By Lisa Guerriero
Wide format, roll-based print-and-cut devices are appealing for package prototypes. They give print providers an integrated way to finish jobs—including creases, cuts, and folds.
“A designer can create, produce, finish, and ship a packaging comp within an hour versus traditional proofing processes that take days or even weeks to complete,” observes Ken VanHorn, director, marketing and business development, Mimaki USA.
Print-and-cut equipment for flexible packaging enables the production of folding carton, shrink sleeves, wraps, pouches, envelopes, and labels. These output types often require specialized finishing, including cutting rounded corners and creating creases.
Like their print-only counterparts, print-and-cut devices often include options for specialty inks like metallic and white.
Fujifilm offers the CGS Flex Pack System, a roll-based printer/cutter that targets prototyping and packaging proofing.
The system handles a variety of media for the packaging market. It was designed for use with a special transfer film, which is ideal for producing mock-ups or proofs on original stock. The film adheres to nearly any substrate by standard lamination process.
“The printers feature a wide gamut for accurate spot color reproduction as well as white and metallic inks for specialty proofing,” notes Michael Barry, product marketing manager, digital solutions, Fujifilm North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division.
Mimaki’s offerings include the new CJV300 Series print-and-cut device, which produces accurate packaging concepts from design to final client presentation. Mimaki designed it for use with white, clear, metallic, and shrink film media.
The series uses virtually odorless, fast-drying, eco-solvent inks—including silver, white, light black, and orange. The ink prints on hundreds of substrates, with output at 1,440 dpi “for vibrant, consistent shelf-quality color,” says VanHorn. He adds that print providers can implement roll-based printing or print-and-cut technology for less than $30,000.
Roland’s VersaUV LEC series devices print on-press substrates—including shrink, sleeve, and flexible packaging material, making them ideal for producing prototypes.
“LEC printer/cutters are also unbeatable for producing folding cartons, although the user would need to be present for that type of application,” says David Hawkes, group product manager, printers, Roland DGA.
For eco-solvent options, Roland’s offerings include the SOLJET Pro 4 XR-640 printer/cutter, VersaCAMM VSi printer/cutters, and VersaCAMM SP-i printer/cutters. These devices handle prototypes and label production.
Integrated cutting offers a complete package—printing and finishing in one system. This makes it a good fit for prototyping and sample production, where quick turnover is an important consideration.
Jul2015, DPS Magazine