Since the first newspaper went out the door in 1828, family-owned Mid-York Press, Inc. has had its sights set firmly on what’s next in commercial printing.
Over time, that focus has fluctuated, changing from newspapers to a broader range of high-value applications. Starting in the early 1980’s, the company added packaging to their repertoire. Then in 2009, in the wake of an economic recession and with requests for shorter runs, quicker turnarounds and increased customization pouring in, Mid-York Press made the decision to differentiate their business by adding digital packaging capabilities.
It was a wise choice. While Smithers Pira forecasts the value of digital packaging to double over the next five years – positioning it as one of the fastest-growing digital print application segments – Mid-York Press has long been reaping the benefits. In fact, the digital side of their packaging business has already increased to around 10% of total volume.
Where do digitally-produced packaging opportunities come from?
For starters, rampant changes in consumer behavior have created a ripple effect among brand owners and their product packaging needs, leading to extensive growth in product variations; heightened customization needs; shorter product cycles; and compressed run lengths – all of which fit perfectly into digital printing’s sweet spot.
But according to Bob Tenney, President and CEO of Mid-York Press, Inc., it goes beyond that. His company sees digital as having opened the door to many unserved small businesses that previously didn’t consider printed packaging to be obtainable.
“I call it the untouched fruit, the startups or smaller volume manufacturers that never even look into packaging because they think they can’t afford it. They represent huge potential because you have the opportunity to grow alongside each other.”
And to be clear, he does not see digital packaging as ever being a replacement for offset – but rather, as a compliment to existing technologies. “[Digital] expands what you’re able to do so you don’t have to turn work away.”
Putting a Number on the Value of Digital
While the company’s six-color offset press undoubtedly delivers outstanding quality, each job requires extensive set-up and tear-down – 17 separate steps, to be exact. For small press runs, this can make the price-per-piece less competitive.
That’s where the value of Mid-York Press’ digital packaging technology – a Xerox Automated Packaging Solution with a Xerox iGen Press – really shines through. No plates or press make ready, and production is as simple as importing the artwork, approving the proof, and running the job.
But the opportunities don’t end there. Companion pieces to accompany product packaging – such as variable data mailers, coupons and magnets – complete with perfect color matching, can easily be produced using digital print technology.
What advice does Mid-York Press have for other printers looking to get started in the digital packaging space? Read their case study to learn more!
Still looking to learn more about the opportunities waiting to be uncovered with digital packaging? We’re happy to help.