This is according to printing engineer Uwe Bögl, who points out that the labelling industry had a similar outlook in the mid-1990s, and now it has almost reached a point where digital label press sales equal those of flexographic models.
‘I might be an unknown name in the local corrugated market after 11 years in the labelling industry, but my 30-year career includes solid corrugated and flexible packaging converting experience in Europe and a sound network in those fields,’ Uwe notes. ‘As a result, I have spent considerable time talking to corrugated converters about the opportunities of digital technologies and the benefits of Hanway multi- and single-pass digital inkjet presses. Those who service the point-of-sale display market and need short-run capabilities for high-quality, eye-catching graphics are more open to the possibilities and have been impressed by the Hanway HighJet and Revo multi-pass print samples. Hanway has built a global install base of 300 presses during the past ten years – 75 single-pass and 225 multi-pass models. There are currently three multi-pass presses installed in Africa – one in Cape Town and two in Alexandria, Egypt.’
Hanway is the corrugated packaging division of the Hanglory Group, which also serves the commercial printing, textile and electronic markets. Uwe explains that his partnership with this team has grown from his relationship with the HanGlobal label and publication division over the past two years. ‘After establishing packwise-africa as a customised and holistic turnkey solution provider for the labelling, flexible packaging and corrugated packaging sectors, I searched for industry-leading partners to deliver the best printing presses, converting machines and auxiliary equipment.
‘I welcomed Hanglory’s request to become a distribution partner in southern Africa because of the group’s reputation, track record of good referrals, strong R&D capabilities and willingness to cooperate on equipment improvements. For example, using international standard components so that packwise-africa can service the machines effectively and obtain local spare parts easily,’ he remarks. ‘This type of open communication and engagement, which allows me to use my converting experience to improve machine user-friendliness, is vital to building long-term trust and reliability in the market.’
The Hanway digital inkjet board press range comprises five machines: the Glory 1604 and 2504, Revo 2500W, HighJet 2500B and HighJet 2500B-UV.
The Glory 1604 and 2504 models are high-volume, single-pass digital inkjet presses that use water-based inks. The four-colour Glory 1604 runs at 150m/min at a maximum resolution of 600 x 1 200dpi on boards that are 1 600mm wide by 2 800mm long. The Glory 2504 can apply varnish or primer to 2 500mm wide by 2 000mm long board in four colours at a maximum resolution of 600 x 600dpi. ‘At production speeds of up 180m/min, it can process 27 000m2/hour, which is faster than many post-print application presses,’ Uwe maintains.
The Revo 2500W and HighJet 2500B are multi-pass, water-based ink digital inkjet presses. Both print four colours with a maximum resolution of 600 x 2 400dpi on board that is up to 2 500mm wide and 4 000mm long. ‘The Revo 2500W is the market’s fastest multi-pass inkjet printer for board with a maximum output rate of 1 200m2/hour. In its Pro version it features an unstacker in the back and stacker in the front to simplify board loading and unloading and Hanway has already sold 23 units since its launch two months ago,’ he enthuses. ‘The HighJet 2500B runs at maximum speeds of 700m2/hour. It is also available in a UV ink model that produces a high-gloss print finish for point-of-sale display units.’
Local ink, service partner
HanGlory and packwise-africa are seeking a strategic alliance with a local inkjet ink manufacturer to enable direct ink supply out of South Africa in the near future.
packwise-africa currently has a small warehouse in Cape Town from which it distributes the inks and printheads for HanGlobal and Hanway presses. Uwe explains that this alliance also endeavours to refurbish blocked Kyocera printheads locally, offering corrugated board, flexible packaging and labelling converters a cost-effective alternative to exchanging blocked Kyocera printheads for expensive new ones.
The development project for local production and supply of UV and water-based inkjet inks for the OEM is scheduled for completion this year.
Uwe believes that constant evolution with the market’s changing technology needs is one aspect of success. The other is ensuring customer satisfaction by providing highly competent technical service and after-sales support.
‘Based on a production site analysis and customers’ expectations and budgets, packwise-africa tailors offerings to expand their product portfolio, boost production quality, efficiency and profitability,’ he states. ‘These attributes also form the pillars of our staff training sessions and guide the work of our highly qualified and experienced engineers, who provide regular updates on the latest international market and technology developments and trends.’
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