There are a lot of well-established benefits when it comes to digital printing. Some of the most popular are how the technology better enables short run flexible packaging production by eliminating plate fabrication and other set-up costs. This can help enable SKU proliferation, rapid time to market, custom food packaging, and seasonal promotions. Other benefits of digital printing include easy integration into workflows, the wide range of substrates it works with, and its high definition graphics quality. Simply put – digital is the only printing technology that enable print on demand, so brands can order to demand.
Usually when the term “on demand” comes up, people associate it with watching pre-aired or streaming television. This is for good reason, as the TV companies and streaming services have done a good job of communicating this offering, up to the point where it’s become synonymous with viewing. But as “on demand” is defined as “as soon as or whenever required,” there’s a bevy of other things that are applicable to the term. ePac digital printing is one of them.
Top Benefits of Printing On-Demand
When it comes to printing on demand, obviously printing only occurs after an order has been received. And while this is also true of offset, gravure and flexo printing methods, the big difference with digital printing flexible packaging is that no plates are used and the prepress and press set up time required is literally minutes for each task. Once an order is received, a PDF is created by prepress, and it can be immediately printed.
Here’s a look at some of the other benefits that brands can experience when they work with flexible packaging companies such as ePac Flexible Packaging that have adopted the print on demand model with digital equipment:
- Fast, cost-effective setup compared to other printing technologies such as offset and flexo.
- Less waste, as brand owners are able to more accurately order package runs. This can significantly help reduce the cost of inventory and obsolescence for the brand owner.
- Thanks to digital printing’s short run capability, test market packaging can be more easily created, and design changes can be made quickly without having to remake printing plates.
- It’s sustainable: Brands that print digitally are investing in a sustainable printing technology, largely for the fact that it better enables printing of only the packaging that is needed. And because digital printing is an on demand technology, it’s easy to order more if it’s necessary.
- It’s fast: Last but not least, the on-demand nature and elimination of platemaking enables a faster time to market on digitally printed packaging. Instead of waiting weeks or months for packaging, digital printing runs can be completed in a matter of days.
According to data from PMMI, digital printing press installations are currently growing at a pace of about 12 percent per year. Noting this, it may only be a matter of time before there’s a new technology synonymous with the term “on demand.”