Here are some Converting Curmudgeon bullet points of interest:
“Global Release Liner Market Overview” by AWA president/CEO Corey Reardon:
- 2016 regional production market-share breakdown includes Asia-Pacific 38%, Europe 28%, North America 27%, South America 4%, and Africa/Middle East (AME) 3%.
- 2016 release-liner market by substrate encompasses 37% glassine/SCK paper, 17% polyolefin-coated paper, 14% clay-coated paper, 13% other papers; 10% PET film, 6% PE film, and 3% PP film.
- 2016 release-liner market by end-use includes 49% labeling, 13% p-s tape, 11% industrial, 9% hygiene, 5% each for graphic films and food & bakery, 3% medical, and 5% other.
- Regionally, release-liner end-market applications vary. Asia-Pacific is dominated by labeling and p-s tapes; Europe by labeling and food & bakery; and North America by labeling and industrial.
- 2016 regional growth rates show Asia-Pacific up 7.5%, AME up 3.75%, North America up 3.5%, Europe up 2.75%, and South America down a tiny fractional of a percent. Globally, growth last year was up 4.25%.
- 2016 market growth by segment indicates p-s tapes were up almost 7%, medical up 6.25%, graphic films and industrial up 5.75% each, and labeling up 3.9%.
- A production technology breakdown reveals solventless coating continues to dominate with a 68% market share, following by 13% for emulsion, 11% for solvent-based, and 8% for UV.
- The global release-liner field is clearly being impacted by various innovation trends, among them are coating or surface treatment of release base materials (referenced by 53% of survey respondents), new products where liners were not used before—42%, release coatings—40%, structure of the release liner—34%, nanotechnology—29%, and manufacturing process—21%.
“State of the Industry: Where do we go from here?” by Michael Apperson, CEO of Loparex:
- Major trends affecting the overall global release-liner field include 1) Environmental pressures to reduce via downgauging, reuse with more robust liner materials, and of course, recycle. 2) Greater use of non-traditional silicone release for electronics to cut risk of contamination, medical for compatibility with active ingredients, and silicone-based PSAs. 3) The US may become much less import-friendly with the current POTUS. 4) Additional opps where PSAs are not involved. 5) More more complexity in liners with multi-functional design, extremely tight tolerances, and zero visual or chemical contaminants. And 6) Deeper seamless partnerships up and down the value chain.
- Factors impacting release liners in the Americas: moderate growth, speed of delivery and new product development is critical, the paper supply is stabilizing but still an issue, competition between levels in the value chain affecting supplier choice and innovation, and consolidation.
- In Europe, smaller players are driving for market share with simple lines and fast machines, growth is slower than other regions, there’s a more stable paper supply, and speed is a major differentiator on new custom products.
- And in Asia-Pacific, trends include the largest variation in requirements and specs, delivery lead times in some areas is measured in hours, hard switch from paper to film especially for electronics, some apps turn over every 6-12 months, and paper materials are improving dramatically.