SUN Automation: 'We are experiencing change in EU corrugated industry'

By Daisy Phillipson

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Printing Box

SUN Automation has installed its AccuPrint chambered ink system in Italy and the UK building on US-based fits.

The system can be retrofitted to the majority of existing printing lines in the corrugated box making industry.

The firm said it was experiencing a change within the European corrugated industry, driven by discount retailers spearheading the trend for quality shelf ready packaging.

Previously the majority of boxes in the supply chain were used solely for transportation so a two-roll printer was adequate, it added.

Raising the quality

Rob Dal Lago, general manager at SUN Automation EMEA, told FoodProductionDaily that AccuPrint ​is an enclosed chambered doctor blade system.

“With this system, you have the capability to produce a higher quality print,” ​said Dal Lago.

“This is now a more pertinent requirement, especially with the likes of Aldi and Lidl, where shelf ready corrugated packaging (SRP) is on the increase.

“In the past print quality on corrugated wasn’t such an issue for the majority of corrugated containers as the packaging was utilised solely for transit – as opposed to being fully visible on the supermarket shelves.”

An 'enclosed chambered doctor blade system' is a flexo ink-metering system and can replace a wiper roll, single blade system, or an inferior chambered blade system. 

The difference is it is completely enclosed meaning it reduces the amount of dust or other debris that can enter.

Green card

Dal Lago said the system needs less water required for wash down, more ink is recovered on colour change and there are reduced utility costs to operate it, compared to conventional industry ‘Two roll’ flexographic printing systems.

AccuPrint reduces water required by up to 50%, while saving up to 85% on recovered ink prior to colour changeover. Also, adopting Peristaltic electric pumps instead of pneumatic brings significant reduction in utility expenditure,” ​he said.

“In addition, downtime is reduced through features such as the tool-less blade and end seal change.

“European corrugated box makers are under ever-increasing pressure to prove their sustainability credentials and meet requirements on reducing levels of waste.”

Global interest

Aside from European countries, there have been 14 AccuPrint ​installations in the US. SUN Automation is directing the product to the Middle East, India and North Africa.

“Following on from the installs to date in the US and Europe, we are also looking to implement AccuPrint into the emerging markets where it will generate similar benefits to their markets,” ​said Dal Lago.

“There will always be a demand for corrugated packaging, essentially due to the sustainability of the material.

“Corrugated board is easily recyclable – its use will therefore continue to grow…globally.”

Digital or analogue

Dal Lago said AccuPrint ​assists end users to maintain or gain a competitive edge with existing analogue systems while they assess the digital era within the corrugated packaging sector.

The company also has CorrStream - a single pass, high output digital printer.

“The capability to digitally print single pass with high output on corrugated board is a game changer. Nothing with similar impact has happened in the 30 years since flexographic printing came into the industry,” ​added Dal Lago.

CorrStream allows the opportunity for converters to reduce or remove traditional costs such as origination and plate making. 

It also uses ‘aqueous’ inks as opposed to ‘UV’ which is a fundamental requirement, particularly within the food market sector, said the firm.

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