Alliance Packaging is adopting high-end, direct-to-board digital printing with the purchase of an EFI Nozomi C18000 single-pass corrugated packaging press from Electronics For Imaging, Inc. The ultra-high-speed press is a groundbreaking offering in the digital corrugated packaging space because of its high production capacity and its complete integrated system.
Alliance Packaging – the Northwestern U.S.’s largest independent corrugated box manufacturer – is installing the breakthrough digital production press at its Seattle headquarters facility to provide its customers with new capabilities that will reduce waste, cost and turnaround time. The second-generation, family-owned 500-employee business focuses on high-end corrugated applications and specializes in fast turnaround times, intricate designs and superior-quality printing.
“We are excited about this press because it is the only digital press available today that allows us to double-down on our strategy of short lead times mixed with high-end graphics,” said Alliance Packaging President Scott Younger. “We chose EFI because of their incredible customer service, the quality of the Nozomi, and the press’s ability to produce high-end work at an economical price point.
Unprecedented efficiency for direct-to-board digital printing
Shipped in March with installation scheduled for completion in May, Alliance Packaging’s new 71-in. (1.8-meter) wide press takes digital corrugated printing to new levels of productivity. Operating at speeds up to 246 linear ft. (75 linear m) per minute, the Nozomi C18000 can print up to 10,000 35 x 35-in. (890 x 890 mm) boards per hour two-up. Its single-pass, piezo grayscale inkjet writing system delivers accurate, high-fidelity color, including excellent, consistent reproduction on solid areas. Alliance Packaging’s press will include a six-color configuration of Genuine EFI Inks (CMYK, orange and violet) for superior-quality, expanded-gamut imaging with matte, satin or glossy finishes.
Alliance Packaging currently does high volumes of analog, litho-lamination production on boxes and corrugated displays – work that requires a two-step printing and lamination process with longer turnaround times, higher set-up costs and more waste. The new press will give the company the power to migrate much of that work to efficient, direct-to-board digital printing produced in the exact quantities that clients need.
The press also opens the doors to important new premium-quality offerings that are too costly to produce with analog methods, such as targeted, versioned or multi-SKU retail packaging that drives higher sell-through on consumer goods.
EFI’s Fiery NZ-1000 – the ultra-fast digital front end (DFE) print server and production system used to drive the press – will give Alliance Packaging’s design service experts a way to quickly and accurately produce new designs. Alliance Packaging customers, in turn, will gain a streamlined process for launching new products and implementing changes to meet evolving product marketing needs.
Additional features and benefits of Alliance Packaging’s digital press include:
- A 100% in-line image quality inspection system that actively manages and optimizes inkjet nozzle alignment and uniformity errors for the highest possible imaging quality;
- A high-productivity, permanent head architecture that eliminates the downtime associated with replacing consumable printheads;
- Compatibility with the broad range of boards Alliance Packaging produces, from N-flute to double-wall board, and including traditional Kemi, mottled, bleach and kraft materials – with all of them printing full press-rated speeds.
Re-writing the rules in sustainability and supply chain management
The EFI Nozomi press also gives users a significant sustainability advantage in digital print, as it is the only ultra-high-speed, single-pass corrugated inkjet press to have its output certified for OCC recyclability and repulpability by the Western Michigan University Recycling, Paper and Coating Pilot Plant – a leading certification organization for corrugated recycling.
“We are excited to partner with Alliance Packaging to deliver a high-end, digital production solution that can outperform any other single-pass, direct-to-board technology available today,” said José Luis Ramón Moreno, vice president and general manager, EFI Industrial Printing. “Alliance Packaging serves many of the leading brands and businesses that call the Pacific Northwest home, and this EFI Nozomi installation has the potential to transform and significantly improve those companies’ packaging strategies.”
Alliance Packaging’s new ultra-high-speed inkjet press is part of a complete ecosystem for corrugated manufacturing available from EFI, with leading edge inks, Fiery DFE technology and a complete EFI Corrugated Packaging Suite business and production management workflow. For more information about advanced digital corrugated packaging production with EFI technologies, visit www.efi.com.