Nearly one-quarter of graphic arts firms, both printers and trade shops, indicate that they are currently producing packaging work of some type in-house. Despite the popular talking point of using toner-based presses for short-run packaging, shops with digital printers were among the least likely to be involved in the packaging market. Quick printers were among the most likely to see opportunities in the packaging market, but they were also the least involved in this market and the least likely to be making packaging-specific investments. Trade shops are solidly vested in the packaging market, but the most popular output method is not offset or even toner-based press printing. Forty-three percent are using wide-format inkjet printers.
The report also looks at the percentage of shops’ overall service mix given to packaging. While the overwhelming majority say that packaging comprises 25 percent or less of their overall mix, 10 percent are doing 50 percent or more of their volumes in packaging.
While most shops are using offset or digital presses, a significant percentage of respondents are using flexographic presses. Large-format printers and inline flexo or gravure units are on the radar as well. In addition to the traditional packaging applications adopted by commercial printers, such as folding cartons and labels, the report also found significant percentages of respondents producing blister packs, flexible packaging and other non-traditional applications.
“Printers & Packaging 2006” is available for purchase by visiting the TrendWatch Graphic Arts eStore online at www.trendwatchgraphicarts.com/special or by phone at 866-873-6310.