Covid-19 and the Printing Industry: Curb the Slowdown and be Future Ready

Covid-19 and the Printing Industry

You probably might have read hundreds of articles greeting you with how awful this ‘new world’ is. I will save you on that and quickly come to the topic that we will be discussing.

Here’s a question for you.

People buy essentials like masks, sanitizers, medicines, groceries, etc. But do they purchase the ‘usual’ stuff? By usual I mean from a cellphone to impromptu jewelry shopping. Because if we practically think about this, people would want to save more as the future seems unpredictable.

However, the statistics have a different story to tell. Retail platforms have undergone a whopping 6% increase in global traffic between January and March 2020.

Now given that online sales are booming, there are high chances of rising sales in the print in demand as well. The 3-D print vendors are producing masks, gloves, and other medical supplies for deliveries which implies that this space is not dead. Moreover, data reveals that 58% of online shoppers expect to order more online in the coming months. This means consumers will commit to continuing online shopping and therefore there are opportunities available for printers who are operating online.

So, let’s discuss all about the printing industry in the times of Covid19 and how you can be future ready?

Let’s get started

Rise of 3D printing

The pandemic has caused a spike in demand for masks, gloves, sanitizers, etc. It is becoming difficult for medical device industries to cope with the increasing demand and large-scale production of healthcare, and protective equipment. In this situation, the 3-D printing industry is proving to be a valuable resource.

A Bangalore based Global 3D Labs developed a 3D printed 4-way ventilator splitter.  It supports 4 patients on a single ventilator. They also developed 3-D printed N-95 masks.

Producing thousands of 3D-printed parts in a relatively short time frame has become convenient thanks to technologies like Stereolithography and Powder Bed Fu. This can be helpful for large-scale production of medical devices.

Formlabs, a US-based company is now using its more than 250 in-house 3D printers to produce up to 150,000 COVID-19 test swabs.

Immensa, a 3D printing company from Dubai is developing connectors for ventilators and items like spare parts for medical machinery that are hard to source.

This shows how the 3-D printing industry is a knight in shining armor in the wake of this global crisis.

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Industry 4.0 is Booming

Coronavirus has set the stage for a techno future with Artificial Intelligence and robots. These technologies are being of great help in healthcare, and manufacturing industries. For instance, Robots are being used to disinfect a hospital and for patient examination. A Danish company shipped hundreds of its UVD (ultraviolet light disinfection) robots to China and Europe during the pandemic. The global pandemic has accelerated the trend of robotics, automation, and AI. These trends will, in fact, rise in the post-COVID world.

But why will industry4.0 come to play like never before? Well, the reasons are obvious. Social distancing has caused a radical shift in the workflow. There is a massive disruption in the global supply chain. Few businesses like restaurants are getting shut permanently. Enterprises are adopting Industry4.0 technologies to mitigate these changes. Industry4.0 is no longer a matter of choice but a way of survival.

For your business to survive in the print industry, adapting quickly to technology is the need of the hour. This can be done by automating your workflow or using the web to print design tools. As work from home becomes the new normal, it is critical for your business to embrace smart printing processes and a digital workflow.  Moreover, customers prefer to shop online therefore, investing in digital tools will be a smart choice. You can also apply a high end UV LED curing system like IUV for effective designs and energy-efficient operation.

Journey to Automate Businesses Has Begun

Automation is not new. Even before Covid-19, there, investments were growing at US$ 12 billion in 2017 to a projected US$ 60 billion in 2021. It’s just that the pandemic has intensified the need for automation.

In today’s scenario, a paper-based workflow is not feasible. And digital workflow is the answer. That is why print vendors are leveraging the online space to get more orders even during the lockdown. They are also leveraging the latest automation trends like integrating online t-shirt design software to enhance customer experience and increase the capabilities of online shopping.

Think about this- you no longer have to run to the print vendor to get the changes done. Your employees will have more time for other works of the organization. You will be able to complete more orders in less time. How relieving!

Secondly, Covid-19 forced companies to switch to remote working. It is important to know how the players of the printing industry have dealt with this change. Because workers do not have access to printers at home, they are bringing innovations and making a digital shift. According to Quocirca, print industry’s leading source of market insight, 80% of print industry executives see the crisis as an opportunity to innovate and introduce new products and services. Here comes the importance of cloud-based digital workflow services. Cloud print services are emerging as an effective way to implement a cost-effective, scalable and sustainable print infrastructure.

With this, I finish discussing the current situation of the print industry. Now let’s quickly talk about how to make your print business future-ready.

  • Analyze your business strategy and invest accordingly.
  • Encourage your staff to effectively work remotely.
  • Be creative in your approach and come up with solutions to strive in the market.
  • Invest in online solutions and tools to provide a better customer experience.
  • Stay updated and adapt to industry changes.

Wrapping up

There is an opportunity in every crisis. The pandemic has presented the print industry and an opportunity for innovation. This is a good time to buckle up and use our creativity to flourish!

One thought on “Covid-19 and the Printing Industry: Curb the Slowdown and be Future Ready”

  1. Coronavirus or COVID-19 slow down all-economy worldwide. Maybe the worst would be next Autumn if no vaccine would be discovered.

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