This year’s Packaging Innovations show, which will take place on 27 at 28 February 2013 at Birmingham’s NEC, will see digital print brought very much to the fore.

The show will also feature the Big Print Debate with top print decision makers taking part. These will include Matthew Daniels, Global Packaging Capability Leader – Printing and Decoration at Unilever and Karen Graley, packaging and reprographics manager at Waitrose.

Also on the panel is John Charnock, director and owner of Print Research International, who commented: “Printing and packaging deals with the physical and aesthetic, although the placing of the pigment onto a substrate can become digital, and so it should; the process of manufacturing products such as, books, magazines, boxes, bottles cannot.

‘Many processes will be controlled by digital information, but processes that a printer (whether digital or not) has to fulfil in order to service their customers, such as folding, cutting, creasing, embossing, are the difficult and expensive components.’

Will Parker from Reflex Labels, another panellist, added: ‘Digital has established itself in print and packaging for the last 20 years, but in a niche fashion. Now it is time for it to deliver. New technologies on the horizon have the potential to make this the ‘decade of digital printing’, the market requirement being for web driven, short run, digital quality printing.’

Mr Charnock agrees to some extent: ‘Digital printing has enabled us to reduce the cost of short lead time products and has enabled our customers to produce many more versions and variables in order to react to the marketplace that they serve. This in my view is the revolution that has impacted on print, not necessarily the method by which pigment is applied; although the nano theories do appear to be very exciting!’


Nanography explained

The event will play host to Benny Landa’s nanography.

Landa will be a key focus during the learnShops’ line up, providing visitors with the first chance to hear Gerry Mulvaney, European sales manager at Landa Digital Printing, lifting the lid on nanography.

The technology has attracted over 400 adopters whilst still just a prototype and in late 2013 the first examples of nanographic printing will be coming off the press.

Mr Mulvaney will explain what nanography is, how it works and the marketing advantages it will bring for brand owners and retailers. As nanography evolves from a concept to a commercial reality, early converters will be on hand to share their belief in a process that is set to revolutionise packaging print.

Landa will be one of ten free to attend learnShops taking place across the show. Also topping the bill will be Julia Cole, marketing manager at HP Indigo, who will show how print can extend the retail experience. She said, ‘Packaging is increasingly a critical factor in the consumer decision making process. It is therefore ever more important that brands use packaging to differentiate their products in the retail environment. In my learnShops seminar, ‘Extending the retail experience’, I will be highlighting the ways in which this can be achieved utilising versatile and innovative digital printing solutions to add value to packaging and meet today’s retail challenges and trends. Find out how personalisation, coding, marking, high quality, creative print effects and the many other benefits of digital printing can be employed to enhance the consumer experience and increase sales.’

Chris Tonge, sales and marketing director at Ultimate Packaging, will be discussing the addition of digital print to a business that has historically been focused on flexo, and what has happened over the past year to make it work for the business and its customers. He said, ‘Our customers told us that they needed an option for short print runs of packaging to enable them to be more reactive to market conditions and promotions, so we responded by adding digital print, which we believe is the perfect solution.’

Highcon will be presenting a seminar on ‘Euclid theory in practice – digital finishing for folding cartons’. Chris Baker, vice president Sales and Business Development at Highcon, said: ‘Digital cutting and creasing makes short run package converting profitable and allows you to offer more design creativity and flexibility, enabling speed to shelf for the most demanding customers.’

Managing director of API Foils, Will Oldham, will be presenting a seminar dedicated to cold foiling. Entitled ‘The foil that came in from the cold’, the seminar will cover how new print machinery is creating exciting packaging opportunities for cold foil applications, as well as overcoming common challenges associated with this process.