Grupo La Plana is a privately owned business that was founded in 1973 and produces corrugated and solidboard packaging, using offset and flexo printing, mainly for the national Spanish market. The business employs about 500 people and has production plants in Betxí and Onda (Castellón), Cenicero (La Rioja) and Igualada (Barcelona). Turnover grew to €110m in 2018.
The company has invested more than €25m in their plants over the last few years, and now has a production capacity of around two million boxes per day.
Delivering any type of corrugated container, ‘wherever and whenever the customer needs it’ is the objective of Grupo La Plana in order to consolidate its position in the Spanish corrugated market. In its latest move, the company has now installed the EFI Nozomi C18000 digital printing machine at their factory in Onda (Castellón).
Juan Ignacio Piquer, Grupo La Plana’s CEO and Managing Director, explained that the newly installed technology is the natural development of the company’s aims to offer customers greater customisation of their products and flexibility to address consumption trends. Grupo La Plana not only manufactures its own corrugated board according to the needs of the customer, but the company can also design, produce and deliver any type of packaging ‘just in time’, reducing the production costs and stock.
Piquer also identified that using EFI’s technology will allow Grupo La Plana to conduct quick tests and prototypes, as well as customised campaigns, simplifying the production process while reducing time and costs.
Grupo La Plana’s new printing centre has been operational since February and its versatility provides rapid and creative solutions to the packaging supply chain. The 1.8m-wide machine prints up to 75 linear metres per minute, or up to 10,000 890 x 890mm sheets per hour. Moreover, the Nozomi C18000 works with six colours (CMYK, orange and purple), offering sharp grayscale images that compete with offset and high-quality flexographic printing. For Piquer, the introduction of this innovative digital printing process gives designers the power to bring their creativity to the box, thanks to the quality of the resulting images.
Piquer points out that Grupo La Plana’s pioneering nature and their firm decision on technological innovation has been based on consolidating their presence in the Mediterranean Arc over the past year, as well as in the centre and the North of Spain.
“We are aware that our products have been introduced into the distribution chain of our customers,” says Piquer. “Consequently, we can no longer confine ourselves to selling basic packaging; we have to provide a solution for new products and services. We are always ready to investigate and collaborate closely with customers and the installation of the Nozomi is just one clear statement to the market that we are keen to innovate.”
According to Piquer, the introduction of the Nozomi C18000 represents a clear commitment to digital technology to help expand their business, turning packaging into a marketing tool that provides solutions to the market with new selling points, such as the customisation.
EFI’s Industrial Printing Vice President and General Manager, José Luis Ramón Moreno, concludes, “We are enthusiastic about undertaking this journey with Grupo La Plana, as they represent a perfect example of a company who is prepared to offer a strong commitment to quality, sustainability and corporate social responsibility.”