North America’s very first Primefire 106 is currently installed in Denver, Colorado. The 7-color industrial digital inkjet printing press will help Warneke Paper Box Co. to further master custom packaging by staying on the leading-edge of technology. Stacy Warneke, President and CEO of Warneke Paper Box, explains how.
Ms. Warneke, you are in the middle of the installation of your Primefire 106. How is it going? When will production start?
Everything went according to plan thanks to the professional installation team from Heidelberg. We recently had our launch event with our customers and are starting full production very soon.
The story goes that you saw the Primefire 106 at drupa 2016 and were fascinated by its performance?
Right, as the first commercially available industrial inkjet digital printing system in the B1 format, the results were simply amazing. We were so impressed that we signed the contract right at drupa. And today I am excited about the new opportunities that the Primefire 106 will create for both us and our clients.
Still, it was not a quick decision...
In the end it was. However, we had been researching other inkjet printers for the last four to five years. And at drupa 2016, Primefire 106 simply presented the best quality at the end of the press that I have ever seen. It was just spectacular.
You are a long term Heidelberg customer. What is special about you relationship with Heidelberg?
We have trusted Heidelberg as a partner for years to develop groundbreaking technology that can help us turn a profit. We have done this in the past, and I have no doubt that we will do it again with the Primefire 106. I am thrilled that we are among the first to put this state-of-the-art technology to work.
What do you consider the key advantages of the Primefire 106?
We will add more flexibility and versatility to our already high-speed and high-precision fleet of printing presses. This will give our customers an even wider array of packaging options and solutions for their needs. Primefire 106 will allow us to better handle the increasing number of short runs, multi-versioning customer requests and anticounterfeiting techniques.
How does this work?
The Primefire 106 matches offset print quality in B1 format. This provides us with the flexibility to choose the best technology for each print-job. Jobs with a very aggressive turnaround deadline, those requiring variable data or those very short in length, will be produced digitally. On the other hand, offset equipment will be used for mainstream production with long run lengths and high price sensitivity per box. This solves pain points caused by the increasing number of short runs, because it results in cost savings for us and our clients.
What happens if a job needs to be transitioned from digital to offset?
In fact, this was another reason why it was important to partner with Heidelberg, because for us, it must be easy to calibrate the job from one technology to the other. This is possible with the Primefire 106. We open up new opportunities for clients that would like to test new products. Clients can start with a very short digital run to see how a product performs, and - if it performs well - they can easily switch to producing a long run of the same packaging on our offset presses, which offer the same type of quality and color consistency.
What did your clients say when they learned about your investment in digital printing?
Thanks to the Primefire 106, we have started a completely new conversation with our clients. They quickly realized the potential of digital printing for them and began sharing their own ideas and concepts with us. For example, in the cosmetics industry, each carton can have a different look, which meets the growing trend of packaging personalization. In the medical field, the serialization capabilities of digital printing allow the package to be more secure. Each single box can have a unique number or identifier and becomes traceable.
What would you say: What does the Primefire 106 mean for your competitiveness?
Plain and simple: The Primefire 106 will be a differentiator for Warneke. With it we can offer our clients what nobody else can. Take the print width as an example. There may be other digital presses in the market, but the Primefire 106 is the first 40 ̋ digital press. So, we will be able to get double the amount per sheet as our competitors.
In perspective: How will the packaging market evolve?
As in other B2B markets, I think e-commerce is also coming to packaging printing. And this requires digital presses. I can imagine a Warneke e-commerce site where we target certain industries and offer certain sizes of boxes that clients could customize by uploading their artwork to. I think that could become a huge driver for more business.
And what do you expect in terms of your relationship with Heidelberg?
In general, I think one has to stay up with technology. Otherwise you will be left behind. I am proud to say that we at Warneke are always reaching for the stars, taking leaps and testing new technology. That said, I am sure that together with Heidelberg, we will be able to help shape the future of digital printing.
Being the first commercially available industrial inkjet digital printing system in the 70x100 (40”) format, Primefire 106 is designed to equip packaging converters with the possibility to add extra value to each produced box, to achieve faster time to market with their products and to streamline supply chain costs with print-on-demand capabilities. Its direct-to-sheet 7-color imaging and color registration also allows for security printing features to be incorporated, along with variable content, for anti-counterfeiting packaging designs.
The Primefire 106 offers the highest quality of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi with initial production speeds of 2,500 sheets per hour. It is designed to achieve volumes of up to 1.5 million sheets per month thanks to its industrial print uptime level.
The platform is modular, which accommodates further speed increases and feature updates without having to replace the press.
Warneke Paper Box Company is a custom manufacturer of folding cartons, set-up boxes, POP displays and pocket folders. For over 100 years, Warneke Paper Box has demonstrated that it can deliver the best combination of production, quality, turnaround time, price, and is committed to exceeding their customers’ expectations.
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