Reshoring and ROI: Digital Inkjet Product-Marking Is In the Mix

Manufacturers in the US have been re-examining their global supply chains for years, and the Covid-19 pandemic only accelerated this trend. As long ago as 2018, Industry Week reported that reshowing had increased 38 percent year-over-year due to rising foreign wages and increased tariffs. In 2020, factory shutdowns, port closures, and shipping disruptions caused by the Ever Given in the Suez Canal all contributed to companies’ desire to shorten supply chains and bring some secondary operations such as late-stage product-marking and -decoration in-house.

Among our customers old and new, we have seen the restoring phenomenon up close. Indeed, for many companies, we have helped with the process. By bringing digital product-decoration in-house, companies find that they can keep leaner inventories while increasing their manufacturing flexibility, as late-stage decoration can take place after the product is already sold. With virtually no make-ready to worry about, since there are no screens, clichés, or inks to change over in digital product-decoration, machine downtime is dramatically reduced, and extremely short runs become economical.

ROI is Key

One customer of ours bought a highly-complex pad printing system, with optical image alignment, an elliptical conveyor, 18 pads, and inline post-cure. The total price of the equipment approached three-quarters of a million dollars, but the customer reports that the machine paid for itself in twelve days of production.

As with any go/no-go decision regarding capital expenditures, when purchasing product-marking equipment to bring that process in-house, the payback period must be a reasonable one. Many of our customers are astonished when we demonstrate how quickly an investment in product-marking equipment can pay for itself, whether it is a digital process or an analog one. One customer of ours bought a highly-complex pad printing system, with optical image alignment, an elliptical conveyor, 18 pads, and inline post-cure. The total price of the equipment approached three-quarters of a million dollars, but the customer reports that the machine paid for itself in twelve days of production. Currently, we are building a second machine for this company, with two more slated for manufacture in the coming year.

This company has approached Engineered Printing Solutions again and again for product-marking solutions because they know that we build machines that not only get the job done, but that also allow companies to offer shorter runs, more variety, and less time to market—all of which goes directly to their bottom line. Interestingly, the company mentioned above has made the conversion to digital; the next few machines we are building for them will be industrial inkjet.

Engineered Printing Solutions Can Help You Find That ROI

Is your company considering bringing product-decoration in-house? Or perhaps you already decorate parts and are looking for a way to increase the breadth of your product offering, whether by increasing the number of SKUs you offer, or else by offering shorter runs than your competition. Either way, drop us a line—you might be astonished at how quickly that investment can pay for itself.

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