Big Picture - May 2018 - 29

the leading sector in terms of value and innovation, if not
growth and volume as well; this industry is unusually aware of
digital printing's potential to address fragmenting consumer
groups more efficiently with much shorter runs, as well as to
tie print into the live data stream, including social media.
There's been small but important early progress using liquid
toner in HP Indigo systems, as well as multiple aqueous inkjet
projects designed to meet the consumer packaged goods'
preference for water-based inks. But the flexible packaging
market uses large amounts of film; solving the riddle of how to
print that at high speeds with inkjet is not going to be simple.
But this industry is ready to experiment.

and perhaps oversupplied. Folding carton itself has also
steadily lost share among packaging formats. Still, it's a large
industry and there are valuable sub-sectors at the top of the
market including cosmetics, beauty, and high-priced food and
drink, so the issue is not lack of opportunity so much as a
scarcity of suitable presses. A further difficulty for vendors is
sorting through the vast number of commercial printers and
folding carton converters to find ones with the capability and
desire to develop new markets. This industry does not
embrace digital as readily as others, like flexible packaging.

8

DECORATIVE FLOORS
Floors technically include ceramic tiles, carpets, wood,
and laminates, though these are often viewed as
CORRUGATED PACKAGING
Most of the digital print action in packaging that we've separate markets in their own right. That makes it hard to
agree on what the core market is. Carpets are digitally printed
heard about over the last year since drupa has been
to a modest extent and, of course, almost all ceramic tiles are
around corrugated applications. This industry is almost
digitally printed today. There is also a small, specialized
entirely analog today and sees great potential in inkjet.
Preprinting the liners before (and in line with) the corrugation market for printing wood for some flooring applications.
process could cut significant costs, and moving the decoration Finally, new vinyl flooring types have emerged that reassert
themselves up the value chain as high-quality products, and
of blank corrugated sheets to be closer and more relevant to
the user would bring additional advantages. The pace at which they are beginning to be digitally printed, though not always
with dedicated systems. On top of all that market complexity,
aqueous and UV inkjet systems are being brought to market
there's an embedded perception among consumers dating
(by such major suppliers as EFI, HP, KBA, Durst, Inca, and
from the predigital days that print on floors is a low-end
others) can only be called impressive. Part of the background
product for those who didn't want to spend money on real
to this growth is that the use of corrugated packaging at the
wood or stone. So, digitally printed flooring exists in more
retail level has expanded, so that the needs for higher quality
than one form, each specialized and relatively small in volume
color within this huge market (2700 billion square feet of
today. A single, dominant digital flooring dynamic hasn't
output per year) are increasing. Drivers include the use of
secondary packaging in primary retail locations, e-commerce, emerged as of yet.
and expanding markets for heavy consumer goods and
DECORATIVE GLASS
associated display materials. This market will act as a driver
Flat glass is a truly specialized substrate. The principal
like no other in the development of faster, more reliable, more
point of flat glass is often its transparency, though glass
economical, and higher quality inkjet production presses with
does
get
treated in different ways as a means of controlling
benefits that can then be brought to other sectors faster than
ambient
environments.
Many of these treatments are applied
would otherwise be the case.
during manufacturing and are not printing or patterning
processes, though there are exceptions, such as automotive and
LABELS
Production digital printing of labels has been happening some architectural glass. An Israeli company called Dip-Tech
specializes in producing very large flatbed inkjet systems using
for more than 20 years, and now represents about five
percent of output, 15 percent of revenues, and probably a much frit inks (ceramic pigments that become permanently part of the
glass on firing). These are built in particular to be able to handle
larger share of profits. This market shows digital's ability to
the enormous weight of glass panels. Some printing of glass
enter and live alongside an old-line analog technology, but it
surfaces is done with UV ink on flatbed systems; other
also shows how digital often lives off lower quantities and
higher margins. Those higher margins are what users who have decoration is done indirectly with static film that is digitally
printed and then applied later. This is truly a specialist's market.
embraced digital are most fond of. At the same time, there's a
strong dynamic among the leading converters for much higher
DECORATIVE ARCHITECTURAL SURFACES
productivity from digital, and that's driving interest in new
Usually, this term refers to laminate substrates,
hybrid lines that combine digital and analog printing, in addition
which are essentially multiple layers of paper and
to the general demand for higher throughput.
sometimes other substrates permeated with resin and formed
into a solid material under high heat and pressure. Print is often
FOLDING CARTON
The offset-printed folding carton is a target for vendors applied to a final paper surface under the last clear resin overlay
of the substrate. There have been attempts to bring digital print
of B2-plus digital sheet-fed presses like HP Indigo,
to this market for 20 years; to date, only about half of one
Fujifilm, Konica Minolta, and Landa, among others. Digital
percent of this small market (97 to 108 billion square feet,
technology has not yet made a big dent, though a lot of test
globally) is digital. Flatbed UV and aqueous systems are the
marketing is undertaken on A3-format electrophotographic
most common digital technologies for laminates, not always
printers from vendors like Xerox. The analog folding carton
market is much like commercial offset printing: commoditized purpose built as you might expect. While developers have made

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BIGPICTURE.NET

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http://www.BIGPICTURE.NET

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Picture - May 2018

Big Picture - May 2018
Contents
Insight
Wide Angle
Upfront
Extreme Vinyl
Business + Management
New Direction
Let’s Talk Industrial
R+D
Job Log
Big Picture - May 2018 - Intro
Big Picture - May 2018 - Big Picture - May 2018
Big Picture - May 2018 - Cover2
Big Picture - May 2018 - Contents
Big Picture - May 2018 - Insight
Big Picture - May 2018 - 3
Big Picture - May 2018 - Wide Angle
Big Picture - May 2018 - 5
Big Picture - May 2018 - Upfront
Big Picture - May 2018 - 7
Big Picture - May 2018 - 8
Big Picture - May 2018 - 9
Big Picture - May 2018 - 10
Big Picture - May 2018 - 11
Big Picture - May 2018 - 12
Big Picture - May 2018 - 13
Big Picture - May 2018 - 14
Big Picture - May 2018 - 15
Big Picture - May 2018 - Extreme Vinyl
Big Picture - May 2018 - 17
Big Picture - May 2018 - Business + Management
Big Picture - May 2018 - 19
Big Picture - May 2018 - New Direction
Big Picture - May 2018 - 21
Big Picture - May 2018 - 22
Big Picture - May 2018 - 23
Big Picture - May 2018 - 24
Big Picture - May 2018 - 25
Big Picture - May 2018 - 26
Big Picture - May 2018 - 27
Big Picture - May 2018 - Let’s Talk Industrial
Big Picture - May 2018 - 29
Big Picture - May 2018 - 30
Big Picture - May 2018 - 31
Big Picture - May 2018 - 32
Big Picture - May 2018 - 33
Big Picture - May 2018 - 34
Big Picture - May 2018 - 35
Big Picture - May 2018 - 36
Big Picture - May 2018 - 37
Big Picture - May 2018 - 38
Big Picture - May 2018 - 39
Big Picture - May 2018 - 40
Big Picture - May 2018 - 41
Big Picture - May 2018 - 42
Big Picture - May 2018 - 43
Big Picture - May 2018 - 44
Big Picture - May 2018 - 45
Big Picture - May 2018 - R+D
Big Picture - May 2018 - 47
Big Picture - May 2018 - 48
Big Picture - May 2018 - 49
Big Picture - May 2018 - 50
Big Picture - May 2018 - 51
Big Picture - May 2018 - 52
Big Picture - May 2018 - 53
Big Picture - May 2018 - 54
Big Picture - May 2018 - 55
Big Picture - May 2018 - Job Log
Big Picture - May 2018 - Cover3
Big Picture - May 2018 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_20191112
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_201905
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_201903
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_201504
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_201503
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_20150102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_201411
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_201410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_201409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_201408
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_20140607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_201405
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_20140102
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