Eyal Harpak, Deputy General Manager at Graphica Bezalel in Israel, talks to Cary Sherburne about their business and the trends in packaging printing as well as their use of Highcon.
Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink and I’m pleased to be here with Eyal Harpak who’s the Deputy General Manager at Graphica Bezalel in Israel.
Eyal Harpak: Yes. Thank you. Welcome.
Cary Sherburne: And I had the pleasure of visiting your plant recently. It’s very impressive. Maybe you could tell our viewers a little bit about your operation in packaging.
Eyal Harpak: Yeah, sure, why not. We’re a family-owned business since 1946 and we’re quite experienced in doing packaging, all sorts of packaging. For many days we’re doing labels and folding cartons and in the past years and more in this I’d say decade, the folding cartons and the packaging has been increasing overall in our business significantly. We’re running some versatile equipment to do different jobs so, of course, we have our own prepress department as you had the chance to see with, I would say, state of the art ESKO software, quite updated and recently bought a few years ago. We have our own product sampling department to design and make the packages ready to the needs of the customers. And then, of course, we have two six-color coater machines, a Mitsubishi and a Komori, doing conventional, Huber inks, full UV inks and roll on machine, ready for large format to do board. On the converting side we have two Bobsts, 104 and a 130, as well as a Masterworks MK Chinese machine for special die cutting of tin materials. And three folder gluers. We have a VEGAMatic large format 120 centimeters, a Bobst 100 centimeter Domino and the Jagenberg Diana. And then I would say recently we entered a new generation with a new innovation of the Highcon and we’re actually the first installation in the better side for the Highcon Euclid machine for special use in certain niche. And we are really enthusiastic about it to see – we just started only two months ago so it’s like a nice baby we are nurturing but I think results can already be seen partially.
Cary Sherburne: You know, it’s interesting when I visited you I think I recall you telling me that about 65 percent of your work in folding carton now is under 10,000 sheets or under.
Eyal Harpak: Yeah.
Cary Sherburne: And so the run lengths like commercial print has been experienced that run lengths are coming down. So how does the Highcon Euclid fit into that picture for you?
Eyal Harpak: We – as we were entering discussions with Highcon we did some more checking on the numbers and we found out that actually 70 percent of the jobs today of the board that we’re doing – because we’re doing also other stuff – paper labels and so on – 70 percent of the jobs of the board are 5,000 sheets or less.
Cary Sherburne: Wow.
Eyal Harpak: Yeah. And then we have also a bit longer runs but again don’t forget the size of the market in Israel relative to some sizes in Europe and the United States is a bit smaller. Therefore, shorter runs are even more common there. And I think you’d find overall from people in the industry that not only these runs are getting shorter and shorter. And the need for variation and diversity of packages, I would say, that this is where we see the Highcon going. Not only that but that’s where the Highcon should have its strength for short runs and very quick changes between jobs and also some other options.
Cary Sherburne: Yeah and that’s – you bring up a good point because with the equipment that you have in place not only do you have to wait several days to get the dies. The dies are expensive.
Eyal Harpak: Right.
Cary Sherburne: The set up is long. You need one or two people to run it. And I was talking to your operator and he felt like he could probably run two of the Highcons. And you were gonna pay him double.
Eyal Harpak: Yeah, he mentioned this too. Thanks to you but no problem.
Cary Sherburne: And so you have the issue – now you have a 15-minute make ready on the Highcon and you don’t have to wait for the dies and you don’t have to have the long set ups or the…
Eyal Harpak: Yes, there’s a – I would say a lot of innovation and major change compared to what we know from our equipment. As you mentioned, make ready between one job to another is very simple and very short. Correctly you’ve said that also the operator is in a different…
Cary Sherburne: Skill level.
Eyal Harpak: I wouldn’t say different level but the skill level and what it takes to do this once you teach the guy or whoever the operator is will be faster and will be easier to do for people. You know, young people more know how to handle computers and to understand this, of course, with combined with the experience and knowledge we have in folding cartons. So we target the machine for short runs but not only that we’ve already done trials and samples with different shapes that we have done either on-the-fly or in between the jobs that doesn’t require to change the creasing but just the cutting. That is trivial. It’s done immediately. You can incorporate various sizes of layouts on the same sheet without having to worry if this will come back with the die that you made.
Cary Sherburne: Oh, right. Yeah, exactly. When you do multiple up on a die.
Eyal Harpak: When we do – we have a customer that we do this that his runs are relatively short with small books so we do two or three different designs on the sheet and either we cut them in three different dies or we make a die. But very hardly does it come back with the same quantity and the same ratio.
Cary Sherburne: Exactly.
Eyal Harpak: So with the Highcon that’s not an issue actually. We are seeing potential for special things to be done on this machine. Shapes, not to mention, if you got a chance to see the…
Cary Sherburne: I did see some of the samples.
Eyal Harpak: The castle, dragon and all that. When we were discussing this, you know, immediately said, “Oh, now we have to do this.” “Yes, but you don’t do it with a regular die, you do it on the Highcon.” “Okay.”
Cary Sherburne: There you go. That’s great. Well, that’s exciting. It’ll be interesting as you get into full production to see how that works out for you and we’ll check back with you.