Home' FLEXO iQ : Year End 2016 Contents ISSUE 4 | FLEXO iQ 2016 9
Use of technology—automation software, color management, plating
advancements and cutting edge hardware—plus some innovative
thinking, permit execution of graphics at a competitive rate. Multi-
process print technologies capture the votes of 56 percent of printers
participating in an early 2016 poll.
In a recent FLEXO Flash Poll, better than 70 percent of FTA mem-
bers who responded expressed interest in automation and efficiency.
Nearly the same number said they find digitalization of packaging
attractive. Forty-three percent embrace complementary technologies
across print processes and 42 percent insist on boosting production
and productivity as a top priority.
Despite ending many months ago, drupa 2016’s echo is still reverber-
ating in the package printing world.
Sabine Geldermann, director of drupa, states, “In our recent survey on
global investment in print technologies for packaging, the money is
on flexo, with 34 percent of respondents looking to invest in new tech-
nology. Digital printing technologies are gaining steam in packaging,
with 12 percent reporting planned investments in digital roll fed color
and 11 percent in cut sheet color.
“A key question today is how digital fits with flexo,” Geldermann
continued. “There are digital presses that can achieve high and con-
sistent printing quality, but their limitations, such as lower production
speeds, can affect costs. Flexo has the advantage of printing on multi-
ple substrates and is suited to short runs with low prepress costs.”
She adds that as run lengths get shorter, there is a larger role for
digital. “Expect to see a variety of different options and processes,
and—in some cases—hybrid solutions that combine multiple printing
technologies, such as digital and flexo. Digital and flexo can work ef-
fectively together to offer added value solutions, including versioning
and personalization, as well as added value finishing.”
But regardless of your print process, all signs point to growth.
Booming global demand will drive expansion in the world packaging
market across the next five years, according to the latest analysis from
Smithers Pira. In The Future of Global Packaging to 2020, data charts
how a market value forecast at $839 billion in 2015 will undergo
healthy year on year growth at 3.5 percent, rising to $975 billion by
2018 and reaching $998 billion in 2020.
The Economist Intelligence Unit study Worldwide Market for Print:
Identifying Global Opportunities concludes, “Package print is projected
to account for 43 percent of the printing market in 2017.” It further
observes, “Largely, the demand for packaged goods allows corrugated
print to remain in control of the global print market; however, flexible
packaging, labels and tags will see a fair share of the spotlight, due to
the increased demand for customized products paired with the grow-
ing rate of diversification in print products.”
Other forecasts bring similar good news:
• Technavio’s market research analysts predict the global printing
market for packaging to grow steadily at a CAGR of 5.6 percent
during the next three years
• NOVONOUS estimates that global packaging market will
achieve a CAGR of 5.1 percent till 2020
• Freedonia Group maintains, “Demand for packaging in the U.S.
is forecast to total $175 billion in 2020, representing 3.5 percent
annual growth from $147 billion in 2015. Gains will be sup-
ported by increases in nondurable goods output and growth in
Looking to the future, Freedonia believes, “Technologies, such as
digital and three dimensional (3-D) printing, will expand their
presence in packaging, as they enable users increased customiza-
tion and variation without the volume of requirements of tradi-
tional packaging production processes. Technological innova-
tions will also continue to broaden the functionality of packaging
beyond product protection, identification and marketing”
• PMMI—The Association for Packaging and Processing Technol-
ogies—and Euromonitor put out a report titled Global Packaging
Landscape: Growth, Trends & Innovations, just over one year
ago. It spoke of key trends driving development and innovation.
Namely: health and wellness, environmental impact, rising
disposable incomes, urbanization and convenience.
The study estimates food controls 37.1 percent of the packaging
market, followed by beverages at 21.7 percent, pharmaceuticals
at 8.1 percent, household/agricultural products at 7.6 percent,
and personal care items at 7 percent. All other classifications
account for the remaining 18.5 percent on a collective basis n
“Market watchers all agree: This industry’s trajectory is charting on a
highly positive curve. Expectations point to it experiencing a compound
annual growth rate (CAGR) of between 5 percent and 6 percent through
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