HP Scitex Printer Gives Packaging Firm New Capabilities


Heritage Paper has gained a competitive advantage in the packaging market as one  of the first U.S. firms to install an HP Scitex FB7500 Printer for high-quality, short- to medium-run printing on corrugated board.

The Livermore, Calif.-based company, which specializes in analog flexographic production, has developed a fast-growing niche in short-run, high-end digitally printed packaging and displays. To meet surging demand for digital printing, the company replaced a competing UV ink wide-format device with the HP Scitex FB7500 Printer.

The new printer, which Heritage purchased from HP Scitex distributor PriscoDigital (www.prisco.com), helps Heritage grow its business by providing the speed and flexibility to handle higher run lengths.

"We had to run our previous digital printing system in a slower, 'high-quality' mode to eliminate banding issues," said John Tatum, CEO, Heritage Paper. "The HP Scitex FB7500 Printer, on the other hand, produces high quality at higher speeds, which significantly expands our capabilities.

"Instead of digital being affordable for run lengths in the hundreds or low thousands, we can offer our customers run lengths up to 10,000 with digital, which opens many more opportunities," added Tatum.

Expanding market opportunities

Heritage's customers are pursuing digital printing for a variety of reasons.

  • Prior to the new installation, Heritage sent client work needing higher-quality, medium-run printing out for lithographic printing at a local trade shop. Heritage would subsequently mount the outsourced litho sheets to corrugated board to complete the job. The HP Scitex FB7500 Printer eliminates that process, producing offset-quality imaging directly on corrugated substrates at a lower cost with faster turnaround times.
  • Many marketers are boosting revenues through regionalized, versioned and test-marketing designs produced in shorter runs that are too expensive to produce using analog flexography.
  • Small business customers, including several Northern California premium wineries, can now purchase high-end packaging and displays in the smaller quantities they require.
  • Larger customers looking to streamline their packaging supply chains are switching from flexo to digital printing on the HP Scitex FB7500 Printer to move to more sustainable, just-in-time manufacturing.

Re-thinking the packaging supply chain
The move to more sustainable manufacturing and services also aligns with the overall corporate philosophy at Heritage, a company that powers its plant with a $3.5 million solar panel roof. Digital printing reduces the cost and resources needed to maintain printed packaging inventories, as well as the significant waste from design changes that make pre-printed packaging obsolete.

Unlike its previous digital printing system, Heritage's HP Scitex FB7500 Printer has a gloss print mode that eliminates the need for lamination, a process that can make corrugated board non-recyclable. This feature improves the overall sustainability of Heritage's digitally printed products.

Heritage's new HP solution, which prints at speeds in excess of 5,300 sq.ft. per hour, can run rigid and flexible media up to .98 inches thick, in sizes up to 65x126 inches. Its high productivity makes the HP Scitex FB7500 Printer a cost-effective digital solution for many packaging, signage and graphics jobs typically produced using analog equipment. The printer is one of the first packaging industry flatbed wide-format printer sales completed by authorized distributor PriscoDigital.

"Heritage Paper clearly is on the cutting edge of the packaging industry, and its ability to identify and implement the advantages of digital technology for its customers differentiates Heritage in a dramatic way," said Steve Zunde, president, PriscoDigital. "We are extremely pleased to add Heritage Paper to our growing list of HP Scitex FB7500 users, and are excited to showcase the company's superb site, which houses this state-of-the -art technology, to other prospects."