India: A strategically important market

It’s no secret that the eyes of the world are on India, says Dean Scarborough, chairman and chief executive officer at Avery in an interaction with Noel D’Cunha, but the Indian printers will need to partner with label materials suppliers to ace the challenges

02 Oct 2015 | By Noel D'Cunha

PrintWeek India (PWI): How have the previous two years, since the last Labelexpo Europe, been for your company? And how was your growth?
Dean Scarborough (DS): Avery Dennison’s pressure sensitive materials business segment globally has experienced strong growth over the last two years, with sales volume up 4.7% in 2014 over 2013, and 4.8% in the first six months of 2015 over the same period in 2014.
PWI: What does the label printing sector look like in 2015? What are you hearing from your customers, who have been using your products in the last two years?
DS: We expect demand to remain strong through the second half of  2015. We continue to benefit from growth of higher-value market segments in Europe and North America. We believe in the long-term growth of these markets, as well as Asia, and are investing to support growth. We’re adding three new coating assets in Asia, providing additional capacity for higher-margin segments including tapes, specialty products (solutions specially developed for specific customer needs) and the durable goods segment. 
PWI: Anything India specific?
DS: It’s no secret that the eyes of the world are on India, and indeed India is a strategically important market for Avery Dennison. As India’s economy forges ahead, so does the pressure-sensitive label market. In fact, the dynamic growth of this market shows no signs of abating. We have commissioned a new coater in India this year and expanded our footprint into Kenya also. The new capability allows us to expand our range of offerings to customers and thus helps them to grow the business further. This year we have been focusing on decoration transfer and have been more successful with it along with our converting partners and the focus is to expand the pool.
PWI: In terms of functionality, has the role of labels enhanced or is it still a piece of decoration?
DS: Labels are much more than a pretty face – they play essential roles across various industries. 
PWI: Can you explain the applications?
DS: Within the perishable goods industry, for example, time-temperature indicator labels allow processors and consumers to accurately monitor the cold chain integrity of perishable products ranging from dairy, meats and seafood to vaccines and fresh flowers.
In the medical field, high value drugs used to treat diseases such as cancer and diabetes are often packaged in pre-filled syringes or vials. New label solutions offer low migration and high performance adhesives to help ensure labels remain in place. The labels are sterilisation friendly and resist heat, steam and chemicals. Photo luminescent options help detect missing labels using ultraviolet light.
Drums transporting chemicals must include a label identifying the contents; this label must remain intact for safety purposes. Label solutions withstand exposure to extreme temperatures and weather conditions – and even immersion in salt water. The labels securely adhere to a range of drum surfaces and containers of various sizes and diameters.
Today’s innovative labels offer reliable, cost-saving and labour reducing solutions. These products are crucial for converters developing the next generation of packaging for clients over a wide range of industries.
PWI: Any functional labels that are particularly relevant for the Indian market?
DS: In the food segment, reclosure labels deliver both functional packaging in segments such as processed meat, biscuits, providing consumers greater convenience and freshness of food products. We see self-adhesive card C wrap labels replacing cardboard sleeves on meat trays in retail ready meat (auto applied vs manually applied, tamper evident - cannot be removed like a cardboard sleeve). 
Polyimide label high temperature solutions for consumer electronics. We’ve responded to this trend with a best fit-for-purpose, high-temperature-resistant polyimide label portfolio for the printed circuit board segment.
There is an increasing contribution of pressure sensitive labels providing variable information track and trace solutions  with specialised products for durable goods and pharmaceutical industry in particular.
PWI: Counterfeiting is a major concern with 5-7% of world trading being counterfeit products. It’s one of the major concerns for India too. Will labels play a part in its deterrence?
DS: Labels play a major role in reducing counterfeiting and providing anti-tamper solutions. Product counterfeiting and security are a growing concern. While all market segments are impacted, health and personal care, consumer-packaged goods, pharmaceuticals, automotive and medical durable goods are areas that can achieve greater security through label solutions that address these problems. Avery Dennison’s select solutions security portfolio provides anti-tamper and anti-counterfeit label solutions that reinforce quality and assure a brand’s authenticity.
PWI: And tightening regulations?
DS: With ever tightening food packaging regulations and the importance of consumer safety a high-level concern for brand owners, it is imperative that labelling does not pose added risks to consumers. Hence, suitable direct food contact compliant labels should be selected for the labelling of fresh produce, to ensure optimal safety for consumers. Avery Dennison has developed a labeling solution that addresses this market.
PWI: There are new substrates, linerless to name one, plus processes. Which are the ones that are especially challenging when finishing labels printed on these substrates and what should the labellers do to address these challenges?
DS: There can be many challenges when introducing new substrates and processes, but with each challenge comes new opportunities. As an organisation, Avery Dennison is always looking how to better innovate our products to benefit converters and their clients. Whether it's a prime film construction, a film for a durable good, or a wood grain paper, our objective is to provide solutions.
Because each innovation has its own unique challenges, we recommend converters work with their Avery Dennison technical representative to trial run such materials before commercialising. With this collaborative approach they have the opportunity to resolve issues before they go to the market and learn during the process.  As such, understanding a new face or a new process will need learning, patience and an eye for detail and equally important how to sell the solution to the brand owner.
PWI: Short-run work and just-in-time delivery are fast becoming the norm. And to remain a competitive supplier and meet these changing demands, what should the Indian label printers do to improve their production methods? How does your products help in this?
DS: Label printers today need to look at their operational efficiencies very closely. Avery Dennison has recently launched Avery Dennison Advantage programme in India for the converters where technical experts from the company can do a process review of their operations and provide expert advice on productivity enhancement and cost savings.
Besides this, we give our customers access tosessions on ELS to improve their operational efficiency. Some of the other programmes we offer are Exact (order just what they need per job), low minimum order quantities and next day delivery in some locations and Clear Service Rules to help in better planning, customer made products. Our locational footprint enables us to help our customers to meet these expectations.
PWI: A printer – label materials suppliers partnership will do any good?
DS: Yes, it’s important for printers to partner with a label materials supplier such as Avery Dennison to gain perspective of both new products and best practices for both long and short production runs. A printer shouldn’t work alone — the supplier should be able to offer both innovative labeling materials and expertise gained through global experience to assist that printer in delivering a quality, cost-effective solution to their customer.  
PWI: Label stock is a big part of the label producing cost. More waste of label stock would mean reducing margins. What are the ways in which label printers can minimise waste and become more cost-effective to meet today’s fast-evolving production requirements and deliver greater commercial advantage? Can you give an example?
DS: Label materials not only affect production cost, but product shelf appeal, regulatory compliance, recyclability and other factors. It’s important to consider the full business case and product lifecycle when selecting label materials. There is a wide variety of materials available today; selecting the right material depends on a brand’s goals, production quantities and how the product will be used.  
Partnering with an experienced label manufacturer can help ensure the right materials are selected in quantities to minimise waste and that recycling programmes are available for the waste that is generated.
One way to minimise waste is to utilise longer length rolls which reduce change over and associated material wastage.
PWI: What do you see changing and growing in the label stock marketplace?
DS: For retail products, the ability to stand out on store shelves is higher than ever and label materials are now perceived as part of that solution. The same is true for durable goods, which have strict regulatory requirements, and pharmaceuticals where security is becoming more of an issue. The continuing innovations in label materials are enabling brands to effectively address these challenges. Across industries, we see more brands recognising the importance of label materials working hand-in-hand with design to create labels that are cost effective, have high impact, meet regulatory requirements and demonstrate a high degree of sustainability by minimising waste and supporting recycling.