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Inkjet PrintingFebruary 11, 2019

What is Inline Digital Printing?

Inkjet Printing
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inline digital printing

Inline digital printing was created to fulfill the needs of retail markets that are facing a variety of new challenges, such as the expansion of new outlets, the increasing amount of SKUs, the constant changes in design, and the need to be able to track and trace various products. To meet the demands of the ever-changing consumer market, the process of inline digital printing offers solutions to optimize their package printing, eliminating the need for disruption in the supply chain.

What Is Inline Digital Printing?

A common thread with all types of packaging – whether used for retail or wholesale – is the need for packages to be labeled. This labeling can range from a need to identify what is in the package, show a consistent brand with your products, or provide ingredient or warning information. An inline digital printing process allows you to put this information on your packaging, avoiding the need to add another process after, such as applying a label, or before, such as having packaging preprinted. You can use inline digital printing at the three various stages of the supply chain process.

  • During the Converting Process – At this stage, the carrier or packaging for the product is being created. The image, information, or SKU will be printed directly on the sleeve, craton, package, or label at this stage and go to the filling stage already properly labeled.
  • During the Filling Stage – You can also utilize inline digital printing during the filling stage of your product. After the product is filled and sealed, it will continue on the line where the blank container or package will then be labeled.
  • Upon Arrival to the Retailer – Retailers may use their own digital inline printing to add time-sensitive information such as sale prices or specials after they have received the product and before it goes onto the shelf.

Benefits of Inline Digital Printing

Aside from simplifying the packaging process and eliminating an additional step to creating your final product, inline printing also has a number of other benefits.

Late-Stage Customization

The ability to print pieces inline allows you to add customization or make changes later in the production process, providing you with greater flexibility. For example, instead of ordering a large number of preprinted packages, you can order them blank in bulk at a reduced cost and hold them until it is time to fill them. At the point of fill, you can add the packaging customization that is current at that time. This ability to customize at a later stage also allows you to turn out product more quickly since you will not have to wait for new packaging to be printed.

Better Versatility with Marketing

With inline digital printing, your packaging can become one of your primary marketing tools. You can add advertising or promotional designs and verbiage directly on your packaging and will have the ability to adjust it as different promotions go into effect. Additionally, you will be able to create personalization of your products by being able to change designs throughout the process without costly setup or time to make changes. This can help give you the edge on the competition by being able to personalize such products as calendars, mugs, and packaging.

No Prefabrication is Needed

While inline printing can be used in both traditional and digital print environments, digital inline printing has the added benefit of requiring no additional fabrication to change designs. This allows manufacturers the flexibility to change designs more easily and to be able to print on more unique surfaces that have different textures. This provides for faster printing and faster preparation time.

Ability to Create Thousands of Labeling Variations

In some industries, such as the pharmaceutical industry, there is a need to print a wide range of languages, instructions, and data such as expiration dates and batch numbers. This leads to thousands of different labeling variations for one product. These types of variations are not only on the product itself but also on the packaging that these products arrive in. The agility and versatility that inline digital printing provides its users allow these changes without disrupting the supply chain process or requiring additional steps.

For companies looking for smart and lean packaging solutions, inline digital printing can help them to minimize their processes, reduce waste, and save time and money all while being able to provide customized and personalized packaging to provide the information and marketing they need to for their brand.

Want more information about UV inkjet printers? Check out our Ultimate Guide to UV Inkjet Printers

Interested in an in-line printing alternative? Contact us today or call now at (978) 646-8980.

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Comments (2)

  • Sean Fraser

    Excellent blog! Thank you for providing us a good source of reference regarding the printing industry.digital printing services

    July 15, 2019
  • Raghav Purohit

    Really good through on inline digital printing. I like it!

    May 21, 2019

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