A study recently released by PRIMIR, the Print Industries Market Information and Research organization, shows a strong shift in the commercial printing industry, and illustrates growth in the package printing and converting sectors that offers increased opportunity for commercial printers.
The in-depth study, covering a broad scope and including five packaging types and six printing methods within them, provides insights into terminology, technology, growth trends and shifts in volume from sector to sector that commercial printers will find invaluable if they are considering offering package printing as part of their service mix.
Growth in the package printing sector is projected to be robust, with tag and label work leading the expansion of the field with an increase of 5.7 percent projected by 2009. That is followed by flexible packaging, folding carton and corrugated boxes, for an overall average expected growth projection of 4 percent, creating an $83 billion industry.
One key finding of the study is that the line between commercial work and package printing is becoming less defined, and that commercial printers are starting to offer package printing in greater numbers than ever before. Of package printers surveyed, when asked to describe themselves, 43 percent of those who do tag and label work consider themselves to be commercial printers. Additionally, 24 percent of those who print rigid packaging and 8 percent of those doing folding carton work consider themselves commercial printers.
Another key finding of the study is the type of equipment used to perform the work. Sheetfed offset equipment, the workhorse of the commercial printing industry, is used in 81 percent of the folding carton work, 53 percent of the rigid packaging work, 32 percent of the tag and label work, 12 percent of the corrugated work and 10 percent of the flexible packaging work, according to the study.
The rise of hybrid machinery, suitable for both types of jobs in various run lengths and speeds, will most likely increase those percentages. This represents a key opportunity for commercial printers, as their expertise in sheetfed offset will put them ahead of others in the learning curve associated with offering some package printing to customers.
“The results of this study offer validation for those commercial printers with the foresight to investigate and invest in package printing,” said Regis J. Delmontagne, president of NPES. “It provides insights into where the work is going, how it is being produced and with what equipment. That level of information has not been available in a formalized fashion until now, and we’re very excited to offer the study and are equally excited about what the results show in relation to Print ’05 and Converting ’05. As the lines between commercial and package printing blur further, shows like Print ’05 and Converting ’05 become even more beneficial and valuable, as they are the only place to compare like equipment for both types of work from different manufacturers side by side, operating right in front of you in a production environment. That’s critical information you can’t get anywhere else.”
According to Mr. Delmontagne, an opportunity to see the newest sheetfed offset equipment and the new hybrid machinery is at Print ’05 and Converting ’05, Sept. 9-15, at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL. For information on Print ’05 and Converting ’05, go to www.PRINT05.com. Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC) is owned by the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL), The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies (NPES) and the Printing Industries of America (PIA). More info: GASC, (703) 264-7200; fax: (703) 620-9187; e-mail: email@example.com; web: www.gasc.org.