Welcome to our blog about everything flexography. We hope you’ll find all kinds of useful information here on the business of flexographic printing and its application to labeling, packaging, and corrugated, as well as content about our staff, technology and services. Our blog features a combination of original and contributed posts from some of the leading voices in our industry–including many of our own Staff. You will notice that there is room for comments on the bottom of each post as well as each page of our new site. We welcome your opinions and discussion points!
From Flexible Packaging, Corrugated Direct Print, Folding Carton, Party Goods and Labels, we firmly believe in the concept of Partnership for Success! Put Printron’s line of award-winning services to work for you: With file building to print, Image Optimization, cutting dies and printing plates; we help you succeed.
We are excited to feature our portfolio and technology at printron.com, which tell part, but not the complete story behind both our success and that of our customers.
It is without a doubt that together, the staff and the culture at Printron, completes our story and sets us apart.
Vendors, industry partners and our own people tell us that the staff and culture at Printron are unique and we couldn’t agree more.
Watch our social media pages in the coming weeks as we highlight some of our staff who are part of the Printron experience and learn not only about the expertise they bring but also how they contribute to our culture.
Smithers has done a deep dive into the corrugated packaging market that has produced some very interesting, and unexpected data. Read on to learn which consumer habits and brand owner demands will continue to have a big impact on our industry.
Five key trends that are changing the future of the corrugated packaging market | Smithers
The corrugated packaging market is growing quickly, helped by the explosion of e-commerce and developments in digital printing technologies.
The global corrugated packaging market is growing faster than expected, confounding some predictions that forecast a slowdown in corrugated consumption. A downturn in demand in China and the banning of contaminated recycled paper stocks has not fully materialised.
Smithers new report – The Future of Corrugated Packaging to 2023 – offers exclusive analysis on how this market is increasing, growing around 3.7% annually to reach $300 billion in 2023. The report also reveals that the electrical goods end-use sector will see the highest levels of growth.
Five trends changing the corrugated packaging market | Smithers
E-commerce retail sales are continuing to rocket, with estimates of around 20% annual growth in e-commerce trade in Europe.
Global online sales are expected to be over $5.5 trillion in 2023. This will have a profound impact on packaging demand, especially in the corrugated industry as it represents 80% of demand in e-commerce.
The increasingly complex logistics chain for direct to consumer delivery – e-commerce packages are expected to be handled up to 20 times or more during standard distribution – means there is new demand for cost-effective secondary corrugated board packaging.
Demands from brand owners are now being felt by the converting industry as many brands now require the secondary pack to carry their image into the home, not just the retail outlet. This increases the need for converters to produce high-quality graphic designs on the shippers themselves.
Born out of e-commerce has been the advent of fit-to-product (FtP) or box-on-demand systems, driven in particular by the needs of dedicated e-commerce sellers such as Amazon and Staples. This technology enables the production of customised secondary packaging based on the exact size of the product being packed, including irregular shapes. For the end-user this eliminates the need for large inventories of standard-sized boxes which often require copious amounts of filler material.
As FtP platforms become more popular, there will be more demand for boards sold as fanfold, as well as finishing equipment, such as printers, that can operate with them.
Major moves are being undertaken to capitalise on this growth market. WestRock for example acquired Plymouth Packaging. Based in Michigan it derives 70% of its sales from its BoD systems and corrugated fanfold, together with its equity interest in Panotec and exclusive right to distribute Panotec’s equipment in the US and Canada.
Corrugated board is proving popular in packaging as sustainability becomes a more important issue across the value chain – it is easy to recycle and the pulp and paper industry is already adept at converting these into new generations of containerboard. These qualities mean there has been a rise in popularity of corrugated protective formats over polymer based alternatives, such as expanded polystyrene (EPS) foams.
While lightweighting of board has long been affecting the corrugated industry, rightweighting, and rightsizing are playing an increasingly important role in this market, not only in response to consumer demand for efficient packaging, but also in response to the logistics chain’s adoption of dimensional weight (DIM) pricing. In some instances substituting to a heavier board grade can have a beneficial impact overall as it allows for the elimination of additional protective elements.
The desire to minimise the volume of air being shipped within all delivery channels means that in some instances there have been significant cost increases. For example a 32-pack of toilet rolls costs an estimated 37% more to ship using charges based on dimensions, rather than simple weight.
Lightweighting has been particularly successful in Western Europe, where box weights are now typically about 80% of US weights. The importance of lightweighting will continue to be felt over the coming years as retailers look to save costs as well as appealing to end users.
Retail-ready packaging has established itself as a major cost saver for retailers, especially in Western Europe. This ongoing profit pressure is providing an impetus to use more retail ready formats as a labour-saving solution, as it is estimated that these secondary packaging formats can reduce shelf restocking and handling costs by up to 50%. It is also particularly popular with sales into convenience stores or discount retailers such as Aldi and Walmart. For brands it gives the added bonus of giving them greater control over the presentation of their goods within the retail space.
The expansion of e-commerce trade into the grocery sector is likely to have a slight impact on retail-ready packaging use as online sales do not require these pack types.
Corrugated cases will still be used to ship goods to an online retailers warehouse or ‘fulfilment centre’ but these do not need to be retail-ready formats. The emergence of subscription box and meal kit services – which offer direct-to-consumer delivery of specialist food using a weekly or monthly subscription – are providing some new opportunity for corrugated board suppliers with delivery-friendly formats containing goods within a die-cut interior.
Digital printing advancements
As the digital print market matures, the corrugated sector, while still in its infancy, has developed a growing appetite for adoption of the process, and systems are now being developed to address the demands of the high-volume liner and post-print markets.
The flexibility of run-lengths, savings in set-up costs, the ability to personalise either relating to brands, regions, stores or individuals, and the level of quality now available through the latest technologies all combine to create a ‘perfect storm’ of growth opportunities for converters and printers.
Brand owners are recognising the opportunities to grow dwindling brand loyalty through greater engagement with their customer base provided by these technological developments, and industry leaders see packaging as an important component in the creation of a memorable shopping experience that users will want to share via social media, which can drive marketing, encourage repeat business and attract new customers.
The Future of Corrugated Packaging to 2023 offers comprehensive market data for current and future demand for corrugated packaging, complemented with over 350 tables and figures delivering an unparalleled level of detail across all key segments. Download the market report brochure.
2020 was another year of big wins for Printron customers at the Flexographic Technical Association Excellence In Flexography competition, and we’d like to offer all our sincere congratulations!
According to the FTA: “The Excellence in Flexography Awards is the premier awards program for the flexographic industry. It is the only competition flexographers from around the world trust to define who’s who in the package printing and converting industry.
As the longest running and most prestigious annual print competition, its mission is to honor outstanding companies who have made exceptional quality and precise consistency their mission in the pursuit of printing excellence. Each of the hundreds of entries received every year is individually evaluated by a panel of judges on its degree of difficulty and level of execution. Award-winning prints offer proof of significant achievements in quality, and they gain worldwide recognition and coverage through a number of avenues”.
We are honored and proud of the fact that we had the opportunity to be a part of these outstanding print jobs and are grateful to our partners who continue to move the flexographic printing industry forward and push the boundaries of what was before unheard of.
As a critical supplier to both the corrugated and flexible packaging industries, Printon is continuing to operate at full capacity and has taken steps to keep our employees and their families safe.
In this time of chaos and uncertainty, we’d like to share this take on the importance of the corrugated industry in getting much needed supplies to those who need them and emphasize that we will be there for our customers, vendors and employees to the best of our ability, for the foreseeable future.
From Buzz Digital Marketing written by Sebastian Reisig:
Corrugated Box Industry Keeps Supply Chain Moving Amid COVID-19 Challenges
The manufacturers of corrugated cardboard boxes are working to keep transport packaging flowing to makers of essential products including packaging for food and other consumer products, medical and pharmaceutical products, tissue and hygiene products and more amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Corrugated cardboard packaging is the backbone of the American supply chain,” said Fibre Box Association President and CEO Dennis Colley. “As COVID-19 changes our daily lives, we want to assure consumers that the box industry is continuing to operate and to deliver needed packaging to our customers who supply grocery stores, pharmacies, doctor’s offices and hospitals with food and medical supplies to keep us all healthy and safe.”
Disruption in the availability of these goods would cause significant hardships to consumers across the country who depend on steady and stable supplies. Corrugated cardboard manufacturers are dedicated to continuing to operate box plants under the guidelines of Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure products continue to flow to market.
Fibre Box Association joins American Forest & Paper Association in encouraging Federal, State and local governments to recognize the corrugated packaging industry as “essential” when drafting “Shelter in Place” orders. We ask for clear exclusion of our manufacturing operations to limit disruptions to the supply chain.
“We are grateful for the dedication and commitment of all people working in the corrugated packaging industry,” said Colley.
The 2019 Printron Appreciation and Acknowledgement Team was busy planning and running many great events.
Employees giving back and connecting
The P.A.A.T Committee was busier than ever in 2019, not only planning fun events and celebrations, but also creating opportunities for employees and their families to give back to our community.
And give back they did! Not only do Printron team members share a love of good food, sports and friendly competition, their generosity and commitment to our community is truly inspiring. Check out the photos below to see what a great year it was.
Super Bowl Chili Lunch
Milwaukee Brewer’s Home Opener
Food For (March) Madness
Dog Days Of Summer
Are You Ready for Some Football?
Fall Flannel Fun and Stock The Pantry Food Drive
Warmth Of The Season
Membership on the P.A.A.T. committee is open to everyone. Please see H.R. Manager Mary Hilker if you are interested in joining. We’d love your ideas for future events at Printron!
Miss out on some of the fun? No worries, there are plenty of great things planned for 2020!
A Best Of Show winner at the Flexographic Technical Association Excellence In Flexography competition does not just happen. What exactly goes into producing a winning piece?
This article written by Jackie Schultz appeared in Corrugated Today and answers that question.
Read on to see what industry experts and the players involved in this Nestle winner have to say about making it all happen.
Winning, connecting, and educating the direct print corrugated industry
This year 9 of 10 2019 FTA Excellence in Flexography Award
winners, Combined Corrugated, partnered with Printron!
BEST OF SHOW
SILVER AWARD (Process)
GOLD AWARD (Screen)
SILVER AWARD (Screen)
BRONZE AWARD (Screen)
GOLD AWARD (Line)
SILVER AWARD (Line)
BRONZE AWARD (Line)
The Excellence in Flexography competition is the premier awards program for the flexographic industry.
It is the only competition flexographers from around the world trust to define who’s who in the package printing and converting industry. As the longest running and most prestigious annual print competition, its mission is to honor outstanding companies who have made exceptional quality and precise consistency their mission in the pursuit of printing excellence.
Each of the more than 500 entries received every year is individually evaluated by a panel of judges on its degree of difficulty and level of execution.
Meet the 2019 judges:
Learn more about the judging of this year’s combined corrugte entries, what set the winners apart and see all the winners here: https://www.flexography.org/honors-awards/excellence/2019-fta-excellence-in-flexography-awards/combined-corrugated/
This year we loved connecting with both long time flexo industry members and meeting new ones at our booth at Infoflex2019! Thanks to everyone who stopped by!
Showing the Steps from Brown Boxes to Multi-Color & Process Print at Forum 2019!
This exciting session which included a panel of 4 industry experts with different roles in the direct print corrugated process, was co-chaired by Geoff Roznak of Great Northern Container and Mike D’Angelo of the AICC.
Our own Jake Kraus was thrilled to be a presenter! Jake shared his expertise and perspective on how printers can work with their pre-press and plate supplier to deliver a high-quality package or display, with graphics, that until recently, were only possible with more costly litho pre-printed liner or labels.
Jake explained how Printron manages more complex prepress and plate making processes, and highlighted the print champions. He also elaborated on process control, press characterization and the partnership that is necessary between the converter and supplier.
We remain committed to sharing our expertise and experiences to move the direct print corrugated industry into the future. It is only through continued education and collaboration that we all improve and ultimately succeed. Can’t wait to see what Forum2020 will have in store!
A Story of Change – ‘This End Up’ to Pictures and Color
Learn more about this exciting session here: https://www.flexography.org/conferences-events/annual-forum/forum-sessions-in-detail/transitioning-from-brown-boxes-to-multi-color-flexographic-printing-join-the-growth/