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New printing technology to revolutionise corrugated packaging?

04 April 2014

Mark Eaton, president of Sun Automation Group (left) and Sean Moloney, global product manager for CorrStream (right)
Mark Eaton, president of Sun Automation Group (left) and Sean Moloney, global product manager for CorrStream (right)

Full colour digital printing on corrugated packaging will be transformed following the unveiling of pioneering technology, according to corrugated equipment supplier Sun Automation Group.

Sun launched its CorrStream 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.

Sun claims the series of three printers – Corrstream 66, 40 and 20 – offers the corrugated converting sector ‘unrivalled speed, reduced costs, efficiency and outstanding print quality’. The series has been developed in a bid to bring inkjet sophistication to mainstream applications and as an alternative to conventional analogue methods. 

Compared to flexographic printing, Sun says 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, Sun believes CorrStream tp be the first digital application to offer reliability, output levels and aqueous inks more familiar to Box Plants and their needs.

By the end of 2014, Sun plans to launch aqueous inks for Corrstream to print on coated materials. Customers will not need to make any changes to existing equipment set up.

The Corrstream single pass solution is said to be one of only two in the world to use this technique.

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 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.”



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