A fifth of the 20,500 pre-registered visitors who are coming to the Birmingham NEC for international print show IPEX are on the lookout for investments in packaging printing such as product labels.
Research carried out by show organiser IIR exhibitions indicates that in addition to the huge numbers of commercial printers, IPEX will see an influx of those interesting in packaging printing. IPEX director Trevor Crawford says that "there are opportunities to be had "for "both ends" of the printing world, as companies from each sector consider moving into packaging and vice versa.
As well as the 20% of pre-registered visitors who have expressed an interest in packaging, IPEX has a total of 70 pre-registered exhibitors with an involvement in the packaging industry.
Steve Cavey, packaging manager at equipment supplier Heidelberg UK says that "Lean manufacturing, environmental solutions and colour control will be key issues at IPEX 2010."
"Quality and sustainability are issues that packaging printers should review at the show," said Cavey in an interview with Print Week magazine. "Certifications, accreditations and proven control mechanisms are expected and often need to be specified in tender documents. That means they must look not only at press developments but also at work flow solutions."
Visitors expecting to see the presses and heavy machinery which produce sophisticated end products such as vinyl labels may be disappointed though; several suppliers have opted to host exhibitions without the "heavy metal" of their equipment. One such company is Manroland - the worlds second biggest printing systems manufacturer - who says that the focus is on "talking to customers and building strategic partnerships."
Manroland GB's managing director Norman Revill says that his focus for IPEX will be on 'future proofing' and 'value-added solutions' in printing. He says that equipment with advanced capabilities, for example those which can perform hot foil printing or print thermal labels, will be of particular interest to visitors.