Digitally printed packaging is an emerging market that is expected to grow from $580 million in 2005 to $6 billion by 2015. There is good reasoning for this forecasted growth. When compared to conventional package printing technologies, digital printing delivers competitive, cost, and environmental advantages. It is also well suited for many packaging applications.

Digital printing can use just-in-time and print-on-demand approaches with shortened setup requirements. Digital press printing also allows for short run jobs for less expensive prices. Variable data printing capabilities also bring great value to businesses looking to add customization and personalization to their package printing.

The environmental advantages are also worth noting in regards to digital printing. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), packaging accounts for one-third of solid waste in US landfills. As sustainable packaging is expected to grow monumentally in the coming years, it could be a key driver of digital package printing growth. So what are the environmental advantages of digital printing?

On-demand production- Digital printing allows for specification on precise quantities needed in production, eliminating waste and reducing warehousing costs and energy requirements.

Electronic job ordering and submission, paperless workflow, and soft proofing- These processes reduce paper usage and boost efficiency.

Green paper- Recycled paper or paper with chain-of-custody certification that promotes responsible forestry practices works excellent with digital printing and in some cases, can sell for more.

No varnish- Varnish is required for offset printing while adding cost and environmental hazards. Offset inks take 24 hours to dry and harden so it needs a coat of varnish to seal the surface of inks. Digitally printed pieces have a dry and hard surface immediately with low risk of scratching.

Non-toxic glues- These are available for most binding techniques and eliminate the need for ventilation of toxic fumes and waste management issues.

Distribute-then-print- Digital printing lends itself to the least environmentally disruptive delivery because files can be distributed to your print center or partner electronically.

With these environmental advantages along with cost and competitive advantages, it is easy to see why the projected growth for digital printing is so positive. It definitely caters to our fast pace “need it now” business culture.

For more information on digital printing contact Sunrise Packaging!

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