Nano Bits. When Nano Meets Print.

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Monday, 16 February 2015 | By Louis Gordon


By Louis Gordon, Marcom Manager, Landa Digital Printing

Next time you stroll through a retail environment, take a moment to scrutinize the merchandise on the shelves. It’s highly likely that the products you see on display showcase new branding and packaging, typically in vibrant, attention-getting designs.

You might notice a lot more shelf space devoted to individual, convenience-size, Millennial-centric packages. It’s even highly possible that the packages you see in your store differ in style, format, and/or language from the very same products on sale in other areas of the country.

A confluence of factors have caused disruption to the packaging industry – namely, rising materials costs, increasing environmental regulations, shifting global purchasing demographics, and a hyper-competitive branding environment. The printing/conversion providers have responded with call for new solutions for package printing and converting.

Now on Display: Digital Package Print Solutions

The package printing industry currently generates US$389 billion in revenue, and is forecast by Smithers Pira to reach US$184 billion by 2016. With nonstop orders by brand managers for refreshed designs and packaging features, shorter turnaround times, and smaller, convenience-size containers, the value for digital print production has made a dramatic upward leap.

Packaging at retail is acutely important within the super-competitive food and beverage industries. For example, UK retail giant Marks & Spencer plans to open its first food-only stores overseas. While its retail apparel business is in steep decline, Marks & Spencer is countering revenue loss by launching 150 new Simply Food stores in the UK.

Marks & Spencer Simply Food store

Marks & Spencer’s Simply Food store displaying refreshed branding and packaging

Compared to traditional packaging solutions like flexography and gravure, digital gives us the advantage of cost-efficient short run production, reduced waste, and virtually unlimited customization opportunities for a highly segmented marketplace.

Seasonal products, dozens of different languages, smaller volume requirements, regional buying preferences, prototype testing, and specialty items are making digital print a must-have solution.

Folding Carton and Flexible Packaging Enter the Digital Print Domain

Generating about US$147 billion in annual revenue, the folding carton segment is the 800 lb. gorilla of the packaging industry. The application primarily involves containers printed on cartonboard to package fast moving consumer goods.

With US$65 billion in revenue, flexible packaging is the second-largest segment in global package production. Among the trends prompting a switch from rigid to flexible packaging, the most notable are the global focus on reduced weight to contain production and shipping costs, the consumer’s demand for greater product convenience and reusability, and a tighter QC focus on protecting and/or preserving contents from gas, moisture, light, flavor, and odor. The next largest segments within packaging include plastics and labels.

With high quality standards established by gravure and flexo, all segments of the packaging business now expect similar quality from digital solutions. Brand managers and packaging purchasers also demand Pantone® matching and spot brand colors, special inks with extended gamut, formats that match analog (41 in. / 1,050 mm), and media thickness ranging from 9-120 microns.

Landa Nanographic Printing® Presses: The Only Large Format Package for Digital

What’s been missing from digital package printing to date is a large formatsolution for profitably producing 5,000 meter runs with the quality, cost, color, speed, and substrate support of traditional technology. Only the Landa Nanographic Printing® Presses are able to bridge this profitability gap and yield the lowest cost per square meter of any current digital print technology.

Landa printing profitability gap illustration

Nanography® offers a solution for the profitable production of 5,000 meter runs
with all the qualities of traditional technology

The Landa Nanographic Printing® Presses generate throughput up to 100 m/min. Using water-based Landa NanoInk® colorants with efficient, light-absorbing nanopigments, the press delivers a wide color gamut using CMYK, and matches more than 75% of the Pantone color chart.

The Landa Nanographic Printing Presses are also the only digital solution that can print on any and all off-the-shelf packaging substrates without priming or pretreatment. They also operate seamlessly and side-by-side with analog equipment – no special environments are needed – which maximizes overall output and operator productivity.

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Landa S10 - Printing Press