Flexible Handling with Small and Medium-Sized Packaging Print-Runs
Flexible, individual, on demand: new printing machinery with special personalisation functions makes future-oriented marketing possible in the packaging sector. Customer data can be stored and retrieved at any time and thanks to the contactless printing form virtually any surface structure can be processed. Small print-runs in exact quantities make it possible to react rapidly to demand. This means, not only is unnecessary waste avoided but storage and delivery costs are reduced, too. Companies can act more flexibly and test packaging ideas without costly additional spending in staffing, materials and time.
With its narrow web press ‘HP Indigo WS6800 Digital Press’ Baden-based firm ‘Kalfany Süße Werbung GmbH & Co. KG’ looks to digital data processing in the customisation of individual products within a print-run. In the company’s own print shop target-group specific food packaging is printed cheaply and promptly. At speeds of up to 60 metres per minute foils/films, plastics, aluminium and other materials can be printed in up to seven colours. Various promotional items like sugar sachets with a company logo or personalised sticky labels, tube laminate, folding boxes and more are all printed here solely on the basis of demand.
The company ‘Folienprint’ in the ‘Rako Group’ is also increasingly using digital printing to enhance its packaging. 56 metres long and weighing 100 tons the printing machine can switch between small independent print-runs without having to halt the corresponding other printing process. Production is started simply with a double click; a machine speed of up to 200 metres per minute guarantees the fastest processing possible.
Another digital printing giant comes from Switzerland: the BOBST digital sheet-fed printing machine from ‘Schweizer Model AG’ promises intensive, food-quality colour rendering with resolutions of 600 x 900 dpi thanks to Kodak’s stream-inkjet technology. The packaging solutions for flat and corrugated cardboard are manufactured 100% in line with customer wishes: by tailoring production according to exact sheet numbers surpluses can be avoided.
In 2013 Coca-Cola started manufacturing personalised labelling using digital printing. For their “A Coke to Friendship” campaign the beverage giant needed some 800 million personalised labels within four months. For this logistic challenge a total of 17 print shops were canvassed in Europe. The basic labels on the bottle were manufactured conventionally as usual while the personalisation of the different names was then added using digital printing.
Based on current forecasts, staff at the US tech firm ‘Hewlett-Packard’ anticipate that by 2018 sales from digital printing machines in the packaging industry will have doubled compared to 2013. Despite increased interest, in Europe machinery of this kind is currently only found on the market in individual cases.