The Fulda (Germany) plant of DS Smith recently celebrated the commissioning of the Group’s second HP T1100S digital pre-printing machine opening up entirely new possibilities of brand activation and brand protection for their customers.
Together with about 180 guests from leading brand owners, they celebrated the official commissioning of the machine. In presentations, workshops and during the official commissioning, the new market opportunities for this printing technology were the centre of attention.
“Innovation is at the top of our agenda, because we want to help our customers to become even better, so that they can continue to take the pole position in their respective markets in the future”, underlined Philip Bautil, DS Smith Managing Director Central Europe in his welcoming speech. “Digital pre-printing enables our customers to offer customised solutions even for medium and large-scale productions for the mass market. Together with our customers we enter into a new era of brand activation and brand protection, so that our customers can create the greatest possible value and maintian market growth.”
Stefan Kunzmann, DS Smith Sales, Marketing and Innovation Director Central Europe happily added, “From now on, our customers can emphasise the uniqueness of their brands. With our mosaic software we are able to make every package and every single display unique, even in medium and large-scale production. The graphic possibilities are without limits. This offers completely new design opportunities for the market. Packaging and displays can be customised for target groups, occasions, regions or special events. This is not only interesting for packaging intended for retail, but also for those that will be used in e-commerce.
"The new technology also provides enormous flexibility with regards to quantities. Building up large stocks can be avoided, since the products can be simply re-printed if required. Marketing will be glad to hear about the possibility to implement last-minute changes without difficulties. A short-term adaptation of the graphic design is no longer an issue in digital printing, since no printing plates are required. Another positive aspect is that HP PageWide inks used for digital printing are water-based and do not contain any UV-reactive elements. Therefore, primary and secondary packaging for the food industry can be printed safely to comply with the highest standards.
“Brand protection is another vast playing field, where we can support our customers with track & trace solutions, serialisation, grey market prevention and in the area of product security”, Kunzmann stressed. “Estimates assume that the annual global sales of counterfeit products amount to €1.4 trillion.”
“For DS Smith digital pre-printing is of strategic importance”, said Stefano Rossi, CEO of the DS Smith Packaging Division. “We firmly believe that this printing technology will revolutionise the market. In workshops in our PackRight Centres we cooperate with our customers from various fields to work out specific feasible solutions that will contribute to increasing their sales, to reduce their costs and to minimise their risks. Digital pre-print significantly enhances existing possibilities.”
The project represents an investment of about €15 million and was realised in less than 12 months. To make room for the new machine, part of a former paper warehouse in the Fulda factory was upgraded with new foundations. Then, the installation of the new machine, test runs and the first production runs started. The Fulda factory not only produces the digital pre-print for their own processing, but will also supply other DS Smith sites all over Europe, which will then process the pre-print and convert it into smart packaging and display solutions.
And the success story continues, “We will shortly upgrade the new digital pre-printing machine HP T1100S”, revealed Rüdiger Lindner, General Manager of the Fulda site. “The machine is currently working with CMYK, but we have plans to add a fifth and sixth colour and will further increase the printing speed. After the upgrade we will have a production facility that is unique in the world of packaging.”