Nilpeter and SCREEN Announce Partnership in Support of PANORAMA Digital Printing Platform
When combining multiple technologies into a single printing platform, bringing together the expertise from two companies with extensive histories is a strong recipe for success. At an Open House event held on March 28 at Nilpeter’s manufacturing facility in Cincinnati, the 100-year-old company announced that it was joining forces with SCREEN — an inkjet printing pioneer — in the production, sales and service of the PANORAMA digital label printing platform in North America.
The Nilpeter PANORAMA, a hybrid label printing press combining flexographic and inkjet printing, features conventional printing and in-line converting units from Nilpeter, along with an inkjet engine produced by SCREEN. The press has been a fixture of Nilpeter’s portfolio for the past few years, but with the partnership officially formalized, label converters utilizing the hybrid unit will now have the benefit of both companies’ expertise supporting their investment.
“If you take the flexo and converting experience from Nilpeter and put it together with the digital printing and platemaking from SCREEN, I don’t think there are any other companies in this industry that can say they have the combined experience of what we’ve done,” says Lenny DeGirolmo, president of Nilpeter USA.
From a technological perspective, what makes the PANORAMA platform stand out is its ability to be tailored toward a converter’s specific needs. Because each package printer maintains a unique environment and customer base, printers can work together with Nilpeter and SCREEN to configure the in-line flexographic and converting units with the five-color inkjet engine in a way that best supports their individual jobs.
Ken Ingram, president of SCREEN Americas, explains that the advantage of bringing inkjet printing together with flexo and in-line converting, is in how the hybrid platform can take on jobs that would have been difficult to produce with either stand-alone digital or conventional flexo. For example, in an application that requires digitally printed variable data at run lengths better suited for conventional, the two companies can work together to develop a solution with the PANORAMA.
“With the ability for Nilpeter to dive in deeply with their expertise on all of the specifics that go into the conventional side, while we look at all the digital components — the variable data, the color management — all the areas where we have significant expertise, the challenges of these real world examples melt away,” Ingram says.
Ingram explains that another key advantage of hybrid printing is in how it incorporates the unique capabilities of digital into a complete manufacturing environment. With stand-alone systems, printers can run jobs through a digital press, but then they need to be taken off that press and finished in an off-line system. While that process may work for some jobs, Ingram says that it can be limiting from an efficiency standpoint.
Additionally, DeGirolmo states that the use of a hybrid platform can provide significant cost savings — particularly on the labor side. With stand-alone digital printing, he explains that printers typically require one operator to run the press while a separate employee operates the finishing line. With hybrid, one operator can run the entire platform in a streamlined process.
From a service standpoint, DeGirolmo explains that converters can rest assured that they will have access to the knowledge bases of both Nilpeter and SCREEN. Should any issues or concerns arise with the PANORAMA, he states that the two companies will work together as one to solve any outlying issues.
“Coming together as one organization in this market, that’s the value we’re going to bring to the customer,” he says. “Instead of working with multiple providers, they’re working with one face.”
Another advantage of the PANORAMA platform is in its ability to be upgraded over time. Converters can opt to purchase it as a digital stand-alone press, or with select conventional and finishing units, with the ability to expand in the future.
Should they opt for a stand-alone unit, printers can invest in off-line finishing capabilities from within the Nilpeter family, due to the company’s recent acquisition of REFINE, a Danish producer of label finishing and converting equipment.
In a market where hybrid solutions are increasing in popularity however, DeGirolmo says the PANORAMA will stand out with the backing of two of the industry’s top manufacturers standing together to make it a top of the line solution.
“When you look at digital, SCREEN’s technology is at the top of the list,” he says. “And when you look at flexo and converting, I think Nilpeter is at the top of the list.”