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Sun Automation corrugated printing technology takes off in Europe

Full colour digital printing on corrugated packaging will be transformed following the unveiling of pioneering CorrStream® technology, according to the Sun Automation Group, a worldwide leader in the supply of corrugated equipment.

Sun launched its new range of high-speed digital, single pass, full colour corrugated printers at a special event in front of an invited audience of packaging professionals at the Group’s EMEA headquarters in Bristol, England.

The series of three printers – Corrstream 66, 40 and 20 – offers the corrugated converting sector unrivalled speed, reduced costs, efficiency and outstanding print quality, bringing inkjet sophistication to mainstream applications as a real alternative to conventional analogue methods.

As well as the key ability to ease the pressure on box makers’ operating costs at the lowest batch levels, compared to flexographic printing, Corrstream allows for increased value added through print on demand as well as the opportunity for convertors to reduce or remove traditional costs such as origination and plate making.

In addition, further opportunities exist for corrugated to align with increasing digitalisation in other packaging media to provide solutions for brand owner/retailer seasonal or event-based on-shelf promotions that require, for example, short-run or variable print capabilities.

Corrstream CMYK digital printers allow graphics to press in hours instead of days, small or large production runs at speeds of up to 8000 sheets per hour, personalisation and graphic changes, data merge capabilities and mass customisation.

Wide format, flat bed digital printing technology is not new to the corrugated sector, but with increasing demands from brand owners and retailers for shorter order run lengths with fast turnaround times, and point of sale packaging to attract and engage consumers, CorrStream is the first digital application to offer reliability, output levels and aqueous inks more familiar to Box Plants and their needs.

Another major development to emerge from the launch is that Sun will also have aqueous inks available for Corrstream to print on coated materials by the end of the year, without customers having to make any changes to the existing set up of the equipment.

Interest in the Corrstream single pass solution – one of only two in the world which use this technique has been phenomenal, with the company’s Corrstream demonstration centre in Bristol booked by potential customers for visits and open days for several weeks after it’s unveiling on April 3 2014.

Sun’s Global Product Manager for Corrstream, Sean Moloney, said: "This innovative technology, which incorporates new inks and print systems, is the culmination of several years’ development work and will bring a unique print dimension to the corrugated industry. Despite deploying some very sophisticated systems, we’re confident Corrstream is an inkjet printer for mainstream production that users will find familiar.

"Simple to operate, the three equipment option sizes provide High Quality Post Print (HQPP) print quality at lower costs on the typical batch sizes now seen at many plants. It’s only a matter of time for industrial inkjet to take hold in the graphics market on corrugated. This range of machines and their modular design will future-proof corrugated companies and help them to capitalise on new opportunities, with early adopters sure to benefit as the margins from other print processes come under increasing pressure."

"Interest from marketers and packaging buyers in digital packaging is growing, due to its ability to provide high quality, variable graphics with short lead-times and lower stock costs. The corrugated industry needs to react and become yet more flexible in offering even greater variety in print to aid sales in an ever more sophisticated consumer space."

The introduction of the Corrstream series of printers is a milestone on corrugated’s journey in ensuring it remains the world’s favourite packaging medium.

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