Association News

FINAT looks toward the future

July 17, 2013

Predictions and positivity took center stage in Munich.

The 2013 FINAT Congress, the annual meeting of the Europe-based label association, took place June 12-15 in Munich, Germany. The event, cohosted by Vske, the German label association, was themed “Label Your Future.” Speakers at the conference focused on where the industry, as well as the economy and society in general, is headed.

“We are not talking about the crisis, and we are not talking about the problems we are having – we are talking about our future. It is a wonderful theme,” said Marc Buttgenbach, director of labels and consumables for Bizerba, and also the Congress moderator.
Horst Opaschowski, a futurologist with the aliases “Mr. Future,” and “The pope of the future,” provided a keynote presentation. Through his analysis of the mood and behaviors of the German people, he discussed his thoughts on impending changes in the economy and society.

Among the several trends Opaschowski touched on was the globalization of the working world, where he introduced a new term – “Glocalization.” Ultimately, he said, globalization means the distribution of the available volume of work around the globe. “But credibility can only be earned at the local level. Talent needs to be immigrated into the country, and these people need to be received in a positive way,” he said.

Opaschowski predicts a performance explosion from the young generation, and from women in particular. “A baby boom will be
developing but will require time. And our working world will become more female,” he explained. “In Germany, women are entering the workforce with higher education and higher university degrees. Women will catch up and may even pass their male colleagues, and will be just as recognized in society. Men will find themselves losing career opportunities to women, and, of course, this will not go without conflict. Managing family life will be an issue.”

In the future, there will be a significant emphasis on health, Opaschowski predicts. He said, “Health will be the mega market of the future. It will be viewed like a religion, and the health sector will be like a church. It will be all about feeling well in your own body.”

The German Label Market, Labelstock Statistics
Robert Magerlein, president of Vske, and managing partner of Eurodruck, a German converter that employs more than 300 people, presented at the Congress a concise overview of Germany’s label market. According to Magerlein, in Germany there are 450 companies that manufacture labels, and these businesses employ 19,000 people. Their combined sales total is $2.4 billion euro. 
In Germany, small to medium-sized businesses dominate the label printing landscape. Magerlein pointed out that 40% of the country’s label converters employ between 10 and 50 people, and 38.5% have less than 10. Germany’s label converters, he said, are a robust and resilient lot. “During the crisis, very few converters gave up. During the recovery, growth has been positive. This is due to the growing packaging market and positive economic development in Germany. We are quite fortunate.”

Best In Show

Following Magerlein, Jules Lejeune, FINAT’s managing director, shared current statistical data pertinent to the industry. He said that in 2012, total labelstock consumption in Europe was nearly 6 billion square meters, an increase of 1.7%. Remarkably, Lejeune said, the label industry has doubled its business in just two decades.

Lejeune pointed out that a major source of the growth is tied to the profliferation of filmic labels, which now represent more than 25% of total demand in Europe. He also noted that while Germany, the UK, Spain, France and Italy make up over 60% of Europe’s label market, it is Eastern Europe that is really driving the growth.

Lejeune concluded that with the market’s significant growth there is now more at stake, and the label industry shoulders more responsibility. He said, “Self adhesive is now a dominant force in mature markets, which thus makes it more volatile and sensitive to consumer behavior. We are not just printers, but solutions providers and a key part of the supply chain.”

The Future of the Label Industry
The program included presentations from representatives of the label industry’s leading labelstock suppliers. Jussi Vanhanen, president, UPM Raflatac (Finland), and Angelo Depietri, president, materials group, Avery Dennison, each gave presentations and then sat down with moderator Marc Buttgenbach to answer audience questions.

Both Vanhanen and Depietri focused on the label industry’s dominant trends: decreasing run sizes and margins, digital print, thinner substrates for sustainability and recycling, product safety and security, consolidation, and changes in the retail environment.

“The European retail market will continue to consolidate,” Vanhanen said. “This means more concentrated power in decision making, which will have an impact on our businesses.”

Vanhanen also emphasized the importance of partnering with “A” brands and private label. “Don’t get stuck with just the ‘B’ and ‘C’ brands,” he said, adding that the emergence of internet retail has implications for the label industry. “Typically, when people buy online, they buy established and trusted brands. So, again, this works in favor of ‘A ‘brands and private label.”

Depietri presented many of Avery Dennison’s sustainability endeavors, and emphasized that the best way to reduce a product’s eco-footprint is to look at the entire product lifecycle. Avery Dennison’s Global MDO film labels, he said, produce 40% less waste, while using 26% less energy and 62% less water than conventional materials.

As digital printing becomes increasingly widespread in Europe, Depietri noted that it also presents challenges to the supplier as well as opportunities. “Worldwide, digital equipment accounted for 20% of new press sales, and 25% in Europe. While sales have been mostly HP and Xeikon, inkjet is coming on strong. The challenge for the supplier is to continue to develop products for an increasing number of print processes,” he said.

Print processes also took center stage to conclude the proceedings, as a lively panel discussion took place among representatives of the world’s leading press makers. (For more on this panel, turn to page 37.)  – Steve Katz

Award winners announced
During the Congress, FINAT announced the winners of its 33rd label awards competition. This year, 52 companies from 29 countries worldwide, including the Ukraine and Lebanon, submitted their entries amounting to a total of 245.

Best in Show and Group Winners:
The Best in Show and the Marketing/End-Uses Group winner awards went to Smyth/Dow Industries, USA, for the Victoria’s Secret Sheer Love label. According to the judges, the great visual impact of this label was the feature, which grabbed the attention of the judges who unanimously chose this label as the Best in Show and an excellent ambassador for the cosmetic category. The label is a combination of screen and flexo printing using nine colors and very sharp foiling, especially in the gold type areas, which make this label stand out. The deep black background contrasts with the pink and gold of the two roses. The metalized film base gives the label the extra “lift.”

The Printing Processes Group winner was  Sweden’s Rotakett AB, for Astrakan Guld äppelcider halvtorr. The combination of three screen and five flexo inks gave the images on the label an almost 3D effect.

Last year’s change in rules, whereby Wines and Cosmetics were judged within their own categories, was continued with success. The wine category was responsible for 39 entries (16% of all entries) and cosmetics 54 (22%). This continues to encourage companies to enter in other categories with more chances of winning an award. Once again the food and alcoholic drinks categories were the second most popular in the marketing group with 18% of the total entries between them, while flexo printing continued to be the most popular dedicated printing process.

Tomas Rink honored with Lifetime Achievement Award
The recipient of the 2013 R. Stanton Avery Lifetime Achievement Award has been announced as Tomas Rink, president, Ritrama Group. The Label Industry Global Awards judging panel met in Munich prior to the opening of the FINAT Congress to review nominations across four award categories.

The R. Stanton Avery Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Avery Dennison, recognizes the values and vision of Stan Avery. Tomas Rink joins fellow industry luminaries including RotoMetric’s Steve Lee, Helmut Schreiner, Nilpeter’s Lars Eriksen and FLEXcon’s Neil McDonough.

Tomas joined his grandfather Arnold Rink in the then small family-run flexible packaging company near Milan in 1968. Soon after, they jointly decided to move into the new European market for pressure sensitive laminates, coating filmic materials with solvent-based technology. With Tomas behind the company’s drive for growth and internationalization, Ritrama took its first international steps by establishing Ritrama UK in 1982. Acquisitions followed in the USA in 1990 and in Spain in 1994 before FAD was acquired in 2000.

Today, Ritrama has 10 international manufacturing facilities, over 30 coaters and global distribution centers, and sells high quality filmic labelstock in more than 60 countries generating an annual turnover in excess of €400 million. Still the group’s figurehead, and with son Ricardo as managing director, Tomas continues to look at new business development and industry solutions.

During the same meeting, the judges also announced the shortlist of nominations of the three other categories. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony and gala dinner at Brussels’ The Event Lounge during the first evening (September 24) of Labelexpo Europe 2013.

The 2013 finalists are:
The European Converter of the Year Award (in alphabetical order):
Stratus Packaging   
The Award for Sustainability (in alphabetical order):
Avery Dennison
Spear Europe
The Award for Innovation (in alphabetical order):
Flint Group Narrow Web
JM Heaford
Holographic Label
Label Works
Mark Andy (x2)
Nuova Gidue

The judging panel for the 2013 awards, chaired by Mike Fairley, director of strategic development Labelexpo, included: Kurt Walker – president of FINAT, Frank Sablone – president of TLMI, Andy Thomas - group managing editor of Labels & Labeling, Wolfgang Klos-Geiger – publisher and editor of G&K TechMedia and Steve Katz - editor of Label & Narrow Web.

LPIA accepting Hall of fame nominations
The Label Printing Industries of America (LPIA), a special interest group of Printing Industries of America, has announced that nominations are now being accepted for two prestigious awards.

Established in 2003, the LPIA Hall of Fame recognizes an individual who has reached an unsurpassed level of excellence and achievement in the label converting, packaging, top-sheet, or product decoration industries. This award is dedicated to the spirit of those industry pioneers whose hard work and determination created a vibrant, growing, and changing industry.

Past recipients include Richard Adler, Sr., Fort Dearborn; Jeff Alexander, Flint Group; Joseph M. Davidson, Jr., Piedmont Label; Stephen Frantz, Huston Patterson Corporation; Thomas Glas, AR Metallizing Ltd.; Mark Glendenning, Inland Label & Marketing Services; James Hammer, Hammer Packaging; William Hickey, Sr., Smyth Companies; William Hickey, III, Smyth Companies; Betty Horn, LPSC; Jack Turan, Hammer Packaging; and James Vest, Smyth Companies/Bedford (Piedmont Label).           

Established in 2012, the LPIA Emerging Leader Award recognizes an exceptional young professional of merit and accomplishment. An emerging leader is an individual who has fewer than 10 years of experience in the field and has already made significant contributions to the organization and/or to the profession and has demonstrated the potential for leadership and continuing service. The inaugural recipient was Tonya Kowa-Morelli, Huston Patterson Corporation.

Deadline for nominations is Friday, July 26, 2013. The recipients will be recognized during the LPIA Leadership Conference (held in conjunction this year with the AICC Annual Conference), September 23–25, 2013, at the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, NV, USA.
For more information on eligibility, selection criteria, and nomination procedures, go to

Dscoop announces new global leadership, launches global listening initiative
Dscoop (Digital Solutions Cooperative) has announced its selection of Mike Fogarty as its new global executive director and John Tenwinkel as the director of Dscoop University. Fogarty’s international experience includes expanding his Chicago-based company to Switzerland, establishing a Swiss GmbH to serve his EMEA clients. “Adept at defining and clarifying brand visions and aligning brand strategies across online, television and print media, Fogarty has an impeccable track record for crafting marketing communications for diverse customers and powerhouse brands earning 19 awards,” according to Dscoop.

Fogarty will oversee the day-to-day management of Dscoop, including oversight of the organization’s strategy, financials, operations, marketing and strategic initiatives around the globe. 

Dscoop says: “Tenwinkel has had a career defined with milestones of rapid growth and increased responsibility, mainly driven by his passion for the graphic communications industry. As VP, digital and distribution services at a global, top 50 printing company, Tenwinkel was responsible for the digital output, mailing and fulfillment business.”

Dscoop also announced a new initiative to “provide innovation and leadership at a time when print solutions providers across the globe are shifting to a model of becoming an integrated marketing service provider to ensure future business success.”

As part of the entire vision of the initiative, areas of collaboration have emerged:

“Partners and others in the market are educating brand owners and agencies on the value and virtues of digital printing and how it can be an integral component of cross-media campaigns.

“Dscoop members are the ambassadors in the marketplace delivering on that promise.”
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