Digital flexible pouch production now available on Screen label presses
Printers looking to extend into the fast-growing flexible pouch production can now enter the market with the Screen Truepress Jet L350UV+LM (low-migration ink) label press, which is now able to be used for food safe short-run stand-up pouches.
Peter Scott, managing director for Screen GP ANZ, says, “We have been working on pouching solutions for a while now, and the level of interest is escalating. The key is combining the short-run benefit of digital printing with a converting line to laminate and make the pouches.
“These lines are readily available from manufacturers such as Karlville, Uflex and others. A variety of closures such as zip-locks, vent valves (for coffee) and spouts can be built in, when the pouches are ready for aseptic filling and sealing. The L350UV+LM is ideal for pouches because of the food-safe inks.”
Pouch packaging of food and drink was originally developed by the US military and NASA for servicemen and astronauts, and is now finding wide consumer acceptance and shelf appeal as a way of packaging foodstuffs cleanly and securely.
The ability of the Screen Truepress Jet to print pouches highlights the ability of the new generaiton of digital presses to produce multiple applications, giving printers a broader market range to sell iknto from one piece of kit.
Scott sees it as a new direction for label producers, with the short-run benefit of digital bringing ‘big brand’ marketing to SME producers, he says, “There is one case of a small manufacturer of 16 kinds of fragrant bath salts moving to digitally-printed pouches and selling them through Amazon online, with excellent sales worldwide. This is just one of the opportunities offered by Screen Truepress short-run pouch printing and converting – as well as labels of course.”
The first installation is to a UK label printer, Hine Labels, which was already using the Screen press for labels. The move into pouches, under a new division named www.houp.com, will expand its application offering into a fast growing market where standable pouches and sachets are being printed and filled with a wide variety of foods, liquids and FMCG products.
Hine Labels purchased the Screen L350UV+LM in 2018 due to its low migration inks, which are compliant with the strict safety standards of food labeling and packaging. Hine then found the press’s high uptime, reliability and quality in combination with productivity of up to 60 metres per minute, made it a good investment which is now set to return even higher dividends.
Bill Hine, managing director of Hine Labels says: “It was a logical decision to apply our existing Truepress Jet L350UV+LM to digitally print pouches. With its low migration inks, the press is perfect to produce premium pouches that are compliant with the strict food safety standards. This allows houp.com to differentiate its offering and enjoy a new and exciting revenue stream.”
Hine continues: “We have identified a gap in the market for digitally printed short-run pouches. Our clients are looking to achieve professional packaging without the commitment of ordering larger volumes, and they are looking for multiple applications from the same provider. The Screen Truepress Jet L350UV+LM allows us to move into various different markets in order to satisfy our customer-base and the ever-demanding needs of a competitive market.”