At the 2019 Asia International Label Printing Exhibition (Labelexpo Asia 2019) held at the Shanghai New International Expo Center on December 3-6, about 30 digital printing equipment related manufacturers participated in the exhibition, including: Amica. , Domino, Dilli, Haotian, Konica Minolta, Run Tianzhi, Yunxiao (Shanghai) Internet of Things Technology, Changzhou Termin, Hefei Runjie, Xingyun Computer (GCC), Hanwha Industrial, Saikang, Zhuoji, De Lagan and Ningbo Worry. Among these exhibitors, the majority of inkjet technology is used, which is due to the rapid development of nozzle technology, the improvement of printing materials and ink formulations, and the performance and market applications of color inkjet printers. Unprecedented progress.
Digital printing has been in the label industry for more than 20 years. The earliest entry into this field was toner technology, followed by inkjet technology, which now adds Lanta's nano-digital printing technology. This is a 20-year period of rapid development. To date, approximately 4,500 digital presses have been installed in the global label industry, with HP Indigo and Xeikon's toner presses accounting for more than two-thirds of the total installed capacity.
Especially in recent years, the installation of digital label printers has increased very rapidly. In 2019 alone, more than 800 new digital presses are expected to be installed worldwide. In these new installations, the installed capacity of toner digital presses and inkjet digital presses will be equally divided, but the number of digital + flexo hybrid presses will increase.
Although the installed capacity of toner digital label printers has dominated for many years, the speed of inkjet printers is now higher than that of toner. In an installed inkjet printer, about three-quarters of the printers use UV inkjet, and the rest are aqueous inkjet. As technology advances, the speed and resolution of inkjet printing continues to increase, and more and more devices are beginning to connect to more complex postpress finishing techniques.
Globally, the digital inkjet printing market is growing by companies such as Domino, Deshi, Epson, Screen and EFI, as well as many smaller suppliers. Almost all digital equipment manufacturers participate in the exhibitions of the Labelexpo Global Series in Belgium, Chicago, Shanghai, Navi Mumbai and Thailand.
The latest data shows that by the end of 2020, the annual output value of digital label products processed by all installed digital printing equipment in the world will be close to 9 billion US dollars. This is a fairly large market and it is growing.
The reason for the rapid growth of digital printing technology in the label field is obvious: labeling services in the FMCG market is a key link. The market is increasingly demanding short orders, flexibility, shorter lead times, more version changes, personalization and variable data, and most labels are easily adapted to the width of a narrow web press.
Although the flexible packaging and carton industry has begun to focus on and invest in digital printing, in the past two or three years, the overall market is still far behind the label field, especially the digital printing knowledge mastered by processors, the understanding and use of digital printing. Not yet a label processor. In particular, most packaging processors are relatively lacking in digital pre-press and post-counter experience.
For the consumer goods market, the flexible packaging and carton industry may also encounter short-term, multi-version printing needs, but the cardboard boxes or images that need to be printed are often too large and are not suitable for narrow web printing. Therefore, if you want to meet the needs of most packaging printing, you must have a wider format of printing presses, and the requirements for post-processing in these areas are very different from the labeling field.
In order to cater to the needs of a new generation of wider flexible packaging printing, as well as the pursuit of flexibility and performance in the B1 and B2 sheet-fed carton printing on the market in order to tap more business opportunities, since 2014, some wide-format digital printing for packaging printing Equipment is on the market. Nowadays, the number of wide-format digital presses is increasing year by year, both toner and inkjet technology, as well as the first generation of hybrid packaging presses.
Currently, digital printing equipment manufacturers serving the carton and other processing industries include HP Indigo, Xeikon, Xerox, etc., which provide toner-based printing presses, and Heidelberg, which offers digital inkjet hybrid printing presses. Bao, Konica Minolta, Landa and other companies.
HP Indigo introduces a toner-based flexible packaging press; Uteco/Kodak, MPS and Omit launch the inkjet flexographic hybrid press for the flexible packaging market.
Digital packaging presses are wider and larger, and the investment cost can be two to three times that of a narrow web label printer, and buyers may need to reconfigure and upgrade the prepress system. But there is no doubt that digital packaging presses will have greater printing capacity and throughput. By the end of this year, the total value of products produced by digital packaging presses will account for 20% of the total value of digital labels and packaging printing; by 2020, the total value of global digital labeling and packaging printing products will increase to 10 billion US dollars. .
Some digital label processors are already using medium format printers to produce bags, small bags, lids, etc., and some are dealing with smaller folding cartons. If the label processor can apply the digital printing experience accumulated in the label field and the perception of the market to the packaging field, the future development potential and market opportunities are enormous. In a few years, the original companies in the field of packaging and printing will catch up and make great strides in professional skills and knowledge. At that time, the opportunity for label processors will be even smaller.