- August 01, 2000, Teresa Koltzenburg, Senior Editor
Darwin, with his adaptation theory of natural selection, has nothing on Stora Enso's research center in Imatra, Finland. The packaging board manufacturer has been testing its ability to "adapt" its packaging products through digital printing since the beginning of this year.
Stora Enso's research center, located in eastern Finland, began the testing after installing Xeikon's DCP/50-SP digital printing machine in February.
According to Yrjo Aho, VP of Stora Enso Special Food Packaging Boards, the testing has provided the company with important data as well as an invaluable capability. "Using digital printing, every package can [present] different information. [It offers us the ability] to change visuals, color, product information, and language from one package to the next. We think this will have a radical impact on the marketing value of the package, and it will help create new business."
Aho says the DCP/50-SP is a four-color digital printer that can print boards in the grammage range of 60-300 gsm. He adds that it can be used in both the web- and sheet-fed printing processes, and he reports that the print quality is equivalent to four-color offset printing.
Stora Enso research center's new digital printer has afforded the company more than just the ability to adapt the printing on its packages to meet the needs of its various customer specifications and requirements. The acquisition and utilization of the digital printer is also helping Stora Enso meet the challenges presented by electronic commerce.
"The capacity to vary packaging," says Aho, "is becoming one of the most important means of adding value. This kind of order-driven printing is well-suited to e-commerce. And the digital printing technique enables quick product launching into market, too."
Stora Enso is beginning to understand the profound implications of digital printing. Though still in an early stage of the digital printing evolutionary process, the company will continue to test packaging applications with the Xeikon printer, which Aho says is providing the company with valuable information that likely will affect its digital printing developments for years to come.
Xeikon N.V., Mortsel, Belgium; +32 3443 1309; xeikon.com