With an exclusive event at its headquarters, Grafinpack inaugurated the new Scodix E106, the first installed in Italy of this size (70×100) dedicated to digital finishing of printed materials and packaging
The Scodix E106 installed last June at Grafinpack in Calvisano (Bs) is the first large-format digital finishing machine produced in series by the Israeli company, and follows the first two installations in Israel and Germany that were still beta test.
Grafinpack is a family business founded over 50 years ago as a small country printing house offering all those services useful for the local community: envelopes, letterheads, wedding invitations. In the 60s and 70s, thanks to the economic boom in the area of Mantua, the textile and shoe industry grew up, inviting Tipografia Calvina and then Cartografica Turini to broaden the range of services offered, also introducing cardboard processing with the installation of 4-color printing machines, manual and automatic die-cutting machines, always cutting-edge technologies for what were the standards at that time.
Grafinpack, with the current name and logo, was founded in 2002 by Guerrino Turini and today the company, where the second generation has entered with Laura, Nadia and Manuel, employs about forty collaborators and is one of the most appreciated reality in the territory of the north-east for the production of boxes.
“Also the packaging market has now entered the orbit of digital technologies, not only as regards printing, but also for finishing; we have always stood out for being always a step ahead of market demands, so we are proud of being the first in Italy to believe in Scodix E106 technology that allows us to finish in 70×100 format with a great quantity of effects”, says Manuel Turini, Grafinpack director, welcoming guests at the opening of the open house.
“Heidelberg goes digital” also in finishing with Scodix
Mauro Antonini, Head of Technology at Heidelberg Italia, that represents Scodix on the national market, underlined the importance for the German manufacturer of this installation, not only because it represents a machine sold, but because it is part of a more global strategy that sees Heidelberg increasingly marry digital, for printing and finishing. “Heidelberg wants to propose itself to the market as a global supplier of the entire graphic sector, with a precise answer to all customer needs”, says Mauro Antonini – “and our slogan “Heidelberg goes digital” here in Grafinpack is the testimony of how even in the industrial cardboard industry we can approach the market with digital solutions. The one installed at Grafinpack is the 15th Scodix installed in the Italian market, which for dome years knows and appreciates the technologies for digital finishing of Scodix for small format, and I’m sure will begin to appreciate the E106, born just to meet the needs of cardboard converters”, concludes Antonini.
The main trends in the cardboard packaging sector
Mauro Luini, Scodix manager for the Southern European market, shared with the audience, printing and converting companies of primary importance not only from Italy, as well as many brand owners, the main trends that are affecting the market for cardboard boxes, providing several interesting ideas useful to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive market. “The battle that today the brand owners fight, at a high price, to grab the best positions on the shelves of supermarkets is well known but this is not enough to attract the attention of consumers. Researches tells us that when a consumer picks up a package, there are six times more chances that exactly that box will end up in the shopping cart; so you understand how important it is to attract the customer’s gaze and entice him to pick up a package”, says Mauro Luini.
As far as sustainability is concerned, cardboard packaging naturally has a competitive advantage over plastic packaging, and this is a very popular aspect for consumers, who have recently created a new trend, linked to interaction with the packaging: more and more videos are being filmed on youtube that are shot while they are opening a box that becomes in fact a very important aspect of shopping experience. “The numbers tell us that we print more cardboard packaging than in the past, and with a greater number of references and customizations with a packaging life cycle that does not exceed the year”, adds Luini.
Consumers and brand owners will continue to raise the bar of their requests and in fact already today in the cardboard converting market, printing is no longer considered an added value: the production capacity of printing companies allows to satisfy everywhere any type of request for boxes. Making the difference today, and digital has made a notable contribution, is exactly printing of variable data for customized cardboard boxes, a growing segment, at such an extent that the packaging market is becoming more and more desirable for commercial printers looking for new markets, the latter certainly more accustomed to digital technologies.
Finishing is an opportunity in the packaging world
Finishing today, in light of the aforementioned trends, is certainly able to give the printed matter a significant added value, from 20 to 300% compared to the simple four-color printing, depending on the work carried out. It is also a strategic and growing sector that allows printers to escape from dangerous price battles, proposing themselves on the market with different solutions and able to increase the appeal of their customers’ packs.
“Finishing of printed matter in general, more specifically packaging finishing is probably the activity that has grown less in the graphic chain and is still considered a craft activity for a few trusted experts, especially as regards foil and embossing”, says Mauro Luini before moving on to the description of the Scodix E106.
The Scodix E106 in detail
The machine in its 70×100 format has an important structure and is composed of an offset feeder, as well as the output stacker. The sheets coming into the machine, depending on the finishing chosen in the setting phase, are transferred to the “Precision unit” equipped with 68 high speed motorized inkjet heads where a special polymer is deposited, achieving in this way the required finishing, before passing under a Led lamp that fixes the single sprayed drop, fixing it or making it suitable for the possible application of the foil, then the final drying takes place before the exit from the machine. “With this special polymer we can realize without the aid of special equipment (dies, screen printing frames, etc.) tactile effects such as UV relief, embossing, glitter and metallic effects, foil both individually and in combination with the polymer for an infinite series of finishings”, adds Luini.
Faced with a very demanding market that has the obvious need to reduce production waste to a minimum, Scodix has equipped its machine with a system of 4 cameras that can automatically register every single 70×100 sheet that enters the machine, in less than 1 second, with a tolerance of less than 250 microns, and this because the accuracy of the register is essential for a high quality package.
“The machine is really easy and intuitive even for not-expert operators. In the case of Grafinpack, the two machine operators had no experience in finishing or digital printing, but thanks to Scodix training course within a few weeks they became autonomous and succeed in managing the workflow without any difficulty. The Scodix E106 can reach a maximum speed of 4000 sheets per hour and is ready for processing sheets from 200 to 700 g, with an expected development for 2019, thanks to which it will be possible to use even a very thin cardboard from 135 g.