Water-based digital inkjet printer opens doors to short run and personalised corrugated and folding carton packaging, helping serve fast-growing sectors such as e-commerce.
Konica Minolta has today announced the launch of a new digital inkjet press for corrugated packaging. The PKG-675i enables printers, converters, and brand owners to benefit from an easy-to-use solution for their on-demand packaging production – matching the trend towards more customised printing for corrugated boxes.
The PKG-675i is a high-quality inkjet device that can print short run and personalised corrugated boards and folding cartons, flat or pre-die cut, quickly and economically. For packaging converters, it also offers a perfect solution to create quick mock-up packaging designs, helping to improve time to market and reduce waste. Typical applications are short run ‘box-to-shell’ corrugated packaging for personal and household care and processed food, where the box is required to protect, promote, and deliver the product.
Today’s packaging market has been profoundly affected by COVID-19, and many of the changes are likely to remain long-term. While overall volumes of corrugated packaging have declined during 2020, it is expected that they will recover in line with international trade. However, it is in the way that goods are being sold and distributed that the big changes have come, with a trend away from retail-ready designs, and towards mail order, distribution, internet, and e-commerce formats.
Research by Smithers suggests that the pandemic has accelerated the demand for e-commerce packaging by two to three years, compared to pre-COVID forecasts. The global e-commerce packaging market was worth more than $49 billion in 2020, and Smithers says that 80% of that value is for corrugated packaging.
Edoardo Cotichini, Senior Manager Professional Print, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe, said: “The growth of e-commerce is one of the defining trends of the packaging industry going forwards, and this will have a major impact for those in the corrugated packaging sector. In particular they need to be able to react fast, developing e-commerce-specific packaging designs that solve the inherent challenges of postal distribution, rather than those of retail. Versioning and personalisation are also on the rise. Creating high quality proof-of-concept prototypes and short run, individualised batches is the sweet spot for the PKG-675i digital inkjet printer.”
Manufactured by Konica Minolta’s partner MTEX NS, and based on five Memjet® CMYK printheads, which enable it to achieve a print width of 1,067 mm, the PKG-675i prints rich graphics on corrugated board at 1,600 x 1,600 dpi. With minimal pre-press interaction, on-demand jobs can be produced in high resolution at speeds of up to 18 meters per minute. The printer comes with a Caldera RIP and uses water-based inks which are FDA-approved for indirect food contact.
Elói Ferreira, Executive President and Founder of MTEX NS, said: “This cooperation with Konica Minolta will have significant benefits for customers. Over the last decade MTEX NS has developed a strong reputation for quality and innovation while continuously expanding its service offerings and global presence to more than 40 countries across five continents. This technology will provide a perfect solution to create quick mock-up packaging designs, helping to improve time to market and reduce waste in areas such as folding carton and corrugated packaging.”
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 “State of the Packaging Industry 2020” – Smithers