Flexible packaging first for Fujifilm

The Jet Press FP790 arrives on site
The Jet Press FP790 arrives on site

Fujifilm has begun the first beta site installation of its new Jet Press FP790 inkjet press for flexible packaging in EMEA – and it’s in the UK.

Posting on LinkedIn, Manuel Schrutt, head of packaging for EMEA at the Japanese manufacturer, said it was an exciting time for the business, and proclaimed: “A new era for digital mainstream flexible packaging production is about to start”.

Schrutt told Printweek the unnamed customer wants to keep their identity under wraps for the time being.

The Jet Press FP790 is Fujifilm’s first digital press for flexible packaging. It uses water-based inks and has a maximum web width of 790mm. Top speed is 50m/min, and it prints in five colours – CMYK plus white – at 1,200x1,200dpi onto PET and BOPP substrates.

The white has two ink channels for “high white opacity”, while Fujifilm claimed the wide colour gamut means the press can match more than 90% of Pantone colours without the need for additional spot or special colours.

Target markets are flexible packaging for food and non-food applications, with Fujifilm billing the device as being capable of printing jobs that would typically be printed using flexo or gravure, but with the advantages of digital printing including fast turnarounds and flexibility of production such as versioning and short runs.

Fujifilm said the FP790 was “fully compatible” with systems and processes that are typically used in flexible packaging, and has partnered with Henkel for laminating adhesives, Nordmeccanica for finishing options, and Hybrid Software for the frontend workflow.

It described the FP790 as being “able to integrate effortlessly into existing production environments offering a ‘plug and play’ digital solution to deliver the highest quality finished packaging with minimal testing, training or setup”.

The manufacturer also pointed to the sustainability advantages in eliminating steps such as platemaking and reducing waste.

Schrutt stated: “The FP790 is targeting mainstream flexo volumes and we are very confident to convert very significant volumes from analogue to digital. Having said that we are also targeting a similar or even more output than flexo within that production window.”

Likely pricing for the press has not been disclosed.

“What I can say is, that our TCO comparison shows a strong advantage over other digital presses for that segment," he added.

When the press was first previewed back in 2021 it was understood to be a development of the Eucon technology preview that was shown at Drupa 2016. It also builds upon the experience Fujifilm gained in Japan from its UV inkjet Jet Press, the 540WV.

The FP790 was shown at Interpack in Düsseldorf earlier this year and is slated for full commercial availability by late 2023.