Direct Digital Corrugated Printing Lands Big Win for Bennett
When Welch’s needed a large corrugated display project completed on such a tight deadline that litho wasn’t a feasible option, most converters would have had to turn down the job.
But for Bennett, a Lee’s Summit, Mo.-based corrugated converter, it was a perfect opportunity to turn to its new Barberan JetMaster high-speed digital printer — the only one installed in North America.
According to Craig Bradley, VP of manufacturing at Bennett, without the new digital printer, the order intended for display in Sam’s Club stores would possibly have been a missed opportunity. But, he says now that digitally printed corrugated, especially of this size, has become a reality, it is revolutionary for the industry.
“I think [the digital printer] is a total game changer,” he says. “It is disruptive technology that no one has had to compete with. This is going to be a direct attack on litho for corrugated.”
Although the single-pass digital printer was just installed in August of 2015, Bennett was able to take on this project shortly after, thanks to extensive training and testing, as well as the “fairly flawless installation,” Bradley says. And even though the team has run other projects since installation, he says that this particular project happens to be his favorite.
“The sweat on the grapes looks real,” he says. “Some of the grapes actually look cold. … The design was very digital printer friendly.”
The client was also pleased with the result, along with the judges in this year’s packagePRINTING Excellence Awards.
“The deep purple, life-like grapes had incredible detail in the graphics,” says John Hennessy, product manager for EFI and one of the competition’s judges. “Direct to corrugated digital is so new, it is amazing to see this level of print quality.”
It isn’t just the quality that makes digitally printed corrugated a force to be reckoned with — it’s the timeliness of the process. The setup only takes about five minutes, versus the three to four hours it could have taken if the project was run flexographically, Bradley explains. Or had litho been used, there would be a lead time to receive the labels in-house.
“I can print off one sheet and it will look exactly as the entire order will run,” Bradley states. “You can’t do that with flexo or gravure. You can get a proof from litho, but it isn’t always exact.”
Needless to say, with the reduced time to produce, the reduced investment in tooling/raw materials, and then the resulting quality, this particular project has brought in more business from the client.
“It’s always good to knock it out of the park on your first order,” Bradley says.
Click here for the full list of winning entries from the 2016 packagePRINTING Excellence Awards.