11 September 2017
How the BPIF can help printers address production problems and assist with education and training
BPIF Labels offer specialist and complimentary support to BPIF members who are operating in the self-adhesive label sector of print and packaging. Providing members with industry relevant information, training and networking opportunities to compliment the extensive range of services and support that comes with membership of an organisation that represents more than 60% of the industries turnover.
Through education, training and networking the labels special interest group promote the spread of best practice across the industry. Self-adhesive usage continues to grow and is forecast to do so for the foreseeable future and it is those companies that adopt best practice, standardisation and increased efficiency that will be best placed to benefit from that growth.
The production of self-adhesive labels and material for the packaging sector is a particularly complex field for the printing industry. This is due to the fact that self-adhesive labels are used for a wide range of applications. They are used in every conceivable sector of industry, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, foodstuffs, automotive and logistics. In many cases self-adhesive labels and narrow web packaging material are required to meet the demands of application in difficult conditions. Self-adhesive label and narrow web printing embraces all the various technical processes involved in the industry, i.e. letterpress, litho, flexographic, photo gravure, screen and latterly digital printing. In addition, the range of inks used is diverse involving water based, oil based, UV, IR and radiation-curing, liquid toner, dry toner and ink jet UV inks and with inks based on solvents or water. This means that the self-adhesive label and narrow web converter/printer has to have knowledge of all that is relevant to all of the printing industry.
The BPIF Labels special interest group have published a best practice guide for self-adhesive label and narrow web converters. The guide covers responsibility and organisation, safety of machinery and systems, working with solvents, fire and explosion protection, UV-curing, Hot Surfaces, Skin Protection, Noise, REACH and COSHH and includes links to further useful information. The guide has been produced in conjunction with FINAT, the German association VskE and a number of other associations.
The BPIF Labels Good Manufacturing Practice Guide is now available to BPIF Labels Members, if you are interested please contact us to join. This guide has been developed by a working party of converter and supplier members of BPIF Labels and developed for companies which manufacture labels and related packaging products, intended to come into contact with food, or that could be brought into contact with food, or that could be the source of chemical migration into food. It is a management tool for the minimisation of migration, organoleptic changes and contamination.
Technical seminars organised by BPIF Labels are a great opportunity to network, learn about current best practice and keep up to date with the latest products and industry developments and they cover a whole range of diverse but industry relevant subjects. Future seminar programmes will include digital and hybrid narrow web solutions, advances in repro, the next generation of anilox, encouraging new young entrants into the industry, ink migration, LED UV, obligations under the packaging waste directive, recycling opportunities and alternatives to landfill. Seminars have typically been one-day events at a suitable location but BPIF Labels are looking to develop a series of short webinars for those who have an interest but find it difficult to take a day out of their businesses.
Education and training are obviously key aspects to continuous improvement in any business. Well informed managers and staff are better placed to deliver the ongoing development of systems, standardisation of processes and the achievement of consistent best practice. Enabling their company to consolidate and increase sales. BPIF are the number one training provider for the printing, packaging and graphic communications industry. Providing training and qualifications at all levels, enabling staff to realise their true potential and fill any skills gaps the business. The future of the industry depends on the quality of the people working within it. To be successful in such a dynamic and fast-changing sector, print needs not only experienced but also well trained and motivated employees. Over 500 learners are involved in BPIF training programmes, and the completion rate is 78%, consistently ahead of the national average. BPIF is also the largest provider of apprenticeships to the print industry; offering a range of training modules leading to NVQ qualifications and providing information and the training levy.
The label industry continues to develop but also to grow. Global consolidation of labels businesses may well continue and we are reaching a point where many owner managers who started their businesses decades ago will be considering how best to proceed as they reach the prospect of retirement. There is a growing recognition that the label industry needs to recruit and train young entrants to the highest possible standards in what is an increasingly dynamic industry. BPIF Labels will continue to work with its members and the wider industry to develop their businesses, promote best practice and improve efficiency through standardisation of processes.
For more information please contact Liz Whyte on 01924 203338 or [email protected]
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