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The printing and packaging industry in India has assumed growing significance during last decade. The printing industry is one of the biggest and fastest growing sectors in India. Since 1989, the printing and packaging industries’ collective growth has clocked a CAGR of over 16.2%. The growth has always been in double digits and significantly, always more than twice the GDP growth rate. In 2001, the packaging industry worldwide generated an annual estimated turnover of US$ 417 billion. The major regions that made up this total include Europe, US$ 129 billion; North America, $116 billion; and Japan, US$ 81 billion. India’s consumer packaging accounted for just US$ 2.3 billion in that year, that is about half of one per cent of the global packaging volume. It was predicted that the Indian Printing Industry would achieve 60% growth by the year 2010 and can generate phenomenal increase in employment opportunities. The Indian packaging industry is expected to record a CAGR of 9.30% during 2011–15 to become the sixth largest market in the world.

According to census report of year 2001 the literacy growth in India had touched 66.72% . This amazing growth in literacy, which was a direct result of the predominant role played by printing industry, and the ever increasing printing and packaging demands of a rapidly progressing trade industry, has resulted in development of state-of-the-art technology across the entire gamut of pre-press, in-press and post-press processes involved in the printing and packaging industry.

 Digital Packaging and Workflow Automation

Digitally printed packaging, such as labels, folding cartons, and flexible packaging, delivers a set of competitive, cost, and environmental advantages when compared to traditional package printing technologies, and is surprisingly well suited to many packaging applications. A variety of advances in digital color printing technology over the past few years make it realistic to be used in packaging applications. Substrate compatibility, lower running costs, available inks and toners, faster speeds, larger formats, integrated workflow capabilities, and expanded finishing options all allow digital print to be used beyond proofing applications and expand further into production. Workflow automation is the foundation for success in digital packaging. There are six key reasons for automating the workflow associated with digital packaging:

  • Increased Efficiency: Automation enables converters and graphic communications companies to optimize current capital and labor resources.

  • Innovation: The use of automation offers opportunities to produce new products cost-effectively in very short runs.

  • Cost: Reduction in labor cost is the most visible factor when automating workflow, but not the only one. Other components to consider include inventory requirements, training, and quality control. Considering these factors when automating existing production facilities can result in a lower cost per unit.

  • Control: Service providers can maintain tighter control of their operations, while also improving customer order entry by integrating and e-enabling workflow processes.

  • Quality: Creating and following standards ensure predictable, repeatable results that can be automated to ensure the highest quality possible.

  • Viability: By strengthening facilities through automation, print providers can become more competitive in the marketplace.

Automating digital color workflow helps print service providers and converters eliminate the re-entry of job information, thereby reducing error rates and improving staff productivity. Automation also enables more efficient communications, streamlined workflows, as well as real-time job tracking and reporting. Ultimately, workflow automation helps print service providers and converters become more competitive and profitable.