• I like it, I’ll take five

    I like it, I’ll take five

    John Penhallow, Contributing Editor November 29, 2012
    Rako, one of Germany’s top label and packaging converters, is back in the news again. In September of this year they announced that they had bought no less than five of HP Indigo’s latest label press, the WS6600. Roger Gehrke, Rako&rsq…

  • No business like trade show business?

    John Penhallow October 9, 2012
    Last month’s Narrow Web Europe column reported on European trade shows, several of which are struggling. Prospects for the UK-based Ipex show, coming up in 2014, took a knock when HP announced that it would not take part. Now comes the double-w…

  • Old wine in new packs

    Old wine in new packs

    John Penhallow, Contributing Editor September 1, 2012
    If this column frequently reports on wine labeling it is not because the product interests your correspondent (although it does). Wine labels are very big business in Europe, which produces 20 billion bottles of the stuff (or 60% of total world consu…

  • An East European backwater opens up

    An East European backwater opens up

    John Penhallow July 10, 2012
    Belarus is not the easiest European country to do business in

  • Label materials business booming

    Label materials business booming

    John Penhallow May 22, 2012
    Between raw material price hikes and stagnant European demand, not many labelstock manufacturers are making really good money at the moment. Meet the exception: Herma, based in Germany, which has just announced record 2011 sales of €237 million.…

  • Never say no to nano

    Never say no to nano

    John Penhallow April 19, 2012
    The trouble with nanotechnology is that even some moderately intelligent people like your correspondent don’t really understand it.

  • Fire sale in Germany, Renaissance in Italy

    John Penhallow March 8, 2012
    The Manroland saga continues to make headlines in the European press. The German press manufacturer, until recently a world leader, filed for bankruptcy in late 2011. Its three production plants, all in Germany, have been offered for sale separately,…

  • ‘Man’ the lifeboats

    ‘Man’ the lifeboats

    John Penhallow January 18, 2012
    “Too big to fail” was what they said about Heidelberg, when Europe’s biggest print machinery manufacturer ran out of cash in 2009. The German government, and the banks, duly dipped into their pockets and the patient recovered (and p…

  • Anyone for for granite?

    October 4, 2011
    The strength of the alpine franc poses challenges for Swiss manufacturers.

  • Beers all round

    September 8, 2011
    Malt beverage growth in Russia, plus reports of label industry movement in Turkey, Egypt and France.

  • Pulp fiction

    July 12, 2011
    Paper manufacturers might not be making a killing after all. Some are pointing to China’s demand as a top reason for price hikes. It is no news to anyone in the label business that raw material prices are rising. So paper manufacturers must b…

  • China looks West for investment

    May 24, 2011
    The time is fast coming when we will all have to learn a little more about the geography of China. Most of us could probably locate Hong Kong and Beijing, give or take a few hundred miles, but what about Jiaxing in Zheijiang province? Do I see any ha…

  • Finnish Phoenix

    April 11, 2011
    Metsäliito is not a name that trips easily off the tongue when label people congregate, or even when they don’t. However, this Finnish lumber-to-paper group, via its subsidiary M-real Zanders, has just launched several brand new series of…

  • Label events proliferate

    March 11, 2011
    As reported in last issue’s Narrow Web Europe news, European trade shows in general, and the November packaging show Emballage in particular, are still plagued by falling attendances. This ambient depression does not seem to be affecting prepar…

  • JPL: A survival tale

    January 18, 2011
    Few people outside France have heard of the JPL Group. By all the laws of economics it should have gone bankrupt. This family-owned label converter played double or quits on a series of acquisitions over the years from 2002 to 2008. When the crisis h…

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