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Digital’s role in narrow web explored in new report

May 17, 2010

Author Karstedt Associates plans more industry reports in the future.

Designed for narrow web label printers and converters, Karstedt Associates’ first Commercialization Assessment Report reveals a potential market of roughly 1.1 billion MSI for using current digital printing economics and capabilities in narrow web label applications.

"Commercialization Assessment Reports are a direct response to client requests for more substance and assistance in evaluating the use of digital printing in packaging applications," says Kevin Karstedt, president. "Our internal research regarding the potential application fit for digital printing in narrow web label applications revealed 'the digital sweet spot' of 1.1 billion MSI. We further estimated that the current penetration of digital technology is addressing less than 10 percent of the digital sweet spot.

“Despite the focus and attention digital printing has received in this application, the rate of adoption has been slow," says Karstedt. "The reasons became apparent as we discussed the findings with potential buyers of the technology, as well as with technology suppliers."

Similar to other markets, digital participation in labels will not be a huge volume component, but it will be extremely disruptive, Karstedt says. "We have identified several 'battleground' areas where it will be extremely difficult to compete against digital with conventional print technologies. These battlegrounds will evolve into a 'have versus have not' situation. The implications to label printers and converters are pretty severe."

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