The high number of visitors, provided Durst with a chance to display their well-known flexibility and so, the newly opened production hall was quickly converted into an auditorium.Christoph Gamper, the CEO of Durst Phototechnik AG and Barbara Schulz, the Managing Director of Durst Phototechnik Digital Technology GmbH, welcomed more than 120 participants from 50 European companies from the packaging industry to the two-day event.
Michael Lackner, Marketing Director of Durst Large Format Printing, hosted the diverse event with guest speakers from the Boston Consulting Group, the packaging industry and the digital print sector. The main focus of the event was the new Rho Corrugated Printer Systems of the Rho 1300 Series and the challenges of digital workflow. Another important aspect of the event, were new digital business models in the transforming packaging industry.
´We are overwhelmed by the positive feedback and the high number of participants. This is a confirmation of the digital growth potential for the packaging industry`, says Christoph Gamper, the CEO of Durst Phototechnik AG. ´We are the first manufacturer to develop corrugated applications. Today, we present the Rho 1300 Series, the highest performing digital print systems available on the market. We provide our customers with a high level of automation and a comprehensive system integration for their respective digital production strategies.`
Market Development and Trends
Currently, digital print accounts for 5% of the production volume in the packaging industry. According to Dr Markus Lorenz, Partner and Managing Director of the renowned Boston Consulting Group, this figure will nearly double (8-10%) by 2019. This growth will not only be the result of a shift from offset to digital, but also of a 4.3% annual increase of corrugated packaging, to 114,000 tons in 2019. The Pira ´Packaging Report 2013` states that actually, corrugated boards generate in excess of 100 billion US dollars. Markus Lorenz has identified five main trends that will have a significant influence for the increasing demand for corrugated applications: Online shopping has transformed consumer behavior, there is a focus on lightweight packaging and micro flutes, Shelf Ready Packaging (SRP) and Retail Ready Packaging (RRP) as well as new print technologies for a rapid and smart implementation of POS measures. For Markus Lorenz, the new Rho 1300 Series provides the means to actively participate in this development. In his presentation he also made the point, that not the technology, but only a combination of a defined business model and cutting edge technology will lead to corporate success.
With his presentation, Thomas Bauernfeind, owner of Bauernfeind Druck + Display, illustrated such a defined business model. From 1945 until sold in 2004, the Bauernfeind family was the owner of a printing plant for the packaging industry. In 2010, Thomas Bauernfeind founded a new company, which opted entirely for digital print technology. As the first mover in digital packaging, he developed POS displays and POS boards in standard formats. For Thomas Bauernfeind, the investment of a Durst Rho 750 and Rho 1000 Printer System, as well as an Esko cutter and finishing machines, means that he is now able to react to customer inquiries within 24 hours and to profitably produce small and medium size jobs on demand. Today he employs 20 people and has specialized in this niche market.
Bernhard Stradner, the Managing Director of Rudolf Reproflex GmbH, talked about what drives the big brands and how they react to the changed consumer behavior. The packaging agency for design, artwork and prepress, sees digital print as a game changer for the Fast Moving Consumer Goods segment (FMCG), where functional packaging such as RRP and Smart Packaging, as well as the concept of sustainability in the form of the 3R (reduce, recycle, re-use), make the implementation of new technologies crucial. At the same time, big brands demand an integrated practicability of innovative designs and customization options. This calls for on demand solutions in the highest print quality and a higher level of flexibility, seeing that in 1990 a product would be promoted by only three campaigns, compared with an average of 15 campaigns today.
Digital Workflow and Automated Processes
In addition to market developments and trends, the ´Inkjet Corrugated Printing Days`, also highlighted the challenges of digital workflow and the automation of production processes. In his presentation, Hans Peter Schneeberger, Managing Director of PrePress digital GmbH and an Adobe product expert, illustrated the difficulties of digital workflow based on a lack of industrial standards. He then went on to present the PDF/X-4, a Defacto-Standard for digital print processes.
For digital color management and RIP-processing, Valery De March, OEM Director for Caldera, presented comprehensive solutions and automation options of the Caldera Workflow Software. Patrick Zimmermann, Solution Integration Director for Caldera, demonstrated how the communication standards JDF (Job Definition Format) and JMF (Job Messaging Format) can be used to integrate a Durst printer system into an existing Management Information System (MIS) to allow for real-time status reports, and to provide the different business units with relevant information. This kind of automation allows the Durst printer system to become an integral part of the business process and enables short reaction times for jobs and customer inquiries.
Wolfram Verwüster, Managing Director for ESKO Graphics GmbH, lectured on automation and the critical issue of color consistency for various mediums and materials. He explained, how ESKO solutions can guarantee color coordination with the customer and the automated adaptation of the color specifications on the print materials
Durst Inkjet Technology for the Packaging Industry
Since their market entry in 2000, Durst innovations have been a driving force for the digitalization of print processes in the segments of large format printing, label printing, textile printing, ceramics printing and glass printing. Today, Durst is the technological benchmark in large format print and has the largest installation base of single-pass printers for digital ceramics print, worldwide. With the continuous development of Durst's own printhead technology and single-pass print processes, the printer systems achieve an unrivaled productivity and print quality. They combine the benefits of traditional print technologies with the advantages of digital print. Durst has its own research facilities for ink formulation and surface analyses, whose developments have led to ceramic inks being used for glass decoration and label printer systems with low-migration inks being used for primary food packaging. Correspondingly, the handling of material and the media flexibility are signature features of Durst printer systems. The last few years have seen ground-breaking work for corrugated print and have led to large format producers including corrugated displays in their product portfolio. With the new Rho 1300 Series, Durst positions its digital packaging print at center-stage.
The new Rho 1300 Series
With the new Rho 1300 Series for industrial corrugated applications, Durst presented the evolution of the Rho 1000 flagship portfolio, during the ´Durst Inkjet Corrugated Printing Days`. The new Rho 1330 prints up to 1250 sqm and the new Rho 1312 up to 620 sqm per hour. Both systems offer an improved image quality and a gloss finish, as well as a higher reliability during the print process and enhanced media flexibility. The Rho 1300 Series features an advanced media transport with a higher vacuum. This provides a greater level of reliability during printing and a better performance for corrugated media. The printing on heat sensitive materials has been improved with an external UV curing option. With the Rho 1300 Series, Durst offers a new printing configuration called Gradual Flow Printing. The Gradual Flow Printing mode includes a wider transport belt, so advancement of the media during the printing process is minimal. Media, with a maximum size of 125 × 250 cm can be transported onto the belt, by a vacuum being applied from outside the machine. Consequently, the image is built up gradually, thus providing smoother color tones over large areas and a high gloss finish, even at the highest speeds. The Rho 1300 Series offers various levels of automation, ranging from ¾ to full automation. The printers also feature a roll-to-roll, as well as a roll-to-sheet option. The machines can be customized depending on individual requirements.