Label & Labeling Market Overview by AWA president/CEO Corey Reardon:
- Regionally, the global label-market production shares are 43% Asia-Pacific, 25% Europe,
19% North America, 9% South America, and 4% Africa/Middle East (AME).
- 2016 overall label demand shares were 40% pressure-sensitive, 36% glue-applied, 18% sleeving,
2% in-mold, and 4% others.
- Global label-market growth last year was 5.5% in Asia-Pacific, 2% in North America, 1.75% in Europe, and overall 3.3% worldwide. In South America, the label field showed a slight decline in 2016.
- Worldwide in-mold labeling (IML) market production shares by region last year were 59% Europe,
22% North America, 12% Asia-Pacific, 4% AME, and 3% South America. By formats, IML-injection molded labels dominate with 73% of the market, followed by IML-extrusion blow-molded at 26%, and 1% for IML-thermoformed.
- Global IML market growth in 2016 was 3.5% in AME, 3.4% in Asia-Pacific, 2.7% in North America, 2% in South America, 1.95% in Europe, and 2.0% overall. Broken down by formats, IML-IM lead category growth last year at 2.6%, followed by 2.4% for IML-EB, and 1.8% for IML-TF.
by Chris McGuire, sales and marketing mgr.-
- IML has arrived in North America with a significant shift away from direct printing to IML for butter/margarine, ice cream, cottage cheese, other dairy, and industrial applications.
- New five-layer coextruded films have provided for reductions in density without negatively impacting product performance. IML allows move from cylindrical to square, semi-square and oblong container shapes that also increase brand facings on store shelves. Containers that used to weigh 200g or more are now as light as 10g.
- Current converting standard is “roll-to-sheet” printing where the converter mounts a roll at the front of the press, and an in-line sheeter sheets the film prior to printing. R2S also lets converters print higher-yield substrates.
- Other converting trends: Several new plant startups from global printers; priming stations on digital presses to use existing substrates; and UV-LED drying of inks without heating the sheet, easier to print thinner substrates.
Plastic Can by Jeff Schuetz and Melissa Lewis
of Sonoco Products:
- The often-maligned metal-can packaging market is in serious need of revitalization. Despite its positive perceptions, the negatives (processed food with inferior taste, color and quality) are winning.
- TruVue plastic cans offer operational efficiencies of being high-speed, changeover-friendly, a continuous vs. batch process, and uses existing plant infrastructure. Brand benefits include clarity to see the product inside, freshness, better taste vs. cans, and shelf differentiation.
- Anatomy of the TruVue: A three-piece plastic can with a cylindrical, multilayer plastic body; easy-open steel top and steel bottom closures; crimp sealing plus induction seal-end applications, and multiple labeling options (p-s film or paper labels, full-body wraparound film labels…and possibly IML.
- TruVue cans withstand commercial hydrostat and continuous retorts at temperatures up to 267 deg F., sealing at up to 500 cans/min, demonstrated shelf-life up to two years, and 1/3 lower differential pressures required in retort, saving energy and time.
key account mgr.-Wittmann Battenfeld:
- Industry must separate these two technologies as each has its own set of characteristics and requirements for mold design and label design, as well as molding and processing needs.
- IML is most common for disposable consumer packaging on products with a short life span. It employs high-speed, thin-walled, multi-cavity, injection-molding machines. Labels are typically printed on
PP film, and label cost is low. Labels are usually 40-45 microns thick and flexible.
- IMD is most common for durable products with long life spans, such as appliances, toys, medical devices, automotive components and lawn & garden equipment. It’s done with thick-walled, lower-cavity, injection-molders. Label materials have a required thickness (80 microns or more and stiffer)
to meet the durability of the part. Life span is measured in years, not months. Cost of labels is medium.
- Future concepts for IMD: Injection-molding 3D composite parts with electrical conductors or electroluminescent film as the label for products such as a car’s dashboard; and incorporating an
RFID chip directly into a part.