Digital growing but conventional processes still dominate

3rd drupa Global Trends Report 2016

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The three reports have drawn on a global panel of about 750 printers to survey the state of the printing industry and expectations about its future over the three years leading up to drupa 2016. Sabine Geldermann, director of drupa, Messe Düsseldorf, said, “This year’s drupa is a showcase for the latest developments in the global printing industry. By commissioning the series of drupa Global Trends reports, we are able to put these new developments into the context of the state of the industry as a whole.”

Looking at some 14 common print processes, the report found that digital technologies are growing fastest (on an average by 28% per annum), but that sheetfed offset lithography is also seeing significant growth, particularly in publishing (net positive growth of 7%) and packaging (+12%). Flexography is also doing very well in packaging (+18%), and gravure is also seeing a modest but definite growth (+3%) in this sector. Functional printing is a growth area for screen printing (+11%), though digital is very important here too.

While the bulk of turnover still comes from conventional print, there is a steady increase in the volume and value of digital print, with the exception of packaging where only 13% reported that it represents more than 25% of turnover, compared to 35% for commercial, 24% for publishing and 59% for functional. The ability of digital to print variable content is important, with 59% of functional printers and 35% of commercial printers reporting that more than 25% of their digital turnover was variable. Web to print seems to have stalled, with only a percentage point of growth from 2014 (25% of printers had it) to 2015 (26%). Only North America as a region and functional print as a sector saw significant increases in volumes going through web to print.

Packaging South Asia is the cooperating media partner for drupa 2016 which is scheduled to be held from 31 May to 10 June at Dusseldorf, Germany