China will play a ‘seminal’ role this year in packaging holography as interest in export markets and new technology drives growth, says to the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA).
The move comes as China increasingly looks outwards, and its manufacturers increasingly reach towards the west, to sustain growth and economic ambition.
The IHMA’s Glenn Wood says it is only a question of how long it is before China becomes an internationally recognised holography powerhouse – some of the world's widest holographic embossing machines (up 2.7m wide) are now made in Beijing for domestic and export markets.
“Chinese hologram manufacturers have lacked internal coherence and never had a voice on the world stage,” says Glenn Wood.
“This, coupled with related challenges of language, distance and size of domestic market, has meant manufacturers have had little direct outreach to the west.”
But 2012 could well be a ‘sea change’ as the balance of power shifts, says Glenn Wood, as China’s rapidly growing interest in exporting its technology is reciprocated by western companies.
“Recent visits to China have confirmed the feeling that it is opening itself up to meet the west’s interest in its technologies,” adds Glenn Wood. “This includes UV embossing technology for packaging, an area in which China is several years ahead of the west.
“On the grounds that ‘nature abhors a vacuum’, it ‘s not unreasonable to suppose that this cost reducing UV embossing technology - for example, cast and cure - will encourage more holographic packaging to appear on consumer goods in western supermarkets.
“Such an extension in the volume requirements will bring with it renewed interest in design and origination services for packaging perhaps incorporating security features.
“So, we can expect to see increased participation by Chinese companies in international events and increasing interest in joining organisations like the IHMA.”