When roaming the halls at drupa in Düsseldorf, it’s easy to see that many suppliers want to inspire commercial printers in their quest for added value services. And you know what? Many booths carry a “Packaging” sign suggesting that packaging is the application they should diversify into. In our drupa hall 8b, there are at least 4 other suppliers promoting packaging besides a range of other applications.
Branching into packaging
These pictures taken at the Konica Minolta booth are great examples of the wide diversification possibilities for commercial printers. One of the many panels says “Packaging”. The same can be seen at the Xerox, FujiFilm and many other booths.
A printed package is never the end-result
When analyzing the product offering though, you discover that the main driver is digital print. The packaging signage basically says you can also print packaging digitally, in short runs and even personalized.
Sounds great at first sight, but what tends to be forgotten is that a printed package is never the end-result of the production process. In commercial print, the cut and folded brochure or leaflet is the end-product all right. In packaging though, the diecut pack goes through many more production and logistical steps to reach its’ final destination: the shop shelves.
So, when I see digitally printed packaging being promoted as the next best thing after sliced bread, I cannot stop wondering what the end-user application will be. I can think of a couple of obvious ones like highly specialized medication (pharma), but that’s a fairly small market segment. Have you heard or seen any feasible applications for personalized digitally printed folding cartons: tell me more, I’d love to know.
- Jan De Roeck
Jan De Roeck is Esko’s Director Solutions Management