Metallized Products Sourcebook Predicts Increased Demand

In today's changing and highly competitive environment, up-to-date market information is essential for monitoring performance and making business-critical decisions for growth and profitability. A new resource, “Metallized Papers and Films: World Sourcebook 2002,” has been published by AWA Alexander Watson Assoc. Called the "first-ever global study of the market for products that are metallized by direct and transfer processes," it is sponsored by the Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL).

The sourcebook provides in-depth statistics on regional markets and assesses trends in technology, purchasing, and the overall business environment. It includes more than 65 profiles of leading metallizing companies, raw material suppliers, and equipment sources.

“Metallized Papers and Films: World Sourcebook 2002” offers insights into the industry's current and future status that will be of interest to managers and professionals in all market sectors. With full supporting charts and diagrams, the report identifies packaging as still the largest market sector, with healthy growth driven by the good barrier performance and esthetics of metallized films, as well as the increasing demand for clarity of coating. Metallized papers and boards continue to grow thanks to their recyclability and esthetic features, and both papers and films continue to be used extensively in primary product labeling applications and in cigarette packaging.

AWA predicts overall demand is likely to increase at an annualized rate of 4.1% to the end of 2003, to an estimated value of 501,500 tons — consisting of both metallized films (the major share) and metallized boards and other materials.

Some 400 companies are identified in the sourcebook as being involved in metallizing papers, films, and boards, using — between them — an installed base of more than 600 machines for general trade metallizing. This figure does not take into account specialist metallizers, high tech and aerospace applications, or stamping foil manufacturers.

As well as examining the market as it is today (with a detailed value chain analysis), the sourcebook highlights major threats. These include the continuing pressure to reduce costs, more aggressive buying on the part of customers, alternative metallic finishes, consolidation across the value chain, reducing order sizes, and faster delivery requirements. Volume orders are no longer a guarantee of profitability, particularly in packaging.

The sourcebook concludes, however, there are some real opportunities for future growth and profitability. Added-value functionality will be the key opportunity area for the future, particularly the replacement of aluminum foil with high-performance, metallized barrier films and other technological innovations. Other areas where AWA says the industry could benefit from an increased focus are the development of a globalized trading approach (in response to the ever-increasing need to service a global customer base); establishing a professional b2b e-commerce infrastructure; and the integration of the metallizing process and metallized products within the range of available converting technologies.

At more than 300 pages in length, “Metallized Papers and Films: World Sourcebook 2002” will provide valuable support to strategic and tactical decision-making both in management and operational terms.

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