As we look towards 2024, the printing industry is evolving rapidly in the wake of significant global changes. With businesses increasingly operating in a digitally connected world, the role of printing is becoming more dynamic and integrated. This year, we’re set to witness a surge in innovative printing trends, tailor-made to support remote collaboration and streamline operations. In this blog, we dive into these emerging trends, exploring how they shape the future of printing and what they mean for businesses and consumers alike.
Expanded Regulatory Changes
Regulatory changes are increasingly shaping the printing industry. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) officially announced the inclusion of diphenyl(2,4,6-trimethyl benzoyl)phosphine oxide (TPO) in the 29th batch of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) Candidate List. Marabu has proactively adapted to this change, eliminating this popular photoinitiator to ensure that our inks meet global standards while mitigating any performance losses that might occur with different materials.
The shift away from TPO is just one example that reflects a broader industry trend towards safer, more sustainable practices. Our readiness for this change demonstrates our commitment to not only adhering to regulatory requirements but also leading the way in environmental stewardship. Finding safer alternatives without compromising on quality is a testament to our innovation and customer-centric focus. This adaptability is crucial in an industry where regulatory compliance comes down to seizing opportunities to innovate and set new benchmarks for safety and sustainability.
Sustainability in Printing
Sustainability is emerging as a pivotal trend in the printing industry, reflecting a growing global emphasis on environmental responsibility. This shift towards eco-friendliness is not just a matter of compliance with evolving regulations, but also a response to the increasing consumer demand for sustainable products and practices.
Companies in the printing industry, including leaders like Marabu, are adopting innovative approaches to integrate sustainability into their products and processes. These efforts span from developing eco-friendly inks and materials to implementing sustainable printing methods, all aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of the printing industry.
Better For All Cup
Marabu’s collaboration with Better for All has led to the creation of an innovative 100% biodegradable cup, highlighting a commitment to sustainable practices. This product, developed in response to the increasing demand for eco-friendly alternatives, is a significant step towards reducing the environmental impact of single-use plastics. The cups, made from PHBH, a unique bio-based material, are certified non-toxic, highly heat-tolerant, and suitable for a variety of uses. Better for All approached Marabu seeking an environmentally friendly printing option. Marabu’s Maqua® Pad MAP, the worlds’ first water based pad printing ink proved to be the perfect candidate. The combination of Better for All’s cup and Marabu’s MAP has been certified as 100% compostable. They are designed to fully compost in home composting bins within six months, demonstrating Marabu’s dedication to developing eco-friendly printing technologies.
The Chill Cup, produced by, Silgan Containers represents an innovative venture in the container industry. Silgan introduced this 100% recyclable steel beverage container as another alternative to single-use plastics. Targeting segments such as the restaurant and bar market, sports and event venues, and promotional markets, the consumer response has been overwhelmingly positive. Silgan approached Marabu seeking assistance in developing a non-contact printing method due to the unique ridged design of the Chill Cup’s surface. Marabu focused its testing on its Ultra® Jet DLE-A digital UV ink. Working closely with Silgan’s manufacturing and safety departments, Ultra® Jet met not only the durability requirements but also the strict safety requirements of the beverage industry. The final results were validated by an independent European lab and have ensured the successful launch of this exciting new product.
Boomerang Water, a North Carolina-based company, has introduced an innovative technology that transforms water from various sources into purified, drinking water. This water is then bottled in either glass or aluminum containers which are returned to the system when empty to be sterilized and refilled. The concept here is sustainability, aiming to replace single-use plastics with a system where bottles are continuously reused. In resorts, these bottles are customized with logos and information, becoming keepsakes for guests. Marabu has developed a high-speed digital ink system for Boomerang Water, enabling efficient and flexible printing for these customized bottles. This collaboration highlights a sustainable, environmentally friendly approach to hydration, blending functionality with branding opportunities.
Supply Chain Challenges
Supply chain trends in the printing industry are characterized by a heightened focus on resilience and adaptability. Companies are increasingly recognizing the need to diversify their supply sources, maintain robust inventory levels, and develop flexible distribution strategies. This shift is largely in response to the recent global disruptions, which have highlighted the vulnerabilities in traditional supply chain models.
At Marabu North America, our approach to navigating these challenges has been proactive and strategic. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, our decision to maintain a substantial inventory of core products proved pivotal in overcoming disruptions. We also adapted our distribution policies to prevent product hoarding and ensure equitable distribution among our customers. Furthermore, our diverse market portfolio has allowed us to balance fluctuations across different sectors, demonstrating our commitment to resilience and customer service in a rapidly evolving market landscape.
Personalization and Customization
Personalization and customization in the printing industry are becoming increasingly crucial, driven largely by advanced printing technologies. Traditional printing methods like offset, gravure, screen, or pad printing cannot easily accommodate the demand for unique, personalized items. Consumers are showing a growing interest in products tailored to their preferences, from personalized mugs to custom-designed apparel and beyond.
At Marabu North America, we recognize this trend and are focusing on digital solutions to meet these evolving needs, especially in the wine and spirits market. Our digital UV technology enables us to print detailed, high-value designs on various substrates, offering a more appealing alternative to traditional labels. An example of this is our recent project involving bourbon bottles, where we utilized digital printing to create customized and visually appealing packaging, proving the effectiveness of our technology in meeting the latest market demands.
The landscape of the printing industry in 2024 is vibrant, marked by advancements in technology, commitment to eco-friendly practices, and a surge in demand for customized solutions. Marabu stands as a beacon of innovation and expertise in this ever-evolving field. Whether you are an industry veteran, a business owner seeking innovative printing solutions, or an advocate for sustainable practices, Marabu is your go-to partner. Connect with us for collaboration or consultation tailored to your unique printing needs.