Page 31 - Packaging News Magazine May-June 2019
P. 31

May-June 2019
Spotless: Making sure the new HP Indigo 20000 at Luminar is looking its best is Currie Group NSW account manager Will Currie (right), who promised Luminar owner Matt Ellis (left) that he would personally clean the press, in appropriate apparel, if Ellis signed the order.
business. He engaged design agency Mela Creative, and this is one of his key strategies – to seek out expertise wherever possible.
“Consultants are part of the Lumi- nar story. Why would I fumble along when I can cut to the chase through the knowledge of others? I do not have 30 years’ experience, but I know people who do.”
Following the first HP Indigo in 2012 the second one, a WS6800, came in to support growth and flexi- bles. Ellis says, “Flexibles became a catalyst to our growth and helped support us in filling our second shift. The new 20000 will build on the flexible growth.
“The investment by HP and other vendors in the digital printing indus- try is a confidence boost. I had to ask myself if I am in the right vertical, if I had the right partners,” Ellis says.
This period of reflection and analysis led Ellis to the new flexi- bles line, which includes the Indigo 20000, a laminating system, and a slitting unit. He veered away from converting though, he says: “We do a lot of work for the trade, around sixty per cent, with around forty per cent direct for brands, so becoming a converter is not part of our plan.”
The explosion of health food products, high protein-based foods and nutraceuticals has given the Luminar pouch business a boost, as it means the rapidly growing number of bespoke and smaller producers do not have to order high minimum
runs and have them sitting around while they work through distribu- tion; instead, the producers can order on demand. The variable data printing enabled by digital also pro- vides an agility that standard flexo or gravure printing cannot achieve.
Ellis says, “For smaller producers having cash tied up in packaging is a drag on their businesses. We offer an ultra-low minimum order, down to one or two thousand pouches, which is a fraction of the usual minimum run length. This is great for cash flow. The variable data capability means, for instance, if any legislative changes come through the existing stock is not suddenly redundant. It also enables the brand owner to promote special offers or limited editions with a quick turnaround.”
Digital printing is typically asso- ciated with short run work, however Ellis says what is short run in the US, Europe or Japan with their popu- lations in the hundreds of millions is not the same here. He says, “The HP Indigo 20000 is good for Austra- lian short run and Australian medi- um run lengths. And it is not just for small scale producers or retailers: Woolworths, for instance, may want to test a product in half a dozen stores, so the brand owner may want just 2000, or 10,000 pouches across multiple variations to start with.”
The HP Indigo 20000 has certainly given Luminar a step-up in capacity – it will pump out between 1000 and 1500sqm an hour, and has the capacity for 24 hour production. “It’s hungry and pushes volume,” Ellis says.
FACING PAGE, TOP LEFT: Father and son team, Matt and Mike Ellis.
FACING PAGE, TOP RIGHT: Matt Ellis and his crew of operators.
LEFT: Luminar is one of a new breed of packaging printer, installing an HP Indigo 20000 digital press to offer the market digital flexible pouches. For the pouches shown on these pages, Luminar collaborated with brand and packaging designers Mela Creative to produce this customised promotional packaging for tea and coffee.
The company has four certified HP Indigo operators, thanks to equipment supplier Currie Group, which is one of the only two autho- rised HP Indigo training centres outside of HP. Luminar is currently operating two shifts a day, with a third on the cards. Ellis says, “We are ready to scale up.”
Although pouch production is in the spotlight, label printing still accounts for a significant part of the business. Ellis says the challenge is getting the market accustomed to short run digital labels. He says, “Again, short run needs to be defined, but with the new 20000 our cut-off between digital and flexo is up to ten thousand linear metres.”
Ellis has identified a market and set out to service it. The rise in single person households, the need for convenience, the focus on health and sports foods, the growing move against rigid plastics, and the need for brand owners and retailers to get more versions of their products on shelves at faster speeds, all confirm that Luminar’s move into on- demand pouchmaking with the HP Indigo 20000 technology could well reap rich rewards for Ellis and his growing list of customers. ■

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