Digital print's advance into packaging markets will be underlined later this month with both HP and Océ exhibiting at the first Corrugated & Carton Exhibition CCE International in Munich.
HP will be focusing on corrugated applications including free standing display units (FSDU), POP, POS and retail ready packaging (RRP) for its HP Scitex FB series machines while Océ will be talking about folding carton applications for its InfiniStream liquid toner digital web, which was unveiled at Drupa.
On its stand HP Scitex will be showing the FB500 UV-flatbed producing samples and mock ups while it will be displaying examples of work produced on all its machines and video demonstrations of the larger FB7600.
"CCE is an interesting show and a new direction for HP Scitex," said Moshiko Levhar, segment manager, Scitex high volume solutions, EMEA.
He added that some 20% of the FB7500 and 7600s installed worldwide were used for some corrugated work and corrugated board was the most used substrate on the machines, although to date most of that had been produced by graphic display printers.
"Corrugated converters are a conservative market and are not typically early adopters of technology," said Levhar. "However we are now starting to see some of the same trends in the corrugated market as we have previously seen in signage with the Scitex equipment and commercial print with the Indigo in this sector as firms start to dip a toe in the water."
He added that the work the firm had done on media handling to address the challenges of using corrugated boards and in adding automated handling had helped make industrial inkjet suitable for this market.
Other wide-format manufacturers are also increasingly attracted to this space with Fujifilm recently launching new inks and materials handling for the Inca Onset machine and announcing the first site to use the new inks, Model in Switzerland.
Océ is taking a small stand at the show to speak to more converters and brand owners to understand their requirements and to get their feedback on the InfiniStream for carton printing.
"So far we have received very positive feedback in our conversations with brand owners and packaging converters," said Océ marketing director for liquid toner systems Roland Stasiczek. "Most people say that digital printing for folding cartons is now ready to go mainstream."
Stasiczek added that the InfiniStream project remained on schedule with a pilot customer machine set to be installed this summer and commercial sales commencing in 2014.