New research from InfoTrends suggests the market for digital color printing in the packaging industry is expected to grow to $4.05 billion in 2014. InfoTrends says the value of packaging-related print from color POD systems and wide format systems together amounted to $1.95 billion globally in 2009.
The current state of the digital packaging market:
- The color digital printing of prime labels is the core market for color POD in packaging, accounting for nearly $1.81 billion in converter billings for global product manufacturers in 2009.
- Hundreds of label converters operate high-end color POD presses on a worldwide basis. About 85% of these are electrophotographic devices, while about 15% are single-pass inkjet units.
- Color POD label presses typically work in tandem with analog presses at label converting sites, but a limited number of installations are at converters that use only digital printing.
- It is rare for color POD presses to be installed on the premises of product manufacturers, who normally prefer to outsource full color printing to converters and other specialists.
- Around this core of prime label activity, other uses of color POD systems—such as folding cartons and flexible packaging—are emerging. These secondary uses are comparatively small, but they represent a significant growth opportunity.
- POD printing of folding cartons and flexible packaging are ancillary applications for some label converters. Folding cartons are also the primary business of a number of specialty printing companies.
- Color POD for metal can printing and the printing of corrugated boxes exists, but it is small in terms of actual installations.
Barb Pellow recently shared details of digital packaging market in a 2 part series at WhatTheyThink (Packaging: The Next Major Analog-to-Digital Opportunity and Part 2).