Global brands should educate their people about how digital printing can prevent counterfeting, said Alon Bar-Shany, vice-president of HP Indigo during a webinar.
Shany told viewers at the HP webinar on 12 December that while digital printing has made good inroads into the label printing market, 99% of packaging is still produced on conventional presses.
He added that there is still a perception among global brand owners that digital printing is slow and low quality, and that printers need to raise awareness among their customers of its potential. Shany said: "Most of the 100 label converters have HP Indigo presses, so there is good momentum in the folding cartons and flexible packaging markets which caters to the high-end FMCG and luxury markets."
However, converters must talk about the capabilities of digital printing to brand owners and make it clear that it can correspond to their needs in areas such as supply chain cost demand, printing on demand, variable data printing and with environmental initiatives."
In fact Viresh Seth, the executive director of Kris Flexipacks who own a HP Indigo ws4500, said brand owners prefer short runs on its digital presses. Seth stated that clients in the label and packaging markets needed to be educated on the benefits and added value of personalisation and revealed that only 1-2% of Kris' jobs have personalisation requirements. He said: "I foresee that personalisation will make up about a sizeable chunk of the total volume of labels in the future, which is similar to what we are already seeing in commercial print."
The other factor is counterfeiting which has become a concern worldwide. According to estimates nearly 8-10% of pharmaceutical products and 7-10 % of consumer goods sold worldwide are counterfeit. According to Shany, "the total international trade, which is worth around $500 billion,
counterfeiting accounts for nearly 5-7% of this trade. The figures are mind-boggling and the dangers are very real." "In India 1 out of 4 medicines sold are counterfeit," said Puneet Chadha,
director - graphics solution business, HP. "It is not only causing huge revenue loss to genuine companies but is also putting their reputation at stake."
Shailesh Sheth, the chairman and managing director at Kris Flexipacks cites an example of a Indian pharmaceutical company with annual sales worth Rs 1000 crores; however the counterfeit drugs sold in the company's name is estimated to be Rs 2500 crore. Unlike traditional printing, digital printing can be used for short runs and every package can be unique. Shany explained that in developed countries every drug packaging has a unique 2D barcode printed on it. Consumers
capture the 2D code using their mobile phone's camera and message it to a number mentioned on the packaging, after which they receive a message stating if the drug is genuine or not.
Likewise, Chateau Carignan, a French winery decided to print a unique code on the label of each wine bottle along with the 2D barcode. This reduced counterfeiting of Chateau Carignan wines.