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On today and tomorrow of packaging printing in Beijing printing factory

  

At present, in the global printing market, the growth momentum of packaging printing market is still strong, so it has become one of the areas of special concern to colleagues in the global printing industry. It is very important for printing enterprises to timely understand the packaging and printing market situation and process changes. Therefore, Professor Martin Dreher of flexographic technology of Stuttgart Media College analyzed the characteristics and application situation of current commonly used packaging and printing processes, hoping to enlighten colleagues in the industry.

  characteristics of several common packaging and printing processes

   in principle, all printing processes can be used for packaging printing, but the market share * is undoubtedly offset printing, gravure printing and flexographic printing, and its share is closely related to regional differences, product types, types of printing materials, etc.

  1. Offset printing

  offset printing has always been known for its good printing quality and low prepress cost. With the help of highly automated equipment, offset printing quality can be well controlled, but the inevitable color change and fluctuation in batch printing is its main problem. At the same time, it still lacks certain size variability in web printing. The author believes that the development potential of offset printing has been exhausted and will not do more to improve printing quality and production profits.

  2. Gravure printing

   gravure printing has strong coloring ability and high ink drying energy consumption, but it takes a long time and high cost to make plate. It is usually suitable for packaging printing with high quality, large batch and suitable substrate smoothness. However, the trend of short version of packaging printing makes this printing process face more and more challenges.

  3. Flexo printing

   although the era that flexographic printing can only print simple living parts has passed, it still can't get rid of its reputation of not providing high-quality printing. This may be a fact, but in some aspects, the quality of flexographic printing has surpassed the quality of other printing processes. Such cases are not rare. For example, it has been fully confirmed that flexo printing can provide a larger color gamut space than offset printing. As a simple method to process a variety of substrates, flexo printing has become the world's most expensive packaging printing process.

  4. Digital printing

   digital printing does not need plate making, and can provide variable data printing, which makes the printed content different. However, due to the high printing cost, it is impossible to cover the whole packaging printing market in the foreseeable future.

  when observing the global packaging printing market (excluding the folding carton printing market), we can see that flexo printing dominates the Western Hemisphere, while gravure printing dominates the eastern hemisphere. There may be historical reasons for this, because flexo printing originated in North America, where gravure printing is rarely used in packaging traditionally. According to the author's view, gravure printing also has its tradition of occupying a high market share in Asia, mainly due to loose environmental legislation. Although environmental legislation in Asia has become more and more stringent in recent years, the market share of gravure printing will not decline immediately.

  Europe is in equilibrium: the offset printing market, which focuses almost entirely on folding carton printing, is at a standstill, the gravure printing market has declined, the flexographic printing market has increased slightly, and the digital printing market has increased significantly from its low starting point.

  application in different market segments

  1. Folding carton

   in the application field of folding cartons, mainly cosmetics, quick-frozen food, cigarettes, medicine and other fields, offset printing occupies a dominant position. The main printing method is sheet fed printing, which can realize online surface finishing, such as UV polishing, while post printing processes such as die-cutting or embossing can only be completed offline. From the current application situation, the market share of offset printing in the field of folding carton can only achieve the expected small growth in the future.

  in addition, the market share of some web gravure printing used for tobacco packaging printing and sheet fed gravure printing with relatively small share are shrinking, and flexo printing will accept a small part of the market share. However, even if flexo printing can provide multiple production capacity of offset printing, it is still difficult to do in this market segment, because the "fortress" created by offset printing is too strong, Printing enterprises are afraid of transformation. On the contrary, digital printing is more acceptable because it can realize personalized printing.

  2. Film packaging

   film packaging such as plastic bags, cover films or envelopes for sweets, food and frozen food is the second important segment of the packaging and printing market. Web gravure printing has a good positioning in this segment and is generally considered to have good printing quality. However, in recent years, the "short board" of Web gravure printing, which is lack of flexibility and high plate making cost, has become increasingly prominent. At present, flexographic printing has established a stable market position in this market segment, and continues to make progress in printing quality.

  for some time, digital printing has tried to break into this market segment by virtue of its low-cost short version and personalized printing advantages. But now digital printing is almost useless in the field of packaging printing, mainly because its printing cost is too high, and the advantages of short version and personalized printing are quickly exhausted. Of course, the author believes that with the rapid development of technology, the problem of high cost of digital printing will be solved, and digital printing will usher in significant growth at that time.

  3. Label

  at present, the types of labels are diverse, including not only wet adhesive labels, but also self-adhesive labels and sleeve labels. Among them, in the foreseeable future, wet adhesive labels will still be printed by offset printing process, and the market share will not grow. Gravure printing is mainly used to print special self-adhesive labels and some wet adhesive labels. The market share of the former will increase slightly, while the latter will face shrinkage. Flexographic printing is strong in self-adhesive label printing, but it is expected to reduce its market share due to the impact of digital printing recently; On the contrary, flexographic printing will achieve significant growth in the field of sleeve labels. In the field of self-adhesive label printing, digital printing has occupied the second place. Although it can not reach the first place soon, it will win more market share in the future.

  4. Corrugated board

  the two traditional printing processes in this market segment are offset printing and flexo printing. Offset printing mainly realizes pre printing, while flexo printing can not only realize pre printing, but also complete direct printing. Due to the high cost, the author predicts that the development of offset printing in this segment will gradually stagnate, and flexo printing has great growth potential with the continuous improvement of printing quality, and is changing from pre printing to direct printing process.

  however, it should be noted that at present, the corrugated board printing market is suffering from the "rush" of digital printing. Although the cost of digital printing is high, this is by no means a foregone conclusion. In the future, digital printing will usher in greater growth space in this market segment.

  under the influence of less and less printing volume of packaging printing, increasingly diversified varieties, continuous fragmentation of large printing volume and multilingual versions, the market share distribution of packaging printing technology is quietly changing. The author believes that the packaging printing of "tomorrow" will still focus on traditional printing, and digital printing will be the most favorable supplement. Although digital printing has long existed, it will take at least 10 years to achieve "comprehensive coverage" in the field of packaging and printing, and we look forward to that day.


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