Labelexpo Americas 2018

US Industry Event is Bigger and Better Than Ever

Last year’s Labelexpo Europe was the biggest in the event’s history – but that’s a record that Labelexpo Americas felt duty-bound to beat.

America has a reputation for doing things bigger and better than the rest of the world, so when the Labelexpo carnival moved to the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Chicago, the industry waited with bated breath. We were not disappointed, as thousands descended on the 840,000 square foot facility for a three-day event that set the bar at a new height.

With more than 400 exhibitors in attendance, this was an opportunity for everyone in the labelling industry to explore the latest innovations in custom product labels and printing technology. It also provided a welcome opportunity to network with industry leaders and to attend thought-provoking masterclasses and demonstrations. There was even the chance to witness some new product launches.

Up close and personal

In any manufacturing industry, there is only so much you can learn from reading catalogues and technical specifications. The labelling industry is one that depends on our sensory responses, so nothing compares to seeing and hearing the equipment in operation, and to feeling the texture of the end results. At Labelexpo Americas, there was ample opportunity to do so, and best of all, to compare and contrast different printing options and technologies.

A focus on automation

Increased automation has affected every industry, as smart technology gets smarter and Artificial Intelligence continues to develop. Little surprise, then, that the Automation Arena at Labelexpo Americas was the area that everyone was still talking about long after the doors closed on the final day.

The arena demonstrated two automated press lines, one for digital label production and the other for conventional shrink sleeves. The demos ran throughout the three days, and provided a step by step guide, leading attendees through every stage from order creation, pre-press processes, manufacture, quality assurance, finishing and final invoicing.

The Ecovillage

We are more conscious of our environmental obligations than ever before, and sustainability was an important theme at Labelexpo Americas. The TLMI Ecovillage provided a hands-on demonstration of environmentally sound practices within the labelling industry.

As well as showcasing various eco-friendly initiatives from the different exhibitors, the Ecovillage also set about collecting the waste materials used from all the exhibitors over the three day event. By the time the last demonstration was complete, it served as a sobering reminder of just how much waste our industry produces.

However, there was more at play here than mere shock tactics. After the show, all the waste was baled and collected by Convergen Energy, who will convert it into fuel pellets. These are a highly efficient alternative to coal, that have lower emissions and a vastly reduced carbon footprint.

Next stop, India

The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center has barely had time to close its doors on Labelexpo Americas, but already thoughts are turning to the next big date on the calendar. Labelexpo India is an event like no other, and this year, it will take place at the Expo Centre in Greater Noida, Delhi. The event runs from 22 to 25 November – see you there!