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Kevin Karstedt of Karstedt Partners on digital printing in the packaging segment

Published on January 21, 2013

Kevin Karstedt of Karstedt Partners talks about their experience with digital printing specific to the packaging segment of the industry and the tools they've developed to help printers.

Hi, I’m Kevin Karstedt, CEO of Karstedt Partners and we do a lot of work with the – in the digital printing space for packaging. We’re packaging 100 percent.

And over the last number of years we’ve had a lot of requests from package printers to help them understand the package printing market and how digital print could or could not affect them.

And we’ve developed a suite of tools to help them do that and one of the things that we try to get people to understand is that the – and vendors in particular try to help them understand - that it’s not so much all the hype and the new markets and the personalization and all that of printing to specialty.

Even in the label sector its operational relief. That’s where digital print really has a place in the industry is to relieve the pressures in the pressroom. Taking short runs and trouble jobs off of conventional equipment where long runs are really good for them and let the conventional press do what it’s good for and let the digital press do what it’s good for and to match that along.

We’ve developed tools that help companies actually plug in numbers and hypothetically move jobs from conventional assets to digital assets and let them kind of test it out. But what we’re really seeing is the benefit of digital print is operational relief and it’s not all the sexy, you know, new market stuff. It’s really the stuff that hits the road and makes it work right.

We have seen a huge undertaking lately with folding cartons. The label sector is fairly well developed. The folding carton sector is evolving. Some of these same dynamics are gonna apply there in much larger size, obviously. But there’s gonna be a lot of interesting things.

Finishing is going to be a huge issue with the adoption of digital print for folding cartons as it will for flexible packaging, probably the next wave down. So there’s a lot of interest going that way too.

So, we’re in the pool. We’re here. We’re ready to help and, you know, both vendors and end users figure it out.

 

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Pat has covered graphic communications for nearly 30 years as a reporter, an editor, and a commentator.

 

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