Dear Readers, our readiness for the forth and smart industrial revolution start now because the population will continue to grow and hence consumption of food and other beverages will be on the rise to justify printing of more labels and packaging materials at a profit without compromising the needs of future generations
According to www.weforum.org, the World Economic Forum Annual meeting 21-24 January 2020 dubbed this unique period in the evolution of business the forth-industrial Revolution. A moment in time when increased automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and continued technological disruption will fundamentally change the way we live, work and relate to one another.
And its against this background that the writer is convinced that the Covid-19 pandemic marks the beginning of the forth industrial revolution
With reference to my studies, Flexo and Gravure Printing will continue to set the pace for Smart packaging for most businesses. Research on Gravure has proven to do well on Printing Electronic boards like Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) for reflective labels that will enable products to illuminate while on display in Supermarket shelves. Other products it will print include; Solar Cells, audio books, paper speakers etc
Gravure has been preferred when it comes to printing circuit boards, because it can print fine resolutions on flexible substrates and can ensure proper conductivity of flexible Solar cells and Electronic Circuit Boards. The technology also offers high ink transfer volumes thus making relatively big layers due to the robustness of the inking carrier
Flexo is taking over Gravure given that its Plates have become inexpensive, it deals with short runs. Its quality and the productivity has advanced and choosing between flexo and gravure is increasingly becoming difficult.
The 3 Dimension Printing will significantly affect the medical, aerospace, automotive and tooling design applications. The role of Additive Manufacturing (AM) or 3 D printing to industrial processing will be to reduce production lead time, reduce operational costs and build parts that have light weight. Also research is being made on combining Lasers with Gravure printing Technology to produce various parts or products in 3 Dimension.
Modification of the Production machinery to suit Print on Demand Orders as a way of serving the Changing Consumer behavior. For example some machines have replaced the side lay registration manager with a Camera register system that is linked to the control tower with auto Spectro densitometers to allow calibration
Printing machines have more inline Processes and Post press activities like Embossing, Creasing, Die Cutting/Scoring, Laminating, Foiling, Hole Punching & Waste removal etc KOLBUS Packaging Co has machines that do all this at once.
In regard to Printing Inks, Roy Bjorlin, Director at SUN Chemical Advanced Materials in German, informs that the future of inks is very bright as researchers have discovered intelligent inks to offer special effects to be applied on packaging. He also informed us about environmentally friendly inks that are fast drying and user friendly.
In conclusion, we expect to see more collaboration where traditional Printing machine manufacturers and users will partner with digital firms to target high-end markets and to minimize on redundancies and maximize profits.
About the Author
Kirabo Joseph Edmond is aged 45, a Business Manager and Printing Technologist with 20 years of experience.
Joseph holds a Bachelors in Business Administration (Makerere University), PGD in Project Planning & Management (Uganda Management Institute), PGD in Public Policy & Management (UMI), Diploma in Printing (AZP, Germany), Diploma in General Printing (UPPC, Entebbe), Certificate in Security Printing (SA). I have had the privilege to attend various Print, Publishing & Packaging exhibitions in Kenya, India, SA, USA and Germany.
The Arthur possesses 17 years of management experience of service in the Printing industry, of which the first 5 years were spent serving as a Manager for Printing Press Project for Educational Programme for Sudanese Refugees & Displaced People (EPSRDP) in partnership with MS Uganda (Danish Association of International Cooperation), 2 years as a Shift Manager for Commercial & Newspaper Section for New Vision Printing & Publishing Corporation (NVPPC), 10 years as Manager, Makerere University Printery and last but not least 2 years as Machine Operator for Printing Press for Kagwa Ezra & Sons Company Ltd