According to a research report "Digital Printing Packaging Market by Printing Inks (Solvent-based, UV-based, Aqueous), Printing Technology, Format, Packaging Type (Corrugated, Folding cartons, Flexible Packaging, Labels), End-use Industry and Region - Global Forecast to 2027" published by MarketsandMarkets, the global digital printing packaging market size is projected to grow from USD 29.4 billion in 2022 to USD 45.1 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 8.9% from 2022 to 2027. The growth of the digital printing packaging market is attributed to incorporation of digital printing into different packaging media, such as corrugated boxes, cartons, bags, metal, cans, tags, and labels. Digital printing on packaging mediums provides a variety of benefits, such as photo-realistic illustrations, aesthetic appeal, and better communicability, and also plays a role in the marketing, promotional, and distributional activities of end-products. In 2020, the digital printing packaging market was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a substantial decline in its CAGR. However, recovery was witnessed with a positive impact on the digital printing packaging market because of demand in the construction sector in 2021.
UV-based inks are cured by exposure to strong UV light. These inks are pure solid systems and do not contain solvents. The lack of solvents offers environmental benefits, high speed, and faster turnaround time. The curing process takes place through the interaction of the ink ingredients and a strong UV light source in a dryer. They can be rapidly cured, thereby increasing the print speed and saving production time. UV-based inks include colorants in dye or pigment form. These inks can be applied to a wide range of uncoated substrates and produce a very clear image with excellent color value. Owing to the high density, UV-based inks are capable of being printed on rigid substrates. This has increased the usage of UV-based inks for printing on POS/POP, wood, metal, glass, and other such substrates.
The demand for these inks is lower compared to water-based inks, as they are expensive, require expensive curing modules in the printer, and the cured ink has a significant volume, resulting in slight relief on the surface. The major drawbacks of UV-based inks are that they cannot be used on all substrates and cannot be printed on dark substrates and are susceptible to cracking when applied on flexible substrates. The most common type of UV-based ink used in digital printing is composed mainly of monomer and oligomer acrylate resins, along with photoinitiators.