IN South Africa’s ultra-competitive market for exclusive products, brands continually seek an edge over their competitors, and it was this fact that provided the primary motivation behind Pro-Print’s latest investment decision – the purchase of Africa’s first Scodix Ultra 202, offering eight digital enhancement capabilities on one platform.
‘We believe the market is hungry for eye-catching, short-run promotional and gift packaging and display boxes that deliver a positive consumer experience and sales impact,’ explains Pro-Print MD, Yvette Roberts.
This is especially relevant in the face of the rising use of e-commerce platforms for gift purchases, where exquisitely-designed packaging adds to the excitement and feel-good factor resulting from a beautifully-presented gift. Additionally, consumers are positively influenced by social media brand ambassadors; they want to feel special and appreciated via a brand or retailer’s gifting service.
Kemtek technician, Mark Coetzee, was responsible for commissioning Pro-Print’s Scodix Ultra 202, running trials and training operators, Junaid Haffajee and Shane Archary.
‘The Scodix Ultra 202 meets all these needs because it removes design constraints by eliminating the cost-prohibitive engineering of conventional foiling blocks and the use of different plates for spot varnish or embossing processes,’ says Yvette. ‘It also opens up the possibility of enhancing intricate and larger areas on the pack and adding extra detail with glitter foil, raised UV varnish and the application of Scodix Crystal.’
The latter, she explains, provides a 3D raised effect. Brands can, for instance, choose a diamond or heart shape for a striking tactile look and feel on paper or board packaging. Traditionally, this wouldn’t be possible with a print effect and could only be recreated by manual application of the shapes.
Scodix Crystal creates 3D items/shapes on special occasion greeting cards, invitations and direct mailers with a digital high-build polymer.
In addition to generating design excitement and imagination for Pro-Print’s existing pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, homoeopathic and beauty care customers, the Scodix Ultra 202’s versatility opens up gifting opportunities in the premium wine market. ‘We’ve designed a special brochure with the slogan “Imagination is your only limitation” that showcases the eight enhancement effects. Our sales team will be sharing it with our existing customers at the end of June so they can understand available capabilities,’ Yvette comments.
Scodix Sense allows designers to achieve exceptional tactile results with embossed effects; it can be used in conjunction with Scodix Metallic to apply metallic colouring using CMYK printing, without the need for offline hot foil stamping. It’s perfect for one-of-a-kind magazine and book covers.
Traditionally, costs of running a foil block 10 up on a sheet have been prohibitive. However, digital foiling eliminates the need to engineer a block and enables brands to change designs for different runs. For instance, a logo can be added for a special run and removed for the next run.
Meeting the lockdown curved ball
The national Covid-19 lockdown seriously complicated the commissioning of the Scodix Ultra 202 and operator training. The installation date coincided with the start of the lockdown period, which meant that Scodix engineers were forced to return to The Netherlands.
However, thanks to commendable action by Kemtek’s technician, Mark Coetzee, who arrived in early May, commissioning, trials and training were completed in conjunction with Scodix’s international trainer via an online platform, a new experience for everyone involved.
Two operators – a platemaker and DTP specialist – were selected based on their strong IT backgrounds and keen interest in learning the skills involved in digital finishing.
As Yvette points out, this is Pro-Print’s first foray into the world of in-house foiling and the operators are excited to be given this opportunity to enhance their skills.
Although Yvette concedes that the digital foil colour palette is currently more limited than the conventional one, a wide variety is still available, including red, light blue, green, silver, gold, rose gold, holographic and glitter.
Employee appreciation and inclusivity
EARLIER this month, Pro-Print’s management signed the final documents transferring 10% ownership of the company to employees via the Pro-Print Share Trust.
MD, Yvette Roberts’ late father, Barry, was the personification of helping others. ‘He was very proud of initiating this transfer to provide the company’s staff with an opportunity to make positive changes to their own lives,’ Yvette explains. ‘It’s another way for us to thank long-serving staff who’ve been instrumental in Pro-Print’s success, and a means of showing gratitude to new employees who join the business,’ she adds.
Following the transfer, Pro-Print’s B-BBEE scorecard has been adjusted from Level 8 to Level 4, and an updated certificate is available on the website: www.proprint.co.za
This latest news comes after Pro-Print’s FSC Chain of Custody certification (PPM September 2019) that provides consumers of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, nutraceuticals and beauty products with a globally-trusted logo signifying responsible sourcing, production and consumption of paper-based products.