New HP Scitex FB7600 reduces time and packaging design costs for Connect Packaging.
Connect Packaging, of Benfleet, Essex, UK, has installed an HP Scitex FB7600 Industrial Press. The company made the investment to enable it to produce cost-effective short-runs and limited edition production, as well as to accelerate the packaging design process.
Connect Packaging, part of the CBS Packaging Group, installed the press to provide digital printing services to the corrugated packaging sector and to also develop a clear competitive advantage. The press installation with a Kongsberg digital cutter from HP finishing partner Esko has given Connect Packaging a completely digital production alternative, from design through printing and finishing.
“Typically, it could take packaging buyers up to six months to make decisions – largely because of the cost involved in developing new packages,” said James Newton, sales and marketing manager, Connect Packaging. “We are seeing this period cut to a matter of weeks, and the cost of short-runs and prototypes reduced significantly; these are important factors that help reduce time-to-market. The HP Scitex press is a step change for our business and a real game-changer for our customers who understand the benefits digital can offer. It’s encouraging to see customers get on board with digital printing and share our excitement at the vast potential for future collaborations.
“A key to our success is that we have one of the best structural design teams who can create innovative packaging solutions,” continued Newton. “Their designs meet the demands for strength, product protection, and efficient material use, and these characteristics add up to a competitive advantage, as does the ability to see prototypes and samples quickly and affordably. The digital press and plotter cutter have enhanced the services and products we can now offer.”
Connect Packaging said that a major factor in making shorter run packaging financially viable is the digital workflow that eliminates plate-making, plate mounting, its associated chemistry, waste and registration. For short-runs, these analogue processes are expensive and time-consuming, whereas, depending on the size of the package, substrate and the desired resolution, substantial medium runs can be printed digitally.
The company’s new HP Scitex FB7600 Industrial Press handles media up to 25mm thick and can print in up to seven colours at speeds up to 95 full-size sheets per hour (165 x 320cm). Cost-effective short-runs for trials, special editions or localised versions, including store details, QR codes and runs of one, can be quickly produced enabling design decisions to be made on the spot.
“Jitha Singh, managing director of CBS, had the vision for Connect Packaging to develop digital printing services in the corrugated packaging industry,” Newton said. “He saw the opportunity to build on our experience and established business, develop the power of digital printing and take it to our customers. The HP Scitex FB7600 Industrial Press was seen as the means to make that vision a reality, and it hasn’t disappointed.”
Connect Packaging has 60 years’ history as a manufacturer of corrugated packaging and is proud of its heritage and pedigree. Offering an end-to-end service from package design to fulfilment, it provides in-house case-making, flexo printing, die-cutting, stitching, gluing, and now, digital printing services. Typical products include transit packaging, retail and shelf-ready packaging, counter display units, dump bins and point-of-sale displays. Enquiries for screen and litho printing are also accepted and handled within the group.
“Once customers fully appreciate the concept and its implications, you can see their excitement build,” Newton added.” Very often they’ll say, ‘Now I can do something with that idea that we’ve been playing with for years!’ And it’s not just short runs that are stimulating interest; already I’ve been asked for a quote to produce up to 2,000 packages. For our customers and for us, the HP Scitex FB7600 Industrial Press opens a new world of revenue-generating opportunities,” Newton concluded.
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