Digitalization in the packaging and printing industry

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What are the benefits of digitalization and how is Toppy contributing? 

Digitalization is gaining momentum globally, thanks to innovative technologies in both the printing and packaging industries. This shift is still in the early stages of adoption but offers significant potential as firms are likely to see significant improvements in operational efficiencies, data collection, productivity and much more.

Digitalization is not only about technology, it is about transformation, strategy, dealing with change and satisfying the customer. Companies that can integrate digital technologies into their operations and provide interoperability between different systems will need to focus on few, meaningful steps:

Strategy and training

Digital transformation requires time, and the people involved need to be clear on the “WHY” they are switching to new technologies. Executives must encourage and train the team and must be ready to embrace change. They need to work on a roadmap and make sure everyone understands what is going to change and how to align to the new culture. The transformation leaders in the company will need to put on paper a range of best practices and map down the changes so that everyone on the team can execute the strategy to their best ability.

Planning

You can use data analytics to plan the production and spare parts management and optimize orders and in order to minimize costs. All machines and all customers are different, so a good spare parts management system is key when trying to fulfill orders, reduce waste and minimize errors at the same time. We need to deal with facts and this is much easier when we have data analysis and artificial intelligence on our side.

Production

Automation in the plant can help you monitor speed of production, improve quality control, detect malfunctionings, reduce human intervention and provide instant feedback to all the parts involved in the process. Embracing the digital transformation in production means maximizing agility and profitability to reach your goals.

After Sales Services

Preventive maintenance can now be performed online to reduce waiting time and to save travelling costs. A good remote after sales service can organize scheduled maintenance, offers online training courses for machine operators, can guide operators through maintenance operations and will be available 24/7.

The adoption of new digital manufacturing technologies can generate meaningful productivity impacts for the companies in the printing and packaging industries that are able to successfully integrate them into their operations and will significantly increase their competitive edge. 

Digitalization in the printing industry

Print is very much alive, both in the paper format and as digital communication, and digitalization is one of the most important trends in the industry, whether we are talking about flexo printing, folding carton or on corrugated board.

The implementation of new technologies is the driver of future growth. Consumables in this sector are expensive, for example, special inks. New technologies can reduce waste sheets, drying times, and overall production costs by creating an automated workflow and being able to collect and access information anytime.

The digital transformation in the printing industry is basically the improvement of the production processes and business models through the use of new technologies, so let’s have a look at some innovations in the printing industry:

Digital ink printing

Traditional offset printing is a print method in which the ink is not transferred o the paper directly but first aluminum plates transfer ink onto a rubber sheet, then the image is rolled onto the printing surface. This is great when printing big quantities. In digital inkjet printing, ink is transferred directly onto the surface. Digital printing requires no manual setup which makes the process really quick when there is a deadline to meet, especially if the number of copies is not too high. With this system the copies are exactly the same, colors are exceptional and it’s incredibly easy to change the information between sets of copies.

Hybrid Print Technologies

Hybrid printing combines the capabilities of conventional flexo and digital printing. By combining traditional flexo methods with digital advancements, companies are saving setup time, speeding up production processes, creating a more diverse selection of printed products with higher profit margins.

Software Innovations

New versions of graphic design software are flooding the market, enabling easier workflows, stronger file compatibilities, and collaboration between designers and end-users. These new software reduce image processing times significantly and are able to handle large volumes of data with ease. Once again, this accelerates the time to print and makes the whole workflow more efficient.

3D printing

Although we are not involved in 3D printing, we absolutely need to mention the technological advancements in this sector which is destined to disrupt many industries in the near future. In the last years we have seen 3d printing machines become more affordable for many companies in many different industries. They are cost- effective, offer rapid prototyping and great flexibility in production.

Digitalization in the packaging industry

Digitalization is transforming entire industries with varying speed and scope. The use of new technologies is the dominant aspect, but there is much more.

It is about questioning processes, business logics, methods and looking for new possibilities. It’s about simplifying the work for the customer and being able to do things at any time from any place.

Smart manufacturing is driven by the advent of many new technologies, such as:

  • high-performance computing (HPC)
  • cloud computing
  • the Internet of Things
  • advanced sensor technologies
  • industrial robotics
  • data analytics for valuable insights
  • machine learning
  • smart labels
  • artificial intelligence
  • nanotechnology

Many businesses don’t realize the true value or investing in digital technologies. They will not only maximize a factory’s operational efficiency, but also facilitate predictive and preventative maintenance by using sensors to monitor machinery in real-time, keep employees safe and boost their morale and productivity. The cost of these technologies will also get cheaper in time, making them more affordable to small and medium sized companies.

It is not an easy road, it requires a strategy, a roadmap. There needs to a be a shift in culture and all stakeholders will be affected by the change, but in the end your business will thrive.

Benefits of the digital transformation

Digitalization is transforming manufacturing globally and enhancing the customer experience.

There are many benefits to the digital transformation:

  • It enhances the agility of organizations by simplifying processes
  • It enables companies to measure effectively every aspect of their daily operations
  • It enables an unprecedented level of transparency
  • It is an opportunity to cut down on their carbon footprint by reducing or eliminating paper waste and improving energy consumption
  • It allows for preventive maintenance and reduces unexpected downtimes
  • It enables data sharing between different systems
  • It maximizes output by enabling businesses to do more with less

How is Toppy contributing to the digital transformation in the printing and packaging industry?

Toppy is a great supporter of digitalization and we are always happy to invest in new digital technologies for the printing and converting industries.

We are committed to taking part to the digital transformation in many ways:

  • Our machines use PLC control systems that perform a variety of tasks such as counting, timing and fault detection. They are easy to operate and easy to program, essential interfaces between devices on the plant or manufacturing floor.
  • We have invested in vertical warehouses with a spare parts management software that autonomously orders missing spare parts and a laser indicator that shows our operators where to find the items.
  • We offer remote customer service with our team of experts that can connect to the machines and support the operators in solving any type of problem.
  • We have created a line of machines dedicated to the larger formats of the digital sector. Our Master Toppy Jumbo and Jumbo XL can handle loads up to 3 tons with sizes up to 2x3m. We also offer customization to clients that need to process bigger loads.
  • Our machines are compact and help save space in the plant. Since by using our machines you will reduce waste sheets, there will also be a drastic reduction of the amount of carboard needed in the warehouse and a reduction of overall costs.

Conclusion

The digital transformation will reshape the way production is planned, monitored and optimized. 

Printing and packaging are just 2 examples of sectors that will benefit immensely from these disruptive technologies and companies are starting to understand the value of digitalization. With the right approach, companies can implement new technologies and overcome execution challenges and increase profits.

This new wave of innovation has incredible potential, and this is just the beginning.

If you are interested in understanding how our machines work and how Toppy is contributing to this revolution please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Get fast !!