Digital package printing holds distinct opportunities and challenges.
Radasky and Miller brought in-house a Durst 750 HS Corrugated Display Printer along with a Zund G3 XL-3200 cutter, and the new Centrix officially opened its doors in January 2013 as a regional supplier to the container companies and converters in Kansas City area. It’s been hitting its mark ever since. “We’ve done a lot of one-offs for prototypes or mockups, but our comfort level is in the 50- to 200-piece short runs,” says Miller.
“Our niche is really where it’s not cost effective to consider die cutting. Digital printing can be an economical alternative for producing as many as 750 pieces. Beyond that, it’s better to think about going to the more traditional printing methods.”
The capabilities of Centrix’s press-and-cutter combination have allowed the company to expand services beyond its original focus. Sixty percent of the shop’s digital production has been packaging; another 15 percent in displays and P-O-P; the rest is in varied types of signage.
“The Durst has given us a really versatile machine for printing on a variety of substrates,” he notes, “and the Zund has proven to be very versatile as well, easy to set up for work we do and materials we work with.”
Although the original intent was to print on corrugated materials, the combination of the press and cutter has allowed Centrix to produce jobs on other media, too: acrylic, banner material, SBS paper board – whatever a client requires, says Miller. He cites that versatility, along with digital’s quick turnarounds, graphic quality and durability, and the ability to print only what’s needed as needed, as all factors contributing to the company’s success.
“With traditional printing, it can be weeks just before the dies are cut and the plates are ready,” he elaborates. “But with our digital capabilities, a client can come to us with their art file and have the finished product back to them that day, if that’s what they need.”
By using digital for some customers, Centrix has been able to produce some projects that simply were not budget-feasible with offset. One client, for instance, needed only 40 corrugated pallet wraps for its specialty wines. Centrix printed and assembled large two-piece boxes with full coverage graphics that featured an antique look. “That’s the kind of thing smaller companies just couldn’t afford to do before – and we can make decent money, too,” he notes.