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Industry Roundtable Day 7: What Role Will Wide-Format Play in Packaging?

(November 2013) posted on Wed Oct 16, 2013

14 days of critical information to prepare your shop for the year ahead.

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Which technologies are on the upswing – and which are on the downswing? What markets and applications look to be hot next year? How much of a role will sustainability play in your company? Which profit centers should you invest in?

Get answers to these questions and many more, from six of the wide-format marketplace’s most informed analysts and consultants. Over the next couple of weeks, The Big Picture will post critical questions with invaluable answers from our panel – all designed to help you ensure that your company charts its best course for a prosperous year ahead.

Each day leading up to the SGIA Expo in Orlando, we’ll feature a round of questions and answers from our panel participants. For this year’s edition of our annual Industry Roundtable, our participants include:

• Lori Anderson, president and CEO, International Sign Association (ISA,;
• Marco Boer, vice president, I.T. Strategies (;
• Tim Greene, director, wide format consulting service, InfoTrends (;
• Dan Marx, vice president, markets & technologies, Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA,;
• Peter Mayhew, director, LightWords Ltd. (; and

• John Zarwan, managing partner, J Zarwan Partners (

Q: Let’s talk applications: Packaging seems to be on everyone’s mind these days. Can wide-format play a significant role here?

John Zarwan: When most in the wide-format industry say “packaging,” they mean printing on corrugated. Corrugated is used in packaging, but not all corrugated is packaging. Service providers already have been printing on micro-flute and other corrugated substrates; applications include P-O-P, standees, and so on. There may be some true packaging applications, and there’s no reason that wide format can’t play a role. It might be significant for the service provider, but corrugated packaging and folding cartons typically require much longer runs than is economic for a wide-format printer. This would hold true for flexible packaging as well.