Tuesday, 21st July 2015
With the recent purchase of an HP Indigo 20000 digital press, Japan-based Yunido Pack is fast-tracking its on-demand flexible packaging production.
For more than 24 years, Yunido Pack, Japan, has created flexible packaging for numerous industries, including food, stationery, paper-based products, direct marketing and agricultural produce.
It relied on gravure printing to serve customers throughout the region, but when it identified the market need for on-demand production it turned to digital print.
‘When we were only using gravure printing we operated passively, producing only what we were asked to. Now that we have introduced the HP Indigo press, we can offer more solutions and today we are able to operate a proposal-driven business,’ remarks Kouichi Nagamori, president of Yunido Pack.
The print industry in Japan has changed extensively over the past decade, with growing demand for fast turnaround times and short-runs at low costs. For Yunido Pack, its traditional gravure cylinder-making approach only handled high volume production so it wanted to find a more flexible, faster way to print short-runs on-demand. ‘We aim to offer our customers a full range of flexible packaging across the whole market, including food, general supplies, stationary, paper-based products, direct marketing and agricultural produce,’ continues Kouichi. ‘There’s a lot happening in the printing business right now – demand for fast turnaround times, short-runs, high mix of product and low prices and we wanted to deal with these demands within our own production setup.’
Easy handling and operation
In 2008, Yunido Pack invested in the HP Indigo WS4500 digital press to introduce digital print into its operations. In 2014 it invested in the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press to add further functionality as well as the ability to print in a wider format on a variety of flexible packaging materials.
‘We wanted to be able to produce all sizes of flexible packaging in any volume and took the decision to introduce the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press to allow us to move the full range of flexible packaging to digital print,’ adds technical manager, Akihito Takano. ‘From the small-lot, high product mix perspective, we’ve managed to achieve about twice the volumes that we could with the old gravure press. And, because we can put several items on one roll, this allows us to do exactly the same in post processing and increase the number of products, which is obviously an advantage.’
Akihito also points out that, despite the size of the HP Indigo 20000 digital press, it’s proving easy to manage and operate. ‘The HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press is massive but it’s surprisingly easy to maintain. It’s a press that’s easy to handle from the point of view of someone who’s been working with gravure printing for a long time. If you follow all the menus, there are some great things in there and the paper feed is easier than I expected. ‘
And the new digital press has slotted neatly into the existing print process. ‘We haven’t actually changed anything at all operationally. We treat things exactly the same as with gravure. It just so happens that we were only one step short with gravure cylinder-making, we have slotted in that final piece with the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press and we now have the complete solution,’ explains Takano,’ Akihito relates.
Carving a niche
Yunido Pack can produce flexible packaging across numerous materials for several markets. The speed and flexibility provided by the HP Indigo digital print platform is enabling it to proactively push its capabilities to potential customers. ‘In terms of quality, we get virtually the same colours as the Japanese offset standards, it’s actually easy for us to produce the colours our customers have in mind,’ continues Akihito. ‘Besides the speed, quality, flexibility and ease of use of the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press, we’re impressed that we have the ability to print in low volumes with variable data. This means we can put several products on one roll and process them continuously. Colour is also surprisingly consistent.’
Yunido Pack is also now offering an online service. It has traditionally operated business-to-business, but with the ability to produce on-demand short-runs of unique packaging, it can service individual consumers and enter new markets. And, with the HP Indigo digital platform surpassing expectations, Yunido Pack is making its presence felt at trade fairs where it can showcase the final product to brand owners. Its aim is to establish its print service and make digital the natural choice for on-demand flexible packaging. ‘What we want to do now is to grow our on-demand printing business, to attempt to carve out a position whereby digital printing is the natural choice for on-demand within the gravure-printing dominated world of flexible packaging,’ concludes Kouichi Nagamori.
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