How Technology is Disrupting the Print Industry

By James Tredwell on August 26, 2022

Printing is still a crucial part of production and logistics, despite the world going paperless more and more frequently. Businesses are enhancing the printing technologies that support them as they adopt efficiencies. Hybrid print technologies, portable inkjet printers, new software tools, and 3D printing are currently areas of advancement.

All industries will face difficulties in becoming more sustainable in the upcoming decade as the world’s middle class, which has discretionary income, expands and the world’s population increases. The COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in significant changes in how people and corporations act and function.

Based on interviews with essential industry insiders across the print value chain, web-to-print software identifies and examines the major disruptive technologies. Technologies are graded based on their potential for implementation and expected market impact throughout the projected period.

Marketing Application:

The emphasis will be on creating digital printing technologies for corrugated boards, folding cartons, flexible plastics, and integrated digital finishing. The expansion of inkjet applications for direct-to-pack and direct-to-object printing will lead to additional opportunities in packaging and other industries.

Some of these features are currently available in their extensive digital press portfolio. While the upcoming will give outstanding print quality on media with a variety of application types. It is used to operate a wide range of substrates and can incorporate inline finishing options.

Workflow Innovation:

As commercial and packaging print workflows become more widely automated and digitalized, significant opportunities will arise. As a result, robotic handling will become more inventive, and the first generation of cooperative worker-robotic systems and web-to-print software will be installed.

They have been exploring this technology in various business sectors, including creating cleaning systems for hotels, offices, healthcare facilities, and airports, in collaboration with a variety of partners.

Hybrid Print Technologies:

The capabilities of traditional and digital printing are combined in hybrid printing. Printing uses a flexible relief plate to print on materials used in food packaging, such as corrugated boards and flexible plastic film. It is quick, easy, clean, and economical.

Hybrid printers use digital technology, essentially. Companies are reducing setup time and accelerating production by fusing tried-and-true techniques with digital improvements. Higher profit margins per task and a more comprehensive range of printed goods are the results.

Increased Digitization:

The expanded adoption of 5G connections and 6G telephone networks will improve digitization by the decade’s end. The commercial availability of quantum computing power through the cloud is another advancement that might be used. Their collaboration with IBM to deliver their information management solutions through the flexible IBM hybrid cloud.

All of these tendencies are at different stages of development. Some are well-established and part of the industrial environment they encounter daily. Others are being investigated, creating more chances for them and their business partners.

Robotics and Automation:

Robotics are used in many ways on modern assembly lines, and construction utilizes these technologies more frequently. Web-to-print solutions will only continue to expand as there are more off-site construction facilities. But they also need to ensure that these robots can work alongside people securely in real-world settings, which can be more complicated than on a manufacturing floor.

Robots can also contribute to increased site security. That’s significant because health and safety and an area where the construction sector historically hasn’t always excelled. For example, deploying robots for high-level jobs can help to reduce accidents. Alternately, you may employ a robot with a camera to evaluate the security of various sites so that you are conscious of the problem.

Smart Materials:

Innovative materials include more environmentally friendly materials, which are crucial given the built environment. It is responsible for about 40% of global carbon emissions and self-healing concrete. It is concretely embedded with microcapsules containing different healing agents to repair cracks automatically.

In other words, intelligent materials are crucial to their efforts to create a better world. You can produce relevant data from a wide variety of sensors. Web-to-print solutions can quickly see how innovative materials link the physical world with the digital one and contribute to the very first disruptive technology. If you picture hundreds of thousands of them embedded throughout a building.

AR and VR:

Although both of these technologies are disruptive, AR is more valuable now because it addresses the point where the natural world and the digital world converge. Therefore, you can use AR glasses or a phone app to overlay those changes over an existing location to see how they would look. This is obviously useful in the building sector.

However, virtual reality is entirely digital. It enables you to immerse in a space before it exists altogether. That implies that you can visualize its final appearance and possible user interface. Before building it, you can make any necessary design adjustments. In the building sector, this is crucial since the sooner modifications can be made, and it is always better.

3D Printing:

The usage of 3D printing in the building sector is already pretty widespread. The capacity to repeat is one of the key advantages. For instance, the assembly line was revolutionary for manufacturing, and ten printers worked through the night generating construction components that met quality standards. It may be equally so for the construction sector.

Although silicone and plastic were the only materials that could be used for 3D printing in the past, metal-printing 3D printers are now also readily. It is a massive advancement in the industry. The printers are growing more extensive at the same time. In fact, there are projects where 3D printers generate metal wall pieces eight by twelve meters in size in a couple of hours.

Artificial Intelligence:

There is an increase in print-specific AI software that press makers are using to automate a range of labour-intensive and time-consuming processes. The system’s performance is gradually, intelligently, and automatically improved over time as AI closely monitors the outcomes of each work, noticing variations in products and methodologies.

Final Thoughts:

The worldwide printing business is evolving due to demand for more digitization, sustainability, productivity, and automation. New business and purchasing models have developed. To execute their jobs well, facilities maintenance personnel require information on how the building is doing, and they haven’t had much of it. Therefore, a digital replica of the structure that might be given to the owner after construction is highly disruptive.

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