities.

Abhay Datta, UV Graphics Technologies shared how his company is the only Indian press manufacturer that offers ‘Extended Colour Gamut (ECG)’. He also spoke about company’s infinite in-line print finishing solutions and possibilities.

Jitender Pal Singh, Kurz India shared how the company employs hundreds of scientists worldwide who continuously develop new and innovative products, application machines and unique application processes.

Rajesh Bhandari, ITW Shinemark (US) focussed on special foils applied in different methods of printing technologies under the sustainable portfolio of the company.

Manish Jain, Loparex shared how customers today have started considering sustainability while making a purchase. He said that economies worldwide are showing an increase in support for sustainable business.

Manish Hansoti, S Kumar Multi Products spoke about the key features of Zonten press, which has more than 200 installations in India. He shared that the machine has been accepted widely in South Asian countries like Japan, China, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, as well as Europe.

Manish Kapoor, Nilpeter India in his ‘Label ki baat’ touched upon the topic of India being price sensitive and if sustainability can be adopted by the label industry in the country.

The three-day event concluded with a beautiful Roman themed evening where amid the Bollywood music and delicious delicacies of Jaipur, the delegates danced the night away with their industry peers.

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