Digitally Printed Packaging: Opportunity for Commercial Printers?
The first Landa B1-size sheetfed presses will be delivered in late 2013 to beta customers. They do have "hundreds of letters of intent, with a significant part for the packaging presses shown at drupa." She says there is a lot of interest from packaging converters for applications including flexible packaging, folding cartons and labels. The Landa press will use ordinary, untreated paper and plastics.
Océ also has a new digital packaging press: the InfiniStream, which is specifically targeted at the folding carton segment. In a presentation at a drupa followup event in Poing/Munich, Germany, Roland Stasiczek, Océ director of marketing for InfiniStream technology, highlighted the need for increased versioning, shorter turnaround times and rising demand for personalization.
He also noted track and trace, CRM and brand protection. Stasiczek reports that "the new liquid toner technology enables variable imaging on standard carton board, with thickness up to 600 microns (24-pt.) and with the look and feel of offset output." A modular print tower allows up to seven colors on a 28˝-wide web web, resulting in up to 14,400 B2 sheets or 7,200 B1 sheets/hr. The first installations are planned in 2013 and commercial availability is planned throughout 2014.
Digital Answers Short-Run Label Needs
Carl Joachim, senior partner of Caslon & Co, a consulting firm promoting adoption of digital print and innovation in packaging, advises that brand owners are rapidly seeing the advantages digital brings to packaging as part of the marketing mix. "Manufacturers and packaging converters are all eyeing short-run, market-specific packaging as the 'next big thing' in packaging," he reveals.
For example, ProLabel Inc., a Miami-based manufacturer of high-quality labels founded by Ramon Fernandez in 1995, recently added a Xeikon 3030 digital press to accommodate a growing demand for shorter runs. ProLabel's customers needed shorter label runs produced in quicker turnaround times and at lower cost.