Trends in flexographic printing

4 Trends in the Flexographic Industry in 2022 and Beyond, and How Should You Prepare Your Business

There is no doubt the flexographic industry is evolving. It is important in any business to know what is trending so that you can better understand and prepare your business. Here are four trends to be aware of in 2022 and beyond and a few reasons why you should exercise them in your business.

  1. Sustainability has been an evolving trend. According to the article “What is Corporate Sustainability?” (Sphera’s Editorial Team | November 19, 2021), sustainability does a lot for businesses, including securing a place in the future economy. Other benefits of sustainability include: lessening risk, building brand reputation, increasing revenue, reducing costs and attracting investment are opportunities for businesses that hold sustainability high on their pedestals. “More businesses are going sustainable because more of today’s consumers demand it.” (Blue Bite, 2022). One example of how sustainability can reduce costs would be the introduction of compressed air dryers. These dryers which are powered by electricity rather than gas, allow printers to utilize alternative forms of energy, like solar power. Other new advances in technology also help lessen the amount of energy used on equipment. For example; newer presses feature regenerative drives that store energy in capacitors as the machine is slowing down and then allow it to use that energy when it needs it in the process. Another way to understand this is when you form a snowball at the top of a hill and then allow it to roll down the hill. It takes less energy on your part to make that snowball as inertia creates a bigger and faster snowball. So, wouldn’t it be great if we could store all of that extra energy that you are saving by allowing gravity and the weight of snow to move that snowball faster down the hill? By working towards sustainability you can reap the benefits of reducing overhead costs and more.
  2. One motivating factor in the labor shortage era is the automation of equipment according to Laurie Burkel, owner of Printco Industries, a leading manufacturer of flexographic equipment. “By automating equipment, production levels remain at the same rate while utilizing less human resources. It’s a win, win situation,” says Burkel.   Industry author Robert Pennings mentions in a recent article that AI technology, such as a camera-based automatic impression and register systems take the operator error and guesswork out of the equipment. By taking advantage of these advancements companies can gain a competitive advantage. Additionally, printing presses and machinery are major investments, so by working with your equipment manufacturer to simply enhance pieces of machinery, components and controls may be your best option moving toward automation.  (Pennings, 2020)
  3. Supply Chain Disruption Management, according to Anderson and Vreeland, Inc, a company that provides innovative solutions to the flexographic industry is an important movement in the manufacturing world that isn’t going away anytime soon. (4 trends flexographic, 2022) Being able to get ahead of inventory stock levels, and finding a way to forecast inventory using data, will be critical to avoiding disruption. There are automated inventory software systems available like Vendor Managed Inventory System, Zohoo Inventory, and Webgility, that make this easier to manage.
  4. Trends decline in flexographic printing, according to “9 Emerging Trends in The Flexographic Printing Industry – 2022 Guide,” due to technological advancements, personalization on the packaging, the internet, and smartphones.  The industry is expected to opt for lower volume requirements. (Collins, 2021) This is a similar trend to what the world has seen in the newspaper and magazine industry. Understanding what is going on around you, and the world from a macro perspective will benefit you in the long run.

In summary, staying aware and ahead of industry trends will lead you to greener pastures. Looking into the future, it’s important that you embrace sustainability, automation, supply chain management, and know what the market is doing, educate yourself and understand that times change. History has shown that human habits change due to technological advancements. Another key to remaining ahead of your competition is by staying in touch with your customers. According to industry leader, Laurie Burkel, “The key factor in any business is to maintain healthy relationships. At Printco Industries, we plan to focus on keeping the lines of communication open every step of the way. Knowing what keeps our customers up at night, and being the expert who is able to guide them and find solutions is how we plan to stay ahead of our competition.”

Four Factors to Consider

What Four Factors to Consider When Choosing a Flexographic Equipment Manufacturer

What Four Factors to Consider When Choosing a Flexographic Equipment Manufacturer

If you’re in the food or pharmaceutical packaging trade, according to Smithers, in a recent article, (4 trends that will change, 2018) “Four key trends that will shape the future of packaging to 2028”, the demand for packaged goods is increasing dramatically. As a company in this growing industry, there are four important things to consider when choosing the right flexographic equipment manufacturer. Here is what you need to know to be successful in 2022 and beyond.

First, make sure your equipment manufacturer is working toward sustainable packaging. As manufacturers continually work toward the growing consumer demand for these sustainable products, you need an equipment manufacturer that is on the same level playing field, and understands that consumers are pushing the needle on sustainability. “As sustainability has become a key motivator for consumers, brands are increasingly keen for packaging materials and designs that demonstrably show their commitment to the environment.” (4 trends that will change, 2018) Minimizing food waste is another goal of policymakers, noting 40% of food produced worldwide is not eaten. In agreement with this sustainability trend, Anderson Vreeland, notes that solvent-free plate cleaners and supplies are expected to make a huge impact in 2022. (4 trends, flexographic printing, 2022)

A second point when determining which equipment manufacturing company to take into consideration is the company’s perspective on technology, and how they keep up to date on the latest in technology. Digital printing needs to be taken into consideration when building printing equipment. The use of thermal ink jet printing is not going away anytime soon. This technology provides low maintenance, has fewer chemicals, and is great for short production runs. It is definitely something that flexographic equipment manufacturers need to be aware of and learn how to integrate it into their process if it is a good fit. With QR Codes gaining ground, according to, (Veritiv Corporation, June 03 et al., 2021) digital printing technology allows manufacturers to print QR codes that are used to provide user experiences that help make brands top of mind for the consumer, allows the use of creativity in building brands.

Third, automation is another area that equipment manufacturers need to be well aware of, and know that it is vitally important to the packaging industry. With the upsurge in labor shortages, and an increased need for skilled labor, higher levels of automation are on the horizon. Anderson Vreeland Inc, a leader in the flexographic printing industry, believes that, “Advanced automation is an important step for the printing & packaging industry, and it should be adopted to stay on track with the industry’s trajectory.” Automation also helps reduce human error, and has proven a reduction in waste.

Finally, when researching an equipment manufacturer to partner with, a company needs to review the manufacturer’s experience in the industry. A leader in designing innovative solutions, Printco Industries, a company that has been around since 1983 and has a reputation for building solid flexographic printing equipment. According to Laurie Burkel, a key factor to choosing a partner in the flexographic printing industry is “knowledge and experience”. Burkel’s company has worked with OEM’s worldwide since 1983, and their troubleshooting capabilities are a true testament to building a list of satisfied customers.

In summary, when choosing the right flexographic printing manufacturer to work with, the determining factors are 1) High outlook on sustainability. This must be in the equation based on consumer demand. 2) The company must be able to keep pace with technology. 3) Automation must be an integral part of their design process, and 4) industry experience must be a crucial element in choosing the right flexographic partner. Keeping these four factors in mind when you choose a partner, will ensure your success in the packaging industry, hands down.