In an effort to meet market demands, flexible package printing is transitioning from conventional flexographic to digital printing. This change is resulting from cost reductions in digital technology as well as a need to keep up with trends shaping the growth in flexible packaging.
In 2017, the industry saw an uptick in narrow web digital press installations over flexographic presses. New digital press installations in North America are growing at 11.9 percent per year, while conventional flexographic press installations are contracting at an annual rate of 8 to 9 percent, according to a study by label industry market research firm LPC. As the cost of digital printing decreases, it becomes more attractive to flexible packaging converters for customized, short-run productions; however, flexographic printing still maintains a stronghold on the market and maintains a critical role.