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My great grandfather, Thomas Kirby, once said: “Wisdom lies not in regretting the inevitable but in adapting oneself to the altered condition of things”. He printed this statement in his publication, “Saddlery and Harness”, in response to the uproar from his readers after the first car was seen in Walsall, UK in 1896. The internal combustion engine was perceived as the beginning of the end for the local allied horse trades and consequently his readers wanted to destroy its threat to protect their equine related businesses. Thomas was a brave man to challenge his customers’ cynicism by urging them to change! In many ways I relate Thomas’ statement to the digital world we live in today as it has challenged traditional analogue methods. From smart phones to the internet and Amazon, we have witnessed dramatic change in the last 25 years or so as a result of digitised technologies. Buying a digital printer is not like buying early cars where the choice in 1896 was very limited. Manufacturers, brave enough to invest the vast sums required for the R&D to develop the latest digital print technologies, have been met with trepidation from potential buyers of their equipment due to a history of failed or unstable installations. This has not been good for the future confidence of digital in the corrugated sector, but the tide is turning.

Author : Nick Kirby

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It’s a critical time for brands…

Kantar ran a theoretical test on an unnamed, but real beer brand. The team found that if the brand cut all its ad spend during the crisis, this would have a 13% impact on sales in the long run and make market share hard to recover. However, a 50% drop in ad spend would result in just a 1% drop in sales.


Source: duplointernational.com
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Over the the last twenty years, digital printing of labels has emerged and expanded. Today every second press is equipped with electrophotographic motors or inkjet heads. This isn’t surprising because the advantages of today’s digital technologies are strong, for example, printing short runs at a viable cost is now a reality (compared with traditional processes such as flexo or offset), a success-factor that fully matches and supports the trend for the ever-shorter consumer product lifecycles. Now really is the time for packaging to enter into the digital arena. Of course, the number of digital presses sold in this new segment is still much lower than the number of presses sold for labels production, but everything suggests that it is only a matter of time.

Author:Tiziano Polito

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