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Interview with Colin Smith (Sun Chemical SA) about the 5th European Stand-up Pouch Conference

You will give a speech during the 5th European Stand-up Pouch Conference of Innoform.What is the quintessence of your presentation?
The growth of the high performance printed pouch is not in question – what is open for discussion is how you print it ……….and how you laminate it …….

Historically it was only possible to meet the demanding retort specifications by gravure printing with PVC ink technology and laminating with solvent based adhesive but the landscape is beginning to charge , latest developments in printing ink technology now opens the door for flexo printing – meaning cost competitive smaller print runs are now possible .

Going forward developments in adhesive technology will also open the door for the possible use of solvent free or even water based adhesive technology which will in turn increase the options and improve the competitive situation for the printer convertor. A little further away but most definitely on the horizon is digital printing for high performance pouches , with the appropriate support products – Primers & Adhesives – it will soon be possible to think about ultra small run sizes and even personalization of this fast growing, but technically demanding area of the packaging market.

Which kind of audience do you wish for and why?
I hope to see the major decision makers from the European flexible packaging
industry, these are the people who have driven the industry to where it is today – the most demanding and fastest changing market in the world ……..

How do you estimate the development of the pouches (SUP) regarding to your activities?
Introduction and acceptance of the Pouch format has grown tremendously over the past ten years, we are now at the stage that purely having a product packed in a pouch is not a differentiator – to stand out brand owners need that something extra – our job is to demonstrate that “ extra”, be that graphics, special effects or cost benefits .

What are your recommendations to a trademark owner who is going to start with pouches?
Honestly by now, I believe most brand owners are very well aware of the well documented benefits of pouches – in summary the ability to “ lightweight “ and increase shelf appeal without adding additional cost or complexity .

Which innovations are of great interest to you, especially in the flexpack market – disregarding the SUP?
I really believe that the FLEXO printing of  high performance pouches will fuel further growth by making smaller run sizes more cost effective .