What’s new in digital printing at Interpack 2023?

Interpack 2023 opens its doors to the packaging industry on 4 to 10 May. Ahead of the event, Laura Husband shares the latest news and launches from some of the digital printing companies exhibiting at the show.  

Interpack returns to Düsseldorf, Germany for the first time since 2020 this year to showcase what’s new within the world of packaging. 

The show will tap into the biggest themes affecting the sector right now, including the circular economy, resource management, product safety and digital printing.  

For this issue, Inside Packaging has compiled a round-up on the latest happenings for five of the digital printing companies attending the show.  

REBO, adidas and Parley partnered to develop a limited-edition bottle for Run for the Oceans. Credit: AptarGroup

HP unveils its newest high-speed post-print digital corrugated press  

The new PageWide C550 Press from printing solutions company HP is an advanced single-pass platform designed to help converters optimise manufacturing costs and improve operational efficiency to produce corrugated packaging. 

Based on the technology of the C500 press, the C550 is said to offer enhanced productivity and value to the industrial packaging industry. It uses HP's Thermal Inkjet technology and true water-based inks to deliver consistent offset print quality at fast production speeds, while also supporting packaging converters' circular economy goals. 

It will be available for installation later this year and the new press runs at a constant speed of 90 lm/min (295 lft/min). The press is said to support increased plant capacity and help reduce manufacturing costs for corrugated packaging production. 

HP post-print corrugated solutions general manager David Tomer said: "HP is continuing its investment in the packaging market to create new opportunities for packaging converters and brands to benefit from the analogue to digital transformation. It is built on the field-proven success of the C500 press and allows converters to economically produce Flexo and Litho boxes at high speeds without slowing down the press. We are constantly working on innovative solutions that not only improve post-print stability and productivity for converters, but also meet the quality and flexibility demands of brands for packaging." 

Domino expands cloud-based customer offering with Oracle 

Coding, marking and digital printing company, Domino Printing Services, is moving its finance, supply chain and customer experience processes to the cloud with the Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications Suite. The company believes the new offering will give it the flexibility to support its new business models, such as advanced solutions and outcome-based services, and delivering greater business insight to enhance customer lifecycle management. 

Domino explains continued growth and development necessitated a new cloud-based solution and after careful consideration, it chose to move its core business processes to the cloud with Oracle Fusion Applications. 

Domino will use the cloud to standardise processes, and manage financial, supply chain, and customer experience data on a single integrated platform. It hopes the resulting end-to-end business visibility will lead to an efficient, consistent, and personalised experience across its global operations. 

Domino will also use Oracle’s analytic tools to collect, manage, and analyse data using embedded machine learning and thousands of pre-built metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to make accurate, insight-driven decisions. With quarterly update cycles, Domino believes Oracle will give it access to continuous innovation, as new features are added every quarter, without downtime or business disruption. 

Atlantic Zeiser unveils DIGILINE Vario for full-colour inline printing of flexible narrow web materials 

Digital coding and marking technologies company Atlantic Zeiser has unveiled its DIGILINE Vario, which is designed to print on continuous web materials with a wide range of material properties. It is specifically for pouches made of flexible laminates and flow wrapping applications. 

It is said to offer high-speed printing to match production line throughputs, high resolution with crisp colour images, and smart management of material tension to ensure consistent print quality.  

Atlantic Zeiser’s senior commercial director Gael Murat said: “In-house printing capabilities are a game changer as it means brands and companies now have full control over material designs and packaging.” 

He explained there are many drivers for switching to inline, nearline or offline printing, such as large numbers of stock keeping units (SKU), small batch sizes, minimum order quantities (MOQ) from suppliers, changeover time and number, lead time to receive materials, and lead time for new artwork.  

He added: “Digital printing is the answer to all these hassles that drive costs and prevent efficiency. It also provides much more agility and flexibility to marketing creation for promotional or seasonal campaigns.”  

Hapa says digitalisation in 2023 is key for the packaging sector  

Inline and on-demand digital printing solutions company Hapa explains the faster the pharmaceutical industry responds to key challenges, the more it can benefit from global megatrends and digitalisation remains key.  

Hapa believes its range of late-stage customisation and on-demand printing solutions, where digital technology is used to print onto blister lidding foil or directly onto sealed blister packs at the last possible moment before shipment is helping to move the sector forward. 

“This ‘just in time’ production methodology has helped our customers deal with small volume production and dramatically increase packaging line utilisation by decoupling the production of the pack from the customisation,” explained Hapa’s sales director James Mackenzie.  

Hapa believes the resulting advantages are extensive. Mackenzie added: “Our technologies include an average of 80% reduction in packaging material inventory, faster line changeover and setup, faster time to market, and a significant reduction in packaging material waste.”  

Hapa says it is confident digitalisation will pay off for everyone - pharmaceutical companies, people who need suitable medicines quickly and the environment. 

Multivac provides tailor-made solutions for medical and pharmaceutical packaging industry  

Packaging solutions provider Multivac has a fully integrated packaging line, including a digital printer that it describes as being designed to meet the high requirements of the medical goods and pharmaceutical industries. Its solution covers all process steps from the loading of sensitive products through the packaging process to the end-of-line area and is characterised by high performance, availability and flexibility. 

The core element of its packaging line for the production of combination packs is the RX 4.0 thermoforming packaging machine in GMP design, with which it supports the digitalisation of packaging processes and Industry 4.0 and IoT solutions.  

A powerful digital printer is integrated into its thermoforming packaging machine for precise, legally compliant packaging marking. Following printing on the top web, a visual print image inspection is carried out by an integrated vision system. 

Multivac says that its comprehensive sensor technology, modern control systems and networking with the cloud means the RX 4.0 thermoforming packaging machine offers high performance, availability and flexibility and guarantees optimum packaging quality and process reliability.  

In addition to the comprehensive sensor technology, Multivac explains its intelligent, RFID-coded tools contribute to high efficiency as well as process and operating safety. Plus, its entire line can be controlled via its user-friendly human machine interface (HMI) of the packaging machine. 

Elried shares Edding inline and UV-readable ink 

Industrial marking company Elried Marking Systems says the demand for invisible marking of products for a wide variety of end applications is constantly increasing. 

In order to ensure product protection and avoid brand piracy it has developed special inks that are only visible under UV light. 
Invisible product protection in the form of fluorescent inks are said to offer significantly increased counterfeit protection for original labels and thus prevent brand piracy. Plus, its colourless special ink offers optimum protection against counterfeiting and fraud. Under UV light, the ink is said to be easy to read on all substrates and offers light fastness. 

Elried says that one of the most comprehensive ink offerings among industrial printers is already available for its Edding compact printers and it says this range is continuously supplemented by further printing inks for more substrates and applications. 

All image credit: HP