Print quality for flexible packs

Friday, 10 September, 2004

Developing retail packaging can be a minefield for marketers irrespective of whether you are an experienced campaigner with strong brands that offer leverage for newly created products or the new kid on the block with a great idea that will allow you to displace those firmly entrenched brands.

Research confirms that more often consumers are making purchasing choices based on convenience as lifestyles change and they can be unforgiving on a new product if it does not live up to the brand guarantee. Take a walk down the aisles of any supermarket and you will see a revolution under way as marketers scramble to redesign and reposition their products to fit the changing lifestyle of its consumers.

With consumer preference rapidly changing, product quality while still paramount is no longer the sole differentiator. Positioning your product in an increasingly crowded market space requires both eye-catching design and packaging functionality that delivers real value and convenience to demanding consumers. How can I show evidence of product tampering, will the packaging stop spillage and therefore wastage, will it prevent health issues caused by infestation or poor barrier properties, and will the product maintain its inherent quality throughout its lifecycle, are some of the questions that need to be asked of today's new packaging design.

Packaging design is not only the realm of consumer marketers; packaging manufacturers identify design innovation and packaging functionality as two of the key drivers of their business today. Continued investment in plant and machinery that delivers the consistent quality demands of their customers as well as increasingly relying on in-house design capabilities to deliver the changing needs of its diverse customer base is paramount.

Fresh from the recent DRUPA printing exhibition in Dusseldorf Germany, New Zealand-based Chequer Packaging Limited has announced its latest purchase, a new 10 colour state-of-the-art flexographic printing press to be installed at its Auckland, New Zealand printing and manufacturing complex.

"This machine is the first of its type in this region and will deliver unprecedented print quality to the Australian and New Zealand flexible packaging market," said Marketing Manager - Steven Pinkerton.

Raising the bar on print quality Chequer has fitted its purchase with on-press printing technologies including AVT print vision which can detect even the subtlest of print defects and automatically adjust the machine's settings, even at high speed, alleviating re-runs as well as delivering consistent product on repeat jobs. The AVT technology also allows on-machine barcode verification removing the subjectivity of current standard test methods.

"This machine will further challenge traditional flexible printing paradigms including the need for gravure printing for high quality," said Pinkerton.

With a print width of 1250 mm, a large print repeat and utilising the latest in sleeved print cylinders the new machine will allow Chequer to look at innovative ways of running currently challenging work.

Chequer Packaging Ltd, PO Box 52 189, East Tamaki, Auckland, New Zealand.

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