Digital Color Printing Taking on Greater Role in Packaging Industry
According to InfoTrends’ 2009 research on the market for digital color printing in the packaging industry, the value of packaging-related print from color POD systems and wide format systems together amounted to $1.95 billion globally in 2009, and that total is expected to grow to $4.05 billion in 2014. Almost all of that value is attributable to the printing of full and spot color “prime” labels for use in decorating foods, beverages, drugs, and other consumer products. Other applications, however, such as folding cartons, flexible packaging, and even metal cans are starting to use digital color printing.
Many companies and multiple technologies are becoming involved, as digital color printing has its own ecosystem within the packaging industry. InfoTrends has just released a report entitled “Digital Color Printing in Packaging: The Ecosystem that details the parties, technologies, and processes involved in this up and coming area of the market.”
Color electrophotographic and inkjet technologies, including wide format inkjet, are at the core of this ecosystem. Ecosystems in the industry often change over time, and that is true for the ecosystem that surrounds digital color printing of packaging. There are two main forces driving that change:
• The steady advance of digital color printing technology in terms of productivity, image quality and total cost of ownership
• The growing need among manufacturers of consumer goods for short runs of packaging
Bob Leahey, an associate director at InfoTrends, commented, “In less than 15 years, the digital color ecosystem has grown to become a significant part of the overall packaging industry. Looking ahead, the digital color ecosystem will grow and change to have a continually greater role in packaging. In particular, inkjet will be increasingly influential in future markets, given its recent, rapid growth and the number of products set for launch in 2010.”