Convergence in Print

Labels, Flexible Packaging and Cartons

Convergence, noun: the merging of distinct technologies, industries, or devices into a unified whole.
-merriam-webster dictionary

PAMEX 2023 with have a separate hall devoted to Convergence in the Print Industry. Convergence is a phenomenon that has been happening over the past few years. It has gained tremendous momentum in the recent times and is very pronounced today as we come out of the unprecedented global pandemic. At one end, it is driven by the printers who are looking to diversify into an industry segment beyond their primary focus. On the other, the emerging technologies make it possible for printers to offer newer applications, enhancements and embellishments from their equipment. The Convergence Hall at PAMEX will likely see a plethora of such cutting-edge technologies.

A recent HP sponsored study by NapcoResearch on ‘Convergence in Print’ concluded that the most popular segment that printers are migrating to is the Label Segment. While in the last few years, the label printers with their flexo presses having wider webs and inline finishing had ventured into many new applications including folding cartons, sachets, pouches, lami tubes, flexible Electronics, promotional products etc., the arrival of the faster and wider digital print engine has totally transformed the label world and empowered the printer to offer many new applications. The faster speeds has not only aided the addition of the inline finishing on the digital presses, it has also helped them go hybrid with added flexo print units.

Ability of both the Flexo and Digital technologies to print on a wide range of substrates is a great driver of convergence. The growing print enhancement and embellishment techniques available in these technologies are also lending to the emerging of newer and often high value applications. Coding and Marking that works on Inkjet technology converges seamlessly with Digital Printing.

The main takeaway is that modern printing platforms are highly flexible and well suited for a wide range of applications from multiple short runs to medium and even long runs and provide the technological foundation for the printers seeking migration to different segments due to varied commercial reasons. These technologies and trends will be observed in the exciting displays at PAMEX 2023.

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