Labelexpo Europe 2023 showcases vibrant industry

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The first edition of Labelexpo Europe since 2019 has closed on a high note, with a total of 637 exhibitors taking part in the show, which took place between 11-14 September at Brussels Expo in Belgium. Spread across nine halls and covering 36,588 sqm of floor place, this year’s show featured over 250 product launches focused particularly on flexible packaging, digitization and automation.

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The unprecedented heatwave in Brussels did not deter 35,889 visitors from 138 countries attending the four-day show. Countries such as Germany, France and Italy were especially well represented, with large visitor delegations. Equipment manufacturers announced multiple sales across the four days and an exhibitor rebook rate of 96% was reported for Labelexpo Europe 2025.

Labelexpo 1Demonstrating how Labelexpo Europe is evolving into a package printing show, digital printing of paper-based flexible packaging materials was evident on the show floor, with paper-based packaging printed by Xeikon on the new TX-500 Titon toner press and by SCREEN on the Truepress Pac520P – seen for the first time at a Labelexpo.

HP launched the 200k mid-web digital press, successor to the hugely successful HP Indigo 20000. The company also ran a ‘digital pouch factory’ ecosystem demonstrating pouch manufacture and finishing of other unsupported films including shrink sleeve labels.

Labelexpo 3Flexo made a major comeback at this show, with Nilpeter, Lombardi and BOBST demonstrating printing of flexible packaging and unsupported label film materials on 26in/670mm mid-web UV flexo press lines on the show floor. OMET made the show debut of its KFlex modular flexo platform and Mark Andy launched the Pro Series flexo press, upgradable to a hybrid machine.

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Jade Grace, Managing Director, Labelexpo Global Series said: “the feedback we have received from visitors and exhibitors alike has consistently shown the high quality of leads, enquiries and contacts made at the show, with an incredible number of sales secured on the exhibition floor. I would like to thank all our exhibitors for partnership and commitment in supporting the diverse and exciting industry of labels and package printing, together with us”.

CARTESJules Lejeune, Managing Director, FINAT said: “FINAT was once again proud to be the lead association partner of Labelexpo Europe. There was a vibrant mood to reconnect with the global label community after such a long absence. This year, we featured our efforts to facilitate value chain collaboration on sustainability with CELAB-Europe, UV FoodSafe and Product Carbon Footprint, and to act as spokesperson of the label industry towards European legislators and stakeholders”.

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Very crowded also the Automation Arena in every one of its ten live demonstrations. Visitors witnessed a fully automated workflow from file creation to turret rewind with automated inspection and MIS integration, without any manual intervention. The participants included CERM, Esko, Xeikon, KURZ, Grafotronic and Fedrigoni Self-Adhesive.

Flex Pack Trail allowed to visitors to deep dive into digital and conventional press technologies, flex pack material constructions, coating, laminating, ink and curing requirements, in-line and near-line decoration options, QC and migration testing. Also well received was Flexo’s Future – ECG, a series of presentations on Expanded Color Gamut (ECG) printing led by Dr Kai Lankinen. This was supported by guided tours across exhibitors at fair.

A joint presentation by Graphimecc and Avery Dennison on setting up a track and trace operation was also well attended. Two expert-led Label Academy-hosted master classes covered the hot topics of flexible packaging and sustainable labels.

Labelexpo will return to Barcelona in 2025, precisely from 16 to 19 September.