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Interview with Metsä Board

Ahead of this December's Digital Print for Packaging Europe 2022, we caught up with expert speaker Lauri Järvinen, Technical Marketing Manager at Metsä Board

We discussed his presentation 'Digital printing brings a consumer’s voice to packaging', his take on the major challenges and opportunities facing the industry today and more.


Your presentation will address “Digital printing brings a consumer’s voice to packaging” Can you give us a snapshot of what delegates will hear?

My presentation will cover two interesting case studies about Metsä Board’s collaboration with Package Media.

1. A completely plastic-free and experiential chocolate calendar that can be personalised with users own photos.

2. Soup packaging for consumers to share their own messages. An online platform combined with digital printing, opening up exciting new opportunities for packaging.

PackageMedia's digital packaging factory targets new, innovative solutions that are also sustainable. Digitalisation in the packaging industry is much more than just printing. It can be used to combine the digital and physical worlds in everyday packaging.

When packaging is utilised in versatile ways, it can also be beneficial for the environment. For example, combining a lottery or other campaign with packaging can reduce the use of other marketing materials or campaigns, thereby resulting in environmental benefits from reduced media use. In some instances, packaging can also turn into a collector’s item, in which case it does not end up being recycled after its first task.

What do you see as the major challenges and opportunities for Digital Print in Packaging? How might that change in in the near future?

Digital printing does not have the same production efficiency as conventional printing – but does it need to? In fact, digital printing would complement the offering of a print house with high value orders of special editions, seasonal packaging, etc.

Although digital printing is virtually instantaneous, the full turnaround time in paperboard packaging production does not yet fully benefit from this. Die cutting, folding and gluing still needs to be completed by conventional technologies. However, there are already solutions for this issue available.

Today, much of digital printing has a higher total cost of ownership than conventional printing. However, new high-performance machines are changing this with lower price premium costs for inks. Developments in manufacturing economies drive down the cost of equipment, control systems and workflow software. Food safety may be a major concern in changing to digital printing, but water based inks would ease these concerns.

Metsä Board develop and manufacture paperboards that meet the demands for all commonly used print technologies, including digital printing. For Metsä Board’s customers this would mean flexibility to use conventional or digital print methods with no need to hold extra paperboard stocks.

What are you most looking forward to hearing about and discussing with your peers at this year’s conference?

How digital printing in paperboard packaging can open new opportunities for packaging design and functionality.

The use of digital printing (inkjet) is particularly increasing for corrugated materials. How about the challenges in drying energy consumption and ink costs for inkjet digital printing with waterbased (WB) inks? I'd also like to hear about the developments of digital inkjet presses for food safe folding carton production.