Sia Memarnia, a pioneer in the use of shrink-sleeve labels in packaging, has died.
Memarnia was in his early 60s, and had been suffering from the affects of a brain tumour.
He was the first UK employee at Fuji Seal Group and spent more than 25 years in labelling, including a 13-year stint at Smurfit Labels.
He was instrumental in the adoption of shrink-sleeve labels and, working with brand owners, achieved many "firsts" in innovative uses for the technique, which is now mainstream.
Peter Yates, former operating chief at Baird Group, said: "I first met Sia when he was a graduate trainee at Smurfit Labels. He came over as an enthusiastic boffin always trialling new grades of shrink film, a new concept in those days, and forever setting them on fire with his heat gun.
"As traditional packaging people we all thought Sia was a bit of a maniac but I have to say he was absolutely right. He worked tirelessly to perfect the art of shrink sleeving and when he had done this he dedicated himself to helping our customers to improve their product decoration. He almost single-handedly provided us with the next level of product decoration after paper labels."
Memarnia went on to form his own specialist consultancy, Sia Consulting, and was the author of technical guides and market research on the topic, as well as a regular conference speaker.
His most recent project involved working with Watershed Packaging on its new shrink-sleeve division. Project manager Andrew McClure, who also worked with Memarnia at Smurfit, said: "He was an amazing guy, dedicated to the shrink-sleeve market, and he always put customers first."
Memarnia is survived by his wife Kate, son Nick and daughter Nina. His funeral will be held on Tuesday 30 October at 2pm at Vinters Park Crematorium in Maidstone. Family flowers only, any donations should be made to the Heart of Kent Hospice in Aylesford.
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