The future of flexible packaging is digital with Fujifilm Jet Press FP790

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Fujifilm Europe and Eco Flexibles open the doors to the future of flexible packaging with the installation of the first Jet Press FP790 outside Japan. The Packaging Open House on 13-14 and 15 of February 2024 recorded a great success, attracting many customers, including Italians, interested in this new technology, developed to anticipate changes in the world of packaging

Eco Flexibles Fujifilm

While the adoption of digital printing technologies in the packaging industry has progressed more slowly than in other industries, the direction of travel is unmistakable. According to the 2021 Allied Market Research (AMR) report, the global digitally printed packaging market is valued at $20.6 billion in 2021, with an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.1% in next ten years, reaching $49.9 billion by 2031. These changes are driven by some trends, and Fujifilm developed the Jet Press FP790 to address them.

Fujifilm Open House

Sustainability

Growing consumer pressure, government regulations and environmental awareness are pushing brands towards more sustainable production practices. The adoption of digital technology in the packaging industry reduces waste and the use of materials, simplifying machine maintenance and cleaning operations. Furthermore, by printing only what is necessary, you reduce product waste and contribute to an overall reduction in your ecological footprint.

Time to market

Time is money, companies and consumers demand ever faster deliveries, but the set up of analog production lines can be slow, especially for short runs. Digital, in its inkjet variant, offers zero set up times, allowing immediate printing and a significant reduction in delivery times.

Rapid increase in SKUs and shortening of product lifecycle

SKU proliferation is another factor behind the growing popularity of inkjet. More exclusive product lines, combined with a shorter product lifecycle, mean that companies often find themselves with excess inventory. This leads to logistics and storage challenges, as well as higher levels of waste and costs. Short-run production with inkjet technology offers the ability to produce high quality samples quickly and efficiently.

Fujifilm Jet Press FP790: mix of technology and skills in the flexible packaging sector

Fujifilm has a long history in the flexible packaging industry, through the development of flexographic plates, inks and LED curing solutions. With the Jet Press FP790 the company wants to respond to new trends and to do so it has combined inkjet technology and flexographic know-how to define new standards of quality and productivity. The machine uses water-based ink and are present two white ink channels for delivering high opacity, making the machine suitable for a wide range of jobs, from quick production to high-quality projects. The Jet Press FP790 has helped Fujifilm to secure partnerships with several software and finishing companies, including Henkel and Nordmeccanica for coating and laminating solutions, and HYBRID Software for the XMF Packaging workflow solution, which provides automated prepress capabilities to ensure faster delivery times, maximum productivity and reduced operating costs.

Fujifilm Open house

Eco Flexibles: the first European customer for Jet Press FP790

Eco Flexibles, an English company specialized in printing of sustainable flexible packaging based in Northampton and a Fujifilm Flenex FW customer for many years, has disclosed new horizons in the flexible packaging market with the first installation of the Fujifilm Jet Press FP790 outside Japan. The press has been installed in the new state-of-the-art 3,700 square meter facility in Northampton, UK and offers unrivaled versatility, capable of printing on film and paper. “Designing sustainable packaging is not just about choosing materials. Production must also be sustainable, and this is precisely what the Fujifilm Jet Press 790 allows us to achieve. With high-speed, high quality digital printing, the ability to cost-effectively produce short runs, and the elimination of plates and set up processes, the Jet Press FP790 offers many benefits to our business. It enables us to deliver excellent print performance, eliminate waste and exceed the expectations of today’s flexible packaging market with maximum flexibility and agility. We are happy to have been the first to install the machine in Europe and we are sure that it will offer us significant advantages in this highly competitive market”, comment the management.

Fuji stampati

During the Packaging Open House, which took place on 13th, 14th and 15th  February and welcomed all interested customers, including several Italian companies, an in-depth overview of the potential of this cutting-edge technology was offered. The event was preceded by a day dedicated to printing, inaugurated by Manuel Schrutt, Head of Packaging of Fujifilm EMEA, who illustrated Fujifilm’s history and innovations in the analogue, digital and sustainability sectors, finally presenting the Jet Press FP790. Then, participants had the opportunity to attend practical demonstrations, exploring in detail its technical characteristics and functionality, including: category-leading production speed without machine downtime due to set up and change of substrate, extended color gamut: over 90% of Pantone colors, water-based inks with 1200 dpi x 1200 dpi resolution for sharp, high-quality images, integrated inspection tower for real-time quality control, reduced delivery times, thanks to the elimination of plate making requirements.

Simon Buswell, Sales and Marketing Director at Eco Flexibles, concluded the day by sharing the enthusiasm and positive results achieved by introducing the Jet Press FP790, highlighting the potential and positive impact of the new machine, in fact the company has already prepared space for a second machine.

“Nobody knows what the future holds, but our investment assures our customers that we’ll deliver flexible packaging excellence no matter what”, concluded Buswell.

a tu x tu Raynald Barillot, Category Manager, Digital Packaging, Fujifilm EMEAFace to face with Raynald Barillot, Category Manager Digital Packaging EMEA, Graphic Communication Division, Fujifilm

Is the future of flexible packaging really ready for digital?

“The adoption of digital print technologies in the packaging sector, though slower than in other print sectors, is inarguably gaining momentum. Key trends driving this shift include a heightened focus on sustainability, the need for quicker time-to-market, and the challenges posed by the rapid increase in unique product lines and reduced product lifecycles. The Fujifilm Jet Press FP790 combines the latest in digital inkjet technology with flexible packaging know-how to help companies get ahead of this trend and maximise the opportunity”.

What expectations do you have from this new Jet Press FP790?

“We’ve designed the Jet Press FP790 to help customers to respond to the three major trends that are driving the uptake of inkjet technology in flexible packaging: sustainability; time to market and a rise in SKUs. Our expectation (confirmed already by our experience with early adopters like Eco Flexibles) is that the press will help flexible packaging producers to meet the challenges and maximise the opportunities posed by these trends. The Jet Press was designed to be able to run in 3 shifts, 7 days a week; allowing customers to produce mainstream flexographic volumes”.

What is the ideal company profile for this machine?

“The ideal company profile for the FP790 is any flexible packaging business (large or small) that wants to take advantage of the unique possibilities provided by digital inkjet to reduce waste and boost flexibility for mainstream work, matching the market price without sacrificing quality”.

When will we see the first installation in Italy?

“We’re unable to confirm a first installation date for Italy – but we are speaking with a number of potential customers: watch this space!”.