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Digital Unboxing: Packaging Experiences an Innovation Collision

Throughout the industry, from brand identity and messaging to converting and distribution, digital capabilities cause processes in every part of the packaging supply chain to be re-evaluated. Mary Schilling explains how the presence of digital print technology has created stellar opportunities for label, folding carton, and flexible packaging.


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About Mary Schilling

Mary Schilling is the co-owner of InkjetInsight.com, she writes technical inkjet industry articles, provides RIP and workflow training, manages print quality analysis evaluation, ink management and color management for OEM’s and end users for pre and post machine installs.

Mary Schilling consults with paper mills, fluid and inkjet machinery suppliers on how to improve color and print quality for high speed and industrial inkjet involving paper, plastics, metal, fabric and glass with UV and aqueous inkjet fluids. This experience led her to receive Innovator of the Year awards from the Flexographic Technical Association and from Xplor International for her efforts in closing the gap between inkjet printing for document, and digital corrugated packaging.

She is the owner of Schilling Inkjet Consulting, Published Author and Certified ColorGate Color Trainer and Distributor. Her latest published works can be found www.thinkforum.com/bookstore


By Chris Lynn on Oct 04, 2021

In discussing sustainability, the article jumps from talking about recyclable plastics (currently only 9% of plastics are recycled) to recyclable corrugated (60-90% is currently recycled). The difference is that most plastics are used for primary packaging and therefore get contaminated by contact with the product. The corrugated market, with only a single polymer (cellulose), is much easier to manage than flexible packaging with its multi-layer materials and the need to separate and clean them before processing.

Brands are making strenuous efforts to improve their sustainability image by using more PCR (post consumer resin), adopting bio-based resins, and other 'green' initiatives. But Jeff W touched on a neglected focus for inkjet printing - late-stage customization of packaging, using inkjet as well as conventional printing: this will to allow shorter runs, avoiding unnecessary production, and therefore scrap and greenhouse gases. A good value proposition to sell to brands today.


By Elizabeth Gooding on Oct 07, 2021

Chris - you are correct in pointing out that not all sustainability initiatives have the same level of impact. For any application segment, including packaging, there are an array of options from physical materials to the workflow that all have an impact. Mary covered a lot of ground in her article, but there is a lot more to cover - particularly with respect to opportunities for a lower footprint process.



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