By Melissa Donovan
Part 3 of 3
Speaking with those using the technology out in the field is always insightful. It provides a real-world view on the benefits—and challenges—of implementing digital print. Touching base with a printer’s own customers is even more perceptive, as it can provide a look at what brand owners and other purchasers of items like printed corrugated pieces look for in the final product.
Glennville, GA-based Bland Farms is a family-owned and operated business, known as the world’s largest sweet onion grower, packer, and shipper. With competition on the rise, it looked for ways to stand out from the crowd with its packaging and in-store displays.
“We wanted something new and innovative to offer to our customers and the retailers, something that would make our products stand out. We wanted the ability to display them in different areas of the store and make changes frequently for when we have different promotions to run,” explains Meg Robinson, sales and marketing manager, Vidalia Brands and Bland Farms.
To achieve this goal, it works closely with Complete Design and Packaging (CDP). The corrugated display printer is home to the first EFI Nozomi single-pass inkjet printer in the U.S. CDP’s Nozomi C18000 Plus offers high-quality, single-pass, digital inkjet direct-to-board production, and prints at speeds of up to 246 linear feet per minute, in up to seven colors, including white.
“The print quality is phenomenal. When people see the print samples or production pieces from this machine, typically their first thought is, ‘hey, that’s exactly like lithographic label.’ The Nozomi is the solution for us. It’s our future,” shares Howard Bertram, president, CDP.
It is the future for CDP’s clients—like Bland Farms—as well. “Digital affords CDP’s customers to be so flexible, so quick, and market right down to the neighborhood, not nationally but regionally. You can’t do that efficiently with flexography or lithography label,” adds Bertram.
With the flexibility afforded by the EFI Nozomi C18000 Plus, Bland Farms took advantage of a limited time promotion for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run. Collaborating with Paramount Pictures, containers holding the onions were originally printed using flexographic technology. However, Bland Farms received a request for many more in a short amount of time and reached out to CDP to complete the task.
“We ended up needing more boxes quickly, and the turnaround for CDP getting those to us was very short. It wouldn’t have been possible getting them back that quickly with flexography,” says Robinson.
The flexibility wasn’t the only benefit. Robinson comments on the high quality of the graphics. “I think that on the SpongeBob displays that were printed digitally, the colors are much more vibrant with more detail than we would have been able to do on flexography. Both of the onion display bins designed and printed on digital so far have allowed us to have more detail and better color.”
Meeting quick turnarounds for its partnerships isn’t the only benefit of using CDP and its EFI Nozomi. Robinson notes plans to explore versioning and variable data opportunities in more detail, which allow the company to target customers based on location and local interest.
“That’s something we’re really starting to look into, especially in terms of which charities specific retailers are donating to and how we can tie into that,” explains Robinson.
For example, Bland Farms has explored partnering with supermarket Kroger on Kroger’s Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation. Digital production on the EFI Nozomi C18000 Plus would enable Bland Farms to cost-effectively produce high-quality bins that promote the foundation’s cause.
Short Turns Met
Single-pass digital printing capabilities are pushing Bland Farms and CDP to meet today’s demands for short turnaround times and versioning. Both are leveraging EFI Nozomi’s technology to create memorable packaging that stands out against the competition.
Read part one, Quality and Speed
Read part two, Regal Work
Jun2023, Industrial Print Magazine