When it comes to the print service industry, new technology is emerging that will change the way providers operate forever. Automatic cutting systems are now making their way onto the scene, bringing with them the potential for massively increasing profits, while improving accuracy and efficiency as well.
While digital fabric printing may be a new arrival in the grand scheme of the format printing industry, the number of ways it can be applied to your print business is already substantial.
The print industry is undergoing a massive transformation right now. No longer will print service providers be able to rely solely on printing as the only service they offer.
Worldwide supply chain and forecasting conglomerate Smithers Pira has come out with a bold prediction for the digital textiles industry; it has valued the current market share at approximately $1.2 billion in 2016 and predicted a year-by-year growth rate of 12 percent by 2021. This prediction, if it bears out, would have the digital textile market doubling in value over the next five years. Others, by including digitally printed fabric for home decorating and clothing, have suggested even higher growth curves.
Modern PSPs in the digital sphere are beginning to experience massive growth. Because of this, there is a lot of opportunities for these companies to grow—if they grow with the times.
PSPs today are very different from the print shops of the past. Although twenty years ago, it may have been commonplace to outsource the finishing of your jobs to another firm—or even cut manually—modern business has high expectations from PSPs, including a full value-creation chain of designing, printing, and cutting.
In modern print shops, it’s well understood that simply printing a piece of media for a client is no longer enough—no longer can you simply click print, wait for the ink to dry, and ship the piece.
UV Ink, the Driver for Innovation
Innovations in the finishing industry came about after technological advances were made in the printing process that made printing on many substrates not only feasible but economical. This technology was UV printing—these inks are high quality and high fidelity and cure almost immediately when struck by UV light from the printheads that are used when printing.
Digital cutting machines in the printing and sign industry are on the rise. These machines use ultra-sharp durable blades and laser-cutting techniques to cut a variety of materials at high speeds and with a huge amount of versatility and customizability.
In the packaging industry, designers are always looking for the next thing that will set them apart. After all, the packaging is very competitive—with so many products on the shelf, yours has to stand out or risk being left behind for a flashier or more modern-looking package.
Technology offers instant gratification to consumers on a daily basis. Customers expect shorter lead times and lower prices all with a greater range of services. Print companies are noticing this shift and have started investing in grand format printing.