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Highcon Introduces Direct-To-Pack; Commentary from Cary Sherburne

Monday, November 28, 2011

Press release from the issuing company

 

Highcon is a young company with a clear focus and understanding of the folding carton packaging market, a defined vision, and an innovative product that will eliminate the need for conventional dies and herald the arrival of a new Direct-to-Pack market.

The company was founded in November 2009 by Aviv Ratzman and Michael Zimmer, both highly experienced professionals in the digital print market, working initially with Indigo N.V. and latterly HP.

The result of the extensive development effort is the Highcon Euclid. This revolutionary machine uses precision laser optics and polymer technologies to transform cutting and creasing from an analogue to a digital workflow, dramatically streamlining the finishing process.

‘Over the past two decades we have witnessed key areas of the supply chain becoming digital, but packaging finishing has remained analogue,” said Aviv Ratzman, Highcon’s CEO. “Converters and their customers have been unable to benefit from the speed and flexibility that digital solutions could provide to finishing. But this is about to change.”

A pedigree of innovation

Highcon is a private company with key investors including Landa Ventures, the investment company owned by the Indigo N.V. founder Benny Landa, and Israbieg, the largest die supplier in Israel, and other print industry players

Speaking of Highcon’s game-changing concept, Benny Landa said, "I believe that Highcon will do for the folding carton market what Indigo did for print - and the industry will be changed forever."

The Highcon digital converting solution dramatically increases speed to market, eliminates costly production steps and reduces the carbon footprint of packaging production. Moreover, the implementation of this new technology will drive numerous new packaging opportunities for converters, packaging printers and brand owners.

Chris Baker, Highcon VP Sales and Business Development, said: “We have been developing our product with input and advice from a number of top converters around the world to ensure we meet the market needs. We are confident that this technology will change the face of packaging finishing.”

The Highcon Euclid will be formally launched and demonstrated on our stand at drupa 2012, Hall 4 Stand B28, Düsseldorf, Germany.

To learn more about Highcon’s concept and product visit our new website www.highcon.net. and register to be among the first to receive updates.

Commentary from Cary Sherburne

This offering appears to be revolutionary. According to the company, they have not come across any offerings like this, and they believe they are the first to take the analog creasing/cutting of folding cartons to the digital realm.  It's pretty slick-watch the video.

I also found it interesting that Israbieg, the largest die supplier in Israel, is one of the investors. It will be interesting to observe the response of die makers around the globe to the introduction of this innovative solution; will they see the writing on the wall and begin to reframe their businesses as Euclid gains steam?

Highcon has worked extensively with packaging companies, and in fact, had a former P&G executive present during a press web briefing last week. Like much else in the printing industry, packaging converters are seeing declining print runs as consumer goods and B2B companies seek higher impact, more customized packaging for an increasing number of SKUs. Euclid is targeted at runs of less than 20,000, which the company claims accounts for about 60% of folding carton jobs worldwide.

The benefits?  No more waiting for days for expensive dies (and having to set aside storage space in case they need to be reused). Euclid creates what the company calls a DART (Digital Adhesive Rule Technology), sort of like a digital die made out of a specially designed resin, which is produced quickly, and disposed of when the job is completed.  Creasing and cutting are all done in line at production speeds. Printed sheets come off of the press, are fed into Euclid, and come out the back end ready for assembly.

Euclid puts same-day packaging within reach, and at a minimum reduces the 1-5 or more days' turnaround time currently experienced between waiting for dies and the several-hour setup time required using traditional analog processes.

One other benefit: reduced carbon footprint.  According to Israbieg, there are 7.5 million die cut plates manufactured per year, consuming 330,000 trees per year; and 15 million hours of machine set-up time are consumed. The company also estimates that the die cut plate process accounts for 770,000 tons of CO2.

The product launches at drupa-we will be watching the reaction during the show and afterwards. Although the converting industry has typically been a bit slow to move to new technologies, this is the type of technology that consumer packaged goods companies will drive into the market, speeding up the rate of change-assuming Euclid lives up to its promises!

 

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