Durst presented the latest large format printing innovations for the packaging industry at the ‘Durst Inkjet Corrugated Printing Days’ event that took place from 10-11 November 2014 in Lienz, Austria.
The high number of visitors provided Durst with a chance to display their well-known flexibility. Christoph Gamper, CEO of Durst Phototechnik AG, and Barbara Schulz, 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 included new digital business models in the transforming packaging industry.
Gamper said, ‘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. 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.’
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 114000 tons in 2019.
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 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.
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.
Since their market entry in 2000, Durst innovations have been a driving force for the digitalisation 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 unrivalled 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 centre-stage.
With the new Rho 1300 series for industrial corrugated applications, Durst presented the evolution of the Rho 1000 flagship portfolio. The new Rho 1330 prints up to 1250sqm and the new Rho 1312 up to 620sqm 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. 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 × 250cm can be transported onto the belt by a vacuum being applied from outside the machine. Consequently, the image is built up gradually, providing smoother colour 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 customised depending on individual requirements.