Digital Printing Breakthrough Turns Packaging into a Communication Tool

With increasing capabilities for digital printing on corrugated board, packagers are now looking at ways to use the medium as a means of directly communicating with the consumer.

At a recent workshop organized by FEFCO (European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers), the group discussed how improved print quality, increased design flexibility and customizable options have opened up the concept of looking at corrugated board as a communications tool, rather than just a method of packaging and protecting products.

The group also touched on how digital printing has increased the capabilities of QR codes and augmented reality, and how this can make the customer experience more interactive and hands on. One of the examples presented at the workshop was how a consumer can scan a Lego box, leading to an interactive display on a mobile device.

“It is a real revolution,” notes Angelika Christ, FEFCO’s secretary general. “Now, with corrugated packaging, the medium really can become the message.”

Attendees of the workshop also learned how digital printing on corrugated board can now be done in high-volume capacities. Other informational sessions included corrugated board printing product displays from Esko, Bobst, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Automation, Barberan, and Xanté.

While printing on corrugated board can provide some challenges, attendees learned that a change in the workflow process can be helpful in meeting demands. With digital printing, more runs can be printed as long as they are shorter. This not only makes shorter runs more practical and economically feasible, it opens the door to satisfying demand for producing more short-run jobs.

“Digital printing on corrugated board is not hype – it is a solution ready for use in everyday production,” concludes Christ.

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