Current Changes in the Digital Labels Market

 In today’s technological world we are rapidly seeing old-fashioned marketing techniques replaced by faster, cheaper and more efficient means. The worldwide labelling market is just one of many industries to be affected by such modern advances.

Within the digital printed labels market, many businesses are now being drawn to the new digital technology. It has vast benefits including not only the faster and more efficient digital printing presses but also digital in terms of placing orders, preparation, planning, printing, inspection and finishing processes. In an industry where deadlines need to be met, the attraction of faster print run times can be a lucrative asset.      

Since 2003 when HP Indigo and Xeikon brought out their first new generation industry-standard models, more than 1,200 digital presses have been installed all across the world. With most of them in Europe and North America, they can also be found in China, India, The Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, South-East Asia, South America and South Africa. Resulting in a decade of a revolutionised industry. 

Agfa’s global sales director for its Dotrix industrial inkjet press Jaan de Vooght says, ‘It is no longer a case of "make then sell". The speed of digital press technology means that ‘sell then make’ is fast becoming the new philosophy.’ 

She added, ‘digital press technology now enables endless print possibilities that are simply not financially practical with litho or flexo. A digital press easily handles late design changes and is the natural choice for short/medium run lengths due to the simple workflow and plateless approach. With a digital press it is simple to co-brand packaging with the name of the retail outlet or the name of a special promotion. It is a proven way to gain extra "presence" in the battle of the shelves and increase sales.’ 

Despite this advance, the Flexography printing method is still the leading US printing technology and is forecast to hit above average growth in 2017. This is due to its low cost, versatility and suitability with its large pressure sensitive segment and its faster growing sleeve label segment. 

The Digital Labelling Market is set to rival Flexography in years to come with its flexibility and short run times making it perfect for shorter run projects, with no setup fees or plate charges unlike the traditional printing methods, making digital seem the more favourable choice.