By Olivia Cahoon
Digital printing enables short runs of customized packaging. For a traditional package printer, implementing a digital device transforms their workflow. Jobs requiring multiple SKUs are easily processed thanks to digital’s short-run capabilities. For a production house, moving smaller runs of multiple versions to a digital press frees up traditional devices for larger quantity work.
Rooted in Packaging
Abbott-Action, Inc. started in 1934 as the Abbott Box Company in Boston, MA. Following several acquisitions and mergers, it established itself as Abbott-Action, Inc. in 2000 with the combining of Abbott-Avon Packaging Corporation and Action Container. In 2011, Abbott-Action relocated to Attleboro, MA.
It is a comprehensive supplier of high-quality corrugated containers, wood shipping crates, protective packaging, and display solutions. Abbott-Action produces custom displays, crates, and boxes for all packaging and display needs. The corrugated converter currently has three locations totaling 435,000 square feet with over 200 employees.
Its facilities are found on the East Coast with affiliations across Canada and the U.S. The company’s capabilities represent every phase of the corrugated process from raw materials output and procurement to design, manufacturing, assembly, fulfillment, testing, and distribution.
Abbott-Action started its business with traditional printing materials such as printing plates, cutting dies, and lithographic labels. In January 2017, it invested in digital printing technology and installed the Barberán Jetmaster 1890 press with CMYK plus orange and violet. The corrugated converter creates a range of customized displays and ecommerce packaging with the printer.
“With digital printing and finishing under one roof, we can get to market as quickly as our backlog allows. With our Barberán digital printer we are working in an industrial environment, requiring an industrial manufacturing platform. Ultimately, our benefits are speed to market and creativity in design,” shares Chuck Slingerland, VP of sales and digital operations, Abbott-Action.
Additional equipment includes two Esko Kongsberg C64 cutting tables, both equipped with the Esko i-BF feeder and i-MF material stacker. Esko hardware is paired with Esko Automation Engine and WebCenter.
Launching New Brands
In 2018, Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt approached Abbott-Action to create an enhanced consumer brand experience. The frozen yogurt retailer was preparing to introduce its pint category of products to three segments—retail buyers, industry influencers, and media outlets.
The job required Abbott-Action to develop a packaging system durable enough to withstand overnight transportation while delivering on brand integrity. Yasso requested 810 eight-pack variety kits, 110 four-pack single flavor kits in four flavor options, and 50 personalized four packs.
Abbott-Action’s design team developed a corrugated cooler pack, including a die-cut tray for the frozen pints. The system was insulated with expanded polystyrene pads and a die-cut corrugated box for the dry ice as well as a digitally printed master carton.
The package printer selected the Barberán Jetmaster 1890 press for digital printing. In addition to high-quality graphics, the press allowed for digital versioning. For the four-pack with 110 pieces of four different flavored graphics, Yasso benefited from a 440-quantity run setup in one versus traditional print methods.
Digital printing also helped Yasso forge an emotional brand connection. 50 media individuals received personalized four-pack kits. Each was printed with the media outlet’s branding as well as the recipient’s name.
Abbott-Action is an ideal example of how adding digital print can enhance a package printer’s output. With its Barberán press and Esko cutting tables, Abbott-Action sees smaller order quantities and shorter order cycles. The company continues to build on its digital innovation by offering customers unique packaging.
Oct2019, Industrial Print Magazine