Digital Printing Solutions make inroads into Individualized Flexible Packages

Flexible packaging is fastest growing packaging segment which uses different shapes and container media for packaging replacing rigid containers such as boxes cans and bottles. There are many factors that have prompted the migration from rigid plastic packaging to flexible packaging: the focus on reducing carbon footprints; saving shipping costs with reduced weights; demand from consumers for more product convenience, such as reusability; and, focus on protecting contents from moisture, light, flavor, gas and odor. Flexible packaging printing is the fourth-largest printing segment in U.S. printing industry. Flexible packaging printing constitutes 17% of the global printing industry. This industry is now facing the personalization trend. This trend brings more interest towards digital printing solutions. They allow for individually designed packages and smaller job sizes.

Digital printing allows easy and fast modification of the printing image, also ease on-demand printing and minimise downtimes between printing jobs. This process requires adhesives solutions specifically designed for this purpose which can drive the market for laminating adhesives further. Strong benefits of digital printing have not yet been reflected in flexible packaging. Printing directly onto plastics can eliminate the time and costs associated with labels. Digital printing industry seeks fast curing adhesives that possess special characteristics due to the altered composition of digital printing inks. To ensure excellent outcome in the lamination of flexible packaging, the adhesive and printing ink used need to be compatible poses the demand for adhesive solutions which are either solvent-based, solvent-free or water-based adhesive systems.

Taking advantage and growing opportunity of flexible package market many digital printing converters are providing more efficient digital printing solutions. Xerox flexible packaging printing solutions delivers bright, excellent image quality and vivid colour onto a variety of plastic substrates. Furthermore, through cooperation with the partner HP Indigo, Henkel is providing specific fast-curing adhesive solutions and best-in-class expertise, which will perfectly fit with HP Indigo digital presses and HP Indigo ElectroInks offering the best fit for digital printing. Hence, we can conclude that digital printing is the next big thing for flexible packaging industry and as a result for laminating adhesives as well.

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