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Live print debate presses key industry question at Label&Print 2016

“Can analogue print survive in a digital world?” is the hot topic being discussed during a live debate at Label&Print 2016, on Thursday 25 February at Birmingham’s NEC.

This year’s expert panel will include: Andy Abbott, General Manager at Dantex UK; John Bambery, Chairman at BPIF Labels; Douglas Hutt, Global Packaging Manager at SAB Miller and Marian Stefani, CEO at IPIA.  Chairing the debate will be PrintWeek’s contributing editor, Jo Francis who remarks:

“Different methods of digital printing have opened up so many new possibilities for packaging printers and their clients. However, conventional printing equipment has not been left behind in some sort of analogue dark age. I am expecting a lively debate.”

The digital print community has always been keen to stress its complementary role to its analogue counterpart, but surely the increasing influence of digital technology; plus trends towards shorter product life cycles, demand for faster time to market and a decline in average run lengths, will tip the balance in favour of the newer contender.

Commenting ahead of the debate is Bambery: “The debate on whether ‘analogue’ print can survive misses the point that putting ink on paper is the key to a successful industry. High quality printing using ‘analogue’ technology is here to stay as it will be some considerable time, if ever, that digital production will ever be as competitive for the long runs that are required by the media, commercial and packaging sectors.”

Hutt adds: “I strongly believe that digital has created a robust and valuable platform that brands can profit from. Analogue print continues to be a stalwart for high volume / high quality printing, whereas digital has demonstrated success within the label sector. However, technology gaps need to be closed before a truly “digital pack” can be realised. Digitally printed secondary / tertiary packaging cannot yet match the speed and quality of analogue. So, digital and analogue will continue to evolve their symbiotic relationship in the short and medium term”.

This unmissable debate, taking place in the Label&Print theatre at 11:30am, is designed to encourage visitor interaction and will certainly make a lively debate, as visitors to the show will not only listen to the thoughts of the panel, but can fire questions and challenge the delegates live from the show floor.

The live debate is only one of many show features happening at Packaging Innovations, Empack and Label&Print, on 24 & 25 February 2016. The free-to-attend, two-day CPD accredited exhibition and multi-stream seminar programme, will feature content-rich sessions from Weetabix, Innocent Drinks, Kraft Heinz, Britvic, Taylors of Harrogate, John Lewis, Wilkos, JML Group, The Body Shop, SABMiller plc and Quorn Foods. In addition to, The Great Innovation Debate, The Innovation Showcase, The Rising Star Scheme, and the Drinks, Pharmaceutical and Retail Symposiums.

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