Digitalisation in the printing and packaging industry: What’s on the horizon in 2024?

Digital transformation

Do you also have the feeling that January is almost over again? While we’re busy detailing our roadmaps, getting the next digital innovations up and running for our customers and preparing our appearance at the highly anticipated Drupa, we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to give you a taste of what’s to come in terms of digital this year.

Our mission remains unchanged: to lead the printing and packaging industry into the digital future. We do this by keeping our ear to the ground when it comes to identifying both market and technological trends. What will be our top 5 key topics in 2024?

1. Accessing & analysing production data

The IIoT capability of your production systems is the foundation for advanced data analytics. Data is the new gold – in 2024, there will be no way of getting around intelligent tools for production analysis.

2. Artificial intelligence in the pressroom

Everyone is still talking about AI. In 2023, a lot of attention was paid to the hype, and in 2024, smart digital solutions based on AI are set to find their way into production. At the same time, AI-based tools are an answer to the ongoing shortage of skilled labour.

3. Realising ESG goals

Sustainability, on the other hand, is no longer just a trendy topic, but an absolute necessity. Even when we talk about sustainability targets, reliable data and seamless, transparent monitoring of energy consumption and CO 2 emissions are essential – digitalisation and sustainability will go hand in hand in 2024.

4. Ensuring data security

Data, data, data – but how do we get the right data, how do we transfer it, how do we process and store it? Data-based digital solutions that access sensitive production data require the highest level of cybersecurity – another topic that is in the spotlight.

5. It’s Drupa time!

Last but not least: It’s finally Drupa time again! For the first time in many years, we are looking forward to the industry gathering in Düsseldorf. This is where outstanding printing technology is showcased alongside innovative digital solutions.

The focus is sharpened and we are already in the process of opening up new opportunities for our customers and the industry in these key areas in 2024. Are you ready? Then follow us and become part of our digital transformation journey.

#ReadyForTomorrow #DigitalTransformation #FutureofPrinting #FutureofPackaging #DigitalInnovation

Anja Döhler

Marketing Manager

Friedrich-List-Straße 47,
01445 Radebeul, Deutschland


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Digital Packaging Workflow

with PrintFusion

With PrintFusion, the interface between Koenig & Bauer Rapida presses and the prepress software from HYBRID Software, your workflow becomes even more efficient. PrintFusion enables a bidirectional exchange of information that ensures seamless integration and automation of production processes. Thanks to the jointly developed PrintFusion interface, data such as setting parameters and positions of measuring elements are automatically exchanged between prepress and the printing presses. The automated data exchange leads to significant increases in efficiency and error prevention, as manual intervention and repetitive tasks are eliminated.

Long-term technology partnership for innovative 360-degree packaging workflow

For the development of PrintFusion, HYBRID Software and Koenig & Bauer have combined their expertise to create a highly automated and efficient production environment that meets the requirements of the modern printing industry. This collaboration will continue on an ongoing basis in order to constantly optimise the interface and integrate new functions. One example of this is the automatic feedback to compensate for process-related substrate stretching, which is already being introduced as part of a pilot customer programme.

A look into the future at drupa 2024

PrintFusion has been presented to the public for the first time at this year’s leading trade fair for printing technologies. Visitors will have the opportunity to gain an exclusive insight into the first results of the close partnership between HYBRID Software and Koenig & Bauer. Through automation and the intelligent exchange of data between prepress and press, PrintFusion will set new standards in print production and pave the way for a sustainable and high-performance future in the printing industry.

Connected Packaging

FOLLOW combines print and the digital world

With FOLLOW, Koenig & Bauer is building a bridge between analogue packaging and the digital world. Discover the universe of new possibilities that the cloud-based platform and the associated app have in store for printing businesses, brand owners and consumers.

Printing goes Metaverse

with NFT-Technology and “Gemme”

Under the project title “Printing Goes Metaverse”, Koenig & Bauer is building a bridge from classic printing to the metaverse in collaboration with NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan) and epda (european brand & packaging design association). With the support of Italian design students, a project was realised that uses NFT technology to authenticate luxury goods such as limited edition handbags, jewellery or valuable trading cards. The luxury jewellery brand “Gemme” was created as an exemplary visualisation.

Classic print meets metaverse

Digital proof of ownership is used instead of conventional paper certificates of authenticity. The forgery-proof blockchain technology is impressively demonstrated using special printing technologies and a digital app. This innovative combination of digital proof of authenticity and the traditional art of printing shows how the printing industry is connecting with the new digital reality of the Metaverse.

What advantages does NFT technology offer

An NFT is a blockchain-based token that represents digital or physical assets such as artworks, digital content or media. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, each NFT is unique and non-exchangeable. It serves as a digital certificate of ownership and authenticity and enables owners to trade and sell their assets.

Brands from the luxury goods segment in particular are using NFT technology to enable customers to connect the digital and physical worlds. The main focus here is on the experience of being able to use the purchased product in the digital world. In addition, forgery-proof authentication can be guaranteed by NFT’s unique verifications with a complete history and absolute security.

How does the printing work?

Using a special printing process, functional structures that react to the touch of smartphone sensors can be applied to almost any printed product, creating a link between the physical product and the digital application. In combination with QR codes, this creates a forgery-proof proof of ownership. Customers receive both an origin-verified, printed NFT-Twin and the physical original.