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Eddie Kopacyzynski of Graphic Packaging on digital in packaging

Published on November 27, 2012

Eddie Kopaczynski, Graphics Manager at Graphic Packaging, talks to Cary Sherburne about the adoption of digital methods in the packaging printing market.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink and I’m here with Eddie Kopaczynski who is the Graphics Manager for Graphic Packaging. You guys are quite a big company.

Eddie Kopaczynski: Yes, we are. We have a lot of converting assets all over the U.S. and, frankly, the world. Yes.

Cary Sherburne: Folding carton?

Eddie Kopaczynski: Folding carton, multi wall bag, labels.

Cary Sherburne: Four billion dollars or something like that.

Eddie Kopaczynski: Yeah, four billion dollars a year annual sales.

Cary Sherburne: So in terms of, you know, the packaging industry is going through kind of what commercial print has gone a lot through which is…

Eddie Kopaczynski: The Renaissance.

Cary Sherburne: The Renaissance is analog to digital transition and so, of course, in your case the front end, the workflow, probably is pretty much all digital now.

Eddie Kopaczynski: It is. We have a complete digital workflow from delivery of files all the way through to our plate making. Still some bastions out there that can be conquered but we are totally using digital methods, techniques.

Cary Sherburne: And recently I know that you were at Drupa in Germany and so I’m just curious what you thought about some of the digital offerings that you saw there because there was a lot of B2 sheetfed digital. There were things like Hycon for die cutting and creasing so what did you think about some of those things?

Eddie Kopaczynski: So those technologies absolutely have a place in our business certainly. We have a lot of customers that require short runs. Short runs being one to a couple hundred and to put that on an asset that is geared to run thousands of sheets really isn’t cost effective. So we’re absolutely looking at some of those technologies.

Cary Sherburne: And in terms of not the total volumes that you do but maybe the number of jobs, I’ve heard some companies say as high as anywhere from 35 percent to 65 to 75 percent of the jobs coming in are now – in folding carton – are less than 10,000 sheets. So are you seeing that or is it just a different customer base that you have?

Eddie Kopaczynski: Yeah, we see a vast array of that. Some customers, some smaller customers absolutely in that 10K range. A lot of our larger customers certainly in the – in some cases the 100,000 range. Absolutely. A mix.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah, so if you’re looking at one to 100 kind of thing is that something that would be relevant for like the Esko Kongsberg tables? You would be able to do the die cutting with that kind of a thing?

Eddie Kopaczynski: Probably. Probably for very shorter runs but we’re really looking for a solution where we hit a couple buttons, get the material out, get the material cut kind of inline to keep in the same theme of our manufacturing process.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah, because right now you’ve got – I think you told me earlier that you’ve got some of the Bobst die cutters.

Eddie Kopaczynski: Right.

Cary Sherburne: Right and so those take a fair amount of set up time and lead time on the dies and those kinds of things to deal with, right?

Eddie Kopaczynski: Absolutely and those would be for longer runs you’d want to set up a die cutter, as you mentioned. And to have the ability just to put something on a smaller one up die and an inline quick situation would absolutely be ideal.

Cary Sherburne: So something like – and Hycon just happens to be the first to market with something like this but they’re running at 1500 sheets an hour and what – 15 minute set up so that fits kind of into that model.

Eddie Kopaczynski: Yes, it’s promising some of that technology.

Cary Sherburne: But I tell you I have had an opportunity to see those Bobst machines. They’re pretty amazing and they last forever, don’t they?

Eddie Kopaczynski: They sure do.

Cary Sherburne: Good Swiss manufacturing. So, great. Thank you very much.

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