Label and packaging converters worldwide spent $201 million on new color digital label and packaging (CDLP) printing presses in 2012 according to InfoTrends, a specialist consulting firm. This digital press market will grow strongly, InfoTrends says, with a 17.7% compound annual growth rate in digital press revenues expected between 2012 and 2017. The market is based on the success of narrow web color electrophotographic (EP) and color inkjet presses for printing product labels and, to a much smaller extent, two adjacent applications, folding cartons and flexible packaging.
A key feature of the forecast for this market is the arrival of a new generation of much higher-capacity CDLP presses, starting in late 2013. "Thanks to new equipment by HP Indigo, Fuji, Konica Minolta, Screen, Xeikon, and others, color digital printing is about to become a more common tool for converting folding cartons and even flexible packaging," says Bob Leahey, associate director of InfoTrends' Color Digital Label and Packaging Service. He notes that this new "B2" generation of presses will have a much wider web width than current color digital presses, and will include models specifically designed to print packaging rather than just labels.
Leahey commented further that three megatrends among brand owners support the growth of the CDLP press market. One is the brand owners' focus on target marketing; another is their intense focus on lean manufacturing. The third megatrend, sustainability, is nearly as influential, and also favors digital printing over analog, mainly because digital printing cuts waste.
"All together these influences make brand owners order packaging and labels more frequently and in smaller amounts," Leahey explained. For converters of labels and packaging, he added, this trend will continue, meaning even more of the short run print jobs that CDLP presses can print more efficiently than conventional presses.
InfoTrends' CDLP Press Market Forecast: 2012-2017 estimates and forecasts the regional and world markets for CDLP presses based on EP and single pass inkjet print technology for the years 2012 through 2017. The forecast is cut by EP and inkjet mid-range and high-end categories for placements, installed base, total press sales value, consumables value, and value of print. It includes both a detailed written report and an extensive pivot table version of the forecast in all its elements and segmentation.