Digital technology in the industrial printing industry has remained a buzzword, and its proliferation has been fierce, meaning those that lag in adoption will suffer real consequences in the marketplace. The rise of digital printing technology has provided advertisers and manufacturers alike with high quality, efficient results in printing, packaging, and display products. We’ve outlined the value propositions consistent with digital printing technology and their impact on the packaging sector, as well as industry trends.
Value Proposition: Cost Reduction in Industrial Printing
The analog printing system has made progress in its usability and design, but can be cumbersome, resulting in system interruption during production to adjust print jobs. System downtime can not only cause delays, but can drive up setup cost. Digital printing has diligently reduced the setup time for jobs, offering cost reduction including the ability to produce smaller batches at high speed, consistency across production resulting in reduced waste, fewer output variations, and lower setup cost in between runs.
Value Proposition: Faster Response
Digital technology allows for image setup to be swift and turnaround time to be lowered. This is a competitive advantage for printers, and a necessity for many packaging producers. Tedious analog setup would delay project starts, and if multiple imagery were a requirement, extend project time even further. Printers that can remain nimble and responsive will gain a competitive advantage and scale their business at a greater pace.
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Packaging Trends: Custom Content for Brands & Packaging
Value propositions like those mentioned above feed directly into the packaging industry trend requiring custom content in smaller batches, with fast turnaround. Across the industry, the need for unique brand identity communications at the shelf is essential to make products at the shelf stand out among their counterparts.
Fresh, frequently-changing designs mean printers need to be agile in their ability to interchange imagery, and create smaller batches. As packaging becomes a greater part of the brand identity for products, the more integral a role it will play in the need for a high-quality print at a fast rate.
Moving Corrugated Packaging to Digital
Within the industry, it is not disputed that digital has a future and a means of offering shorter runs and faster response time, however its adoption on production floors is still sparse. The largest hurdle we’ve seen is reluctance to make such an important business decision without understanding feedback from the early adopters. Making the switch to digital involves a learning curve for businesses, especially their operators, which can be seen as daunting.
The packaging industry needs additional education and a better understanding of ROI to understand the need to invest in digital printing, despite the logic we’ve presented here. Based on the value propositions evident in digital printing technology and the shift in packaging needs, the time to implement digital technology is now.
Durst has been at the forefront of innovation, with our Durst P10 Series offering a sharp, 10 picoliter droplet at 1,000 DPI. Additional products reflecting this innovation include the Rho 1300 Series, the fastest UV platform, and our single-pass Delta 130 SPC water-based technology press.