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Narrow web, but industry opportunities are wide

Mike Taylor writes: This month's issue of Converting Today has a strong focus on the narrow web market.

This month’s issue of Converting Today has a strong focus on the narrow web market. First off, we have Neil Falconer, of consultancy firm PrintFuture, presenting his take on the growing opportunities that exist for digital printing in the extensive world of packaging and labels – both for established converters to expand their offering, and as an entreé for commercial printers looking to gain new business.

A "potential game-changer" in this context is Landa Nanography, the latest innovation from Benny Landa, the inventor of the Indigo Digital Press. Hailed as "a new category of digital printing", Nanography is claimed to combine quality, speed and low cost with production formats on a limitless range of paper types. Due for production ramp-up in 2014, the new technology certainly has great promise. We will follow its progress with considerable interest.

This issue of Converting Today also brings you the first part of our preview of next month’s Labelexpo Europe show (with more to follow in the September edition). According to exhibition organiser Tarsus, this year’s event (24-27 September) will be the largest-ever: it will fill seven halls at the Brussels Expo venue, with many major exhibitors increasing their presence.

As well as reinforcing the show’s pre-eminence as the narrow web industry’s leading event, this healthy growth also points up the fact that this is a sector that continues to innovate and drive business forward, especially in the flexo and digital printing fields. No longer "just" a show for the label industry, its narrow web scope now embraces a growing range of applications such as cartons, security and "smart" packaging.

Next month is definitely a busy one on the trade show calendar. In addition to Labelexpo Europe, converters and printers wanting to check out the latest developments from suppliers should also consider a trip across the Atlantic, where CPP Expo opens in Chicago on 8-12 September. Our preview in this issue gives a taste of this major US show, which this year is co-located with Print 13, and will provide a shop window to more than 500 exhibitors.

I hope you will find this issue of Converting Today informative and interesting. We certainly have an industry that understands how to innovate and make the most of its opportunities.

Mike Taylor,
Consultant Editor