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Xerox and Stora Enso announce packaging solution

Xerox, along with Stora Enso, one of the world’s leading producers of packaging boards and papers, has created the industry’s first integrated, cut-sheet digital packaging solution. It can, for example, print a folding carton with variable security codes or with personalised instructions based on a patient’s medical needs.

‘Xerox is bringing its digital expertise to the packaging market to help print providers and packaging converters deliver personalised cartons and other packages in short-runs that lead to quicker time-to-market and more profits,’ said Paul Haglich (pictured right), marketing manager, production systems group at Bytes Document Solutions, the authorised distributor of Xerox products and solutions to 24 African countries, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa.

According to industry consultancy Pira International, the worldwide digital print market for packaging was $580,7 million in 2005, expected to reach $6 billion by 2015, with the pharmaceutical segment in particular expected to grow to $1,34 billion by 2015.

On demand, personalised printing can produce small batches of products with specialised, relevant consumer information.

‘The solution enables printing in multiple languages and quickly switches from one job to the next, providing the flexibility needed in today’s rapidly changing marketplace,’ said Haglich.

The jointly developed solution is powered by the Xerox iGen3 110 Digital Production Press with specially formulated magenta toner, and consists of an Epic CTi-635 varnishing unit with both aqueous and UV-coating options from Xerox, a Kama die-cutter with 580 x 400mm sheet size and a stacker-conveyer unit from Stora Enso.

‘The advantage of an inline solution means print providers can produce customised, variable data on each package cost-effectively, without having to stop production and manage offline equipment,’ said Haglich.

‘Xerox has customised the iGen3 press for a specialised application to meet the unique requirements in the folding cartons segment of the packaging market. This will open up new business opportunities for brand owners and packaging converters, resulting in additional revenue growth and profits.’

This is the first time a Xerox iGen3 press has been paired with an aqueous coater, in addition to the UV-coating option. Aqueous coating is required for many packaging applications, and provides a fast-drying, water-based, clear high-gloss coating to protect the package from dirt, smudges, fingerprints and scratches.

The solution also helps to address fluid regulatory and compliance requirements.

It will cut down on counterfeiting through the use of security printing techniques offered on the Xerox iGen3 press which help prevent fake prescriptions and packaging.

‘The pharmaceutical packaging industry is always on the lookout for ways to speed up the development process, improve security and cut costs,’ said Neil Falconer, print strategy consultant for Pira International. ‘This first-of-its-kind digital solution addresses those challenges and positions Xerox and Stora Enso well to capture market share.’

© Graphic Repro On-line, 24 February 2009.