Glossop Cartons is eyeing the short-run packaging market after becoming the first UK-based company to invest in Fujifilm's Acuity LED 1600, earlier this year.
The £5m turnover, 50 staff litho printer, which produces cartons, packaging and promotional material, invested in the Acuity LED 1600 in July, to produce packaging prototypes.
But Jacky Sidebottom, director of Glossop Cartons, said the company was now looking at digital printing as a means of taking on short-run and bespoke packaging projects.
"There’s a gap in the market for high quality, short runs," she said. "When that becomes possible it will ignite people’s imaginations and a market will evolve where brands want to change their packaging every week."
Sidebottom said the Acuity LED 1600 had given the company its "first taste" of digital printing and that it was now waiting to see which manufacturers would produce a digital carton printer, which was suitable for longer runs.
Glossop Cartons looked at other devices at Drupa, but Sidebottom said it chose the Acuity LED 1600 because of its "quality and value for money" and the fact that it was aimed directly at the packaging market.
The list price for the Acuity LED 1600 is £65,000. It uses six ink colours, including white and clear ink and can apply these in a single pass to produce a high-gloss finish.
It prints 20m² per hour and supports substrates of up to 1,610mm wide on wide-format roll media, and rigid sheet substrates up to 13mm thick. This includes PET, acrylic, polycarbonate substrates and lightweight boards.
Sidebottom said this made it perfect for the short runs required in making accurate prototypes for potential customers.
"Producing prototypes is expensive and time consuming because of the different production steps involved. With the Acuity, we can assure customers that what they see is what they’ll get without all of that extra cost," she added.