Over the years, Formica Group has created many designs of Formica laminate that are used in décor applications, including kitchen counters, furniture, cabinets, and wall surfaces. These designs, though, are produced in large volumes, for sale to masses of customers. Meanwhile, as we have observed in other categories building materials such as textiles and ceramic tiles, there is growing demand for customized, value-added products.
Given the capabilities of today’s industrial digital printing technology, the gap from gravure mass-production printing of laminates to customized digital laminates creates an opportunity to develop new products that ease the transition from mass production to mass customization. Formica Envision provides a clear example of digital printing and product innovation coming together to expand markets and opportunities.
This new innovation from the Formica Group offers yet another indicator that digital printing technology is finding its way into all walks of life. Back in late 1980s, inkjet and electrophotography products began the digital transformation of document and product coding. A generation later, the rapid growth of digital deposition is meeting customer needs and contributing (though only a small part at this point) to key manufacturing industries. InfoTrends has been tracking these trends for quite some time. Revenues from digital decorative printing in the Sign & Display, Ceramic Tile, Packaging, and Wall/Floor Covering markets recently surpassed $57 billion worldwide, and rapid growth is expected to continue.