According to a recent packaging industry report by industry research firm InfoTrends, Weymouth, Mass., 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. The InfoTrends report, entitled Digital Color Printing in Packaging: The Ecosystem, 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. The two main forces driving that change are steady advances in productivity, image quality, and total cost of ownership for digital color printing technology; and a growing need among manufacturers of consumer goods for short runs of packaging. For more information, visit www.infotrends.com.