Solar Impulse success confirms another Finat Congress focus on Innovation and prompts Catchpoint to innovate further. 

We were all inspired, and our commitment to Innovation renewed, by Bertrand Piccard’s presentation in Monaco. The 2 Amsterdam Congresses recognise resistance to change and the need to manage risk constructively. Bertrand, and his flight partner Andre Borschberg, took risks far exceeding those we need to reduce the Pressure Sensitive Industry’s 60% waste footprint.


We will not be flying the Atlantic to Label Expo Chicago in solar powered Airbus 380’s, but this misses the point. Their project drove innovation in solar and battery technology linked to the original flight propulsion by propeller, and these will help expand use in Drones and many yet to be realised applications will benefit from the material developments.

Catchpoint Ltd. based in “Brexit UK”, the only part of the Community to implement the original Packaging Waste directive to classify liner as waste, continues to develop new applications of established micro-perforation technology to encourage more sustainable labelling.

These advantages grow in value as the global economy faces more uncertainty, including political and market driven currency fluctuations – offsetting a 10% currency fall with a 40% reduction in face film calliper is clearly beneficial if achieved with no risk.

Thinner laminates can now be readily converted into Catchpoint Linerless labels and a new Catchpoint LeanLeanTM label delivers shapes and short run advantages from the same thinner materials originated by UPM Raflatac.  This development addresses the Finat Congress challenge to lower the risks of change, and will prove far more comfortably than 71 hours over the Atlantic! Piccard and his partner “dared to fail” and risked life and limb; we can be more sustainable with no risk.

End 2015 Blog

2015 ended with Tornadoes, Floods and Fires.
Vital Agreement on Climate Change.

 The Climate Change conclusions in Paris were supported for me by 2 pre – Christmas headlines in the UK;

December temperatures hit record levels and daffodils start to sprout.

December 18th – Last Deep Coal mine in the UK closes.

My own forbears were Coal miners, part of the largest industry the UK, moving to new pits with their distinctive communities in the north midlands at the end of the 1800’s.
CO2 pollution would be a mystery to my great-grandfathers, but the landscape scarred with pit waste tips, black streams and soot coated trees, all too familiar. Trees have now spread to hide these waste tips and communities promote walks by clean running waters.
Slag Heap
Industry life cycles are broadly understood if not welcomed by communities suffering initial disruption. Many dislike windfarms; visit a mine museum and reconsider!
Change is inevitable; managing the effects always a challenge. Waste reduction and eventual elimination consistent disciplines. The broad themes of the Paris conference condition the targets of business leaders to improve lifestyles and choice within sustainable resources.

The label industry has contributed with lower set up waste by improving conventional processes and digital technology.

2016 then opened with a deluge in the UK with the homes of my Catchpoint colleagues flooded and their neighbours rescued.
Within the broad life cycle of our industry are many single product cycles driving overall growth. However, to continue progress and meet ever changing retail and product distribution cycles, we clearly have to agressively challenge current levels of material consumption and waste. FMCG brand leaders will not double their sales using current Pressure Sensitive labels to meet the needs of the billions of consumers in India, China, South East Asia, Africa, and South America if we continue to waste over 50% of our raw materials.

This is recognised by some major label printers, global laminate suppliers and press manufacturers, working creatively to both convert thinner materials and introduce labels without liner waste in final application.

My generation’s pick and shovel is automation and with Catchpoint’s innovations more sustainable pressure sensitive labels are now applied with greater efficiency.

Label Expo Blog

I find it best to allow a month to pass before commenting on the enthusiasm which major events like Label Expo and the AWA seminars generate with the launch of new technologies also meeting industry friends and finding some in unexpected new roles!

The AWA was enlightening with Jocob Landberg of Nilpeter able to take an I phone picture of a graphic support, e mail it to the AWA staff and have the slide ready…all in less than 10 minutes; just in time perfection. His confirmation that Catchpoint labels can now be produced in a Nilpeter press was a significant announcement.

Our linerless panel was slightly depleted with Scott Fisher of Smyth suffering from “Brussels Mussels” particular pain when the dish costs 3 times the price I pay for the same dish in Brittany…perhaps a lesson for many of how flexible should be the Euro? Jeff Arippol from Novelprint confirmed his success with innovations over a lifetime – we first met 30 years ago and his enthusiasm for new ideas is infectious.

The Recycling panel was lively; the Reduce v Recycle debate is changing as evidenced by the “Linerless Trail” within Label Expo. It becomes increasing apparent that without a tax pressure on costly waste rates of collection for a variety of recycled uses will be difficult.

The exhibition gets bigger every 2 years as does the geographic mix. I have no figures but clearly the developing world although slower is still growing and Labelling growth continues to outstrip GDP figures by a healthy margin %.

Ritrama continued to promote their Core Linerless relationship with Catchpoint, and all our material and machinery friends were very helpful. Clearly Direct Thermal Linerless for VIP labelling is buoyant. The reactions to the potential possibilities for decorative linerless to benefit from the commitment by major laminators and converting machine producers to “make it happen” is a major boost.

When you meet old experienced friends who have clearly always been sceptics and they recognise the opportunity is real, you enjoy a good day!

APRIL 2015
This Monaco Congress started with a journey down memory lane as Mike Fairley and Tony White have published “The Evolution of Labels and the Labelling Industry in Europe” a copy of which was provided by FINAT with the support of HP and Labels and Labelling.

A picture on page 44 of a PPM Labeller applying Heat Seal labels, the T in FINAT, reminds us that “Linerless” is not “new”. In the UK Norprint had a significant label business through similar Delford high speed weigh price labellers in the late 1970’s. However, their MD Peter Jordan, a former FINAT President, correctly predicted that PS labels would replace Heat Seal; the “convenience society” had little concern for the related waste.

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1980’s Monoweb Linerless technology does not feature in this story. In Line Die Cutting and application of linerless labels, rejected by Heinz despite successful trials, confirmed that Brands clearly preferred “engineering” in the label, not in the Labelling Machine, and rejected sticky waste matrix.





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Today’s realities highlighting Shelf Appeal was successfully explored by creative presentations and both technical and brand experts. Growing use of social media and Internet shopping highlighted new opportunities for label printers, but also packaging alternatives with significantly lower material waste. Brand owners recognised the need for recycling but emphasised the operational challenges.

Pointing to a different future Bertrand Piccard’s closing address inspired the whole Congress. His Solar Impulse Propeller driven Aeroplane proving “the impossible is possible” and reminding us that earlier methods can be integrated with new technologies. His plea to stop the destruction of the environment by challenging established norms was a powerful message for the label community.

Pressure Sensitive Labelling will continue to evolve, but must do so with a dramatic reduction in waste. Bertrand’s success and commitment to innovation inspires our commitment to “turn back the clock” and deliver new linerless solutions.