The mime of Count Lev Perovski may not be familiar to all readers of this column, but it was he who, in 1839, discovered and named perovskite, a compound of calcium, oxygen and titanium.This remained a geological curiosity until 10 years ago when a Japanese team discovered that certain perovskites are semi-conductors. Unlike the silicon-based semi-conductors that permeate every part of today's life, and which are brittle, the perovskite semi-conductors can be printed in roll-to-roll production. They have several drawbacks, including not liking damp conditions, but could potentially lead to that El Dorado, the fully flexible smart label. One of the first uses of the new material is likely to be in producing cheaper solar cells. Other uses could be in the construction sector, or in a wide range of label applications ranging from logistics to pharmaceuticals.
The Hnerless label has been described, unkindly, as a product with a great future behind it. Brand owners love the idea but are wary ot the cost and speed of the labeling equipment needed for Hnerless. For many years, Italy's Ritrama has been in the forefront of Hnerless developments. The company has announced a breakthrough - unsurprisingly - in direct thermal labels, of the kind used in price-weigh machines. These labels are generally one-color printed, but Ritrama offers them in a range of background colors. Ritrama's Sergio Veneziani does not give figures but says sales volumes are growing significantly. "January 2018 has already exceeded the forecasts we made at the end of 2017," he says."As far as retail is concerned, this positive trend surely results from the fact that traditional weigh scales, which work with standard rolls, are being replaced with Hnerless scales. As for our products, Ritrama is currently working on a new version of Direct Thermal Linerless with a special adhesive for frozen products."
INTO THE COLD - LABELS IN RUSSIA AND THE 'NEAR ABROAD'
In January of this year, the two Moscow exhibitions, Upakovka and Interplastika, hosted 900 exhibitors and visitors, totaling around 25,000 people. Show organizers Messe Diisseldorf reported continuing growth of the Russian packaging market. "Now that business in Russia is gaining momentum again, our foreign exhibitors noted the high degree ot interest of Russian businessmen and their willingness to place orders," enthused Werner Dornscheidt of Messe Diisseldorf. But few, if any, of the big names in narrow web...