December 12, 2023 | Lena Chmielewska

Latest Trends in Label & Packaging Production – according to Mark Andy

As a global leader in the manufacturing of narrow-web printing presses for label and packaging production, Mark Andy has been a market trendsetter and whistleblower for many years.  While observing the expectations and needs of brand owners, printers, and converters, and last but not least, consumers, the company has continually modified and adapted its product range.  Its current portfolio takes into account various ‘must have’ factors in terms of efficiency, inclusiveness, and sustainability.  In close cooperation with technology partners, Mark Andy has successfully implemented innovative manufacturing lines using RFID and linerless label production lines.  The latter have become one of market highlights in the recent years, mainly in the food market.  The latest trends in label and packaging production were the main topic of Mark Andy’s presentation during the ‘Safe Packaging’ conference organised recently by Poligrafika and Opakowanie magazines in Warsaw, Poland.

Lukasz Chruslinski, Mark Andy’s European Sales Manager, took the opportunity to present the latest global trends in label and packaging.  “We’re witnessing constant changes in many aspects of the market: geo-political, social, and climate amongst others.  All these factors impact on label and packaging production, as well as on their safety.  As a leading supplier of narrow-web presses, focused on both markets, we’re tackling the current and future expectations and needs by offering hybrid solutions.”  At this stage it’s worth mentioning that inkjet-based and toner-based presses now account for 40% of Mark Andy’s global sales volume.  Why are they so popular?  First of all, hybrid means a comprehensive specification and flexibility because it combineses digital and flexo printing techniques with numerous finishing and embellishment options.  In effect, its user can manufacture many different labels – from one copy, using VDP, to mid- and long-runs.

Linerless – dynamic growth year on year
One of key trends highlighted by Chruslinski is growing popularity of linerless labels, aimed mainly at the food market, typically take-away food like salads.  “We’re seeing a growing demand for this type of product, in terms of take-away, ready-to-eat food sold in grocery stores and in restaurants.”  According to market data, linerless label production is growing 14% year-on-year, and it’s expected that social changes and consumers’ expectations will stimulate its future growth too.  “This is confirmed by new orders for Mark Andy presses with linerless capability.”

RFID: a ‘new & old’ technology
Lukasz Chruslinski also spoke about RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Technology).  Although a known technique for some time, it has become increasingly popular in recent years.  RFID is widely implemented in many applications, including sales, warehousing, and logistic processes.  It enables product tracking throughout the entire supply chain, while protecting against forgery and theft.  RFID streamlines process automation, impacting on efficiency and reducing costs.  It’s also a very important factor in the current crisis of a shortage of skilled employees.  Chruslinski pointed out that several global brands, including Decathlon, Zara, and Walmart have successfully implemented RFID in daily operation.

Mark Andy has been installing RFID presses for many years. “We have a host of experience and expertise in this area, backed-up by numerous successful implementations at some of the biggest global players in the RFID label market.  So, if you are interested in this future-proof technology that offers a range of market opportunities, please contact us,” he said.

Practical and eco-friendly
Referring to RFID technology usage, Lukasz Chruslinski explained the construction of a tag: “Many people, when discussing RFID, ask about its ecological impact.  How does the size of an RFID tag and the savings it offers, relate to possible environmental harmfulness?  The answer is that RFID technology is worth implementing because there are many benefits: reducing human error, reducing the number of mistakes, minimising waste in the manufacturing process, and doing inventory in real time.”  RFID also protects against forgery and theft and can secure lower Customs Duties, because every item is precisely described and can be immediately identified.  It also brings many environmental advantages in terms of the technology itself or the final label, which can be manufactured in an eco-friendly way.

Technology from Mark Andy: here and now!
Summarising, Lukasz Chruslinski invited attendees at the conference to visit Mark Andy’s Warsaw-based Technology Centre: “In terms of sales and service activities, Poland is our hub for Europe and a significant part of the western world.  Our Warsaw-based centre hosts a demo room equipped with the latest technological solutions including flexo and hybrid presses.  It’s the venue for open houses, workshops, and presentations to our customers and business partners.  All these events are great opportunities for you to discuss the future of labels and packaging, as well as the changes in printing and converting processes.  If you would like to learn more about our comprehensive technology portfolio, including RFID, linerless, and more, please get in touch,” he concluded.