Features Craft Opinion
How can I enhance my application offering?

May 21, 2024  By Erwin Busselot

Drupa’s halls will be packed with the latest technology innovations but what will visitors be able to take away with them? How can they apply their learnings to their operations? How can they take their knowledge and use it to shape future growth?

First it is helpful to know where the market is heading. Smithers’ The Future of Digital Printing to 2032 predicts digital print will account for almost a quarter of the global value of all print and printed packaging by 2032. The value of which is $230.5 billion.

Inkjet will continue to be dominant. It accounted for 61.4 per cent of digital print value with 62.4 per cent of volume in 2022. This will increase to 74.1 per cent of value and 77.5 per cent of volume in 2032.


It is no surprise that inkjet’s evolution will be a key theme at Drupa. So too will be how digitalization is shaping the whole industry.

But what does it mean for:

  • Commercial print – Digital production capabilities support the flexible completion of a wide range of customized applications from brochures, mailers, and customer communications to short run packaging. Automated, end-to-end solutions deliver increased efficiency, flexibility, and quality while the use of AI can help maintain consistently high print quality. For print service providers (PSPs), greater integration of software with the latest hardware enhancements deliver elevated results, faster, for increasingly complex runs. Improved media handling expands the application possibilities while accurate inspections assure colour and registration reliability. Latest drying technologies enable the production of vibrant colour on substrates that can be finished immediately.
  • Publication print – Book printing is the fastest growing application for production inkjet, according to IT Strategies. Supporting this continued opportunity, as well as the production of luxury look and feel magazines, are high speed and sheetfed inkjet technologies. They have been developed to deliver application agility and operational efficiency with superior, automated production, closed loop quality control and advanced production floor integration. Faster setup and drying times power operational capacity while high quality results are assured with scanning capabilities. Together they elevate production and expansion into high ink coverage luxury applications.
  • Promotional print – Customized and personalized print gets results. Recent findings from JICMAIL, the British direct mail measurement organization, confirmed in the last year 95 per cent of mail was engaged with, 30 per cent of mail promoted a commercial action, and five per cent of mail prompted a purchase. Digital print – inkjet and toner (the latter enabling the use of special colours such as neons or gold and silver) – can be employed to develop highly successful, targeted campaigns. Creative physical communications can strengthen online messaging and drive action. Latest software solutions enable PSPs to develop their promotional print portfolio using targeted data.

Smithers’ report went on to say technology developments in systems, solutions, and workflows, are having a major impact on the prospects for digital printing.

Erwin Busselot, is director, Business Innovation and Solutions, Ricoh Graphic Communications, Ricoh Europe


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