The narrow web market is anything but “narrow”: In size (part of an overall industry on a path to a $1 trillion valuation), in application (tag & label, flexible packaging, stickpacks, pouches, shrink sleeves, etc.), in modern capabilities (variable printing, anti-counterfeiting, inherent “smart” functionality).
The same can be said for FTA’s annual INFOFLEX show, always coinciding with the Association’s Forum and always providing practical, crucial, meaningful products and services to attendees from all corners of the package printing and converting industry. As of press time, the show floor inside the is 94 percent spoken for and on its way to a sixth successive sell-out!
Its central location—smack dab in the middle of host city Indianapolis, which itself is smack dab in the middle of Indiana, the Crossroads of America—is an easy drive for thousands of package printers.
Up to 85 percent of INFOFLEX printer attendees engage in flexible packaging. Everybody is talking about industry convergence, particularly in the label and flexible packaging arenas. The conversation has gone on for the past few years. This year, several suppliers are introducing new equipment that speaks to the trend. First on their list of “must attend” trade events—INFOFLEX. In 2018, better than 90 percent of INFOFLEX exhibitors have indicated they service the flexible packaging and label markets.
Advice on boarding the train, adapting the necessary machinery and transitioning from single application label printer to multi-function flexible packaging converter, is available everywhere on the trade floor. INFOFLEX 2018 gives printers a personal how-to guide to getting there. The May 7-8 event will provide a chance to see in person all the latest and greatest solutions that have recently come to market.
A New Label
“Remember the days when labels were the connection between the consumer and the product?” asks acpo Ltd’s Tom DuPont in “Flexible Packaging on Your Label Press.” “While those days are not over, the market is evolving to the point where the flexible package containing the product has become the label. In light of that change, many label printers are now considering venturing into the world of flexible packaging.”
If there’s a trend on the shelf and if consumers are showing interest, brand owners will become interested, which means printers will become interested, which means suppliers (should) become interested. When it comes to Tom’s insight, he’s supported by data from INFOFLEX 2018 exhibitors. Analyzing company information from those who have claimed their complimentary listing, 90 percent of those who said they cater to the flexible packaging market also provide solutions to label markets.
“INFOFLEX was one of the first trade events to document and seize upon the trend,” according to Jay Kaible, FTA’s director of membership and business development. “For the last four years, label printer attendance has grown by 60 percent. Label printers are looking to expand their business and realize that flexible packaging is that growth area. The INFOFLEX show floor is their one-stop shop to getting there. More than 220 of the INFOFLEX exhibitors cater to the narrow web label printer-turned-flexible packaging converter. They understand their market and are striving to cater to their needs. INFOFLEX represents their prime opportunity to network, learn, gather all the facts and challenge themselves to expand their horizons.”