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Growth in colour digital printing of labels and packaging

According to specialist consultants InfoTrends, the colour digital label and packaging (CDLP) market will grow strongly between 2011 and 2016, with a 18% compound annual growth rate in digital press revenues. Infotrends’ CDLP Press Market Forecast: 2011-2016 says the most important technology additions will be high-end colour electrophotographic (EP) and inkjet presses,”which will steer colour digital much more into the printing of folding cartons and flexible packaging”, the report states.

“There are two megatrends among brand owners that support the growth of the colour digital press market in label and packaging uses,” says Bob Leahey, associate director of InfoTrends’ Color Digital Label and Packaging Service. “One is the brand-owners’ focus on target marketing, and the other is their focus on lean manufacturing.” Together, he says, these influences have caused brand-owners to order packaging and labels more frequently and in smaller amounts and will continue to do so.

For converters of labels and packaging, this situation will result in increasing numbers of short run print jobs, which colour digital presses such as HP Indigo, Xeikon, and EFI Jetrion can print more efficiently than conventional presses.

Another key theme of the current forecast is that the market will soon change with the arrival of a new generation of CDLP presses, most of which were introduced at Drupa 2012. These will be high capacity models – most with web or throat width of at least 26 inch – more than twice the width of most current CDLP presses. “That difference in width and overall productivity will drive the use of CDLP presses to new levels in folding cartons and flexible packaging, two important applications where current models have only a limited role today. Both EP and inkjet technologies will contribute to this new generation of high-end CDLP presses in a receptive, growing market.”

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