Aimed at connecting printers/converters, brand owners, label and package printing technicians, buyers and design specialists, the event attracted strong delegations from across Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, plus Australasia. Enthusiastically supported by the Thai Department of Industrial Promotion (DIP) under the Minister of Industry, and the Thailand Screen Print and Graphic Imaging Association (TSGA), Labelexpo Southeast Asia 2018 covered over 4,100sqm and hosted exhibitors from 174 of the global industry’s principal manufacturers and suppliers. These included Bobst, Epson, Flint Group, GEW, HP, Konica Minolta, Lintec, Mark Andy, Nilpeter, Omet, UPM Raflatac, Xeikon, Yupo Corporation and Zhejiang Weigang Machinery Co. Almost a quarter of these were exhibiting at Labelexpo for the first time including Berli Jucker, Flying Man Assembly Automation, IGS Asia Pacific, Navitas Vision Solution, Ojitac, PMC Label Materials, Press Systems, Techno Global Graphics and Tsukatani Hamono Manufacturing.
Machinery on display on the buzzing show floor included HP Indigo’s recently launched WS6900 digital press, Omet’s iFlex press with 10 UV flexo colors and a 370mm (14in) web width, Nilpeter’s FA-line press, Nagase Thailand’s AWP-DEW water washable flexo plate system featuring Clean Transfer Technology, BST eltromat Southeast Asia showcasing systems from the TubeScan range and Zhejiang Weigang Machinery’s flexo press, ZJR-330. Other demonstrations included Xeikon’s 3300 roll 2 roll configuration and high quality production of self-adhesive and heat-transfer labels, ThermoFlex’s ThermoFlexX 30, supporting plate sizes up to 635 x 762 mm and 3,94 mm thick, Siegwerk’s latest range of reliable and user-friendly solutions for narrow web applications, Konica Minolta’s digital label printer, the AccurioLabel 190, Tokyo Ink Group’s new line of UV inks and UV flexo inks, and AVT’s 100% print inspection products Helios S Turbo+ and Helios Turbo HD+ which include inline and offline inspection, color monitoring and barcode verification.
Running alongside the main exhibition was a two-day expert-led conference program, developed in line with feedback from printers in Southeast Asia. These topical learning sessions proved extremely popular with label and packaging printers, brand owners and designers. The opening session on 10 May was delivered by Harit Hiranyaphinant, deputy managing director of Copack Co. and TSGA member, who gave an overview of the label printing industry in Thailand and how to capture the future of the industry. Later sessions featured extremely well-received presentations from Brenton Barrett, president Asia Pacific of Multi-Color Corporation, who looked at market trends in Southeast Asia and globally; and Ryan Shaw, creative director Southeast Asia of Landor, who examined business models and 360 degree design thinking. A CEO printer panel moderated by James Quirk, group managing editor of Labels & Labeling, featured panelists including Piyapong Wongvorakul, managing director Trisan Printing (Thailand); Peter Woods, director and COO Southeast Asia QLM Label Makers (Malaysia); Adrian Pratiwhiharja, president and director PT Interflex Sejahtera Perdana, and Brenton Barrett.
Another show highlight was the sold-out Label Academy workshop covering shrink sleeve technology, which took place on the final day of the show. Moderated by Andy Thomas-Emans, strategic director Labelexpo, topics covered included design and origination, inks, substrates, and converting and application technology. The workshop ended with a presentation on quality control and fault finding by one of the global industry’s leading shrink sleeve experts, Dr Séamus Lafferty, president of Barry Wehmiller company Accraply.
Jade Grace, project director for Labelexpo Southeast Asia commented, “We are absolutely delighted with the success of our very first Labelexpo Southeast Asia, which, as our most successful show launch to date, has exceeded all expectations. Visitor feedback has been excellent, with major sales deals being closed on-site and the high calibre of buyers at the show highlighted as invaluable for sourcing new contacts and partners who will be able to help printers improve profitability, quality and efficiency in order to stay one step ahead of their competitors.”
Kittichote Supakumnerd, Engineer at the Division of Innovation and Industrial Technology Development, Ministry of Industry in Thailand, said: “The Ministry of Industry extends their congratulations to the success of the Labelexpo Southeast Asia in Bangkok and recognize the great benefits this trade exhibition can bring to Thailand with the introduction of new technologies, materials and other innovations for labeling, printing and packaging applications. It is estimated that over 1 billion Baht of trade will be conducted as a result of the event in Bangkok and this will provide an even greater multiple effect for the investing businesses and the support industries for the event and the industry here in Thailand."
The attendance to the event came from throughout Asia most notably from Japan, China, India, Malaysia and Singapore, it was a truly international event that will bring continued advancements to the industries it serves in Thailand and throughout the region.
“The exhibition and co-located conferences also help develop all areas of industry from SMEs to large scale export driven manufacturers, and we look forward to supporting and welcoming the return of Labelexpo Southeast Asia in May 2020," Supakumnerd said.
Chaiwat Hansomwong, Chairman of Thai SMEs Council agreed: “I would like to thank Labelexpo for inviting us to join the opening ceremony of Labelexpo Southeast Asia in Bangkok. Labelexpo is the international printing trade fair which gathers printing technology and innovation under one single roof of the label industry. That’s why almost all the leading products and brand suppliers as well as printing machine producers are interested in showcasing their new technologies at Labelexpo Southeast Asia in Bangkok. This success was demonstrated by the number of visitors from across Thailand and Southeast Asia. I hope that Labelexpo Southeast Asia in Bangkok in 2020 will continue to present new innovations and technology, and successfully build up this region as a label printing technology hub.”
Grace added, “This success bodes extremely well for future editions of the show. Thailand has proved to be the perfect location, in a region that is emerging as one of the world’s fastest growing manufacturing hubs and consumer markets, and we are grateful for the Thai Government’s and TSGA’s unwavering support in getting Labelexpo Southeast Asia off the ground.
“Given the success of this launch edition, it is poised to be a game changer for the region’s printers and has great potential to become one of our largest Labelexpo events. Floor bookings for our 2020 edition are already flooding in – the fastest ever for a Labelexpo show. Thank you to everyone involved and we look forward to returning to Bangkok in two years’ time. Labelexpo Southeast Asia really has arrived.”
Exhibitors by and large were very impressed. Jakob Landberg of Nilpeter said, “This first Labelexpo show in Southeast Asia was indeed a success for Nilpeter. The stand was busy throughout the show with visitors from all over Asia - and even some from Africa, the Middle East, and South America. We sold several presses, established new contacts with various decision makers, and identified new projects to be handled in coming months. The new FA generated great feedback from the visitors who showed a lot of interest in this versatile, state-of-the-art flexo press. Our main takeaway is that the Thai market is thriving, and the Nilpeter Technology Center in Bangkok is pivotal in this aspect.”
David Jones of Alphasonics said, “We were pleasantly surprised at the number and quality of the visitors. We were busy from start to finish, with people still on the booth as the show was closing on the last day.”
According to Bobst's Maurizio Trecate, “We expected Labelexpo Southeast Asia to be an excellent platform for the launch of the BOBST M1 IoT, the first connected label press, and we were not disappointed. The show was fantastic for the number and quality of visitors across the board in terms of profiles and nationalities. In addition to deals closed at the show, we recorded a huge number of leads and have a very busy time ahead with the follow up of enquiries and negotiations already started at the show.”