According to all indicators, the packaging and label printing industry has a great advantage over all other segments of the graphic industry. This was shown by the numbers and the lectures held at the 2nd Packaging and Labeling conference. The conference was organized by Print Magazin and was held on November 10, 2022 at the Antunovic Hotel in Zagreb.
That the interest for the field of packaging and labelling is great is best shown by more than 130 participants – from machine and equipment manufacturers, PSP’s, end users of printing services, through brand managers, technologists, to designers and university professors. All of them were attracted by 11 lecturers and eminent experts in packaging and labelling segment
The organization of the conference was helped by the Croatian Chamber of Economy – Association of the Graphic Industry. The organization was also helped by the company Epson with the support of its distributor in Croatia, the company DIT, then the company Fortuna Digital, with its partners Agfa/Inca and Kongsberg; Grafik.net company; Konica Minolta and the company NVM Graphic Solutions from Serbia.
Packaging production in Croatia follows world trends
Mr. Vicko Kuzet, the president of the Association of Graphic Industry presented data related to the operations of companies in the graphic industry.
He pointed out that the graphic processing industry participates with 3.5% in the total industrial production of the Republic of Croatia. In total revenue it is about 993 mil/Eur. The industry employs 11,000 workers, the majority of which are micro and small companies.
Data show that the production of paper and cardboard has been on a constant rise for the last 10 years. Not only packaging made of paper and cardboard, but also packaging in general.
Export revenues are also growing. From 2016 to 2021, the production of cardboard and paper packaging increased from 211,8 mil/eur to 317,8 mil/Eur. For other printed products, from 58,2 mil/Eur to 82,1 mil/Eur.
It can be concluded that despite the challenges and thanks to EU funds, packaging production in Croatia follows world trends and records constant growth.
Design, ecology and economy
The introductory lecture was followed by interesting presentations covering a wide range of topics. From ecology and recycling, through design to the presentations of technologies and solutions for printing and finishing.
Dr. Igor Karlovits, from the Pulp and Paper Institute, spoke about the importance of recycling and the correct selection of materials and inks. Regarding the growing trend of packaging production, he particularly warned that there is not enough cellulose on the planet for all imagined new applications, along with the stagnant level of recycling and consumption growth.
Miho Karolyi from prepress studio Kaligraf spoke about how to reconcile design requirements with ecology and economy. He pointed out that the impact of design on ecology is only 2 percent, everything else is packaging. That’s whay it is important to return to CMYK, to reduce the number of colors and coatings and to avoid additional effects.
About the use of nanocomposite coatings for paper, spoke prof. Tomislav Cigula from the Faculty of Graphic Arts in Zagreb. Nanocomposite coatings have proven to be an excellent solution that can significantly improve the properties of the base coating, such as photostability, increasing the barrier and antimicrobial action. He also introduced the watermark as a protection against packaging counterfeiting. Namely, research has shown that it offers a high level of security. At the same time it can be implemented relatively cheaply.
Zeljka Tihomirovic from the company Kaligraf spoke about the implementation of the watermark as a global and important project of intelligent separation of packaging waste. She presented the Holy Grail 2.0 project, which all the leading global players joined.
From print to finishing
As for printing technology, Agfa/Inca solutions were presented by Radim Rosendorf. He emphasized serious production and industrial solutions JetiTauro and Inca Onset models. Dean Tolp from Grafik.net presented their complete offer. Itincludes solutions for packaging preparation, printing and finishing, as well as software and complete service support.
In the finishing segment, Annelies Van Massenhove presented Kongsberg cutters. Bojan Zupancic presented Konica Minolta MGI finishing solutions with varnish and foil.
Epson solutions for in-house label printing was presented by Marko Dikanic from the company DIT, which is an authorized distributor of Epson printers.
A kind of overview of digital printing technologies and how to choose the right one was made by Hrvoje Javor from the company NVM Graphic Solutions. As he said, despite all the data speaking in favor of much larger investments in digital printing technologies, the right combination of digital and conventional and the broadness of applications are the way to success.
Conference photo gallery you can see here.