Fremont, Calif. – Dublin, Ireland-based Smurfit Kappa Group – Europe’s leading corrugated packaging company – is partnering with Silicon Valley printing technology company Electronics For Imaging, Inc. to establish an efficient, robust digital corrugated packaging production offering with the installation of an EFI™ Nozomi C18000 single-pass LED inkjet corrugated packaging press.
As a result of this partnership, Smurfit Kappa, one of the top innovators in packaging, and main driving force of digital print technology in Europe, will establish leaner and more-effective processes to deliver ready-to-sell high quality print packaging that will provide its customers maximum brand benefit in the retail store. “This digital printing partnership with EFI reflects Smurfit Kappa’s serious commitment to providing the best packaging solutions available,” said Ignacio Sevillano, CEO Smurfit Kappa Spain, Portugal and Morocco. “Our ability to achieve high-quality print production in larger volumes with the Nozomi press will mean our customers can establish better supply chain strategies and be more creative by producing multiple designs – all of which can help our customers sell more products and reduce their time to market, while employing a leaner, more sustainable packaging program.”
The new press is scheduled to be installed this month at one of Smurfit Kappa’s plants in Iberia – a facility that currently manufactures a wide range of boxes and trays, including ready-to-sell packaging requiring higher-quality, full-color imaging. The Nozomi press, with its high-end grayscale imaging capabilities and fast running speeds up to 246 linear feet (75 linear meters) per minute, offers the critical capabilities Smurfit Kappa can use to give its customers short-run, medium-run and complex versioned jobs that are too costly to produce using analog post-print flexo or litho lam processes. This Nozomi C18000 would be the fourth digital printer operating at Smurfit Kappa Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
A digital press to meet the corrugated industry’s biggest challenges
The Smurfit Kappa plant installing the Nozomi press currently does six-color analog printing on single-channel B, C, E and double-channel B/C and C/E board. The new 71-inch (1.8 meter) wide Nozomi press prints in six colors plus white and can run same grades of single-and double-channel board the company already uses at full press-rated speeds. Output from the press is unique in having certification for OCC recyclability and repulpability from the Western Michigan University Recycling, Paper and Coating Pilot Plant – a leading certification organization for corrugated recycling.
Furthermore, the Nozomi press’s speedy production comes with an ultra-fast content workflow – an EFI Fiery® NZ-1000 high-performance digital front end (DFE) that provides efficient, accurate job processing to get jobs on press quickly. And with this combination of advanced digital press and DFE technology, Smurfit Kappa customers can implement more-dynamic marketing strategies in their corrugated packaging using variable-data, multi-SKU and targeted versioning production – a great opportunity for international clients to consolidate their digital printing needs.
Setting a market example in single-pass productivity
“Smurfit Kappa is already one of the top innovators in packaging; with the Nozomi press, the company can set a strong example on how the corrugated industry can benefit from industrial inkjet printing,” said José Luis Ramón Moreno, vice president and general manager, EFI Industrial Printing. “Several Smurfit Kappa plants around the globe use EFI’s corrugated production workflow software products, and we are very excited to extend our longstanding partnership with this global packaging leader by providing the distinct advantages our one-of-a-kind, ultra-high-speed single-pass LED production platform.”
Smurfit Kappa’s new press eliminates many of the challenges associated with digital corrugated board production, offering fast production speeds up to 10,000 35x35-inch (89x89-centimeter) boards per hour two-up. The press offers accurate brand color reproduction with six-color imaging plus white, in resolutions up to 360x720 dots per inch. The press also includes a fully integrated, programmable top- and bottom-feed system that also handles media separation, lift, transport and alignment at full press speeds. A 100% in-line image quality inspection system on the press actively compensates for inkjet nozzle, alignment and uniformity errors for superior imaging quality.
Smurfit Kappa’s new ultra-high-speed inkjet press is part of a complete ecosystem for corrugated production available from EFI, with leading edge inks, Fiery DFE technology and an EFI Corrugated Packaging Suite manufacturing execution system workflow. For more information about advanced digital corrugated packaging production with EFI technologies, visit www.efi.com.