Day 1 of the Digital Print for Packaging conference took an in depth look at what the markets, and in particular the brands, are really pushing for and how the rest of the supply chain can keep on top of these trends and address the challenges with efficient and effective solutions. Sean Smyth from Smithers Pira kicked off the session with “take risks, make mistakes and succeed with digital printed packaging” whereby he explored the key drivers and barriers for the adoption of digital printing, the technologies available and working out which is the right choice for your applications, as well as providing a concise market forecast for digital in packaging and longer term wonderings.
This was followed by a number of case studies including those from Mars’ Jan Duffhues, Xymogen’s Steve Kirchof and Tesco’s Paul Earnshaw. Jan Duffhues from Mars gave us a unique look in to how decisions at Mars are made and the challenges moving their packaging to digital poses. With a number of limitations to overcome, Jan looked to the rest of the industry for help in taking the leap. At the other end of the spectrum, Steve from Xymogen/Labels in Motion explained the journey they undertook as a pharmaceutical brand adopting digital internally early on and then developing in to an outsourced provider of digital printing services.
Closing Day 1, the conference speakers assessed the state of affairs in digital today, with talks from Florian Faessler of Wifag-Polytype Technologies on process innovations in industrial inkjet, Nick Cousins of Inca Digital on the challenges associated with single pass inkjet printing, and Mark Alexander from Xaar Plc giving a very lively talk on what the real story is with inkjet printing on packaging. We closed the show with a bustling evening cocktail reception which was very well attended and provided an excellent networking opportunity for all involved.
For Day 2 the popular opening presentation was delivered by Mark Abramson, CEO of PrintForm. Mark shared his experiences with launching the world’s first custom-printed virtual reality headset alongside DODOcase, as well as delving in to case studies of a number of other corrugated product examples. Mark used the DODOcase VR headset to explain the process in terms of mind-set, customer engagement, jobs to be done, and technology and workflow choices! Mark’s focus on the customer tied back in nicely to Paul Earnshaw’s talk on Day 1, whereby he used examples of Tesco consumers to ask the crucial question – “Digital Print – why would the customer care?”
In the closing session, delegates heard from collaborating pairs who partnered in order to exploit the potential of the disruptive technology. Pat Henry from What They Think chaired the session, which culminated in a panel discussion asking the question- “How and why can collaboration across the value chain drive innovation in the sector? With panellists from Kraft Foods, Mars, Xymogen, Xeikon, Tonejet and Patented machine Builders, delegates were told how the likes of Kraft and Mars go about partnering, what they’re looking for in a converter and potential motivations for changing suppliers.
Overall the conference was a great success, beating all other editions before it in terms of attendance and delegate satisfaction, with delegate numbers reaching over 130. Thank you to all who attended, presented and sponsored at Digital Print for Packaging 2015 including our event partners CGS, for making it such a great event!