Each day, millions of e-commerce boxes ship nationwide. In some cases, consumers see bright imagery outside and inside the box, and their packaging might vary from others who received the same product in a different part of the country.
Demand for these differentiation possibilities and other unique features is booming, prompting more packaging companies for substrates including fiber, plastic and glass to invest in digital inkjet printing technologies to fulfill customers’ evolving desires — and do so economically. Even though converters are OEMs’ target audience, the technology’s impact extends across the supply chain to brands, retailers and others who are beginning to request digitally printed packaging.
While digital printing has been used on labels for nearly 30 years, “in all the other [packaging] segments, digital is very new,” said Jean Lloyd, a global principal analyst at Keypoint Intelligence. That being said, “everybody wants to get into packaging now because that’s the absolute necessity, and that’s where everybody sees the opportunity” for digital inkjet printing, she said. That’s especially true with the movement toward direct-to-medium printing for reasons including waste reduction.