How the converting industry reacted to our Global Ink Survey

Thank you to all of you who responded to our first Global Ink Survey, which we conducted to learn what ink-related issues most concern the packaging, label and industrial printers.

The responses indicate that converters are seeking advice about optimizing ink processes all through the workflow to achieve success. Your top concern was traceability, quality assurance and auditing – just ahead of ink dispensing and inventory management. For many of you, then, there’s more at stake than just getting colours first-time-right.
This echoes what’s going on in supply chains today – like food and pharmaceuticals – where tighter safety regulation requires proof of compliance from raw materials to the pack on the shelf. And that includes inks!

Your top five ink management challenges in package printing

Here are your top five concerns, with some useful blogs that may help answer them:

  1. Traceability, Quality Assurance and Auditing: Software is crucial to tracing ink ingredient batches to customer orders, and vice-versa – and complying with food and pharmaceutical packaging safety standards. Click here to read more!
  2. Ink dispensing and blending: getting the right spot colour in the right amount needed for the job needn’t be complex with automated dispensing systems. This blog on the basics of dispensing – ideal background reading for those new to the industry – explains how to assure repeatable colour quality while saving time and avoid waste.
  3. Managing ink inventories: how to maintain the right levels of stock to meet customer demand, without running out or holding too much is a fine balancing act. Learn how to control, track and organize ink inventories here.
  4. Dealing with press-return inks: at the end of a flexo or gravure job, there’s always a small amount of unused ink left over in the chamber and circulation hosing. If you’re scheduling shorter runs, these can mount up quickly, so it’s vital to get them used quickly. Click here to learn how!
  5. Colour matching and proofing: For product launches or even a new substrate, you need the flexibility to print new colours or adapt colour formulations at short notice, to stay ahead of the game in package printing. We outline the steps for adapting colours and getting them repeatably accurate in this blog.

How your ink-related challenges rank in full

You told us there’s more at stake than accurate colours alone: traceability comes out on top ahead of ink dispensing, while issues such as inventory management and automation also scored highly:

What is your business activity?

Our survey represents viewpoints from all across the package printing supply chain, including labels, flexible packaging, paper and board converters, ink manufacturers, plus a small proportion of specialist textile printers and coaters.

Thank you for your feedback!

Thanks once again to all of you who responded to our survey, which we aim to repeat annually. Your feedback helps shape our editorial content, so we can bring ink management advice that is centered around improving your performance.

We’ll be supporting you with more articles covering these top themes and we’ll make sure you’re the first to know about any hot issues we see emerging throughout 2024.

Meanwhile, if there’s an ink management challenge you or your colleagues need solving, let us know at – we’d be delighted to help!