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Interview: Ian Schofield, IHS Solutions


Ahead of this December's Digital Print for Packaging Europe 2023, we caught up with expert speaker Ian Schofield, owner at IHS Solutions Limited.

Ian has used Digital Printing extensively and is known for his massive love for Packaging and Printing. He has years of experience and knowledge and is working with Smithers to put together a truly valuable and informative programme for all attendees.

Ahead of the conference in December, we asked him to share his knowledge on a few subjects. 


1) How would you summarise what has been happening in the market and where things are heading? 

Digital Print for Packaging has been on an island generally, just producing samples or small runs at expensive prices.

However, with water based ink jet now being introduced around the world, and with sustainability running through every corporate decision, the tide has turned. Advantages in finishing have also helped Digital to come of age. Late stage changes along with constantly changing artwork is a further benefit for the digital future.

2) What are the challenges for Digital print and Packaging? 

The Packaging industry is going through massive change, so anybody deciding on new presses right now has a difficult dilemma, choosing between Digital & Analogue i.e. What you know V's the Future. 

One of the biggest challenges for cartons/flexibles is finishing after the printing stage, as value is often added with coating, embossing, cold seals and so on are not easily resolved with Digital currently. Finishing after the print stage is still a challenge for Digital although it has improved and Drupa will be a defining moment in the transition. Not many print the same job twice anymore, cost and time of plate making and CO2 considerations will tip more to move to Digital.

3) What are the Top 3 market trends?

  • Digital only plants with no analogue presses
  • Digital finishing plates, cutting forms
  • More water based presses

4) What are you looking forward to at this year's Digital Print for Packaging Europe Conference? 

At this year's conference I am looking forward to hearing from the end users, like Kellogg's, Nestle, Suntory, and Diageo on how they see Digital growing and why.

5) Why do you think people should join DPP Europe this year?

You should attend in December as you have the top people in the industry giving you the latest drivers and critical information on how to implement the new way of working with Digital Ink Jet printing with sustainability and commerciality running throughout every decision.

Hear more from Ian at Digital Print for Packaging 2023. 

At 11.45am Ian will be moderating the panel debate on 'What do brand owners and retailers want from digital print and ink in the future?'

At 4.15pm Ian will be presenting 'Unleashing the digital print revolution: Why packaging’s time is now!'

At 2.50pm on day two, Ian will be on the panel discussing 'The future of Digital Printing '