What is the digital benefit for label and package production?
In 2020, Package printing market will occupy $464B volume, 52% of total printing market, but digital package printing market size will be only 7% of total digital printing market. So packaging represents one of the largest and most stable opportunities for print providers. Nearly all items sold have packaging, and it’s an application that can’t be displaced by digital media.
The essential role packaging plays in our consumer society is one of both branding and product protection.
Packaging comes in many forms: folding cartons, labels, sleeves, flexible packaging, and containers such as drums, bottles, and cans. A wide range of flexible and rigid materials is used: plastics, wood, paper and board, metal plate and foils, glass, and textiles. Nearly all packaging materials today are printed conventionally, but digital inkjet could be a game-changer.
Digital inkjet printing’s ability to deliver short production runs cost-effectively supports the use of event-driven promotions, market testing, and niche market customization. It allows the same print technique to be used for the sample run and for short-run mass production, ensuring product consistency.
The label sector includes security, promotional and primary product labels, most of which are printed conventionally on flexographic printers. Digital printing has gained an increasing share of the industrial label market over the past 10 years, mainly using thermal transfer printers, which are not cost-effective in high volumes.
As with the rest of the printing industry, run lengths demanded for label production are getting shorter: two thirds of all label orders are now for under 10,000 labels – well within the breakeven point for digital.
Inkjet printers are now expanding the use of digital production by label printers and converters. Coupled with knife or laser digital die-cutter, an inkjet printer can deliver custom-printed labels of any size and shape. Only 3% of packaging market is digitalized now occupying $11B market size in 2016, so fast digitalization is happening at 16% CSGR to reach $20B market size in 2020.
Flexible package and label are digitalized at 27~36% CAGR by roll to roll digital printers, with estimated market size of $9.7B in year 2020.