Many organizations around the world are focusing on minimizing their environmental impact. With sustainability becoming more and more important every year, the print industry will come under pressure to offer more transparency around its processes and make them more sustainable if needed. Manufacturers must provide new environmentally friendly technological solutions, which is why this year we can expect to see more flagship products that are sustainably oriented.
Furthermore, the heightened demand and thus rise for sustainable printing services is one topic that is most likely to keep growing during 2023 and over the coming years, which is the reason why sustainability is one of the main topics for drupa 2024. These solutions and technologies are not only ecologically beneficial, but also make the quality of products better while being cost-effective, which will be very valuable during the problematic economic times that are currently being faced.
That is why all these sustainable improvements should not be done blindly. By using improved data analysis, carbon data analysis and data reporting, the industry can find out which sectors specifically should be improved upon, tackling the ones that need it the most, thus producing the best result possible.
During the past two years digitalization and ecommerce have taken a more important role in the printing industry and the expectation among consumers regarding delivery timeframes is very high. That is why digitalization is the second main topic that will be focused on at drupa 2024. With some companies continuing their reliance on print for certain business processes, others will need to rethink their strategy and have a more digitized approach to lower environmental impact, reduce costs and improve efficiencies.
A greater request for on-demand printing and label manufacturing has been recorded due to very long shipping times overseas. Additionally, customers are looking for environmentally friendly options. This is where digital printing comes into play as it produces less trash and pollutants, presenting itself as a viable solution to the problem. Moreover, more environmentally friendly materials are used, resulting in lower client costs.
Digital print also offers more versatility when compared to non-digital printing. It for example helps companies tailor banners and signs to specific customer demands. More customization is offered by advanced packaging with QR codes that can be scanned and shared or digital designs, meaning that digitalization in print does not only provide advantages to the printers side, but also to the consumer side.
The automation processes in the printing industry have already started during the last couple of years. Printers are saving resources and money by automating print workflows and applying inline finishing equipment. Less work force is needed to manage the job from start to finish when procedures are automated. Furthermore, by automating the workflows, printers can maximize the efficiency of their hardware. They can speed up printing and finishing, enhance profitability and print on demand, which leads to being able to handle orders round-the-clock. All of this results in printers providing clients with better quality results, while taking on more work and spending less money.
The automation workflow offers more intricate services and output, which allows printers to adapt to an increased consumer demand without raising prices. Printing companies should focus on automating several critical processes and fine-tuning automation of processes that have already started with it. Some of them are for example web to print, color management, variable data printing, customized printing, device management or finishing.
The combination of the advancement of sustainability, digitalization and automation in the printing industry will benefit printing companies and consumers short term and also long term and will make the printing industry more efficient as a whole. As mentioned before, main topics of sustainability and digitalization will get their spotlight at drupa 2024, so be on the lookout for that!
Do you agree with these focus points for the print industry? Or do you have further additions you would make to this list? Feel free to tell us in the comments!