UK • More than 30 delegates from across the print industry attended the one-day technical seminar, jointly hosted by The European Flexographic Industry Association (EFIA) and ThePackHub, a leading UK packaging consultancy. Held at the 3M Innovation Centre in Bracknell, Berks, the day’s event was centred on the theme of ‘Printing for Brand Packaging’. Opening the programme, Paul Jenkins of ThePackHub gave a brief overview of recent print for packaging innovations, citing key trends of ‘Made for me’, ‘Get noticed!’, with added functionality, anti-counterfeiting, and technological advancements being key to the industry today.
Following on, Karen Graley, manager of packaging and reprographics at leading supermarket chain Waitrose (part of the John Lewis Partnership), presented an insight into a recent product range launch known as ‘Waitrose1’. This is a new premium tier of food and drink items designed with authenticity, provenance and the very best ingredients, she said. Outlining her vision for print management going forward, she urged delegates to work together at earlier stages in pack design to enable greater efficiency and communication in the industry.
Several of the day’s presentations addressed the need for customisation and personalisation of packaging delivered by a combination of digital and flexo technology that are seen as complementary as opposed to competitive. HP Indigo discussed its Mozaic software that allows pack designs to be individualised, while Chris Tonge of Ultimate Packaging, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of flexible packaging for the food industry, spoke of a number of brand initiatives his company is involved with that deliver pack personalisation.
Finally, Mark Naples of Datalase, Gold winners for technical innovation in the 2016 EFIA Print Awards, delivered an interesting presentation on the development of inline digital printing. This laser based digital solution works hand in hand with flexo printing to deliver pack customisation and personalisation. The key difference being that the variable data is applied to a flexo pre-printed patch at the point of fulfilment. Mark also previewed his company’s new full colour technology, due to launch in 2018.
Speaking for organiser EFIA, Debbie Waldron-Hoines commented: “It was great to see a broad spectrum of our members and partners at the event, from designer to printer to retailer, and hear how flexo and digital can work together successfully to meet key print and packaging trends. We were delighted with the insights from the day and look forward to repeating the successful event next year.”