Look at the self adhesive label industry today and the whole economics of label production and it soon becomes clear that it is not necessarily the producer of 6- or 8-colour product labels – particularly for the food sector – that is making a good return or investment.

More likely is that those converters that are using special materials or converting technology to make added-value products, special constructions, label-form combinations or ‘intelligent’ labels that are the most profitable.

Undoubtedly such markets and applications might seem attractive to the converter at first sight. A new product sector or market to regain some element of higher margins in a field that is far less competitive. But is it that easy?

In many cases these new products and markets might involve on-press adhesive and/or silicone coating with UV curable coatings, the need to undertake spot, patch or strip adhesive coating, the potential to run threads into laminates, and much more. It all requires investment and know-how.

Certainly this issue looks at some of the requirements and opportunities for in-house coating and laminating. Undoubtedly something well worth considering in the quest for added value.

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