Digital print investment for DS Smith Germany

For the DS Smith Group, the issue of digital printing is of strategic significance in creating maximum value for its customers as well as enabling continued market growth in the future. Being a pilot customer of HP, DS Smith was the first enterprise from the packaging industry to produce digital pre-print corrugated liner. From now on, mid-sized and large runs can also be digitally produced in an economic way. The first HP PageWide T1100S has been implemented in the UK; now a second investment follows, as HP is set to install a second HP T1100S machine at DS Smith in the Germany & Switzerland region. DS Smith has now opened up entirely new possibilities for its customers in the DCH region.

“Our customers take centre stage in all our investments,” emphasises Per Vinge Frederiksen, DS Smith Managing Director of the Germany & Switzerland region. “Boost in our customers’ turnover coupled with the reduction in their costs and minimisation of risks – this is our commitment. Investments in this revolutionary digital pre-printing technology will help us to achieve these goals also in the future. The combination of this new digital corrugated pre-print and our supply cycle thinking brings about a whole lot of new possibilities of value creation which we are eager to realise together with our customers.”

“The digital printing process requires no printing plates, thus making even last-minute changes and subsequently, quick reaction to the current promotional campaigns and events possible,” explains Stefan Kunzmann, Sales & Marketing Director at DS Smith in the Germany & Switzerland region. “This can be of particular advantage when implementing marketing campaigns. A significantly shorter time to market is another crucial advantage of digital print for our customers.”

“Displays that are different from region to region or individualised for different distributors, are now easy to implement; so is personalised packaging. Since ink coverage rather than the number of colours is decisive, packaging that used to be provided with monochrome print, can now be printed in colours. Especially in the field of e-commerce, packaging with attention-grabbing inner print with the brand design can make the shopper’s ‘moment of truth’ significantly more positive,” continues Kunzmann. “Another important aspect for many of our customers is that of product safety. The new printing method enables us to implement track & trace technologies – traceability of products – as well as serialisation and anti-counterfeiting technologies to ensure protection against product piracy. This is how we help our customers to boost their turnover and to minimise risks.”

Kunzmann says, “Just imagine that all your packaging has an individual print and impresses your shoppers with its motif. Current examples reveal that individual solutions with a ‘wow factor’ are true sales boosters at the point of sale, since customer delight leads to higher willingness to pay. Moreover, packaging and displays can be designed with the aim of communicating with the shoppers. What matters here is that the campaign perfectly matches the respective brand and its brand message.”

“The HP PageWide T1100S Press enables DS Smith to address the broadest range of digitally pre-printed corrugated packaging applications, including the growing segment of food packaging,” said Eric Wiesner, general manager, HP PageWide Industrial Division, HP Inc. “Unlike some other digital printing alternatives, HP PageWide Water-Based Inks are free of UV-reactive chemistries. Thus, these inks enable robust and trusted food-safe printing for both primary and secondary corrugated packaging. This should be an important benefit for DS Smith’s food brand clients.” 

DS Smith is investing a total of €15 million in the printing press with dimensions of some 40m in length and 5m in height. The press is being installed at the DS Smith site in Fulda. Specifically for this purpose, a hall has been gutted and furnished with new foundations. The digital print produced in Fulda will then be transformed to attention-grabbing display and packaging solutions not only by the German and Swiss DS Smith sites, but also by the adjacent European DS Smith plants to supply products to our customers throughout Europe. Commissioning of the new digital pre-print machine is scheduled for the second quarter of 2018, with an official open house event.

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