Integrating analogue- and digital workflow
Nowadays marketing professionals expect to see complete printed packaging even in the sampling phase. The packaging idea must become visual and tangible reality from the very first sample. Creative packaging solutions as well as FSDU’S (free standing display units) are simply easier to sell with professional-looking samples.
However, the differences between sampling and serial production need to be imperceptible and the quality identical. For example: there is another rush-campaign from your biggest client. A single printed prototype sample is needed which has to be cut and creased on the same day. After it’s approved they need a thousand boxes by the next day for a market trial. After that they will need a further 50 000 boxes within the next few weeks.
The first part sounds like a tall order. Not if you already have integrated a digital press, colour management software and a high speed digital cutter into your existing analogue production environment.
A DTP operator designs the packaging using any one of a number of softwares such as CAD, Esko Packaging, PackZ, Kasemake or Zünd Design Center.
The finished artwork is then sent to the HP Scitex FB10000 high-speed digital press through colour management software such as GMG. The fundamental reason for this is to ensure that the colour of the prints done on the digital press will match the prints done later using the offset or flexographic process when you start printing the run of 50 000. The standard die cut and crease lines are sent to the Zünd G3 digital cutter and the carton or corrugated sheet is processed at high speed.
From DTP to finished packaging product, not only can a sample be done in minutes but the market trial can be produced in a matter of hours allowing to deliver the job the next day. When the main production run starts on the Flexographic machine, the colour will match perfectly thanks to the GMG colour management software.
• Learn more about GMG colour management software: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPB6SZyOY48
The ICC camera on the Zünd G3 cutting system automatically reads both registration marks as well as the edges on the printed side of the first sheet. Then the sheet can be flipped over and the edges reread as reference points so cutting and creasing are applied from the reverse side from a face-down stack which can automatically be fed into the printer from the Zünd auto-loader option. The finished product can be stacked using the Zünd automatic stacking option thus enabling you to finish the pre-printed materials automatically and unattended. The system requires no dies yet delivers efficient, on-time finishing at the highest possible quality levels and with minimal manpower. Easy operation and efficient data workflow.
The Zünd cutter is designed to give you capabilities that will benefit you in many other ways as well: cutting photopolymer flexographic printing plates, offset printing and coating blankets; plotting steel-rule die layouts and templates; cutting ejection rubber and using any number of cutting, creasing, and scoring tools for sample-making. This flexibility leads to better vertical integration and greater independence from external suppliers. Better control, more profit – go digital!
• See the the Zünd Board Handling System, with auto loader and stacker, in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVsmcpBFlQ4
– By Sean Greer, Innovations Hub/Marketing Manager