Fitchburg, MA-based Boutwell Owens is significantly boosting its high-value digital print business with its upgraded HP Indigo 30000 Digital Press. The press is helping the converter deliver high-quality customized packaging and significant cost-savings for its customers for SKU management and production. Boutwell says the HP Indigo 30000 Digital Press is commanding the digital transformation at the plant, running three shifts, five days a week.
“Digital is a necessity in today’s workflow. We could not survive today without the HP Indigo 30000, it is an indispensable part of our arsenal enabling us to deliver quickly to market with less tooling expenses,” said Bill Hodges, VP Sales and Marketing at Boutwell. “It’s all about the interchangeability, and the ability to offer a wider array of services to our customers.”
According to Hodges, the press is delivering consistently crisp print. “Business is growing rapidly in short-run, high-fidelity work in addition to managing the proliferation of SKUs beyond imagination,” he said.
The versatility package on the enhanced HP Indigo 30000 provides more flexible paper handling, and increased versatility with a synthetic kit for plastic cards, plastic packaging, plant labels and other applications printed on PVC, PET, PP and other synthetics.
Digital print at Boutwell is today more than 5% of production and growing. According to Hodges, customers are choosing digital to prevent overprinting of packaging, in addition to using digitally printed packaging as a means to engage with customers and tell their story. Boutwell also uses the Highcon Beam digital cutter to deliver sophisticated packaging.
Key areas of production are automotive, consumer and personal care products, and medical. Some customers have as many as 1,800 different SKUs, contracting Boutwell to manage and print their packaging inventory. “Customers who buy high volumes have a lot of part numbers that are very difficult to service in offset. It becomes more efficient from a supply chain perspective to use digital, while also benefitting from speed to market and promotional printing,” said Hodges.
Boutwell’s biggest digital print customer is Champion Laboratories Inc., an automotive filter manufacturer, maintaining a high SKU volume, including 1,600 SKUs on their air filter product lines alone. The company is taking advantage of the HP Indigo 30000 solution for supply chain efficiency to reduce inventory.
“We were able to help them reduce their overall inventory expenditure by over $750,000 a year and obsolescence costs by a half-million dollars in just one component of their product line,” said Hodges.