Printers and converters looking to move into the exciting area of short- to medium-run packaging will soon be able to set up a complete start-to-finish business system in no time at all thanks to a new strategic partnership between Caldera and Highcon. By pairing Caldera's new POW! Packaging Online Workflow software suite with the Highcon Euclid direct-to-pack digital finishing system, graphic arts printers and converters are able to leap from out-of-the-box to onto-the-box, creating opportunities based on the key trends in packaging: shorter runs, streamlined production and personalisation.
The Highcon Euclid digital cutting and creasing system puts finishing in line with pre-press and printing, enabling a purely digital workflow with low overheads, reduced waste or reprint implications and excellent efficiency. POW!, built by Caldera for Highcon, and including Color Alliance technology, opens new sales and business potential for its users, combining a web order portal with an automated software system and taking a job from concept to high-value finished package with a minimum of intervention.
The POW! front end – which the printer can rebrand, customise and deploy either as a B2C or B2B2C portal – allows a brand owner to pick a package design from a broad library of templates and add their own graphics, text, cutting and marking elements. They preview their package in 3D and hit order when satisfied, at which point it transfers to a hotfolder within the back office to be included within the print workflow. This system could be used in e-shop format for a variety of consumer products, from packaging to shaped folders or giftware, or to streamline customer order processes and simplify the sales process.
Once passed into the print workflow, the owner benefits from the gamut of Caldera's experience in colour management, automation and media optimisation and can have the confidence that a wholly accurate job will pass through their production floor. The Caldera RIP and workflow suite ensures that true colour and raster data reach the printer in the appropriate format, and generates a DXF file for the Euclid engine which indicates the cut and crease paths, creating the high-margin embellishment enabled by a digital packaging set-up.
"Digital packaging production is an inventive area that is developing rapidly and building on its market share year after year," comments Caldera's Joseph Mergui, Chief Executive Officer. "We see how Caldera's vision and expertise will enable printers to make full use of the exciting technologies that are shaping this sector, such as Highcon's, and to lead innovation in new customer models and creative opportunities."
"More businesses in the packaging world are realising that the new frontier in digital technology is after the print process," explains Eitan Varon, Executive Vice-President at Highcon. "Web-to-pack is the natural extension of the abilities of this new logic, pulling together shorter run lengths, just-in-time ordering and personalisation into a complete, creative commercial structure. By combining Euclid and POW! from Caldera, our users will be able to explore new avenues for their business while making their sales process significantly more efficient."
GraphExpo represents the technology demonstration of POW!, which will enter beta testing in Q4 this year. Its full commercial launch is anticipated for 2015.