Because traditional flexible package printing involves so many steps and the lead times can be weeks (or even months), it’s almost hard to believe how simple – and quick – it can be with digital printing. And you can do it with the equipment you already have, like an HP Indigo 6800. With traditional flexo, printing requires investing in customized plates, therefore making it prudent to print thousands of packages.
With digital technology, customized printing can be done on the surface of a pre-laminate film that only needs an OPV or thermal laminate to protect the ink – and you can print just one package or thousands. Sound simple? It is. Here are our five steps to get it done in a few short days after receiving the order:
1. Style the package with branding, design, size and pouch type and function. Questions to ask:
- What’s in the bag?
- What kind of barrier does the content need?
- How is it being filled?
- Do you want finishing like zippers or spouts
- How can the design tell your brand’s story?
2. Source supplies including ink, primer, pre-laminate, over-laminate film, OPVs. Ideal materials for HP Indigo:
- In-line or off-line primers
- Pre-laminated film ready for surface printing
- Thermal laminate for optimal ink protection
- OPVs for overall protection or spot enhancements
3. Surface print on pre-laminate film and protect the print with either an OPV or hot nip to a clear film over-laminate. The new way to print flexible packaging: Using a pre-laminated film on an HP Indigo is like making a photo copy on paper – just load it up and print!
4. Shape, fill and seal the roll stock with a pouching machine immediately after printing. If you don’t have a pouching machine in-house, co-packing companies can be found around the country who can shape, fill and seal your customer’s packages in the style that works best for the pouch’s content.
5. Ship finished packages to your customer. When you create flexible packages using this method, you can turn them around in a matter of days rather than months, helping your customers get their products to market faster than ever.
With a partner like S-OneLP, you can order smaller quantities of primers, pre-lam, over-laminates and OPVs, that will make it easy for you to sell small, personalized runs for start-up and specialized customers. Plus, we can also help you determine the right material to use for whatever your customer wants to put in the pouch. Give us a call at 941-256-7900 to learn more about breaking into this exciting market.