The printing industry is in a state of evolution. Experts like Smithers Pira have confirmed that the package printing sector in particular should continue to see significant growth in the years ahead, expanding across multiple segments as companies use new ideas to satisfy customer demand.
Recent studies like the one mentioned above highlight the fact that package printing continues to be one of the most rapidly-growing areas in the print world. As this space continues to expand, we're likely to see many key trends paving the way.
1. Inkjet Becomes the Dominant Tech
Today, most of the package printing market is dominated by electrophotography pressing systems that rely on liquid toner or powder. Toner-based printing practices often deliver high-quality images, and they're frequently used in label production. However, there's an alternative option that's been gaining speed of late, and that's inkjet printing.
Inkjet printing is a non-contact solution that uses liquid ejected out of precision heads to mist the right colors onto the substrate at the right times. This is a far more cost-effective and convenient method, which is why it's continuing to grow in strength this year.
2. The Label Press Will Begin to Die Off
Label makers were one of the first package printing experts to use the innovation of digital printing. This is typically because most self-adhesive labels in the modern market are printing on lightweight substrates that are well-suited to that process. Equipment vendors in the printing world have recognized the opportunity of digital printing already, and even introduced systems designed specifically for label production.
Back in 2015, labels made up about 80.5% of the global market value for package printing, and there's a good sign that the rise of the digital printing strategy will mean that labels continue to be an important component in the years to come.
3. Shorter Run Times Support the Switch to Digital
While digital printing obviously has its benefits, it's also more expensive than standard analogue platforms. The higher cost of digital printing means that there needs to be an equally impressive benefit available, such as improved run-times.
Today, the productivity and economics of digital technology are better than ever, which means that digital strategies are becoming more price competitive in the current market - for more than just short-run printing solutions too. By eliminating pre-press processes, plates, and many other issues, it's possible for printing experts to speed up the time to market for a lower cost too.
4. Traditional Supply Chain Models Fall Behind
Finally, the rise of digital printing will also have an impact on the business market in which most providers operator. The more technology evolves, the more flexibility and simple supply chains will ensure that packaging can be printed using digital machines as quickly and effectively as possible. This process will be aided by the increasing availability of web-to-pack systems that reduce pre-press and administration costs associated with packaging printing in the past.