The flexographic printing market is expected to reach USD 3,077.3 million by 2027, according to the market research report United States Flexographic Printing Market (2022-2027) by Mordor Intelligence.
The growing demand for UV-curable inks and the developing packaging industry are the major factors boosting the market.
Flexographic vs. Offset Printing
Flexographic printing uses flexible plates made of rubber or plastic, whereas the offset printing technique uses aluminum plates. Unlike offset printing, where the ink transfers the image onto a blanket and then to the substrate, the image is directly transferred to the substrate in flexographic printing. Flexographic printing also differs from the offset in terms of the inking process. The printers used in the method can function on multiple types of ink, whereas offset printers rely only on “process colors,” which consist of four mixes, where each color has a specific printing station. The flexographic printing process uses several stations for spot colors. Both offset and flexographic printing use water-based and UV-curable ink, but flexographic printing can also use solvent-based ink.
Another important difference between both printing techniques is that offset is primarily used in printing books, newspapers, magazines, and other similar items with a flat surface. In contrast, flexographic printing is mainly used in packaging, wallpapers, labels, and retail bags and can print on materials such as foil, fabric, and plastics.
Easy and Safe Printing
The quick drying and non-toxic inks used in flexographic printing make it ideal for food and medicine packaging. It is also suitable for corrugated printing packages as well as a wide variety of packaging products like food wrappers, containers, and bottles. The ability to print on flexible and non-rigid materials makes the technique ideal for industrial converters that produce printed plastic and paper bags.
Packaging Industry to Boost the Market
The packaging industry is driving the demand for both flexographic printing products and inks. R&D in the packaging industry grew despite the pandemic, making packaging technologists invest more time, energy, and resources in developing solutions for the consumer market. For instance, digital printing for packaging and the digitalization of the packaging printing value chain accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Major players in the flexographic printing market are developing new technical solutions to meet consumer demands and strengthen their position.
The demand for new variety and shorter run lengths are driving advancements in flexographic technology along with the integration of software into presses and technology on the floor. Advancements such as AI, IoT, machine learning, and data analytics have enabled customization and print personalization to a great extent.
The dynamic packaging sector is enabling greater diversification and higher-value print applications. The demand for flexible packaging is growing with e-commerce, printing, and sustainability trends, thereby driving the flexographic printing market. According to the latest FTA report, the flexible packaging industry volume in the United States is estimated to be 27 billion pounds of shipments in 2021. Flexible packaging is the leading flexographic printing in terms of printing inks and equipment.
Flexographic printing can support printing of large quantities, as there is no need for an extra medium during the process, like offset printing, making it much cheaper and faster. The low-maintenance and relatively more inexpensive consumables add to its cost-efficiency. This makes flexographic printing preferable as an industrial choice. In the United States, various players are increasingly investing in this for packaging applications. For example, in April 2022, Label Tech, a maker of labels and flexible packaging, was acquired by the United States-based Fortis Solutions Group, a printed packaging supplier. Label Tech is one of the major flexographic and digital converters in the Northeast United States. This acquisition is expected to further Fortis Solution Group’s geographic footprint and enable the company to provide additional products and solutions.
Demand for UV-Curable Ink Driving the Market
UV-curable inks and varnishes are garnering popularity. The absence of solvents in UV curing technology lowers emissions and makes it more eco-friendly. UV-cured inks exhibit superior print quality, good adhesion to flexible and various other substrates, resistance to chemicals, and high running speed. This makes it preferred in the printing sector. It is increasingly used in flexible packaging. UV inks are more stable and do not require any alterations or adjustments before going to press, thus maintaining their original viscosity. It can be left on the press, saving on washing up and cleaning the print station. UV flexographic print technology is simple and affordable. Inks can be mostly deinked, implying that the printed products can be returned to the material cycle after removing the inks and varnishes. Hence, this process promotes a circular economy and is more sustainable.
Top Companies in Flexographic Printing
Key market players include the following:
- DIC Corporation (Sun Chemical)
- Siegwerk Group
- Flint Group
- Colorcon Inc.
- Toyo Ink Group
- Alden & Ott Printing Inks Co.
- American Inks & Technology
- INX International Ink Co.
- WikOff Color Corporation
- Fujifilm Corporation
- Kolorcure Corp
Where to Learn More
The comprehensive 182-page report United States Flexographic Printing Market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022-2027) provides an in-depth analysis of the key development strategies and market trend dynamics which include drivers, restraints, and opportunities prevailing in the United States flexographic printing market.
About Mordor Intelligence
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