Live Blog: Digital Packaging Thought Leadership Workshop

Written by Joel Basa, e-Marketing Manager at Xerox Corporation
This was a last minute addition but we’re covering the Digital Packaging TLW live from the Gil Hatch Center in Webster, NY! Here’s our agenda!
8:15-9:00 Trendsetting – Digital Packaging 2011 with Bob Leahy, Infotrends
9:00-9:45 Personalization in Digital Packaging with Phil Rose, Xerox
9:45-10:00 Quick Break
10:00-10:45 iGen 4 – Production Floor with Jeff Knauss and Scott Stevenson, Xerox
10:45-11:30 Digital Workflow for Packaging with Larry Moore
11:30-12:15 Business Development Tools with Karen Serrano, Xerox

Submit your questions by commenting to the blog and I’ll be sure they are addressed during our workshop!
[08:30] – Running a little late here while our participants show up. Beautiful morning here in Webster, NY. How’s the weather in your neck of the woods?
[08:34] – Starting in 3 minutes! I’m really hoping you’ll submit your questions below. We’ve got a variety of industry experts in the Packaging industry here to field questions. If this group can’t answer your packaging question, I don’t know who can.
[08:38] – Phil Rose of Xerox is kicking us off. Phil will present on personalization and packaging a little later today.
[08:43] – Bob Leahey of InfoTrends is coming to the stage now to talk about trendsetting in Digital Packaging.
[08:45] – Bob asks, “Why digital color packaging today?” Packaging is the essence of the brand….but it’s more. It a protective container, dispensing mechanism, security agent, informational tools and interactivity vehicle. Packaging is not being displaced by e-media. Packaging is a driver for multi-channel communications. Color digital printing addresses growing needs.
[08:53] – Some milestones in Packaging: circa 1898 folding cartons (Nabisco), Aseptic Cartons circa 1953, tamper resistance circa 1972, anti-counterfeiting, item-level RFID, games and drawing in 1980s, ergonomic shape and now sustainable packaging.
[09:00] – Color Digital Packaging Market Outlook. Digital color presses have many advances already achieved. Examples include: hundreds of approved substrates, productivity has increased, running costs have declined, inks, toners for special markets, special effects.
[09:07] – The leading application in packaging, prime labels are it. These are small format = simple imposition. Color digital is a good complement to narrow flexo press. $1.8 billion in converter billings in 2010. 85% electrophotographic, 15% inkjet.
[09:10] – Folding cartons and flexible packaging are emerging. Image size is key constraint. Finishing is specialized, about $100 million in converter billings in 2010.
[09:14] – Digital color packaging = high growth market. By 2014, the value of flexible packaging, folding cartons and labels printed on Digital Color Presses will be over $4 billion.
[09:17] – Key drivers for Digital Packaging: Just in time labels (short runs), versioning and localizing + supply chain management, sustainability, personalization, private labeling and customer, on-demand labels.
[09:22] – Quote from Paul France, Principle Engineer for Printing and Decoration, Proctor and Gamble “Anyone who wants to work with us should definitely buy a digital press, or they will find it an uphill struggle in the future.” Recommendations for Digital Packagers: Embrace digital print technology. Invest in sales and marketing for color digital. Prepare more color digital in more uses, from more companies, serving more brands.
[09:37] – Great presentation by Bob Leahy of InfoTrends. Next up, Phil Rose with personalization in packaging.
[09:43] – Phil asks “Why personalization?” Any answers out there? Phil is holding up a personalized megaphone and is now showing us in Adobe InDesign and XMPie. Wish I could show this demo.

[09:48] – Phil is talking about how an average person is just inundated with so many messages that a method is needed to have certain ones pop-out. In fact, on average you are exposed 3000 media messages, you will pay attention to 50 and you will remember 4! Personalization is one way to make your message become one of these 4 messages.
[09:50] – Reach delivers results: Print, email, web sites, text, mobile…..multi-channel shoppers spend 10X more than the average.
[09:55] – Phil makes a great example of how cross media addresses the preferences of how a consumer likes to consume messages. How do you prefer? I prefer e-mail. He asks, “how does a teenage girl consume messages versus a 50 year old male?”
[09:57] – A few examples of personalization and packaging:, Verkade (personalized chocolate boxes).
[10:00] – Question in the room, “Who thinks of these applications for personalization and packaging? Is it the brand owner of the printer?” Phil’s response, “Many times the brand owner but it differs from case to case.”
[10:07] – Some great dialogue here about how to sell the value of personalization and how its challenging to convey to customers.
[10:12] – Break time. Be back in 10 minutes or so.
[10:25] – Jeff Knauss will talk to us about the iGen4 and then our participants will head to the production floor for a “hands-on” experience with iGen4. Jeff is talking about the technologies behind the iGen and how it helps with the concept of Operational Prints Per Hour. Things like the ILS (inline Spectrophotometer) and a 26″ sheet size and technology that allows for correction of streaking.
[10:32] – Heading out to the production floor. I’ll take some pics for everyone!

[10:50] – Great information being shared on the iGen4 by Scott Stevenson. For more information on the Automated Packaging Solution, click here.

[11:20] – Sorry everyone, I got pulled away from my computer but we’ve started the Digital Workflow for packaging with Larry Moore. Larry is demonstrating some great workflow software from Esko including the dynamic bar code plugin.

[11:28] – This is my first time seeing the Esko suite of products…quite impressive. Larry is showing how you can create a 3D model of the box to ensure that the specifications are correct and that everything lines up properly.

[11:40] – Great dem by Larry. We’ll next review Business Development tools with Karen Serrano.
[11:44] – Karen is now on stage with an armful of digital packaging samples. I’ll try to grab a photo. Anybody using business development tools in their business? If so, please share your success story below.
[11:51] – The journey for Business Development started in 2000 with the introduction of iGen and Xerox realized that a new away to go to market was needed….business development. Three “players” of digital communications: Demand Generators, Demand Specifiers and Demand Fullfillers.
[11:57] – Business Development support through Xerox has two options: “DIY” or “We’ll do it for you!” There are 100+ tools available through Xerox. However, we realize that customers only want certain tools and our Xerox team can help you identify what tools work best for you and we’ll adjust what’s best for you as your business grows.
[12:11] – What Business Development tools are available? Financial Modeling tools, Sales & Marketing Resources, Agency & Design, Paper & Media, Training, and Application tools. Karen is now reviewing the Print Providers Guide to Social Media…great tool that I personally have a lot of interest in.
[12:20] –  Some other great tools being discussed inluding Profiting through Personalization II. Karen is also showing a great DM piece that Xerox worked on (and I personally worked on as well)…a box within a box within a box piece. For more information, click here.
[12:27] –  Although we’re in a packaging workshop, Karen makes a point that these Business Development tools are approached from a business perspective. Very good point…so regardless of the technology you have or the types of applications you run, these tools are very relevant.
[12:33] –  Wrapping up here. You can see the potential of digital packaging from this workshop. Please visit the digital packaging page on for a complete overview of Packaging & Xerox.
Closing thoughts, are you doing package printing? What are the challenges and opportunities your business identifies? Comment below, I’m curious to know how you feel Digital Printing and Packaging. Thanks for joining us today for our Live Blog!

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  1. Sounds like it’s going great over there, Joel!

    You mentioned a couple of personalized packaging examples, one being This was actually a Web-to-print application that De Budelse, a graphics services provider located in Budel, Netherlands, put together for Cadbury’s Stimorol brand of chewing gum. De Budelse used XMPie PersonalEffect and uStore to create an e-commerce site where consumers could personalize and order chewing gum packets. The application was designed to command a higher price for chewing gum, and in the first eight months, more than 80,000 packages were sold at an average price of €15 per package!

    De Budelse did something similar for Verkade in 2009, driving €214,800 ($277,751 USD) in revenue for the Dutch chocolate maker in just six weeks. Read more at

    • Joel Basa May 12, 2011 -

      Thanks for the information Christine! After sitting in this workshop it became evident that Personalization and Short Run were two big benefits of digital solutions for packaging. Anyone else have any great examples of personalization in packaging?

      Here’s another example of personalization in packaging:

  2. islapoppy August 13, 2018 -

    Thanks for sharing, looks awesome, this is very useful for us
    Custom Packaging Boxes

  3. Isla poppy August 28, 2018 -

    Digital printing is the process of transferring a document on a desktop or any digital storage device to a particular printing substrate through a device that accepts graphics and text output. Anyways your blog is very informative. Thanks for sharing.

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