Xaar has highlighted the first "direct-to-shape" digital packaging printer launches, from its OEM partners, as having the potential to "accelerate the digitisation of packaging" over the next five years.
      In a progress update on the packaging sector, the  manufacturer highlighted the first public demonstrations of direct-to-shape digital print systems by four of its OEM partners at Drinktec exhibition in Munich.
   Ian Dinwoodie, chief executive of Xaar, pointed to the ability to print to irregular shaped bottles as an example of the disruptive potential of the technology.
   "One of the partners is looking at this so that they can actually change the shape of the blown bottle and when they change the shape of the blown bottle to quite an irregular shape then fundamentally you can't stick a label on the thing," he said.
     "That's a completely different driver in their space - there're a number of interesting drivers, we don't expect this is going to change overnight but it's another interesting step forward in the evolution of the technology."