What is Industrial Print?
Industrial print means using print technologies within the process of manufacturing. It refers to a procedure whereby ink or another substance is printed onto a product for either functional or decorative purposes. Unlike conventional document or graphic printing, which is used mainly for promotional purposes, industrial print is deployed on the production line itself.
There is a wide range of industrial applications: from functional print that enables an electronic product or device, individually designed mass products and packaging, to decorative print onto various surfaces such as glass, metal or wood. Special technologies such as 3D print are used by industrial designers for prototyping, or to generate tailor-made packaging for fragile goods.
The latest innovations in industrial printing have opened up possibilities in the production process that never previously existed. Integrated into the manufacturing line, these new technologies allow for truly customized print and frequent design changes whilst cutting down the time from design to production. At the same time, risk and costs are minimized: many printing procedures are suitable for both small and large quantities, enabling manufacturers to respond quickly to changing markets or customer demands. With so many powerful new opportunities, industrial print is creating new values and growth within a wide range of industries. According to branch experts at IT Strategies, industrial print currently has a market valuation of $100 billion, with digital and inkjet expected to grow by 36% until 2020 (cumulative average). This growth forecast is consistent with a general increase in demand for industrial inkjet used for mass customization such as surface imaging onto ceramics, textiles or plastics.