Australian packaging giant Orora showed its new installation of the first EFI Nozomi C180000 digital packaging printer in the country along with its other recent investments in its business at its Innovation Expo.
The company has committed $100m to upgrade its printing, converting and corrugator assets in Australia.
Visitors to the four day event at its Oakleigh South facility in Melbourne have been on factory tours showing the machines in action, along with seeing presentations from Brian Lowe, group manager for Orora’s Australian paper and cardboard division, Fibre. Guest speaker was advertising guru Russell Howcroft.
Lowe says, “The Expo has been of benefit to employers and customers, so they can understand what we are doing. They are able to spur on ideas from seeing things in operation.”
Orora says the new large format EFI Nozomi delivers magazine quality imagery directly onto corrugated board, along with being able to produce cost-effective on-demand and just-in-time jobs. The press prints in six colours, CMYK with violet and orange. The company has not disclosed how much the Nozomi was, although it did confirm it cost more than $5m. Its production is said to be accessible to all customers.
Lowe, group general manager of Fibre says, “The Nozomi is the most sophisticated machine to print high quality graphics on corrugated cardboard. It is part of a broader spend. Around $100m has been invested in the last two years on Fibre. Orora has spent $45m on innovation.
“The Nozomi covers 97 per cent of the colour gamut. We will also be installing white printing. White, which is not available yet, can be printed onto board for a glossy white finish or it can be printed onto a box, with something else printing on top, increasing colour intensity. The white printing unit will be installed sometime later this year.
[Related: Orora to launch Nozomi at Innovation Expo]
“A large portion of the industry will still need to be large brown boxes but there is interest among customers for high quality print.”
Scott Mayer, general manager, Orora Specialty Packaging says, “The feeding section at the moment is quite small. We commissioned and designed a prefeeder. There will be a forklift that will load work into the machine, we are looking to have more automation for the volume of work that we are anticipating. There also will be more automation at the other end as well.
“The Nozomi uses a water based sealant so the ink sits on the coating and is not soaked into the cardboard. It covers around 97 per cent of the colour gamut, which is useful for representing brands and their logos. Effectively all colours will be covered.
“With variable print, we will be able to have hundreds of different designs done in one run. We do not yet know how it will be used.”
Lowe says, “Variable print on this scale was not available in the past, there is not a huge pent up demand for it because it just has not existed. The machine has only been running for a week, but there has been a lot of interest. I think markets will open up in randomisation, personalisation and identification, particularly in barcodes, QR codes and other data. I think identification will be big.
“How much of the business will be taken up by variable and digital print could be around 10 per cent but we do not know yet. Quality in variable print was not available before, so it is hard to say but I do think there will be a sizeable portion of the business taken up by it.”
Also on display was the Highcon Euclid IIIC laser cutter, production speed digital cutting and creasing machine, one of two in the world and another first for Australia.
[Related: Orora buys Nozomi as profit surges]
The company was also exhibiting Australia’s first Limitronic Limitag V6 Orion in-line printer, a mobile press able to print high resolution four colour printing on both sides of a carton, along with a Limitronic Compact V5 printer, an Accu-label orbit fruit labelling station, BCS Boxer, Limitag V6 Customprint with a UR10 industrial robot attached and a Ghelfi tray erector. The Limitag device with a robot arm attachment picks up and places box lids, with QR codes on lids directing its allocations onto stacking trays.
The Limitronic machines are being made available to install on the sites of Orora’s customers, allowing them to be able to print variable data on boxes in real time and on demand.
Lowe says, “We are offering printing on customer’s sites. It takes the complexity out of our business. For example, a customer might have 30 different box lids. Set ups are slow, we have to hold stock and they have to hold stock. This way the customer can print specific information directly onto each lid themselves and it simplifies the whole process.
“The machines have been in the country for about a week. The model for installation with each customer will be varied, it could be dependent on each customer’s needs. They could need one device or all of them or ten of one.”
Mayer of Orora Specialty Packaging says, “The Limitronic machines do inline digital printing and are applied at the end of the production line. It allows for customisation and different designs for specific variants. We can reduce inventory and print just before packaging products. There is flexibility in digital print.”
The company also recently invested $42m into expanding its Gawler glass plant in South Australia, expanding the glass bottle forming lines and increasing capacity by approximately 60 million bottles a year. Last year it completed construction on a $23m secondary water treatment plant at its Botany paper mill in Sydney.
Orora employs more than 6,700 people across 131 sites in seven countries. The company demerged from Amcor four years ago.
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