<img alt="" src="https://secure.insightful-enterprise-intelligence.com/784283.png" style="display:none;">

Customization, AI and Scannable Codes Seen as Future Opportunities for Digital Printing


Article: PACKAGINGDIVE - December 20, 2023

The evolution of digital inkjet printing’s impact on the packaging industry is only beginning, OEMs, converters and analysts suggest. They predict that the technology’s future involves gaining significant market share, but also adding capabilities such as for artificial intelligence, scannable codes and other possible features.

Data from consultancy Keypoint Intelligence indicates digital inkjet printing is only used to print 2% of packaging by volume, but it’s expected to accelerate soon and in some cases replace analog printing such as offset lithography and flexography.

“You’re seeing more competition in this space, and I can very well see in the next decade or two transitioning to more digital technologies for printing — replacing flexo and gravure presses that we’ve been running for decades,” said William Barlow, market development manager at Printpack, which uses digital printing for flexible plastic packaging.

Rob Daniels, digital business manager at packaging company Fortis Solutions Group, agreed.

“I think in the next few years you’re going to see ... digital to almost double from where it is currently,” in part because of the value of superior project quality, including for “gradation, pictures, four-color process,” he said. “I really think digital is going to continue to take away a lot of our medium-run flexo work.”

Fresh features

Converters continue to identify new applications and market opportunities, such as for artificial intelligence, personalization and sustainability.

“A lot of brands are moving away from single-use plastic packaging ... A lot of those transparent bags are being replaced with paper-based, and because you cannot look through it you need to print on it to say what is inside,” said Philippe Lesage, vice president and general manager of HP’s specialty printing and technology solutions business. “So there’s new demand for digital printing.”

Besides the technology simply experiencing market growth, functions also are expected to expand. At the base level, the technology likely will become faster, more efficient and cheaper.

Click here to read the full article.