The international packaging manufacturer Multi Packaging Solutions (MPS) based in New York (USA) is the first pilot user of a Primefire 106, the first industrial digital printing system in B1 format, from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) powered by Fujifilm Inkjet Technology. The first pilot phase started back in January in cooperation with the company’s German manufacturing facility in Obersulm. MPS specializes in packaging solutions for beauty and personal care, consumer and pharmaceutical brands and employs over 9,000 people in 14 countries. The company is planning a major expansion of its digital packaging printing arm in order to offer customers significant added value at the point of sale.
“Our customers include many well-known brand companies from industries like consumer and cosmetics. Fast, creative changes to the brand and product appearance are crucial here today to sales success. That’s why we offer these customers high-quality, flexible, and variable or personalized packaging solutions that will enable them to tap into additional business potential and set themselves apart from their competition. For this we need a reliable, industrial digital printing press like the Heidelberg Primefire 106 that can be integrated into our existing workflow”, explains Steffen Schnizer, Managing Director and Global Head of Beauty and Personal Care Sales at MPS in Obersulm.
System reliability and Heidelberg service pledge key factors in the investment decision
The image quality, reliability and rapid development of the technology following the world premiere at drupa 2016 and the company’s long years of positive experience of working with Heidelberg in the area of offset printing were key factors in MPS’s investment decision. “Our business model is based on zero tolerance of error, quality, availability, and on-time delivery. We have many years of experience with Heidelberg as a reliable partner in the area of offset technology. Their quality and service pledge are outstanding. As such we’re confident that Heidelberg digital technologies are also the right choice for us, and we look forward to being involved in the market launch of the Primefire 106 as an early adopter”, says Götz Schümann, Managing Director of MPS in Obersulm.
Based on the leading Fujifilm Inkjet Technology from the co-development partner Fujifilm and the proven Heidelberg Peak Performance platform, the newly designed system is providing dependable offset-like quality production with the benefits of digital printing.
Market launch of the Primefire 106 running to schedule
Heidelberg presented Primefire 106 as a world premiere for industrial digital production in 70 x 100 format at drupa 2016 in Düsseldorf. “The start of the pilot phase according to schedule is a further milestone in the implementation of our digital strategy in cooperation with our partner Fujifilm. In MPS we’ve found the perfect company for the first Primefire 106 pilot. Our long-standing partnership, its digital business model in packaging printing, its worldwide presence, and its industrial manufacturing approach build the right environment for Primefire 106 to be tested under real life conditions. It brings us a big step closer in qualifying Primefire 106 for true production and starting to establish industrial digital printing in the market, says Montserrat Peidro-Insa, Head of Digital Sales and Digital Sheet-fed General Manager at Heidelberg.
Primefire 106 enables packaging printers in particular to take a step in developing new areas of business, for example with the production of variable and personalized packaging or by adding traceability and security elements on each box. Printing on demand with Primefire 106 can streamline supply chain processes and reduce inventory costs. In addition, the 7-color inkjet system enabled by Fujifilm Inkjet Technology and Heidelberg Multicolor technology covers up to 95 per cent of the Pantone color space, resulting in time and cost reduction when producing jobs including special colors. Water-based inkjet printing meets strict environmental and recycling requirements and therefore also permits food-safe production.
Heidelberg has announced that the market introduction phase of the pilot will begin early 2017 The market launch of the brand new system is therefore right on schedule as announced at drupa 2016.
Strong interest: packaging manufacturers from Europe and the USA reviewing applications of the Primefire 106 for new business models
MPS was introduced as the first user of Primefire 106 worldwide during a Heidelberg Info day held at the beginning of February. Over 40 companies including packaging converters as well as some commercial printers from Europe and USA participated in the event where they discovered the unique technical highlights of Primefire 106 and how it can enable profit growths through new applications and business models. Various presentations and workshops were held during the day to provide a comprehensive picture of the first B1 digital industrial production system, including live production of jobs, a deep dive into the FujiFilm Inkjet Technology and a demo of Primefire´s Prinect digital front end with its seamless integration in existing workflow environments.
“Digital applications in packaging printing are changing the market. Packaging will have to become more adaptable to each market segment, more relevant and more creative to attract more interest among consumers. This is exactly where we expect the Primefire 106 will bring value to our operations and the industry, says Montserrat Peidro-Insa.