Dairi-Pak in KM corrugated first

Jo Francis
Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Dairi-Pak has added short-run, on-demand corrugated packaging to its services after installing the UK’s first Konica Minolta PKG-675i inkjet printer.

PKG-675i opens up new short-run opportunities for Dairi-Pak
PKG-675i opens up new short-run opportunities for Dairi-Pak

The compact device was launched in February and is the result of Konica Minolta’s partnership with Portuguese developer Mtex NS. 

It prints onto flat or pre-die-cut sheets using Memjet printheads and water-based inks in CMYKK, onto sheets up to a maximum thickness of 15mm and 1.2m in width, with no limit to the length of the sheet. The imaging width is 1.067m and it prints at 1,600x1,600dpi or 1,600x800dpi at a speed of either 150mm or 300mm per second. 

Shropshire-based Dairi-Pak offers a range of services from design to production and stock holding, with an emphasis on value engineering of boxes to create the best option for customers.

Managing director Tim Gray said the flexibility of being able to produce packaging on-demand was one of the main drivers behind the investment in the circa-£100,000 printer. 

“Changing consumer behaviour, specifically the staggering increase in online purchasing, has prompted us to invest in a digital printer to enable our customers to enhance the ‘unboxing experience’, particularly for their clients who are receiving their products in the post or via courier,” he explained. 

Gray said the “sweet spot” for the new PKG-675i would be producing one-offs such as samples and prototypes, up to runs of “perhaps 500 boxes” cost effectively, with the ability to update graphics or on-pack details without the high start-up costs or minimum run lengths of traditional flexo printing.  

“Many of our customers are demanding messaging and strong branding on the inside of postal packs, whilst leaving the outside of the pack anonymously plain. This is particularly important to those customers shipping high value items where the potential for theft is a concern, but the perception of quality is important,” he said. 

Personalisation of packs is also now a potential option for clients, Gray added, either by name or a specific marketing message. 

“You can use a standard size box for different products (or different specs and colours of the same product) using multiple print styles within the production run, which is a game changer.”

The PKG-675i was installed at Dairi-Pak’s facility at Platt Bridge north of Shrewsbury last month. The firm also runs a Dyss Cad/Cam cutting table for sample making, alongside Martin and TCY casemakers with rotary die-cutting for conventional production. 

Grahame Megilley, industrial print business development manager at Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK), said the firm was proud to be part of Dairi-Pak’s move into on-demand digital printing. He said: “In an evolving market, the PKG-675i is the perfect printer to support professional packaging specialists like Dairi-Pak, rapidly producing the highest quality bespoke products for its clients.” 

Dairi-Pak said the “four 'C's” of Christmas, Covid, Customs and China continued to have an impact on the UK market for corrugated packaging, which experienced material shortages and long lead times earlier in the year. The firm said that availability of some materials and products was now returning to manageable levels, with a typical lead time of 10 working days on standard products. 

The business was founded by Tim Gray’s father, the late Brian Gray, in 1989.

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