• Monroe Doctrine

    October 11, 2010
    The acquisition of Monroe Etiquette by US-based Multi-Color Corporation (MCC), reported in the e-news version of L&NW and in the Industry News in this issue, could be a taste of things to come. With the notable exception of CCL, few British or No…

  • Spreading waste-lines, and British bolshiness

    August 27, 2010
    Spent liner… landfill… sustainability… impossible to open a label or packaging-related magazine these days without being bombarded with articles telling us to do something about waste. The problem is not the same for industrialis…

  • The digital band wagon

    July 14, 2010
    Few people would quarrel with the word exponential to describe the rise in the number of manufacturers offering narrow web digital presses. At the Labelexpo show in Brussels in 2003 there were just three companies making them. By last year there were…

  • Food for thought

    May 7, 2010
    This month’s letter from Europe starts with a short dissertation on British food. Readers who have lived or worked in Britain can skip the next paragraph. There have been huge advances in British food since the days of over-boiled vegetables a…

  • Manufacturing is still moving east

    March 30, 2010
    Despite the protectionist rodomontades of some of Europe’s leading politicians, manufacturing industries continue to move out of the high-cost Western European theatre. Much of the benefit is going to the countries on the eastern fringe of the…

  • Recession recedes, sales still stagnate

    March 15, 2010
    Despite competition from the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics, it will not have escaped L&NW’s readers that all was not well with Europe’s economies at the start of 2010. The Euro went down against the dollar, which pleased Europe&r…

  • Never make predictions

    John Penhallow January 15, 2010
    The previous Narrow Web Europe update expressed surprise that so few European press manufacturers had gone out of business. The ink was not dry on that text before another press maker went under. Werner Kammann Maschinenfabrik, with 260 employees, wa…

  • European thinking in times of adversity

    John Penhallow November 13, 2009
    The surprising thing about Europe’s narrow web press manufacturers is not that some of them have gone out of business this year, but that so many of them haven’t. Gaetan de Charry, sales director of Spain’s Rotatek, reckons that be…

  • Labelexpo and beyond: Reports from the European markets

    John Penhallow October 7, 2009
    After four days at Labelexpo Europe being bombarded by the sights and sounds of 500 exhibitors, many visitors (including your correspondent) were reduced to a near-zombie state with the rational mind switched off. Now that he has recovered most of hi…

  • A break in the (economic) clouds

    John Penhallow September 3, 2009
    In France, and to some extent in the rest of Europe, nothing much happens in July and August because the journalists are all sunning themselves on a beach. Some, however, soldier on, and those that do sometimes find that the economic and business lif…

  • Acquisitions, ownership and global pursuits

    John Penhallow July 7, 2009
    The hottest news from France, as already reported in L&NW’s online version, is the acquisition, by the country’s third biggest label converter, of Bopack, hitherto the biggest. This will create a market leader with a 15 to 20 percent…

  • European press manufacturers 'down but not out'

    John Penhallow May 8, 2009
    Reports of my death,” wrote Mark Twain on one occasion, “are greatly exaggerated.” In a similar vein, Netherlands based label press manufacturer MPS, about whose future rumors were circulating, has just issued a statement saying tha…

  • Press on regardless

    John Penhallow March 31, 2009
    Take a trip round the websites of the principal manufacturers of conventional label presses in continental Europe and you will experience a deafening silence on the subject of new presses sold since the start of 2009. This may be a sign of discretion…

  • Europe's narrow web equipment makers feel the squeeze

    John Penhallow March 6, 2009
    A glance at the Labelexpo Europe show guides of 1997 and 2007 is instructive: Labelexpo 1997 was a resolutely European show, with 83 percent of exhibitors from Europe, 12 percent from North America and just 5 percent from the rest of the world (mostl…

  • What is packaging?

    January 27, 2009
    The European Union’s latest Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste imposes penalties on converters and end users who fail to reduce or recycle their packaging. However, not everyone agrees on what constitutes packaging, and in particular wh…

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