In the highly competitive consumer market where products vie for attention, packaging and labels can be key differentiators. Taktiful’s Kevin Abergel looks at how embellishments can give consumer and retail packaging and labels more shelf impact and convey an impression of luxury and premium quality.
As consumers’ preference for sustainable products grows, that preference is extending to the packaging those products come in. Heidi Tolliver-Walker looks at consumers’ attitudes toward sustainable packaging.
There aren’t a lot of all-in-one application-specific solutions that can address “all” application requirements. However, there is a lot of development among packaging press and converting machine manufacturers to address the new shifting market requirements. Ultimately application requirements can be fairly disparate, so a modular hybrid solution will undoubtedly provide the widest range of process adaptability.
GEW’s AeroLED was the standout UV curing system at Labelexpo Europe, with demonstrations on OEM machinery illustrating energy savings of over 70%. Energy savings are one of the six major benefits of AeroLED and GEW’s AeroLED Spotlight video discusses each of these in full.
European section editor Ralf Schlözer provides a primer on embellishments and identifies some common uses, as well as the potential for profitability for print businesses looking to adopt embellishment techniques.
We recently sat down with Lisa DiGate, vice president, global business–HP Indigo at Michelman, to discuss the power of innovation, collaboration and a focus on sustainability in propelling innovation forward in the digital printing and packaging industries.
Orders are increasing for short-run, on-demand packaging to satisfy shifting consumer purchasing requirements. While converters and web-to-pack systems are being developed to operate at the “speed of retail,” there are many opportunities, complexities and value- added offerings not seen in commercial print.
This week, we are publishing the content from Issue 5, the Labels & Packaging Issue. In this article, a preview of the week’s content.
Contributor Sean Smyth looks into his crystal ball at what the future of packaging production will entail, from trends in sustainability to automation and robotics, and more.
Smithers projects the global value of the print labels market to reach $41.02 billion by 2024. Contributor Joanne Gore explores how print service providers, on a constant quest for growth, adaptation, and diversification, can get a piece of this action.
LabelExpo Europe is the biggest of all the LabelExpo events, and truly a global event. There were lots of new digital, inkjet and hybrid press and converting solutions in the exhibit halls. Automation and Sustainability were the overriding and common themes.
In this interview, sponsored by HP, Haim Levit, Senior Vice President & General Manager, HP Industrial Print, talks about the current state of the labels and packaging industry, and the growing HP packaging product portfolio, on the eve of LabelExpo Europe.
E-commerce is growing fast and needs to better focused on customers’ packaging needs. The movement and transport of product is very different for e-commerce than it is for brick-and-mortar applications. As a result, there is probably a need to have its own channel-specific solutions.
Looking to get into label production? Be aware of the distinction between commercial and industrial labels. Heidi Tolliver-Walker explains the distinction—and how the latter could be the far more profitable market.
A raft of legislation under the European Green Deal has been, or is planned to be, implemented by the EU to make society more sustainable. The activity with the biggest impact on the printing and packaging industry is the Packaging & Packaging Waste regulation. European section editor Ralf Schlözer looks at the issues involved in and potential impacts of these new laws.
GEW’s latest customer case study explores why Eurolabel, a successful label printing company on the outskirts of Milan, embraced GEW ArcLED. Eurolabel employs almost 80 employees and an annual turnover of around €12 million. Learn why they embraced GEW’s ArcLED technology.
The previously announced Gallus One digital label press is more than just an “all in one” label press, jointly developed by Gallus and Heidelberg. It is at the core of an expandable ecosystem designed for the industry’s digital future and the new normal.
With the increased scrutiny of plastic use in flexible packaging, there is an increased interest in moving from plastic to paper. It was once hard to make the switch, but it has been getting much easier.
Two weeks ago, as part of WhatTheyThink’s fourth annual Technology Outlook Week, our five-day series of webinars that look at the latest trends and technologies in a broad cross-section of the industry, David Zwang took a look at labels and packaging. In this article, Heidi Tolliver-Walker recaps the webinar.
David Zwang provides a primer on embellishment technologies for packaging applications—including why they are becoming more important than ever for brands.
In 2011, I began a series that looked at the then-current production inkjet vendor product offerings, and over the years continued to look at how they were being, or could be, used. In this new series, 15 years later and with drupa 2024 on the horizon, it’s time to take a look at how production inkjet has evolved, how it is used, and where we can expect it to go and grow. I will look at each of the production inkjet manufacturers and suppliers, customers and document some of their journeys. In this article I look at HP preprint corrugated.
European section editor Ralf Schlözer reports from Interpack, held May 4–10 in Düsseldorf, Germany. Interpack focuses on technologies and materials for filling, packaging, and packaging printing.
The new Heidelberg Boardmaster is the fastest and most productive flexo folding carton press in the market. It is the only industrial flexo press that is designed for zero changeover downtime. This is attributable to the Boardmaster Non-Stop Print Deck technology in conjunction with the Intellimatch precision scanning system, creating the first Push to Stop flexo folding carton press.
European section editor Ralf Schlözer looks at the potential growth of packaging waste, the European Union’s proposed Regulation on Packaging & Packaging Waste to help combat that growth, and the outlook for European packaging print.
This latest customer case study, written and sponsored by GEW, looks at a successful label printing company on the outskirts of Rome. etic.a was founded in 2009 by Gianni Olivieri and his wife Patrizia. The company now employs around 35 people, generating a revenue of around 10 million euros. Find out why they switched their entire operation to UV LED curing.
Now that the market for digital production of flexible packaging is starting to take hold, HP has developed the next generation of product that builds on the expertise gained with the 25K as well as their other products and technologies.
Digital label printing has been a growth market for many years, served by a large number of printer suppliers. Xeikon, offering both electrophotographic and inkjet label presses, expands both product lines. European section editor Ralf Schlözer looks at the new units.
The integration of analog and digital equipment can provide lots of opportunities but also challenges in plant optimization. Workflows, especially front office and plant for packaging operations, have to address many complexities not found in commercial printing workflows.
More printing companies are finding opportunities in packaging production as more targeted and shorter packaging production runs increase and new digital tools help reduce the skill sets required. However, many are finding that different production tools and workflows as well as new processes are required to optimize and succeed.
Since there is an increasing shift of consumers from large global brands to smaller local/regional brands, so is the amount of disparate packaging required. However, while the diversity of needs commercial print are feeling the pressures, packaging adds many other level of complexities.
We present a virtual roundtable of Dscoop and HP Industrial Executives. They discuss the upcoming event in St. Louis, the value of the global Dscoop community, and the close connection between HP and its users as they transform the digital print industry in 2023 and beyond.
The demand for shorter runs is increasing, driven by consumer market shifts across the packaging landscape. However, justifying the cost of digital corrugated production per package/box, when the ink cost is almost 10X the cost of flexo ink, and close to equal with the media in some cases, is difficult unless there is some added value or a more efficient solution.
Today, Gallus and Heidelberg, after some difficulties in the past, are affirming their roles as “natural relatives” to create the innovation and solution which benefit their customers and the industry as a whole.
David Zwang recaps the year in labels and packaging, with a look at notable product releases, and the continued growth of digital labels and packaging.
Bobst has taken a measured approach to entering the digital print fray. Mr. Bobst often states that he prefers to wait for market entry until he has products that are deserving of the Bobst name and will deliver against the high expectations customers have about the company. While initially they offered a few all digital devices, Bobst has now started to integrate their inkjet print technology into their analog product line.
The unboxing experience is one of the most important factors in any modern business transaction. In addition to providing customers with the first glimpse of the product they’ve been waiting for, it sets the tone for their entire experience with the brand. This article explores the importance of the unboxing experience and considers how businesses can create lasting memories with their customers.
The print service provider, their suppliers, and their customers are all a part of a value chain ecosystem, and as such their individual processes need to be aligned and bridged with each other for maximum operational benefit. As a result many of the more successful PSPs have tailored their workflow systems to their specific needs, usually using a modular Lego-like logic.
Legalized cannabis has budded into a formidable industry, growing into a bigger market each year. In 2021, it was valued at nearly $11 billion, with CAGR projections of nearly 15% through 2030. The cannabis packaging market alone was worth half a billion USD in 2021 and is expected to reach over $1.6 billion by 2024. Contributor Joanne Gore surveys the current but ever-changing cannabis packaging landscape.
Companies like Amazon have been adding more environmentally friendly packaging strategies, although a lot of plastic is still used. And Neenah has introduced the Neenah Environment Mailer, which is curbside recyclable. Senior editor Cary Sherburne looks at the current landscape of sustainable packaging for mailers.
In this feature, written and sponsored by Kodak, learn about the new KODAK ASCEND Digital Press, a highly flexible and economical solution for short-run production of paperboard-based packaging.
Print technology and production methods have been changing along with the changing market requirements. All of this coupled with the “can do nature” of print and packaging service providers, continues to push technology and equipment manufacturers in new ways. David Zwang looks at how new modular component production solutions can be integrated and combined with almost all printing technologies including digital, offset, flexo, screen, and inkjet.
The integration of Gallus into Heidelberg is beginning to show impressive returns, starting with the Labelfire 340 hybrid press and now the Gallus One digital all-in-one label press, a jointly developed press and ecosystem. This new press is designed for the industry’s digital future and the new normal.
Labelexpo cemented the reality that digital is very much on the rise and at lightning speeds. The digital equipment is getting more sophisticated and, more importantly, productive. Digitalization is what will provide the platform for the new normal.
The level of excitement mirrored the general mood of the industry, and “we’re back but different” was the underlying theme of this event. The takeaway was there is no turning back and rapid change is the new normal, with digitalization as the lifeblood of the infrastructure.
HP has announced a new PageWide packaging press that has a print width that fits nicely between their existing T400 and T1100 series presses corrugated preprint presses. However, the new T700i is designed for more than just corrugated preprint.
In this article, written and sponsored by Rotometal, learn about the company that will make its North American debut at the LabelExpo Americas 2022 event and launch their super lightweight Magnetic Cylinder Aluminum.
Going private again, and being in a position to select and negotiate any financing needs beyond what JBF Finance SA can provide on its own, should minimize and streamline the undue reporting burdens of a public company, and allow Bobst to innovate and focus on the company’s present and future.
Supply chain issues have forced small businesses to shift their thinking and approach to the form and function of their packaging design. ColorKarma’s Shoshana Burgett looks at some of the top impacts.
An increasing number of companies are releasing re-use + refill packaging lines. Is this just for large companies like Proctor + Gamble and Unilever? Or is it time for small and mid-sized companies to take up the mantle, too?
Since 1958, Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) has been enabling flexographers to grow their skills, connect with likeminded individuals, expand their reachable markets, and drive flexography to package printing dominance.
There is a growing increase in orders for short-run on-demand packaging to satisfy shifting consumer purchasing requirements and operate at the “speed of retail.” However, while there are opportunities, there are many complexities not seen in commercial print that require a level of expertise not necessarily found in the producers’ kitchen, basement, or garage.
European section editor Ralf Schlözer reports from Print4All, the largest European printing equipment fair this year, held May 3 to 6 at the Fiera Milano exhibition ground. The fair showcased several notable packaging printing and converting product introductions.
Industrial revolutions have been driving global change for centuries, and one thing is certain: they will continue to happen at an increasingly rapid rate. As an industry, we have a way to go, but to succeed you need to look at the transformation process as a journey and not expect to do it all at once.
Bobst recently held a press event to detail its developments in packaging connectivity, digitalization, automation, and sustainability. European section editor Ralf Schlözer reports from Mex, Switzerland.
RR Donnelly commissioned an online survey of 300 procurement, brand marketing, and packaging engineering decision makers to provide insights that inform strategy, priorities, and investments. Survey participants are located in the U.S. across a variety of industry sectors. The results are summarized in this article.
In this year’s third annual Technology Outlook, David Zwang looks at new trends, technologies, and products in labels and packaging.
Just as in web-to-print software solutions for commercial printers, online package creation is facilitating the rapid growth of shorter-run packaging to address the shifting market demands. These new online transaction design and procurement web-to-pack solutions, in combination with digital presses and laser die cutters, are also enabling many commercial printers to find a lift into becoming a packaging converter. David Zwang takes a look at the current web-to-pack landscape.
There is a lot of talk about recycling, but less talk about reusing, across a variety of product types from soda to sweat pants. Reuse has a key role to play in a circular economy, and packaging is one of the key offenders in terms of waste. The good news, though, is there is increasing interest on the part of brands, retailers, and consumers in reusable packaging, whether it is an insulated water bottle or a crate like the milkman used to leave on our doorsteps for refilling. (I’m old enough to remember that!)
The challenges faced as a press manufacturer or even a print service provider when moving from commercial print to industrial and packaging market are very real and can be elusive and daunting. Most of all, though, it’s not just about technology.
If priming and coating are each important to the success of inkjet in commercial printing, both are crucial for inkjet printing in the label and packaging segments. In this article, sponsored by Michelman, Inc., and based on a just-released white paper, European section editor Ralf Schlözer explains how folding carton and corrugated packaging markets are expanding for inkjet in large part due to the application of these fluids.
Demand for fast-turn and short-run labels went up during and after the pandemic, but employment and consumables problems tempered what could have been a boon for label printers and label equipment vendors. Contributor Mark Vruno looks at where we stand today.
Xeikon Café, held at the company’s headquarters, was full of great information, partners, and products, including some new ones. The takeaway was that Xeikon is positioned for good future growth with the confidence of their customers and a lot of new products.
In the post-pandemic age of online grocery services like InstaCart, the shopper selecting consumer product goods off store shelves is not the final consumer. Colorkarma’s Shoshana Burgett explains what this means for brandowners and how approaches to packaging need to change.
Agfa is in the process of acquiring two very synergistic operating units from SCREEN. These acquisitions could provide Agfa with the necessary technologies and strength to reinvigorate this distinguished company and provide the platform for future growth in packaging and industrial print.
We’ve been writing a great deal lately about graphene, often referred to as a miracle material, but so far the focus has been on just about everything except packaging. Is there an application? Tetra Pak thinks so!
This week, Canon announced the acquisition of 100% of the shares of edale, a manufacturer and OEM of narrow web printing presses and finishing equipment, including flexo carton web presses, label and packaging flexo presses, and web finishing equipment. European section editor Ralf Schlözer looks at how the acquisition will help bolster Canon’s presence in the label and packaging market.
Xeikon recently held a press briefing where it announced it will be holding a special Xeikon Café around developments in labels in light of the cancellation of Labelexpo Europe. Senior editor Cary Sherburne some highlights from that briefing.
At Labelexpo in 2019, there was a smattering of hybrid presses, but since then the market for hybrid presses has grown with a proliferation of hybrid presses from many manufacturers. At that event, Bobst showed the Master DM5, their first take at a digital/flexo hybrid, which they identified as an “All in One” press. Over the years, they have enhanced the design and interface based on early customer feedback. The result is the just-released updated Digital Master 340 and Digital Master 510.
Shifts in consumer purchasing, will continue to have an impact on packaging growth due to disruptions in the supply chain, shifts in consumer purchasing, and labor availability forcing consumer packaging groups (CPGs) to think about how they can be more efficient at what they do. Automation and even robots are a big part of the answer.
Plastic waste is a significant environmental problem for the world. But the good news is that new technologies, from design through end of life, are making it easier to recycle plastics and have them be a good citizen in the circular economy. The ultimate goal is to eliminate plastic waste. In this interview, we speak with Kara Pochiro, the Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs at the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) about the ins and outs of plastic recycling.
As sustainability becomes bigger business, the emergence of recyclable, compostable, and other eco-friendly plastic alternatives for use in packaging, signage, and mailing is growing, too. But making those investments count may take a commitment on the design end, as well.
After three years, “there is a lot of catching up to do.” That was the mood at the FTA event in Ft. Worth. About 1,000 very energized people were there to meet colleagues, see new developments, and hear about how they can optimize their production systems.
Trends toward sustainability and cause marketing could be a ticket to differentiation in the packaging market. Check out this nutritional supplements and skin care company to see what this looks like.
Contributor Joanne Gore looks at the evolution of packaging, and focuses on some of the new technologies—from more sustainable materials to interactive elements—that are dramatically enhancing the “unboxing” experience.
European section editor Ralf Schlözer takes a close look at the comprehensive environmental sustainability initiatives being pursued by the UK’s Lil Packaging—which has committed to making the entire company carbon-neutral in 2022.
Jordan Patterson, vice president of Virtual Packaging (Grapevine, TX), shares his experience working with a Landa S10P Digital (Perfecting) Press—how they’ve used it, what their experiences have been, and what new markets the press has opened to them.
There is no doubt that digital packaging is a huge growth area for production inkjet, and SCREEN seems to be targeting the high growth areas. They have been developing a range of digital packaging presses including their currently available prime label presses, and the new flexible packaging press and a folding carton press.
There may not have been many live events this year to showcase the latest trends in label and packaging, but hardware manufacturers and software developers have been busy, and the industry has been humming along. All of this under the backdrop of shifting consumer preferences and supply chain challenges. David Zwang takes a look.
Digital packaging printing allows brands to make content decisions closer to the consumer, helping them to provide more than just the traditional containment and protection functions of the pack, with information and promotion. Digital print and finishing of packaging can provide a wider range of functions beyond analogue capabilities, which is why it is growing so quickly. Smithers’ Sean Smyth looks at the current state of digital packaging and where it’s heading.
Printing and packaging companies are always looking for unique ways to expand and grow their businesses. While printers may have historically had a reputation for “tipping a few beers,” not every printer can be a brewer. However, this one is!
Recycling is broken, and we need processes that can handle waste instead of shifting responsibility for handling waste back onto consumers and producers, which will not solve the problem.
Packaging is becoming increasingly important to the print industry after COVID and the specific conditions of the pandemic have further accelerated the use of digital (inkjet and toner) equipment in this space. Smithers editor John Nelson offers some highlights from the new Smithers report, The Future of Digital Print for Packaging to 2026.
A company the size and breadth of the Bobst Group plays a big role in setting the direction of the packaging industry in the future. Their core values of People, Technology, and Financial, with a strong desire to create a more sustainable future, bode well for the many changes ahead.
With the launch of the VariJET 106 and the opening of the Packaging Print Customer Center in Germany this year, it is time to review the offerings Koenig & Bauer has for the packaging market—and they are remarkably comprehensive. The article by European Section Editor Ralf Schlözer reviews the new line-up and provides some details on the recent launches.
It may sound unnecessarily provocative to suggest that digital print in packaging has failed to fulfil expectations, but some of the more idealistic predictions of digital conquest have not yet come to pass. What are the reasons for this? And is the post-COVID world closer to the tipping point? Tim Sykes, Brand Director at Packaging Europe, explores the barriers that may be holding back the digital tide.
Label and packaging procurement reached new heights during the pandemic, and as a result, while there may not have been many live events this year to showcase the latest trends in label and packaging, hardware manufacturers and software developers have been busy—and the industry has been humming along.
Kodak has been successfully operating a transformation strategy that has shored up the company while investing in innovation in their core strengths of print (with an emphasis on digital), advanced materials, and chemicals. With the introduction of an EP press designed for folding carton, packaging, and retail POP, Kodak expands their existing packaging portfolio options to a wider audience.
As print markets adjust to new realities in 2021, there is interest in diversification into security and brand protection features for packaged goods. Smithers editor John Nelson looks at some security printing trends highlighted in the recent Smithers report “The Future of Anti-Counterfeiting, Brand Protection and Security Packaging to 2026.”
While Label Congress was a relatively small event, it appeared to be a very successful one. With a comprehensive educational conference schedule and a small but active expo hall, it delivered what was promised to the exhibitors and, more importantly, to the attendees.
Throughout the industry, from brand identity and messaging to converting and distribution, digital capabilities cause processes in every part of the packaging supply chain to be re-evaluated. Mary Schilling explains how the presence of digital print technology has created stellar opportunities for label, folding carton, and flexible packaging.
Digital technologies in print and finishing are in a continuing race against market shifts—and vice versa. David Zwang explains how both hybrid and bespoke print solutions will play an increasing role, and why we are in for some interesting times.
David Zwang looks at the current state of packaging applications for Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) and Near-Field Communication (NFC), and how and why they are being used.
Paper and packaging companies are not only consumers of natural resources, but they are striving to be protectors of them, too. Here are five “feel good” stories about how members of the paper industry are doing their part.
Recently, Keypoint Intelligence released data from a new vertical market survey that reflects how a classic concept—unboxing—has become today’s news. No company illustrates the power of unboxing more than Apple.
With more products and SKUs out there than ever before, converters must manage a larger number of short runs. As a result, they are spending a lot more time on spot color matching. In this article, sponsored by HP and written by HP Indigo's “Workflow Chef” Gershon Alon, find out how they are dealing with this challenge.
Telemedicine grew more than 6,000% during the pandemic. With that rate of growth, and no preparation, how were healthcare providers expected to provide the care needed remotely for seniors and others who were on extreme lockdown?
As part of our preview of next week’s Technology Outlook Week, David Zwang looks at how label and packaging production is transforming.
Both brand owners and pharmaceutical manufacturers have been much in the spotlight this last year. Packaging, label, and flexographic packaging companies are likely closely examining practices, procedures, training—and the way data is collected and reported. In this article, written and sponsored by HiFlow Solutions, see how an MIS/ERP can be an all-in-one comprehensive solution that not only assists with compliance issues, but can also control costs and improve efficiencies across pharmaceutical manufacturing.
The print label market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% from 2021 to 2026, and last year had a significant impact on consumer purchasing habits—as a result, it also had an impact on labels and packaging in general. David Zwang runs through some of the trends that have started shifting at an increased rate, facilitated by new technologies.
Cary Sherburne talks to Robert Stabler about the latest digital packaging product introductions from Koenig & Bauer Durst, as well as some of the changes the pandemic has brought to the press placement process.
Pharmaceutical packaging compliance, including safety and supply chain visibility, is an area that demands secure packaging and label identification. Many new compliance regulations are designed to verify the authenticity and origin of raw materials and ingredients, and to effectively, quickly, and accurately track and trace the products as they move across a global supply chain. David Zwang looks at these regulations, some of the new technologies in place to comply with them, and how print service providers can ensure they are in compliance.
Like many other industries, pharmaceuticals is going through a transition, and as we have seen before, industries in transition offer opportunities for those who are willing to learn and engage. David Zwang provides an overview of the latest trends in pharma packaging, and how to identify and take advantage of the opportunities.
Customer product reviews are a powerful tool in e-commerce, and positive reviews often make the difference between someone making a purchase or not. Those reviews are in the public domain, so why not use them in print marketing, too? This company did.
As packaging requirements change and the transition to digital printing increases, who will pick up the mantle?
Here are two corrugating companies that have found that production inkjet in place of the litho laminate process makes great operating and financial sense.
2020 was a remarkable year for labels and packaging, particularly digitally printed pressure-sensitive labels, sleeves, flexible packaging, and other high-demand applications for the health, pharma, household, and food industries. The demand for digitally printed labels and packaging has grown significantly during the pandemic and customers are investing more in workflow and automation to manage the load. In this article, sponsored by HP, we spoke with HP Indigo’s Maya Poleg, Head of Products and Solutions, and Esko’s Chuck Ravetto, VP & General Manager, Supplier Solutions, to hear their perspectives on their long-standing relationship, and where they believe the industry is heading.
Color Management is the critical part of any reproduction process, especially as it relates to brand identity. We have good tools today, but as print applications expand beyond conventional media—for example, to packaging and industrial applications—we are starting to outgrow them.
Consumer trends have been shifting for a while. However, the rate of shift is increasing, opening up opportunities for new product innovation and a shift in packaging demands.
Consumer behavior has changed at an alarming rate and will continue to change, opening up new opportunities for new product innovation—and packaging.
On January 7, the Flint Group kicked off the year with an organizational announcement that makes a great deal of sense for its business; in fact, many of us have wondered why it took so long. The company formed a new division, XSYS, which combines Flint Group Flexographic and Xeikon Prepress into a single Flint Group division, led by Dagmar Schmidt as President. Read more for all the details.
2020 was a transformative year, not so much for new and significant developments in label and packaging printing technologies—although there were some—but for triggering increased awareness of the value of digital packaging production. David Zwang looks back at the year’s label and packaging products and technologies.
In biology, “adaptation is the physical or behavioral characteristic of an organism that helps an organism to survive better in the surrounding environment.” When we look at one of the newer requirements of packaging—sustainability—we tend to limit it to the ecological focus, when the more consequential focus relates to adaptation.
The cost of printing has always been important. For packaging, which has volume counted in the tens of thousands to millions of pieces of each, it is a primary focus. Since the product manufacturing and time to market are dependent on it, not only is the cost of packaging important, but also the level of productivity.
Despite the technology’s relative infancy, the choice of digital printers is already so widespread that you have to understand every detail of what you are buying before making a decision. Getting it wrong is likely to be very costly! In this article, corrugated industry veteran Nick Kirby looks all the variables involved in selecting a digital corrugated press.
While product counterfeiting has been an issue for many years, brands are now determined to address the issue head on. Security is becoming a crucial part of the packaging process, especially in the age of COVID.
Can the digital packaging transition learn from commercial print transition experiences, and increase the rate of migration, or are they destined to relive the same growth pains?
Growth projections from the pre-COVID forecast for digital print for packaging are just slightly below the initial 2019 forecast in the short term, while a longer-term forecast looks much more encouraging. However, moving from analog to digital production brings some challenges.
Packaging trends have been shifting since before the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue after it becomes a footnote in history, although perhaps at an accelerated pace. The real drivers for change are the rise of urban living and mega-cities and increased environmental awareness. This all means that packaging-based supply chains will continue to adapt to the growing population centers and drive packaging growth and shifts.
The potential opportunities in corrugated packaging are significant, but like any other process, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. In this article, we will look at some of the technical challenges.
The market for CBD, a cannabis derivative has climbed from $108 million in 2014 to $845 million in 2019. Current projections have the industry growing close to the $2 billion mark by 2022. CBD and cannabis products need not only protection from the elements—they need unique custom containers and packaging that help them stand out. This article, sponsored by Renegade, looks at companies that have incorporated beautiful and innovative design elements with superb materials to stand out on store shelves.
Bespoke or “custom-built” solutions are moving print from a stand-alone process to become a part of the product manufacturing process. David Zwang takes a look at the current bespoke and hybrid packaging solutions, and the advantages they can have over pure digital or analog solutions.
Velox specializes in industrial-scale direct-to-shape digital printing—or, as the company calls it, “decorating”—predominantly on tubes, aerosols, and other cylindrical items. We take a look at the capabilities of Velox’s technology.
WhatTheyThink European section editor Ralf Schlözer takes a close look at today’s announcement that Heidelberg is selling its Gallus label press business, as well as what the future may hold for Heidelberg.
Last week, Miyakoshi Printing Machinery launched the MJP30AXF web-fed digital inkjet press, focused on the short-run, flexible packaging market. The company is positioning the MJP30AXF for success in the fast-growing flexible food and beverage segment by using water-based, pigment inks that the company says are safe for food packaging. Inkjet Insight’s Elizabeth Gooding takes a look at the MJP30AXF.
Packaging has been going through a digital renaissance of late, and as the printing and converting hardware has been evolving, the workflow software to maximize the utilization of that hardware has been evolving as well. Based on these latest updates and solutions, it is apparent that Hybrid is looking at the requirements of Industry 4.0 and the interconnected business and manufacturing landscape.
Highlights from “Digital Packaging: The Time Is Now!” (Napco Research) with a focus on changes in attitudes toward digital packaging and how technology is no longer the limiting factor in adoption.
Kodak has been rebuilding, innovating, and is ready reclaim their leadership position. Refocused direction and new products that will support their customers’ needs will get them there.
There are currently many postprint corrugated solutions out there, yet most have not gained significant traction in the market. Xeikon, their credibility, and the market understanding of Flint, puts them in a great position to enter and even grow the market.
Colorkarma’s Shoshana Burgett asks a male Sephora employee to give her a guided tour of perfume displays whose packaging he especially likes. His choices were eye-opening, and gave Burgett a new perspective on how men may perceive their choices as they pick out gifts for their wives, girlfriends, or partners.
Colordyne 3600 Series AQ – Retrofit Printer Powered by Memjet offers increased flexibility and 3X increase in job throughput for Florida-based label and packaging printer G2 ID Source.
Can a new, more sustainable technology compete in the third largest output value application in packaging? ACTEGA has developed an interesting solution and is poised to find out.
HP has spent the last four years developing ways to overcome the existing production barriers of their EP products and processes. They recently announced LEPx, a unique new imaging technology as an integral component of the V12, their future platform label press.
Whether you’re looking to improve your press operations or your production capabilities, as converters, we need to constantly adapt to changing markets. And 2020 has been one of the biggest curveballs for every business. But one thing remains the same: we need to evolve to maintain relevance. So this year, make the most of what you have and consider what you can do to spend smart and build profits through efficiency. Here are the top 4 ways you can increase your business profitability in 2020.
Consumer attitudes toward packaging are changing. Even as packaging becomes more upscale, more marketing-oriented, and more engaging, consumers exhibit growing wariness about its environmental impacts. What is the industry doing about it?
Pat McGrew looks at some recent examples of label embellishments and explores how you can expand your business with these technology advancements.
As the articles in our series on the cannabis packaging market have shown, this is a high-growth area—but various pitfalls abound. David Zwang talks to several companies producing packaging for the cannabis market and highlights the opportunities they've found and the challenges they faced.
The second in a series of articles about the current cannabis landscape, and the potential opportunities in cannabis product packaging. Market research from Smithers—The Future of Cannabis Packaging to 2024—forecasts that as this market evolves, the value of the packaging for legal cannabis products will rise from $493 million to exceed $1.63 billion in 2024.
The first in a series of articles about the current cannabis landscape. While this is a high-growth market opportunity for packaging converters, it is also still a Wild West environment, and there are many misunderstandings about what it is comprised of, what’s legal and what’s not, and what the actual benefits of cannabis-derived products are from a health and well-being perspective. In this introductory feature, Cary Sherburne provides an overview of the current state of the market, including definitions, and applications, as well as developments in packaging and even apparel.
In 2019, packaging will reach a total global value of $917 billion with demand growing steadily at 2.8% yearly to reach $1.05 trillion in 2024.Rising incomes, growing populations, and rising urbanization are some of the key growth drivers for the global packaging market, according to The Future of Global Packaging to 2024, a new study from Smithers.
As we continue to cover the burgeoning cannabis market and the business opportunities it offers, we spent time talking with Chris Cooper, CEO of California-based Lucent Botanicals, who has taken a different approach to CBD that is taken orally—mints enhanced with a variety of herbs and essences to tune their effects to different consumer requirements. He also shared his packaging strategy for these unique products.
High color corrugated packaging is growing and will continue to grow. The run sizes are getting smaller to adapt to the new market requirements, and the opportunities for print service providers to jump on this moving train abound. In Part 3 of this series, I focus on the available preprint solutions with some limited product mentions. Selecting which method is better is really based on a lot of factors, including your market opportunities, capital investment, production costs, and internal skills. Although making that determination also involves board and run size as well. Both analog and digital presses are and will continue to be in the mix and grow. It’s a pretty exciting time with some great opportunities.
Although UV technology currently dominates the inkjet printing market, aqueous printing is gradually rising. This article provides a brief overview of the inkjet printing market and considers what the future may hold for UV and aqueous technologies.
Demand growth for retail-ready packaging is originating within emerging and transitional economies, with Asia-Pacific accounting for 4.5 million metric tons—nearly half the total global demand—according to Smithers’ latest report, The Future of Retail-Ready Packaging to 2024.
In Part 2 of this series, I focus on the available digital post-print solutions with some limited product mentions. Leading up to drupa, I will cover some of the offerings in greater depth. All of the solutions discussed here are “single pass” printers, where the printheads are stationary and only the media moves. They include complete corrugating equipment with built in printing, to a tabletop printer with lots of other options in between. Equipment pricing ranges from in excess of $4MM to as low as $19K. In summary: Lots of Choices!
There are “two primary” corrugated print manufacturing processes for high graphics: a multi-process method of printing on a top sheet (liner) which is then laminated to the corrugated material, or, alternatively, a single process method of printing directly on the corrugated material, sometimes called “post-print.” In this article, we will look at the award-winning Bobst THQ (Très Haute Qualité) FlexoCloud technology focused on corrugated post-print production, and perhaps some alternative methods.
One of the more active growth areas for print service providers and of digital printing equipment development is corrugated, and for good reason. Estimates of corrugated shipments in North America are in excess of 420 billion square feet and growing. Estimates for three or more color “high graphics” corrugated production is growing as well with actual output for 2019 anticipated to have 20%–30% share of the overall corrugated volume. Overall, this is an exciting market with a lot of growth potential.
At drupa 2016, Landa Labs introduced Nano Metallography, a new metallization technology to replace foils for embellishments. This process is designed to produce zero waste at less than half the cost of foil. In February of 2017, Actega Metal Print, a division of Altana AG, acquired the technology and rebranded it EcoLeaf. The solution is now going into beta and will be fully commercialized in time for drupa 2020.
The packaging world is evolving across shape, form, and function. Agencies and designers have novel canvases to work with. Here are a few packaging trends being seen in various markets, and why each is unique.
Uteco and Kodak have just announced that they sold the first UTECO Sapphire EVO W product production inkjet press designed for flexible packaging. The “W” refers to “Wide” since this press has a 1250 mm (49 in.) width. The EVO W is the first press to be powered by the Kodak ULTRASTREAM technology. The press supports a higher resolution of 600 x 1800 dpi at up to 150 mpm (492 fpm). Overall productivity can be 4X over existing digital solutions.
A cosmetic chemist who has worked with some of the largest beauty brands, Stas Chirkov saw an opportunity to develop his own line of skincare products based on industrial hemp. In this article, he explains how he got started and details how specialized packaging impacts his ability to market his products.
The market for CBD-based products is exploding, and will grow even more once a few of the regulatory issues have been ironed out. California-based CannaBath is an example of an entrepreneurial company that has brought CBD-based bath and body products to market and has benefited from a creative approach to packaging these products in partnership with San Diego-based Hippo Packaging.
BOBST has been providing solutions to the printing and packaging industries for four generations, and more recently has added digital textile printing to the mix. Cary Sherburne talks with CEO Jean-Pascal Bobst.
The 2019 Digital Packaging Summit (November 11–13) makes keeping a finger on the pulse of the industry a little easier. The equipment and technology providers, packaging and label manufacturers, and analysts in attendance gathered together for a master's level educational experience. This article provides a brief overview of the event and its benefits to the industry.
This month, AB InBev will launch a campaign for its Beck’s brand in the UK using glass bottles that were printed via “direct object printing” inkjet technology. ABI has partnered with Dekron to develop its first UV printing line for high-speed inkjet digital printing of glass bottles. Ths article provides a brief overview of the campaign.
Neenah Packaging recently introduced a new line of hemp fiber folding board to address unique packaging needs in the exploding CBD market. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke to Neenah’s Brand Manager, Michelle Turner, to learn more.
In case you haven’t been following it, the market for products containing CBD—or cannabinoid derived from the hemp plant—is growing rapidly. It’s really only taken off in the U.S. since the approval of the 2018 Farm Bill legalized CBD extracted from industrial hemp with less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. Hippo Packaging in San Diego is focused on meeting the unique packaging needs for this emerging market segment.
The trends in labels and packaging have become pretty well-defined in 2019 and will remain a significant focus going forward. The four primary trends are; increased quality, short and on-demand production runs, an increase in personalization, and a focus on sustainability. These trends along with the corresponding messaging will continue to evolve and resonate throughout 2020 and beyond.
There are many ways to segment digital print technologies at Labelexpo 2019, with electrophotography and inkjet being the most obvious. This article explores a different split—digital printers designed for print-for-pay service providers vs. those dedicated to print-for-use end-users. It also considers how technological changes will affect the flexible packaging market.
In 2018, the world produced about $36 trillion worth of manufactured goods, almost all of which was packaged, protected, and shipped in some form of industrial packaging. This article provides some top-level results from Smithers Pira’s new study of this sector, The Future of Industrial Packaging to 2024. According to the study, the value of these formats will reach nearly $66 billion in 2024, growing from an estimated $56.1 billion in 2019.
Labelexpo 2019 was an interesting event. There were a lot of hybrid presses being shown: flexo presses with inkjet or toner digital integrated imaging; digital presses with flexo imaging in order to get the great opaque white needed for many labels and flexible packaging or precoating for plastics, etc.; a variety of presses with inline enhancement capabilities, etc. But, perhaps the whole hybrid evolution is really just a part of the industry digital transformation and transition to the real end game: purpose-built or bespoke solutions.
Labelexpo 2019, celebrating its 40th anniversary, launched in Brussels to a huge group of more than 600 exhibitors and a very large global audience of attendees. In this first article, David Zwang looks at general trends at the event.
The adoption of production inkjet so far has narrowly targeted mid to high-end production requirements. However, light production including higher-end departmental MFP devices currently addressed by EP (toner) devices is a significant portion of the market. Memjet just introduced a low-cost single pass OEM printhead solution to target that market. The tide may be turning…
drupa 2020 is only about eight months away and the rumors and anticipation are starting to heat up. Very much like drupa, Labelexpo is truly a global event. And don’t let the name fool you: it isn’t just about labels. There is also flexible packaging and of course lots of innovative finishing and media being showcased. Even if you are not in label or flexible packaging production, this event offers you a preview of things to come—although you may need to connect the dots.
With a market value exceeding $110 billion in 2019, the cartonboard packaging industry will experience high growth at the end-user level, approaching $150 billion in 2024, according to Smithers Pira’s latest report, The Future of Folding Cartons to 2024. This growth is driven by the sustainability movement and increasing demand in emerging regions.
The ongoing digital transformation has created problems for commercial printers, namely electronic displacement. As a result, many have turned to digital wide-format equipment to add new revenue streams. Nevertheless, with more PSPs adapting wide format, this service is no longer the differentiator it once was. Commercial printers looking for the next value-add product stream should examine packaging, particularly the folding carton and label segments, to find new revenue opportunities.
One of the hottest topics in packaging print today is corrugated, and for many reasons. One of those is that it is a market area showing a solid growth trajectory. So, what are the areas of growth, and what are some of the challenges that will affect the growth of digital print, more specifically production inkjet, in corrugated?
According to a recent study by the European Printing Inks Association (EuPIA), the share of offset printing inks is less than 2% of the overall eco footprint of the printed paper material or paper packaging on which they are used.
Benny Landa first introduced the concept of “Nanography” at drupa 2012. There was a reaffirmation of the introduction at drupa 2016, and since then, lots of quiet. It turns out the quiet was self-imposed, and in the interim Landa has been very busy building an organization and shipping presses.
Esko held its 28th EskoWorld in Nashville with an audience of over 550 attendees. Since its inception, this has been a go-to event for those in packaging production and signage, although the audience is now growing with about 25% of which were brand owners. This plays nicely into the theme “Packaging Connected.”
Memjet’s second-generation technology, DuraLink, achieved its first commercial placements from a few OEMs, and is now expanding into industrial applications. This article provides an overview of DuraLink technology, explores how it compares to VersaPass, and considers how Memjet’s offering may compare to more established industrial jetting technologies.
Keypoint Intelligence – Infotrends’ Ralf Schlozer reports from last week’s open house at Germany’s Edelmann Group, where the company was demonstrating its Landa S10 for folding carton production. Landa aims to step up its press installations through the rest of 2019.
In Part 2 of “Rebirth of Flexo,” David Zwang looks at an example of a flexo solution and its components that provides a significant deterrent to the onslaught of production inkjet in packaging production.
During new printing technology introductions there has usually been displacement and realignment of the existing print technology roles. During those transformational times, there are many old and new options. Packaging production is now going through one of these periods, raising the question: what type of print technology is best? In packaging production, this decision is getting harder, as a result of the rebirth of flexo printing.
We are seeing significant advancements in label and packaging production in both digital and analog production. However, one thing in common is rapid growth. Global Graphics released the Harlequin RIP v12 about a year ago with some of the new PDF 2.0 features. This new Harlequin RIP/Renderer v12.1 has added many additional features designed for print and further targeted at label and packaging production. David Zwang takes an in-depth look at this new release.
In this age of digital print transformation, what is so exciting about the rebirth of a plate manufacturer? Well, first of all, it is a flexographic plate manufacturer, and second, it was formerly owned by Kodak. With this new life, how will Miraclon leverage their expertise to grow into a market leader?
The 2019 Xeikon Café event, which took place in late March, attracted 1,000+ visitors from about 250 companies. This article provides a brief overview of Xeikon’s recent progress while also discussing the effects of its annual event.
Functional and barrier coatings are extremely important in the production of paper and board packaging as they provide a protective barrier against water and water vapor, oil and grease, and oxygen and aromas. The barrier coatings industry faces ongoing change in preferred material usage as governments and brands increasingly look for alternatives to plastic packaging for sustainability and recycling purposes. A new report from Smithers Pira details these new sustainability initiatives.
Whether you are already a converter or are a print service provider looking at expanding your product and services portfolio, it is important to develop a long-term strategy in order to capture your share of the changing and developing market. In this new series, David Zwang takes a deep dive into the opportunities, changes, and challenges that you need to focus on in Labels and Packaging.
We have all seen the studies and even experienced first-hand the value of personalization in direct mail and other forms of communication. But what about the value of personalization in products and packaging? There are a lot of projections into what the market value “could” be, but how do you take advantage of that?
The demand for luxury packaging across the world continues to increase. Sustainability, e-commerce, and material trends are driving the luxury packaging market and will continue to shape it over the next five years. A new Smithers Pira report details these key products, materials, and market trends.
New research from Smithers Pira forecasts growth opportunities for suppliers in the printed food packaging market, driven by trends including sustainability, and premiumization features such as 3D and metallized effects on packaging. That growth will come in the context of navigating continual developments in the regulatory landscape for food contact materials, however.
Kodak Enterprise Inkjet Systems Division (EISD) has officially put a stake in the ground—and that stake is positioned in the heart of volume label and packaging production. While they have been flirting around the edges of packaging production since drupa 2012, outwardly their focus has seemed to be in their legacy wheelhouse; transactional, direct mail, and commercial print. That is about to change, and in fact it already has….
MGI’s AlphaJET is unique and it goes to the core of their company’s DNA: building “application-based” printing presses. However, it is designed to support a much wider range of solutions than just commercial printing applications, with a primary focus on packaging and industrial. It sure looks like a print factory…
2019 has all the potential to become a pivotal year in print and packaging. It is a Hunkeler Innovation Days year and the leadup year to drupa 2020…and available technology is maturing. Strap yourselves in for an exciting year!
Esko has been the premier provider of software and hardware solutions for label and packaging prepress. Now that the market is changing, what are they doing to address these new requirements? A lot!
How do you reinvent a 160-year-old business to address the new market requirements? This is a challenge that we have been seeing over and over again, and many companies have not been able to make that change. Heidelberg seems to have found the formula that looks at their internal organization, but more importantly, at their customers’ changing requirements as well.
As if you needed one more reason to add packaging to your product mix! A new study from WestRock, a leading provider of differentiated paper and packaging solutions, shows that consumers are loving packaging more than ever. The study, “2018 Packaging Matters,” outlines the key factors that influence consumer decisions.
Smithers Pira shares its recent research that looks at the future of packaging to 2028, quantifying the overall market by packaging type and identifying the major emerging drivers of packaging market growth.
Flexography is going through a renaissance. While it has been around since the late 19th century, it has never really had a role in “quality” printing, although that seems to be changing. This change is proving that it can fight off the increased use of digital printing for packaging production with better productivity and lower cost. In this article, David Zwang looks at one of the more significant changes facilitating that transformation.
Labelexpo 2018 in Rosemont, Ill., and PRINT 18 in Chicago are over, and it they were pretty exciting shows. The crowds were enthusiastic and buying from early indications. In this second of two parts I will look at how embellishment is moving from a standalone mechanical process to digital mainstream production.
Labelexpo 2018 in Rosemont (Chicago area) is over, and it was an exciting show. The crowds were enthusiastic and, from early indications, buying. In this first of two parts, I will look at interesting press hardware trends.
Labelexpo 2018 in Rosemont (Chicago area) was very busy for the first day. This is David Zwang’s initial report from that event and that day. More to come.
HYBRID Software has been growing at a fairly good clip and this new $20 million software deployment by the SGK Brand Solutions subsidiary of Matthews International is going to give it an additional boost. More importantly, the new software, Shockwave, their development project name, is a great example of a next-generation workflow solution that was developed for the new market requirements.
Labelexpo is coming to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 15 minutes from Chicago’s O’Hare airport, on September 25–27. This is the biggest Label and Print packaging event in the Americas. However, what will be seen there will also prove to be a harbinger for many of the new developments coming to other print production applications.
When it comes to the environmental benefits of flexible packaging, the laundry list is long. On the surface, flexible packaging offers a vast number of benefits over other forms of packaging. The challenge to these comparisons, however, is that flexible packaging isn’t doing a one-to-one replacement. How does this impact the accuracy of the discussion?
New research from Smithers Pira highlights the future growth potential and technical challenges for printing food packaging, and how these will be realized against a backdrop of tighter focus on safety and environmental performance.
Color management standards and process controls have helped raise the bar on defining and meeting client expectations in color reproduction. However, as we see more cross-platform and cross-media packaging and marketing campaigns, how can we accurately predict, prepare, and communicate expected results?
Although digitally printed corrugated packages serve to enclose products, develop displays, and create shipping containers, they can also be used as billboards for savvy brands to advertise and increase consumer engagement. This article explores how brands can take advantage of printed packaging to differentiate their marketing messages.
Smithers Pira presents the highlights of its latest study, identifying the top 20 technical innovations that will underpin a greener and more sustainable future for packaging.
Ecommerce has created a new demand for custom corrugated boxes. To satisfy that demand, the purchase of Plymouth Packaging by WestRock has created a new momentum for producing custom sized boxes on demand at a time when the demand for variable-sized boxes in exploding.
Smithers Pira hosted two terrific digital printing conferences in Chicago earlier this month—Digital Print for Packaging and Digital Textile Printing. Both had great content and were very interactive. In this article, we’ve just scratched the surface of what was covered. We highly recommend putting these conferences on your calendar for next year!
Leading companies in the labels business are benefiting from smart workflow automation. While some feel intimidated by the thought of changing a workflow that works—maybe not as well as it could—we've talked to folks who have made the transition and can't imagine how they actually functioned before.
Technological advances and market trends are forever changing the face of flexographic printing. Smithers Pira values the global flexo print market in 2013 at $147 billion, with a forecast for 2.3% CAGR. Key to this growth are packaging-related industries including corrugated board packaging, flexible packaging, bags and sacks, and others.
Canon is not just entering the label and packaging press market, but challenging the current label press market with the new Océ LabelStream 4000, a 5-color inkjet hybrid UV press that continues to show their strengths in production inkjet.
At RADTECH, David Zwang saw an interesting solution from a young startup company, LUMII, for label and packaging security. Imagine a high-tech moiré that can provide visually 3D security printing inline without the need for external embellishments or to apply post print.
In 2018, the combined active and intelligent packaging market value is projected to reach $5.68 billion and will continue to present new value-adding options in the future according to the latest market analysis from Smithers Pira. Read on for more highlights of Smithers Pira’s latest report.
One of the high points of the Color Conference held earlier this year was a talk by Lisa Price, Design Operations Director at 3M. I was able to speak to Lisa recently to get a little more detail about her very successful Print Quality Management Program that helps her manage a network of more than 700 printers worldwide. Read more.
New research from Smithers Pira points to major growth for corrugated in serving the fast-developing e-commerce packaging markets. Read on for more detail.
Within the direct-to-shape printing for packaging market, digital printing is generally growing as a complement to offset, flexo, and other analog presses that print labels, folding cartons, flexible packaging, and corrugated. This article explores the direct-to-shape market by answering some basic questions about it.
UTECO Group, in conjunction with Kodak, has released and will be installing the first Sapphire EVO aqueous-based production hybrid inkjet press for flexible packaging. This newly designed press significantly raises the bar on production speed while lowering operational costs compared with existing digital solutions.
Great Northern Corporation added an HP PageWide T400S inkjet press to its operation last year to bring more flexibility to its unique ultra-strong folding cartons. In this post, learn how Great Northern is leveraging offset and digital for more efficiency, and the approach the company has taken to filling the gap between corrugated and folding carton.
In this series, David Zwang will look at the new requirements for print and packaging manufacturing, and how the demands and opportunities of Industry 4.0 are being facilitated by new bespoke production and workflow methods. In this article in the series, he looks at ink and why it is the key technology.
At DScoop 2018 this week, HYBRID Software announced PACKZalyzer, HP PrintOS-compatible software that “will allow order entry or customer service personnel to receive files from clients and get them ready for production before they enter the prepress department.” David Zwang comments on this announcement.
In this series, David Zwang will look at how the new requirements of print and packaging manufacturing, and how the demands and opportunities of Industry 4.0, are being facilitated by new bespoke production and workflow methods. He will look at the requirements, technologies, methods, and educational processes necessary to bring it all together. In this article, he looks at some of the issues that can and should drive a decision.
HP’s Media day focused on packaging this year, which is a very hot topic. This article explores how the PageWide Industrial C500 cut-sheet corrugated inkjet printer expands the number of options for corrugated packages and the people who design them for brands.
In this new series David Zwang will look at how the new requirements of print and packaging manufacturing, and how the demands and opportunities of Industry 4.0, are being facilitated by new bespoke production and workflow methods. He will look at the requirements, technologies, methods and the educational processes necessary to bring it all together. In this installment of the series, he takes an initial look at an interesting new software development that significantly improves the quality of inkjet imaging.
New systems are emerging that can print directly onto three-dimensional objects, especially cups, glasses, and bottles, to serve what is emerging as a lucrative promotional drinkware market. In this feature, Richard Romano looks at direct-to-object offerings from Xerox, Inkcups, and Engineered Printing Solutions.
In this series, David Zwang will look at the new requirements for print and packaging manufacturing, and how the demands and opportunities of Industry 4.0 are being facilitated by new bespoke production and workflow methods. He will look at the requirements, technologies, methods, and the educational processes necessary to bring it all together. In this article in the series, he takes an initial look at facilitating technologies that are driving the growth of these solutions.
In this new series David Zwang will look at how the new requirements of print and packaging manufacturing, and how the demands and opportunities of Industry 4.0 are being facilitated by new bespoke production and workflow methods. He will look at the requirements, technologies, methods and the educational processes necessary to bring it all together. In this article in the series, he takes an initial look at drivers and solutions.
We have a new report out, the Printing Forecast 2018, based in large part on the results of our Fall 2017 Print Business Outlook survey. There is quite a lot in the 172-page report, but here are some highlights specific to label and packaging printing. Thus far, commercial plants don't see tremendous opportunities in digital label or packaging—but that may be changing.
In this new series, David Zwang will look at how the new requirements of print and packaging manufacturing, and how the demands and opportunities of Industry 4.0, are being facilitated by new bespoke production and workflow methods. These new methods are becoming available as a result of the evolution of current and emerging digital technologies. He will look at the requirements, technologies, methods and the educational processes necessary to bring it all together. In this first article in the series, he takes a look at the changing landscape to lay the groundwork for future discussion.
The PDF format is gaining acceptance in packaging production. As a result, prepress and converting companies are finding new ways to automate and optimize their processes.
Direct-To-Shape (DTS) has become a commonly used term in recent times. We want to try to clarify a little around the definition of DTS and to describe the state of this particular art. We are prompted to do this by our recent visit to the InPrint Europe Industrial Print show in Milan, Italy, where there was a lot of discussion of the potential of DTS as a market.
Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is a powerful tool that can be used to benchmark, identify areas for improvement, and measure progress. It combines equipment availability, performance, and quality (waste) into a single metric.
CMYK, XCMYK, CMYKOVG, ECG, Fixed Palette – so many terms to describe various types of process printing. What do they all mean and why should you care? We’ll explore all of that in this article.
Overview of the annual update on release liner for pressure-sensitive labels by industry market research firm AWA (Alexander Watson Associates).
Following last week’s announcement of the strategic alliance between EFI and Xeikon, transferring sales, marketing and service responsibility for Jetrion inkjet label presses to Xeikon, Zwang and Sherburne had the opportunity to speak with Benoit Chatelard, President & CEO of Flint Group Digital Solutions, to gain a bit more depth to the story. He was joined by Mark Brussel, CFO.
This week, after several months of negotiation, EFI announced a strategic partnership with Xeikon whereby sales, marketing and servicing for the Jetrion line of digital UV inkjet label printers would be transferred to Xeikon with the Jetrion trademark and ownership of ink manufacturing remaining with EFI. Zwang and Sherburne dug into the details.
It seems like we just finished with drupa 2016, yet Labelexpo Europe 2017 appeared to be a subset extension of that event. Everyone in Label production on any level from around the globe was there, showing and looking at the latest products and trends. It is a very exciting time, with a very promising future for label production. In part one of this two-part series, we looked at some of the major trends and product announcements at the show. In part two of the series, David continues to look a bit deeper at some trends and some interesting futures.
Radtech’ first UV+EB Packaging Conference last week featured suppliers, vendors, and brand owners surveying the current packaging landscape, with an emphasis on food packaging and safety.
Today, Idealliance announced a new program – BrandQ, designed to provide brands with the proper tools and language to better manage print quality across complex supply chains. What is not addressed in the press release is what that means for packaging converters and suppliers to the industry. We spoke with Idealliance Vice President, Global Print Technologies & Workflows, Tim Baechle to find out more.
Yesterday, EFI announced the acquisition of Escada Systems, a provider of Corrugator Control Systems for the packaging market. The UK company adds another puzzle piece to EFI’s growing ecosystem for corrugated, with its earlier acquisition of CTI (ERP) and development of Nozomi (direct-to-corrugated printer). We spoke with Nick Benkovich to get the inside story.
HP and others introduced a new range of inkjet corrugated printing presses at drupa 2016. Many of them were improvements and advancements on existing multi-pass machines, but a few, including the EFI Nozomi and the HP PageWide C500, offered unique single-pass inkjet mainstream production solutions. These new machines open up a wide range of new opportunities for using corrugated in mainstream packaging. However, the HP PageWide C500 may be the only solution at this point that can bring this to primary ‘food safe’ packaging.
In this article, Sean Smyth – Print Consultant with Smithers Pira examines the results of a new report that looks at the growth of Digital Print for Packaging to 2022. This report breaks down the projected growth by packaging application, and shows some surprising results.
In this article, David looks beyond the hardware at prepress, and how new developments will play a significant role in driving the growth of digital packaging production. This is not surprising, since we have been here before in other areas of the industry.
Last month, I attended EskoWorld for the first time. This was the 26th EskoWorld, so I am a little slow on the uptake. But the event was well worth attending and had quite a different feel from other user groups I have attended.
Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) can be used to both measure your production efficiency, as well as use it as a tool for making equipment purchasing decision.
Augmented Reality has the potential to open a world of possibilities for brand owners who are seeking to drive an immersive consumer interaction with their products. When applied to packaging, the digital information is visible through mobile or tablet devices and is enabled by an app. Customers are becoming more receptive to AR, and this article explores how brand owners are leveraging packaging to integrate the technology into the customer experience.
On a recent visit to Belgium, I attended a Esko press briefing scheduled in conjunction with the company’s Flexo Innovation Day customer event.
In this article, David looks at the role of Hybrid Press Solutions to bridge the gap between conventional and digital label production, and even a takes a glance at what these types of solutions mean for other types of packaging.
The shift from analog to digital production in this area has already started, with the real growth ahead of us. This offers some perspective on the transition from conventional production to digital production in the label business. While there is significant forward movement in digital, and for the right reasons, it still represents only a small fraction of the total production mix.
It’s not just digital printing technology that is affecting packaging, The way that we are packaging is changing as well. For example, have you noticed how many different kinds of food and beverage items are now available in non-rigid containers? Advances in materials and processes for high-barrier pouches mean that wine (for example) no longer has to come only in bottles.
In his new role as Senior Editor of Packaging and Labels, David will be looking at the demands, technologies and the inflection points that are driving the use and growth of digital packaging and labels. The shift from analog to digital production in this area has already started, with the real growth ahead of us. In this article, David takes a look at the some of the drivers and constraints for migration from conventional to digital processes in packaging and label production. There are more moving parts than you might expect.
In looking at some of the changing paradigms made possible through new packaging technologies, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne takes a look at one that is emblematic of those changes. Those large boxes with lots of filler that you get when ordering products online are about to get smaller, if CMC Machinery has anything to say about it.
In his new role as Senior Editor of Labels and Packaging, David will be looking at the demands, technologies and inflection points that are driving the use and growth of digital packaging and labels. The shift from analog to digital production in this area has already started, with the real growth still ahead of us.
Packaging is now a significant part of the EFI platform, and the subject got its fair share of attention at the 17th edition of the company’s annual customer-education event.
It wasn’t the sole focus of the event, but packaging was well represented in INKredible’s salute to print’s place at the table in the omnichannel environment.
A label shop serving customers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border found everything it was looking for, and more, in a highly capable inkjet web press from Epson.
Given all of the mandates and expectations placed on packaging today, there may be something socially significant to add to the list of traditional packaging functions.
Neoterix ST gives medical institutions and other germ-fighting environments the first completely non-toxic solution for blocking bacterial growth on high-touch surfaces.
To many, Australia may seem to be on the far side of the world, but the business issues confronting packaging and label producers there are much the same as they are anywhere else. A recent conference by a newly formed trade association addressed some of them.
Radiation-curable inks and coatings represent a world market that is forecast to grow at a healthy CAGR of 4.1% to 2019, with cartons and labels claiming the largest share. But, making sure that curable fluids are safe for food packages remains a prime concern for the entire packaging supply chain.
Imagine a press so thoroughly automated that it almost seems to be a member of its own crew. This is what Heidelberg says it has made possible with the concept it calls “Push to Stop.”
The first sale to a U.S. customer refocuses attention on the 110" inkjet platform with which HP intends to revolutionize printing on corrugated.
Although not a show about labels and packaging per se, Graph Expo proved to be a worthwhile place to go for information on innovative ways of producing them.
Corrugated packaging protects effectively, presents handsomely, and succeeds environmentally. What’s not to like or to give credit where due?
We interact with packages so much and so often that we sometimes begin to merge with them—and they with us.
Food waste is a shameful spectacle wherever it occurs. The problem is global, but so are efforts to solve it with new solutions for extending the edible lives of packaged foods.
What will motivate packaging printers to adopt digital presses? Personalization may be a key selling point, but it isn’t primarily what will drive installation of these machines.
If the rise of digital printing for packaging is starting to look irresistible, there are reasons —technological and market-driven—behind the momentum it is gathering.
Embracing international standards, OSHA now has a new set of rules for designing labels used with hazardous materials. Label giant Avery offers tools to make compliance easier.
The Paper Converting Machine Company is North America’s only remaining manufacturer of CI flexo presses. It’s also distinguished by the humanistic style of its leadership—a management philosophy that cherishes employees as family members.
The disconnect between flexible packaging and inkjet printing is wide, but not necessarily unbridgeable. Fujifilm thinks it has the answer in an innovative LED-UV inkjet press it showed at drupa 2016.
Making packages more recyclable, lighter, shapelier, and safer will be the principal drivers for the industrial packaging market through to 2020.
Release liners and specialty tapes may not be the highest-profile segments of labeling, but their applications span a surprisingly wide range of commercial and industrial end-uses. A recent conference in Vienna underscored their role and importance.
In one way or another, the changes will alter the labeling of virtually every packaged food and beverage product. But, label producers expect to be able to take it all in stride.
The demand for packaging is growing everywhere, but the growth is far from being uniform or monolithic. As always, consumer trends and preferences dictate which packaging formats will gain the most market share.
A new label and package printing company is open for business in Lowell, MA. It's called InTouch Labels & Packaging, and while its start-up footprint may be small, its ambitions are anything but.
Digital printing for flexible packaging has been slow to take hold, but a start-up company in Madison, WI, says it is equipped and ready for a fast break into this potentially lucrative market.
The business of printing labels and packaging is changing with almost unnerving speed. Made reassuringly clear at drupa was the fact that new technologies for label and packaging production can give printers the capabilities they must have.
drupa 2016 wasn’t exclusively a packaging show, but for label- and packaging-minded visitors, it might as well have been—there was that much to see and be impressed by.
Ohio based Innovative Labeling Solutions and HP Indigo are out to demonstrate that digital printing can become as widely used for flexible packaging as it is for labels.
SKU proliferation and the difficulty of staying relevant are challenging brand owners as never before. The answers they seek in digitally printed labels and packages await them in abundance at drupa.
Warren Werbitt is a passionate printer, and one of his most successfully cultivated passions is the production of high-quality, high-margin labels and packaging.
In 2008, this full-service label & packaging company saw the writing on the wall with respect to the looming impact of digital printing technologies on its business and wanted to get ahead of the curve with digital adoption.
Sappi’s credentials as a supplier of coated fine papers are impeccable. Now the company is taking steps to achieve the same high profile as a source of papers for packaging and labels.
For printers and packaging converters looking to take advantage of the market opportunities offered by customized or personalized packaging, the Zoxxbox story is an interesting one. Learn how the company is leveraging digital tools to make customized packaging an affordable reality in this article sponsored by XMPie.
HP’s sense of itself as a change agent for digital printing is strong. The very broad range of digital solutions it will show at drupa 2016 befits the size of its ambition.
A decision to attend drupa 2016 represents a major investment of time and travel expense. The director of the global event talks about why label and packaging producers are among those who should most seriously consider making it.
Digital printing is no longer a tangential technology for packaging—it’s a mainstream process for brands that want to stay fully engaged with consumers. An authority on brand management explains why.
To build a multi-capable network of companies, what better place to begin than the label and packaging business? Just ask Christopher Che.
The user conference was too wide-ranging to have a single keynote, but it was a good place to catch up with what EFI is doing to streamline packaging workflows.
There are those who envision a future free or nearly free of packaging. Although it might seem unachievable, some tentative steps in that direction have been taken.
Look around the produce section of your supermarket. Notice how many colorfully printed flexible bags there are? Meet the company that put some of them there.
Now a committed developer of digital printing systems, Heidelberg knows where it wants to go in the digital equipment market and what it can do to get there.
A special report ahead of drupa 2016 sees the event as the setting for a turning point in the adoption of digital printing for packaging production.
A promotional campaign for paper and packaging goes for the heartstrings with special boxes to be filled with gifts for kids spending the holidays in hospitals.
2015 was a chock-full-of-news year on the technology front—but only a curtain-raiser for what lies ahead in 2016.
Santa Claus, who knows a thing or two about packaging, has a sackful of innovations for fans of the art form this year.
Two technology leaders want to take digital printing for packaging to the next level—and to several levels after that—with a 110-inch-wide web inkjet press specifically for the corrugated market.
Take another look at the tried-and-true stuff that shipping cartons are made of. Some top developers of packaging printing technology are.
Packaging isn’t everything at Island Pro Digital, a printing company with a highly diversified product base. But, it represents some of the most interesting work that the firm fabricates for its clients.
That old hippie mood ring you’d die of embarrassment to be seen wearing now? It was the cutting edge of an important decorative technology for labels and packaging.
A growth forecast of half a percentage point per year may not sound like much, but it indicates undeniable post-recession momentum for the folding carton market.
A label and carton company doesn’t get to be 137 years old without having made an unwavering commitment to quality. The 137-year-old label and carton company profiled here has done it by adopting a well-known philosophy of continuous improvement as its playbook.
Stink-squelching film, inkless color printing, and built-in 3D bar codes are three recent laboratory innovations that could be commercialized as packaging problem-solvers.
Exhibits at this innovation-packed event said it all about the accelerating advance of digital technologies into every segment of the label printing market.
Pressure-sensitive labels account for half of all release liner applications. Conferees at this event found no shortage of opportunities to discuss technical advances and market challenges.
People don’t like packages that look as though they contain more than is actually inside them. But, prosecutors and class-action attorneys do.
A dust-sized anti-counterfeiting tag for medicine pills? Turns out the idea isn’t hard to swallow or digest.
Anyone who has ever picked up a glossy magazine probably has touched SAPPI publication paper. Now the company hopes to achieve the same kind of ubiquity with its packaging papers.
The advantages of flexible films—economy, versatility, convenience, and bio-adaptability—will make flexible packaging one of the most opportune growth markets in packaging over the next several years.
Those who came to the show in search of answers for packaging production should have had no trouble locating them in the vendor stands and specialty areas where packaging solutions were being featured.
Not every packaging printer has what it takes to pass muster with this performance-certifying organization. But, those that clear GMI’s high bar can claim elite status among packaging service suppliers.
Packaging professionals who haven’t yet decided whether to invest in a trip to the show still have time to give the idea the serious consideration it deserves.
It’s impossible to take controversy out of certain kinds of products—or the packages they come in. More consumer-goods packaging is starting to feel the heat.
As consumers demand more variety, food packaging production gets harder to stay ahead of—but not if the producer is as well equipped and as versatile as this market leader.
Technical advancements and process improvements in flexography should keep it secure in its key applications. even in the face of competition from digital.
Advancements in flexible materials have made them mainstay substrates for food and beverage packaging all around the world. A new report foresees solid growth for the sector in most regions from now through 2020.
For many people, an empty package is an artist’s kit full of creative opportunity. Brand owners may not fully appreciate how they benefit when their packaging is repurposed for fun or practicality by end-using consumers.
According to Josh Linkner’s book entitled The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation, some leaders freeze instead of acting because they are concerned about the consequences of change. This article explores how McBattas disrupted the status quo and reinvented itself with digital folding cartons.
Companies that print food labels work hard to make sure that the information on them is correct. It’s a matter of professional pride and, very often, also one of complying with the law. But, out there in the consumer marketplace, who cares?
Flexo and inkjet make a whole greater than the sum of the parts in an advanced UV label press that combines the most useful features of each process.
“Open Up to Cans” is what consumers are being urged to do by a can makers’ trade association. But, when it come to beverages, most already have.
Packaging is one area of the printing industry where growth continues. But it is not without its challenges. Learn how leading packaging converters are leveraging digital technology to address time-to-market challenges and developing new revenue streams in this article sponsored by Highcon.
What would Bubble Wrap be without poppability? Alas, we are about to find out.
This privately owned folding carton company follows a straight line from its family values to its strategies for business growth.
Sleeves are coming on strong as labeling options as numerous technological advances make them more attractive to work with. A recent event in Florida covered some of the most important ones.
There’s strength in numbers—and in “clusters” of businesses like the ones that have come together to reinvigorate paper manufacturing in Massachusetts.
Typography for packaging design will never be the same after Hermann Zapf—and always will be.
In a perfect world, food and beverage producers wouldn't have to spend billions to protect themselves against bogus packaging. But, at least they have effective ways to spend the money.
Digital printing for packaging has room to grow and the means to achieve that growth. There was plenty of room for discussion about making it happen at a recent symposium of experts in Tampa.
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, it may be because someone has printed or drawn the moon (or another visually arresting image) on the box.
Trust, a handshake, and an eye on luxury packaging are behind the newly formed partnership between Mohawk and Arjowiggins Creative Papers.
In a package, you see the design, but you experience the engineering: the underlying combination of technical merits that make it practical to use as well as delightful to behold.
Rochester, NY, is distinguished for many things connected to the printing industry. Hammer Packaging is keeping that tradition alive in an exceptionally employee-friendly way.
Deciding when packaged food has gone bad is a tough call that we often get wrong. At MIT, they’ve come up with a guesswork-eliminating solution.
Can flexography do a better job with opaque whites, hard-to-hold details, and other hurdles for packaging printing with the process? Kodak says yes.
If you don’t think of Xerox’s iGen4 as a packaging press, think again. In Europe, the platform is showing off what it can do in folding cartons for consumer-product and pharmaceutical applications.
Every beverage bottle must have a label to identify and brand the product—correct? Not necessarily, says the developer of a direct-printing alternative.
Established seven years ago, this small but visionary shop is a case study in the rise of digital technologies in the label printing segment.
How an earth-friendly cleaning products company called method scours the ocean for plastic waste it can recycle into material for new containers.
A vertically integrated ink manufacturer, Sun Chemical takes a concept-to-shelf approach to packaging with a broad range of products and services for printers and converters.
The How2Recycle Label is a much-needed visual cue in the right place at the right time.
Eliminate the peel-away part of a pressure sensitive label while protecting it from the adhesive on the backs of the other labels it’s rolled or stacked with: it can be done and is being done in the solution known as linerless labeling.
With its acquisition of Domino Printing Sciences, Brother Industries has made a strong move into industrial inkjet printing with applications including high-speed, full-color label production.
When designers forget that that the product experience, not the act of opening the package, is what consumers are paying for, things can get stressful.
While we are waiting for flowers to bloom in the spring, we can admire the recent crop of plant openings or expansions in various segments of the packaging industry.
High, wide, and in its own way, handsome: that’s the kind of machine HP and KBA are out to build in HP’s T1100 Simplex Color Inkjet Web Press, a solution meant to introduce digital printing to top liners for corrugated packaging.
The Constantia Flexibles Labels Division of Spear Inc. recently announced that it has found a way to make pressure sensitive labels compatible with recycling methods for bottles molded from PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic. This is a breakthrough, says the company, because it offers an affordable and environmentally friendly solution for bring pressure sensitive labeling to the 400 billion PET bottles the world uses annually.
The most successful packaging printing companies that Jürgen Grimm has seen are the ones that have their processes most thoroughly under control. In this interview, the president of Heidelberg USA talks about how that control can be achieved.
Flexo claims almost two-thirds of tag & label market production, but some brand owners still view it negatively. By 2018, 50% of installed tag & label presses will be digital. There’s more—keep reading.
By now, you may have heard about Kodak’s ChiefPackagingOfficer, a new online resource for packaging professionals. If you haven’t, its publisher, Joshua Fedeli, wants you to know why the portal is worth your time, attention, and participation.
Say “MBO” to anyone in the industry, and the reply will be “folders.” That answer still passes the word association test, but it’s far from being the full story of what this diversified supplier of graphic equipment now has to offer printers and packagers.
What does a package do? It contains, protects, transports, and identifies what’s inside it. That’s the neat, four-cornered functional description of a package. Here are some edgier ones—and a couple that don’t have edges at all.
Radius software for MIS/ERP has been at work in label and packaging printing plants for many years. Now part of EFI, Radius will significantly expand its toolkit within a new framework called EFI Enterprise Packaging Suite.
There has been a surge of growth in what are called “large-format wine bottles.” Magnums, essentially (or would that be “magna”?), or wine bottles greater than 750ml. Indeed, popular sizes include 1.5 liters, 3 liters, and 6 liters. Now, obviously, some of these are intended for parties and other events with large gatherings, not a quiet romantic dinner for two, lest it descend into drunken anarchy (which depends on your approach to dating, I guess).
When a business model needs reinvigorating, the first thing to do is to revisit the fundamentals. Heidelberg acknowledges this with “Vision 2020,” a strategic redirection that places new emphasis on the non-machinery parts of its portfolio.
Will it surprise anyone to learn that there’s no universally accepted definition of “sustainable packaging”? Probably not, but the extent of the confusion raises eyebrows all the same. Readers of Packaging Digest discovered this when they scanned the results of a recent survey by the magazine and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) into what’s standing between packagers and their desire to make their products more sustainable.
A review of recent news about sustainable packaging initiatives in the U.K. and Europe raises confidence that global strategies for managing packaging’s impact on the environment can be developed.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) has done a nice job of consumer outreach with PaperRecycles.org, a new web site that aims at better educating the public about recovering paper and paper-based packaging for recycling.
We can’t improve upon a recent press release from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) about the creation of the world’s largest ball of paper—a stunt with an important point to make about recycling for packaging.
At Contemporary Graphic Solutions, manufacturing efficiency and process improvements are 24/7 preoccupations, especially as they apply to the company’s demanding but rewarding packaging business.
Mossberg & Company, a commercial printer since 1930, has built an equally successful label printing business through judicious investments in technology and scrupulous attention to quality assurance.
The end of the year always brings a flurry of state-of-the-market reports from research organizations and commentators tracking the global packaging industry. Here are pulls from some of the year-end pronouncements for 2014 that we gathered last month. They tell us that despite the unpredictability that always has to be factored into forecasts like these, 2015 is shaping up to be a promising year for the world’s packaging printers and converters.
With the help of partners in Germany and the Czech Republic, HP aimed to show printers and converters everywhere how digital strategies for packaging production can be attuned to changing demand and “future proof” at the same time.
A print equipment supplier for almost 70 years, Japan's Miyakoshi Printing Machinery Co. Ltd. is an OEM partner to many of the industry's top technology providers. At a recent open house, the company put the spotlight on presses for labeling and other uses that it markets under its own brand.
There's encouraging news for producers of corrugated and paper boxes in a newly released research report which forecasts that demand for these products will increase 2.6% per year to $39.4 billion in 2018.
Heidelberg's profile as an equipment manufacturer is not the same as it once was, but its interest in label and packaging production is as keen as ever. This report comes from a high-level briefing that WhatTheyThink received on the company's current ambitions in the L&P equipment market.
The good news is that flexographic printing for labels and packaging has resisted economic downturns and competition from digital while becoming a higher-quality, more efficient production method in its own right. The better news is that continuing technical improvements are carrying flexo toward still higher levels of performance.
This summer, members of FINAT, the international trade association for self-adhesive labeling and related industries, met in Monte Carlo for an annual congress around the general theme of "The Battle for Shelf Appeal." What emerged were an updated redefinition of labeling and a frank reassessment of the role that labels play in a greatly altered selling environment for packaged goods of all kinds.
Did you know—well, heck, how could anybody know?—that some people are willing to injure themselves if that's what it will take to force the last drop of product out of a container? Or that consumers would rather go to the dentist than see product they've purchased go to waste in packages they can't empty completely?
Dietary supplements and nutraceuticals are big business for a small in-plant label printer with digital capabilities that match its marketing ambitions and objectives. An update on Xeikon strategies and financials is also included in this article.
David Zwang looks at process transformation and automation, and the background and steps you need to understand to be successful. He also looks at some of the current product offerings and how they are being used by service providers, to give you ideas about how you can transform your business and strengthen your customer relationships.
Continuous reinvestment and continuous reinvention sum up the strategic thinking at DWS Printing Associates, a Long Island label printing firm with deep roots in the past and a progressive view of the future.
What lends itself more readily to creative competition than a well designed package? The packaging industry is full of contests that showcase the high degree of graphic innovation that can be found in packages of all types and materials. Here is a short list of some of the competitions that celebrated the art of packaging design in 2014.
Can it be mid-November already, with preparations for the year-end holidays getting into full swing? Just ask International Paper. The Wall Street Journal recently quoted IP’s chief executive Mark S. Sutton as saying that box orders for the online retail segment have been up 15% year-over-year in 2014 and could continue rising, depending on demand. The story reports that the surge in demand for holiday packaging from both online and traditional retailers is helping to improve the performance of IP’s industrial packaging unit, which provides cardboard boxes, specialty packaging, retail displays, and paper bags.
Filtering what we know from what we think we know about label and packaging market trends is the objective of “Emerging Technologies for Packaging Innovation,” a newly published report from GrCI Cal Poly and Packaging World.
Functional additives help plastic packages do a better job of protecting their contents. Of the many different kinds of functional additives, the most widely used are those that remove unwanted oxygen, block UV and IR radiation, and eliminate or reduce static.
Memjet, the US company that in 2012 acquired the patent portfolio of Sydney-based Silverbrook Research relating to MEMS-based inkjet digital printing, has terminated its OEM partner agreement with Australia’s Rapid Packaging Services. The agreement has three more years to run until 2017.
Now that most of the year's big trade shows are behind us, we can think back on what we've seen. The September Label Expo Americas show in Chicago offered what we believe is a good lesson—for a print-related trade show to stay vital, labels and packaging are a key source of longevity.
Sometimes, it’s good to step back from the speeds, feeds, and tech specs to reflect on the fact that packages and labels can be, well, downright beautiful. Eye-beguiling examples of the aesthetic gems that high-end production makes possible are all over the Internet.
There have been many new digital label and packaging presses released recently, and there are more to coming in the near future. However, these new digital presses will never reach optimal production levels or support and drive the new market requirements, without new standards and workflows.
Messe Düsseldorf, the organizer of the drupa trade fair, recently published a “drupa Global Insights Report” on the impact of the Internet on print. It’s based on responses to a survey from more than 1,000 senior decision-makers in the printing industry, including 240 who furnished personal examples of the impact in their own companies.
Post-processing equipment and software solutions for labels and packaging were well represented at Graph Expo/CPP, which has come into its own as a showcase for these applications.
The productive, colorful, versatile, and cost efficient digital systems for labels and packaging on display at Graph Expo 2014 will come to be seen as inevitable investments for every printing company that is serious about making it in the label and packaging business.
Among printing systems for the quick, attractive, and cost efficient production of labels and packaging, none do it better than or nearly as often as offset and flexographic presses. Conventional label and packaging production was well represented at Graph Expo/CPP 2014.
With a manufacturing footprint that spans more than 50 plants on three continents, Multi Packaging Solutions (MPS) stands at the crossroads of nearly every major market and technological trend in packaging production. In this interview, MPS’s Erin Willigan talks about what it takes for a diversified packaging company to remain a leader on a global scale.
Co-located with Graph Expo, the CPP Expo for packaging specialists does full justice to the term “show within a show” by offering a rich mix of exhibits, educational sessions, and technology investment opportunities.
“Virtuous and healthy: those are the attributes of tomorrow’s packaging.” That proposition keynotes Packaging trends / The future of manufacturing, a white paper addressing the ethical as well as the technical mandates that packaging manufacturers must uphold in changing consumer cultures.
Bioplastics—plastics made partly or wholly from renewable raw materials such as cellulose, vegetable oils, and other natural substances—are deepening their reach into packaging for food and other consumer products. Behind their rise are distinct economic and market forces driving global demand for alternatives to fossil-fuel based plastics.
Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies need to plan for a “1-5-10” market in the United States during the next five years, in which digital’s current 1 percent penetration will likely expand to 5 percent and could accelerate to as much as 10 percent in short order. The source is a new report, The Digital Future: A Game Plan for Consumer Packaged Goods, prepared for the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Google, and Information Resources, Inc. (IRI).
Corrugated board meets a wide range of consumer and non-consumer packaging requirements. Customers who appreciate the full range of functional and creative possibilities with corrugated board are turning to Axis Corrugated Container for help in migrating their packages to the substrate.
The growth of the folding carton market is being driven by a complex of forces, some obvious, others unexpected. The Smithers Pira research organization identifies the ones it believes will raise global folding carton volume to $180 billion a few years from now.
We Americans love our pets, and there’s no surer proof than the staggering sums we spend on feeding them. That spending drives a gravy train for packagers serving the pet food vertical.
Digital presses in B2 formats are starting to make their presences felt in corrugated, folding carton, and even flexible packaging, where analog production predominates but where the demand for short-run, variably printed packages is rising. Although placement of these presses remains modest, interest in them is undeniable, and adoption will grow.
Developed in partnership, the Graphium offers a unique combination of digital printing, conventional flexo and various finishing options geared towards the tag and label market. It is a totally modular solution that lets printers configure the press to fit the needs of their customer bases.
If looks were everything, consumers would be over the moon about their packaging. According to packaging solutions provider MeadWestvaco, appearance is the one aspect of packages that consumers rate higher in performance than they do in importance. It's what prompts two-thirds of them to buy products off the shelf without knowing anything about them or doing any research into them.
Lofton Label targets its vertical markets with care and serves its customers with scrupulous attention to detail. In this company profile, CEO Mike Lane talks about how he developed the objectives and implemented the strategy that turned the business around.
In one way or another, making packages better vehicles for brand communication underlay most of the presentations at EskoWorld 2014, a user conference that drew more than 700 people to Orlando. Esko also used the occasion to launch Suite 14, a software collection that aims to provide a common interface for all participants in the package creation workflow.
interpack, a once-every-three-years trade fair held in Düsseldorf, Germany, is like Pack Expo in Chicago—a huge show that’s heavy on packaging and packaging automation but light on digital printing (with the possible exception of coding and logistics labeling).
The folding carton industry has lost a legend. Alan Crane (1924-2014) was a visionary, mentor and cherished friend to many, including members and suppliers of the Independent Carton Group (ICG), who remember him fondly.
We read a lot of articles and company profiles in the packaging trades that describe companies who are growing their businesses by focusing on a specific niche of the market and developing specialized offerings to serve that niche. I recently interviewed Preston Herrin and Patrick Green of trade printer 4over headquartered in Glendale California who described for me their new offering 4over Packaging.
Those developing systems for packaging applications need to understand what brand owners are interested in, and what are their perceptions of digital printing.
All members of the packaging supply chain are under pressure to better address the needs of their customers and offer more efficient products and services. This has led to the development of systems that are classified as “disruptive” to address “areas of need” or “pain points” in the process.
On March 26th I attended an open house at Mark Andy’s global headquarters in Chesterfield, Missouri. The main reason I was invited was to be part of the formal introduction and “coming out” of the company’s Digital Series press.
In Part One of The Value Proposition for Digital Package Printing, we discussed the operations (material and operations planning) and marketing benefits relating to digital printing. Recognizing the reality of this operations and marketing dual purpose for digital, we break the compelling reasons for digital printing in packaging into two tracks.
Most decisions made by brand owners related to digital printing have a basis in their understanding of the value proposition that digital brings to their organizations. In our report; Is Digital Printing Part of Your Brand or Operational Strategy? we describe how this value proposition is directly tied to unmet needs.
Brand owners rely on packaging to not only carry their products to market, but to represent the quality and desirability of those products on store shelves. The package is typically the first interaction a consumer has with a product or brand, and from then on serves as a visual reminder of the experience.
Most decisions made by brand owners related to digital printing have a basis in their understanding of the value proposition that digital brings to their organizations.
The days of one-way messaging through TV or print ads to appeal to consumers’ purchasing decisions have given way to “engagement marketing”. Two-dimensional (two-way) communication where consumers participate, share, and interact with a brand creates crucial interaction resulting in business and personal success. The bi-directional nature of social media enables a two-way marketing channel.
The digital age is changing our world. Forces driving the change are: people, information and technology.
In the world of label production, finishing or converting a label is as important as the accuracy and quality of the printing process itself. The decision whether to use inline or offline finishing/converting solutions depends on the make-up of incoming orders and the specific market needs of the customer.
Over the last decade digital printing has moved from a niche market to a high growth segment embraced by a large number of print service providers (PSPs) that acknowledge the added value and higher profits of digital. One of the results of the proliferation of digital technologies is a convergence of once separate activities.
Those who have been around the packaging industry can tell you that no one can predict its future. From experiments gone awry – like Jacques E. Brandenberger’s failed attempts at transparent tablecloths that ultimately resulted in the invention of cellophane in 1908.
My first exposure to digital printing for Corrugated Packaging occurred when I joined Inland Container. This occurred in late 2000, and Inland was in the process of developing a prototype digital press to evaluate the potential for digital printing in Packaging.
Commercial printers are increasingly examining the label and packaging market—and they like what they see. As digital technology lowers both the cost of entry and the learning curve for excellent execution, particularly in the area of special effects, the business benefits can be substantial.
The potential of digital print is broadening, and packaging companies are only just beginning to realise the benefits on offer in terms of personalisation, customer engagement and integration with online campaigns.
If you’re a product marketer, packaging developer or brand manager, chances are that you’ve heard about digital print. But how much do you really know about it?
Sean Smyth of Digital Demand World looks at digital print’s growing role in pack traceability.
With all the news chatter around digital printing for packaging coming out of Print 13 and Label Expo this fall I thought it appropriate to bring the readership some insights we have on the topic.
Web-to-Print is a concept that has grown rapidly, right along with the internet and e-commerce in general, and represents an efficient and effective way for printers to interact with customers and partners as they plan and execute print jobs. From submission, to online prepress previews and reviews, all the way to production, web-to-print enables customers and printers to use a variety of tools and rich user interfaces to produce impressive results.
Last Friday, Landa announced a strategic relationship with Komori for the manufacture of the transport systems for all of Landa’s sheetfed systems, the first being the S10FC. Kevin spoke with Benny to get a bit more information on this topic.
Eighteen months is a long time in the world of politics, consumer electronics, the growth of an infant and the gain or decline of a 401K but in the development of digital printing solutions for folding cartons that time is not so long at all.
Print 13 started out very nicely for me as my first official meeting was a breakfast meeting on Sunday morning with Benny Landa and three of my “packaging” colleagues.
With run sizes per print job going down and the variety of labels going up, new solutions are needed to supply label printers an affordable, efficient option. The concept of using the Internet as a custom printing-enablement tool is based on a high degree of automation coupled with the benefits of digital color printing
As the first HP Indigo 30000 units begin to come to market, we are checking in with new owners to see how these B2 sheetfed presses, optimized for folding carton work, will be affecting their converting businesses.
Multi-Packaging Services, based in New York City, is an early adopter of the HP Indigo 30000 folding carton press. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne speaks with them to learn more about why they bought this press and what benefits they expect to gain from adding it to their production portfolio.
In past articles we have brought forward excerpts from a 2012 PRIMIR study that Karstedt Partners was commissioned to write titled Packaging: Evaluation of Vertical Markets & Key Applications. This study was unique to many industry studies in that it looked at the force being placed on Brand Owners, the originator of packaging orders.
Heat transfers may not be one of the more obvious uses for digital printing, but for years the innovative companies have been successfully building up a market in a variety of ways.
I had the privilege last week of attending the Smithers Pira Conference in Atlanta on the topic of Digital Printing for Packaging. Having been on the advisory board for the conference it was rewarding to see the fruits of our labor being so well received by those in attendance.
JoAnn is a syndicated packaging writer who is arguably the most prolific “packaging person” on social media. I have been following her for years and thought it extremely appropriate to have her featured here for the WhatTheyThink Labels & Packaging audience. Following are the highlights from an interview with “The Packaging Diva”.
With the market pushing packaging printers and converters towards shorter runs and faster turnaround times, you might be tempted to assume that folding carton printing is on its way out.
To help us introduce the various packaging sectors to the growing WhatTheyThink Labels & Packaging readership we asked PRIMIR if we could pull excerpts from their 2012 study that Karstedt Partners was commissioned to write titled Packaging: Evaluation of Vertical Markets & Key Applications.
For the past 84 years, the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) has been the leading industry association serving suppliers and converters of all forms of paperboard packaging. We spoke with Ben Markens, President of PPC, about the current state of the folding carton industry and the opportunities and challenges faced by its members.
I caught up with Jay Willie, Executive Director of the Independent Carton Group (ICG) just before he struck out for one of the groups quarterly meetings. The ICG has an interesting business model and long history.
To help us introduce the various packaging sectors we asked PRIMIR if we could pull excerpts from their 2012 study that Karstedt Partners was commissioned to write titled Packaging: Evaluation of Vertical Markets & Key Applications.
Billions of dollars a year are on the line for companies as they seek ways to ensure that the products sold with their logos and branding are authorized and authentic. The proliferation of counterfeiting requires brand owners and their converter/printer partners to work together to create a multi-layered protection plan so that their packaging and labels protect their brands and deter those trying to profit at their (and their reputation’s) expense.
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Steve Young, President of AICC, and asked him to share his thoughts around the mission of AICC, the role of AICC, and the opportunities and challenges facing their members.
We recently had the opportunity to catch-up with Kristi Ledbetter, the Converting Division Manager for Tappi, and had the opportunity to get an update on what is happening at Tappi.
For the next few weeks we will be looking at the corrugated sector of packaging, which accounts for approximately $85 Billion in shipments globally and $24 Billion in North America.
With the launch of the Labels & Packaging section of WhatTheyThink now behind us, we wanted to give you a preview of upcoming topics and what to expect.
Welcome to the inaugural post for WhatTheyThink’s Labels & Packaging website. The folks at WTT and I have been speaking for quite some time on the need a version of WTT that focused on the needs of those in the packaging supply chain. I am honored to be the Managing Editor of this new endeavor and will strive to bring meaningful and timely content to those in the packaging supply chain who are looking for information and intelligence in order to do their jobs better.
As the digital transformation of the packaging industry continues to present new challenges and opportunities for both brand owners and converters, WhatTheyThink Senior Editor checked in with Aviv Ratzman, CEO of Highcon, to see what progress the company has made relative to Euclid, its market entry for laser die cutting and creasing. Read more.
I thought it appropriate for the first post to WhatTheyThink Labels & Packaging to be an interview with the founder of WhatTheyThink.com, Randy Davidson to get his thoughts on the new venture. So on a snowy Saturday morning with a fresh cup of coffee in front of me, Randy and I had a chat.
HP recently had a unpublicized change in management in its Graphic Arts business with the retirement of SVP Chris Morgan. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Stephen Nigro, who has rejoined the group as Global Business Leader for Graphics Solutions and Inkjet.
HP recently announced that Hamburg, Germany, based RAKO Etiketten acquired five new HP Indigo WS6600 digital presses. This large investment caught the attention of Senior Editor Cary Sherburne, who spoke to RAKO about its investment, production platform and strategy moving forward.
Thanks to Ben Miyares of the Packaging Management Institute for bringing this absolutely unique Absolut Vodka packaging story to our attention. Four million bottles, each different. How did they do it? Read more.
Food packaging safety is become a more prominent area in the United States. Insuring that chemicals and odors do not penetrate the package is of great importance to the end customer. Sun Chemical has designed a system of products and procedures to do this.
Digital Printing for Packaging is growing quickly; by 2016 it will be worth nearly $12.2 billion, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.6% during 2011–16. This equates to 37 billion A4 prints in 2011 and 75.9 billion in 2016. The growth is driven by the changing demands of packaging buyers – more varieties and pack sizes is fragmenting the market, leading to shorter runs that digital technology can produce economically
While drupa isn’t technically a packaging show, there were many packaging solutions on display and a great deal of interest in the segment on the part of visitors. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne reviews a few of the new development she came across as she traversed the many halls in Messe Dusseldorf during her 12 days of drupa …
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