Narrow Web Europe

Europe’s narrow web

November 30, -0001

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 (mostly from Japan and Taiwan). Ten years later, in 2007, the line-up had shifted to just 9 percent of exhibitors from Canada and the US, 80 percent from Europe and 11 percent from the rest of the world, mostly from emerging markets – India, China, Turkey…
Now that the cold wind of world recession is blowing, Western European label equipment manufacturers can feel behind them the hot breath of competitors from lower-cost countries. A glance at recent new product launches confirms this trend. Slitter rewinders made by EMIS in Poland are mostly being sold on the domestic market, but competitor Jurmet, also manufacturing in Poland, has started appointing agents worldwide. On the other side of the world, Indian and Chinese narrow web press manufacturers are homing in on the European market, or what’s left of it. Press suppliers like Labelmen and Link Label (both based in Taiwan) are old hands on the European scene but are now being joined by many upstart press manufacturers from Asian countries. At the same time, several European leaders in the narrow web press sector – Nilpeter and MPS are examples – are shifting part of their production to third world, lower-cost countries like India and Brazil.

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