Exclusive interview with Philip Morris International on how they're using digital print

Ahead of next month's Digital Print for Packaging Europe, we spoke to Tony Snyder, VP Product Portfolio Management and Deployment at Philip Morris International, to get an inside view on PMI's bold new vision of a Smoke-Free Future, how they're using digital print to succeed with this vision and more.

Q1. Tony, please could you provide us a sneak peek on what your presentation, 'This changes everything', will cover?

Philip Morris International has announced a bold new vision: the replacement of cigarettes with new products which heat tobacco rather than burning it. No smoke, no fire, and a significant reduction in exposure to the harmful compounds found in smoke. This Smoke-Free Future brings many operational challenges, but also the opportunity to redefine and re-invent the way we work. Building a multi category presence in B2B and B2C channels demands speed, agility and scale -  and Digital printing makes this possible.

Q2. Why do you think this is an important topic to discuss, and what effect do you think it could have on the industry?

Every segment and company is going through its own transformation, and the need for speed and agility is compounded by the increasing complexity of our portfolios, stronger competition and a drive for efficient use of capital and assets. The advances in digital printing have been well leveraged for carton, labels and flexibles, but so far folding box board developments for primary packaging have lagged.

Q3. Where do you foresee the industry is headed in the next 5-10 years?

The question is ‘when’ not ‘if’ digital printing will take an increasing share of the total volume. Brand owners need to decide if they will sit back and wait for the advances still needed to make it economically attractive, dip their toe in the water, or dive in head first. The choices we make will determine if digital becomes an additional option we call on, or the disruptive catalyst to a fundamental change in the business model of today.

Q4. What are you most looking forward to at DPP EU 2018 conference?

Digital printing is just one part of the bigger digital ecosystem which needs to be built, so I am interested to hear the latest developments related to digital color management and workflow.

Q5. Why do you feel it’s important for people to attend Digital Print for Packaging Europe 2018?

DPP Europe brings all the players in Digital Printing under one roof.


Tony will present the opening keynote of the Brands Expectations - Opportunities and Challenges session at the DPP Europe conference next month. Other speakers and panellists in the session include:

  • Patrick Poitevin, Principal Scientist RDQI at Mondelez International
  • Tobias Gunzenhauser, Co-Founder and CEO of yamo
  • Daniel Scheepstra, Managing Director at THIMM Verpackung
  • Chris Tonge, Executive Director at Ultimate Group and Sharp Iris
  • Ulrike Quirmbach, Senior Artwork Production Specialist at Unilever
  • Yves de Warrimont, Global Purchasing Manager at Danone
  • Olivier De Lataulade, Finishing & Printing Expertise Director at L'Oreal

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