Packaging Printing Today and Tomorrow

Packaging Printing Today and Tomorrow

Currently, in the global printing market, the growth of the packaging printing market is still strong, so it has become one of the areas of particular concern to colleagues in the global printing industry. It is important for printing companies to keep abreast of changes in the packaging printing market situation and processes in order to implement investment plans. For this reason, Professor Martin Dreher of the Center for Flexographic Technology at the Stuttgart Media Academy has analyzed the characteristics and applications of commonly used packaging printing processes in the hope of inspiring industry colleagues.

  Characteristics of several commonly used packaging printing processes

  In principle, all printing processes can be used for packaging printing, but the largest market share is undoubtedly offset, gravure and flexographic printing, and their share of the size of regional differences, product types, substrate types, etc. have a lot to do with.

  1. offset printing

  Offset printing has long been known for good printing quality and low pre-press costs. With a high degree of automation equipment, offset printing quality can be well controlled, but offset printing in the batch printing inevitable color changes and fluctuations is its main problem, while its printing on the web also lacks a certain amount of size variability. The author believes that the development potential of offset printing has been exhausted, in terms of printing quality and production profitability will not be more as.

  2. Gravure printing

  Gravure printing coloring ability, high energy consumption of ink drying, but long plate making time, high cost, usually for high quality, high volume, the substrate smoothness suitable for packaging printing. But the trend of packaging printing short version, making this printing process is facing increasing challenges.

  3. Flexographic printing

  Although the era of flexo printing can only print simple live pieces has passed, but it still can not get rid of the reputation of not being able to provide high-quality printing, which may be true, but in some aspects, flexo printing quality has surpassed the quality of other printing processes, such cases are not rare. For example, it is now well established that flexographic printing offers a larger color gamut than offset printing. As a simple way to process a wide variety of substrates, flexo is now the most profitable packaging printing process in the world.

  4. Digital printing

  Digital printing does not require plate making and can provide variable data printing, making the content of the print sheet different, but due to the high cost of printing, so in the foreseeable future can not cover the entire packaging printing market.

  When looking at the global packaging printing market (excluding the folding carton printing market), we can see that flexographic printing rules the Western hemisphere, while gravure is dominant in the Eastern hemisphere. There may be historical reasons for this, as flexo originated in North America, where very few packages have traditionally been gravure-printed. According to the author, gravure also has a tradition of holding a higher market share in Asia, mainly due to lenient environmental legislation. Although environmental legislation in Asia has become stricter in recent years, gravure’s market share will not decline immediately as a result.

  Europe, on the other hand, is in a balanced state: the offset market, which focuses almost entirely on folding carton printing, is at a standstill, the gravure market is declining, the flexo market is growing slightly, and the digital printing market is growing significantly from its low starting point.

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