Page 30 - Packaging News Magazine May-June 2019
P. 30

May-June 2019
Next-gen digital disruptor
Luminar is using digital technology to disrupt the flexible packaging sector, offering shorter run lengths, variable data and on-demand production for pouches. Wayne Robinson reports.
Disruption to established proce- dures is one of the defining aspects of this decade, with Uber, Airbnb and the gig economy prime examples of how the digital world is im- pacting on the way things have
always been done. In flexible pack- aging production Sydney operation Luminar is set on bringing a similar level of disruption to the industry through new technology allied with a younger outlook on business strategy.
Luminar is one of a new breed of packaging printer, installing an HP Indigo 20000 digital press to offer the market digital flexible pouches, which enables brand owners and retailers to specify shorter run lengths, variable data and on- demand production. Company owner Matt Ellis is bullish about the direction in which he is taking the company, which has been in digital labels for the past decade. It made its first HP Indigo investment seven years ago, then bought its second, a 6800, just four weeks after Ellis bought the company in June 2017, and now has the new 20000.
“When I looked at the market more closely, I saw the potential for pouch printing and converting to grow, with the furore over plastic waste driving brands away from rigid
materials. I also saw that the benefits of digital that we were delivering with our digital label press – short run, on demand, variable data – would all work well for pouches and printed rewind,” Ellis says.
Ellis then set about finding out everything he could about the pouch world – he has always been a keen self educator – which led to him to taking a trip to the Global Pouch Forum in Miami last year in the company of Mark Daws, the labels and packaging director at HP Indigo’s local supplier Currie Group.
“When I looked around at the conference I had an ‘aha’ moment – I realised I was the youngest person there by a country mile. I thought I could bring something new to the industry; I did not have the three decades of experience of most of the other delegates, but I could see clearly new opportunities,” Ellis says.
“Then I visited a couple of HP Indigo 20000 users, one an eighteen-month- old start up that was going gangbusters, one an established flexo printer that had moved into digital, and saw how they were complementing the technol- ogy to deliver new on-trend offerings to the market. My eyes were opened to what could be achieved.
“There were new opportunities, new ways of doing things, clear
trends that could be exploited. I realised I could shine a light on the print industry for young people, where I could bring our aspirations into the business.”
Ellis is indeed a long way from getting the grey hairs typically associated with leaders in the print packaging industry. He is at the other end of the age scale, still in his third decade. Discovering a talent for brand engagement in early sales jobs, he became the owner of what was Avonlea Labels two years ago when he bought it from his father Mike, and began looking at the business through new eyes.
The name change to Luminar was part of a major rebranding exercise driven by Ellis to project the image and proposition of the evolving
There were new opportunities, new ways of doing things, clear trends that could be exploited. I realised I could shine a light on the print industry for young people...”

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