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The PrintWeek team
Welcome to our inaugural Digital packaging report. There's little doubt that the packaging sector has been remarkably - albeit perhaps unsurprisingly - resilient to the economic downturn.
More than that though, it's a market that has, with the exception of labels, been relatively slow to adopt digital technology.
The reason for this is simple: scalability. The volumes generally involved in packaging are massive, and right now, the unit costs of digitally produced packs just don’t stack up – even for what are probably classed as short runs in the world of packaging.
But with the predicted growth in versioned or even personalised packaging and the advent of new ‘heavyweight’ technology, digital is perfectly poised to start its next revolution.
Digital technology has had a massive, and generally positive, impact on the commercial and wide-format print sectors, so it’s inevitable that it will also represent a serious growth area in packaging. However, as illustrated in our survey, the jury is still out on the speed of the adoption and the true size of the market.
Some believe the opportunities lie] primarily in the world of business-to-consumer (B2C) or consumer-to-consumer (C2C) personalisation – hopefully replicating the dynamic growth of the photobook market in recent years. While for others it’s about the full-on industrialisation of just-in-time digital packaging.
Wherever the digital packaging opportunities lie, whether it’s with commercial printers targeting B2C or C2C or packaging powerhouses targeting industrial-scale applications – the word to remember is opportunity. Because in the lexicon of print, few words are more important.
There's no denying it: one of the biggest stories to emerge from last year's Drupa was that digital and packaging finally seemed serious bedfellows. But what may have surprised some, was the realisation...
At Ipex 2010, Canon staged one of the most innovative live demonstrations that the print show has ever seen. Visitors to the manufacturer's stand were invited to submit their name to a Canon representative...
When Superfast Labels installed the UK's first Epson SurePress L-4033A last year, it wasn't just adding affordable digital print to its capabilities. The machine's ability to print on textured surfaces...
Printing folding cartons digitally is not a new idea, but until very recently it has been limited by the small formats available in digital presses that could handle realistic production volumes. However,...
Compared to, say, the IT industry, it would be fair to say packaging evolves at a rather slow pace. Compare a Walkman from the 1980s with the iPod of today and then compare the packaging of those two products...