Digital package printing holds distinct opportunities and challenges.
If you’ve been evaluating potential profit-center additions for your wide-format digital press, you might need to look no further than packaging prototypes and short-run packaging.
It should come as no surprise that digital technologies have been making some significant inroads when it comes to packaging in the past few years. As research group Smithers Pira (www.smitherspira.com) reports, “digital printing significantly reduces the need for prepress and make-ready, greatly reducing costs, and there is a strong desire among brand owners and retailers for customization and shorter, more targeted press runs.” Smithers Pira projects that digital printing for the packaging market will show compound annual growth rate of 23 percent by 2014 and the overall market is set to be worth $6752 million by next year.
How can shops with wide-format technologies play a role in what seems to be a lucrative market? We asked that question of five companies that are now utilizing wide-format in their own package-printing endeavors:
• Centrix Innovations in North Kansas City, Missouri;
• Mark/Trece, Inc. in Baltimore;
• Create-It Packaging in Arlington Heights, Illinois;
• DiTech Group in York, Pennsylvania; and
• Core Color Graphics in Fallingston, Pennsylvania.
Centrix: Expanding its capabilities
Most print companies in the packaging business add digital capabilities in response to client calls for one-off mockups and short-run specialty containers. Centrix Innovations (centrixkc.com) in North Kansas City, Missouri, has its packaging roots in entirely different arenas.
CEO Marc Radasky launched the company to add a new dimension to his family’s multi-faceted packaging businesses. His grandfather started Columbia Burlap and Bag back in 1950, then followed with Koch Bag and Supply in 1980 to produce poly and plastic bags as well as packing materials.
“A couple of years ago, he began looking for opportunities to diversify and branch out from bags into more upscale industrial packaging,” relates Larry Miller, whom Radasky hired as director of operations for Centrix Innovations. “He believed the corrugated business needed a company with short-run capabilities. The larger companies wouldn’t go after clients who wanted to print just 50 displays or pallet wraps.”