FREMONT, CA—At a recent Electronics For Imaging, Inc. Connect users’ conference, Corrugated Synergies International, LLC became the first company to purchase the full ecosystem of EFI technologies for corrugated packaging. It features EFI Corrugated Packaging Suite manufacturing execution system (MES) software for business ERP and production management integrated with an EFI Fiery digital front end (DFE) and the Nozomi C18000 ultra-high-speed single-pass LED inkjet press.
“CSI has pioneered many things in our industry,” according to CSI Vice President of Manufacturing and Print Jeffery Dumbach, noting that the Nozomi installation means CSI can address the need for analog-to-digital transformation in corrugated print supply chains that often suffer from excess production, storage and obsolescence costs. “With the existing processes, people carry an excess of inventory. But using the Nozomi press, our customers will purchase precisely what they need when they need it,” he said.
The Renton, WA-based company, which manufactures corrugated sheets for box manufacturers, will be the first dedicated sheet feeder to install the Nozomi press, an award-winning, ultra-high-speed production system with throughput speeds up to 6,600 2.6 x 3.3-ft (800 x 1,000-cm) boards per hour. The 71-in (1.8-m) wide LED inkjet device being installed early this summer will include the complete EFI ecosystem of corrugated production options and products, with six-color plus white ink installed on the press and fully integrated top- and bottom-feeding units.
“We are excited to have the first ‘all-in’ move to digital in corrugated with both the new press and the full production workflow from EFI for corrugated packaging,” said Dumbach. “The market will move and grow quickly with digital so there are benefits for us and our customers being ahead of the curve.
“The Corrugated Packaging Suite is a real advantage,” he added, “because it is fluent in everything we do as a company, so it can change how we manage production as our product mix shifts from analog to digital.”
CSI’s new press is meant to provide high-quality output with resolutions up to 360 x 720 dots per inch with four-level grayscale imaging. A 100 percent inline inspection system on the press is tied to robust print optimization technologies, including inkjet nozzle, alignment and uniformity correction. CSI executives, according to Dumbach, were “blown away” by the high quality of print the press provided. Last year, those executives also visited the first Nozomi installation in Spain, where Dumbach said he observed long, uninterrupted production runs and seamless, end-to-end production on multiple jobs without downtime for cleaning printheads, stitching or other common changeover issues.
“There are particular advantages with digital for selling new products through warehouse clubs,” Dumbach noted. “Oftentimes, a club might order two pallets of a product as an initial order to see how it sells, and that requires a huge upfront investment with analog printing.” Using the EFI Nozomi press, on the other hand, is meant to make it easier and faster to create and launch new, superior-quality packaging for those initial club launches—without the minimum run-length requirements, larger prep expenses, makeready waste and inventory costs required with analog print.
“We completed a thorough analysis of operation and ink costs and saw that there is a pretty big economic advantage to using the Nozomi press,” Dumbach also noted. Typically, he said, the corrugated sheets CSI makes can be shipped within a 250-mile radius to its box-manufacturing customers before transportation costs become prohibitive. With the added value that high-quality digital print brings to its customers, CSI can affordably distribute its work even further to reach a broader set of potential customers.
“CSI has set itself on the leading edge of corrugated packaging, and the company is now launching a breakthrough production model for sheet feeders,” said Frank Mallozzi, EFI’s senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. “The Nozomi press and the complete ecosystem of EFI corrugated packaging technologies CSI is installing create a remarkable competitive advantage for CSI, the box manufacturers it serves, and consumer product companies that will benefit from high-end, quick-turnaround corrugated packaging.”