The global nature of label production favors consolidation, especially among European and US converters. The latest example is the formation of IlloSpear, which brings together the European operations of Illochroma Labelling Group and the filmic labeling services of Spear, based in Mason, OH, USA, and with plants in the UK and USA. Spear remains an independent company and will be responsible for supplying the product line in North and South America, while IlloSpear sells these products in the rest of the world.
The new company was initially created as a joint venture in November 2003 to develop and sell film based labels to the global beverage industry. Market growth in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America has led the companies to finalize the relationship with the merging of their European assets. Other important sectors include mineral water, household goods and tobacco products.
Illochroma is a major converter of wet glue and film wrap labels with production facilities in Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, and Poland. Its origins go back to 1898. It is now a fully owned subsidiary of Ackermans & van Haaren, one of Belgium’s leading industrial groups, and operates seven manufacturing sites in six Western and Central European countries. The turnover is €180 million ($223.8 million), and the company employs around 1,000 people. Gravure is used for long run beer bottle labels and for producing OPP film labels for the mineral water and soft drinks markets. Offset also gives good graphic effects for small to medium beverage label runs. Flexo handles the relatively smaller runs for all types of labels, as well as HDPE/LDPE sleeves labels.