Packaging industry will see newer hybrid setups and digital presses to attend to customisation

During the NPES Print Business Outlook on 5 February 2017, Hitender Kumar, sales manager, Ent Inkjet Solutions, India Cluster, Eastman Kodak Company, looked at packaging as mass customisation and mobile engaged packaging.

26 Jun 2011 | By PrintWeek India

Predictions for 2017
Digital technologies will make further inroads into the traditional processes. We have integrated Prosper Inkjet Imprinting Systems in offset, flexography, gravure, post press system in last year. Packaging industry will also see newer hybrid setups as well as digital presses to cater to the demands of mass customisation and personalised packages. The publishing sector has already seen transformation in its logistics process, with inkjet and toner based devices paving the way.

Print business model
It will be survival of fittest. People who change their productions techniques, supply chain and marketing strategies will grow fast and further. What we can retain from the old world is work ethics, values and embrace new technologies to keep going. Old world will play a part in the development and provide low cost production models.

New technologies
Digital is the buzz word but inkjet will be the way to go. Inkjet is fast, economical (becoming) and produces increasingly better quality among the digital technologies. Impact of mobile will also be seen on production techniques and supply chain. Digital enhancements products are on the rise in commercial segment. Similarly post press will also see newer digital variants of converting devices. Traditional technologies with adverse environmental effect will surely be on the way out. We have seen this in the West with gravure. India will also see increase in the share of flexography and inkjet in some segments.

How to innovate?
I feel both of these facets go hand in hand, investment in infrastructure should be augmented by skilled work force. As we discussed traditional technologies and rise of India in small cities, we would require better expertise in personnel to optimize the returns even from traditional processes.

Digital print in India
Digital is on the rise in India, though the speed is slow. The publishing sector has seen its impact in a big way. Major chunk of commercial printing in India is done by toner-based devices. Packaging sector is now witnessing and experiencing this change with both toner-based and inkjet printers being installed in last year.

Inkjet vs toner
Toner based production printers are at peak of product cycle and inkjet is clearly ahead in print speeds, economy of production and print quality with improvements and innovations lined up for release in future. Inkjet can also be installed in hybrid setups and it is scalable (manufacturer specific), which expands its application base much beyond toner based devices. At Drupa 2016, we saw all major players showcased their inkjet capabilities understanding and it is the way to go.