San Diego — The In-Mold Decorating Association dealt with issues including disruption, product sustainability, workforce changes, best practices and technology advances during its annual symposium.
In the keynote address, a packaging supply chain strategy consultant pondered about "where digital will take us" and whether "disruptive innovation" is a dirty word.
Kevin Karstedt, CEO of Karstedt Partners LLC in Eden, N.Y., listed historical disruptions and discussed the "top three lessons learned."
First, "watch for digital print growth in new, parallel markets" with the possibility the "old guard" may never see it coming.
Second, "learn from early digital printing deployment [and] be prepared to challenge the status quo."
Third, "watch the value-chain implications" to see if "digital technology will ultimately be right for the mass market."
Karstedt cited possible "futuristic inventions" as identified by the Institute for the Future of Palo Alto, Calif.: longevity escape velocity therapy potentially extending life to 1,000 years, gender-swapping pills, brain implants by 2026, an educational currency similar to Bitcoin and augmented reality that might make a public speaker more effective.
"The value chain is the real control valve on adoption of digital printing technology in digital applications," Karstedt said.
IMDA held its 2018 symposium Nov. 11-13 in San Diego with about 97 people attending.
IMDA's 2019 symposium will take place June 2-4 in Franklin, Tenn., in conjunction with the Society of Plastics Engineers' decorating and assembly division's Topical Conference, known as TopCon.