UK label printer expands into flexible pouch printing

A UK label printer has opened up a new revenue stream by printing directly onto flexible stand-up pouches and sachets with an existing food safe Screen press as the boom for FMCG packaging continues.

The printer, Hine Labels, was the first to install a Truepress Jet L350UV+LM (low-migration ink) and was originally using it for label production but has now seized an opportunity in the fast-growing market for standable pouches and sachets.

The move has prompted the business to launch a new business division, www.houp.com.

The press complies with strict safety standards of food labelling and packaging and can produce 60 metres per minute with high uptime, reliability and quality.

“It was a logical decision to apply our existing Truepress Jet L350UV+LM to digitally print pouches,” Hine Labels managing director Bill Hine said.

“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.

“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.”

An example of the pouches that can be produced on the Truepress Jet L350UV+LM

Screen GP managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Peter Scott, says the key to success is combining the short run benefit of digital printing with a converting line to laminate and make the pouches.

“We have been working on pouching solutions for a while now and the level of interest is escalating,” Scott said.

“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.”

Scott says this application marks a powerful new direction for label printers.

“There is one case of a small manufacturer of 16 kinds of fragrant salt baths 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.”

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.

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