Independent Packaging and Print Group (IPAK) has purchased a range of equipment – including most recently a Zünd G3 L2500 – from Midcomp, with which it has had a long-term relationship since 2013. The solutions have created new signage and printing opportunities for IPAK in the digital space.
Independent Packaging was established in 1991. As specialists in the manufacture and supply of corrugated packaging, the company has added on litho and commercial printing to its services over the years and today runs a few facilities. Head of operations Jaco Malan explained that the company saw the need to diversify and has now branched into large format digital print and finishing, of which now they are able to do signage on a large-scale through their significant investment in machinery from Midcomp, which also includes an HP Latex 335 printer, HP Latex 64 cutter and a JHF V2800 LED UV flatbed printer.
Zünd G3 L2500
Installed at the end of July, the machine can cut sheets up to sizes of 2.5 x 1.8m, with not just a cut, but a router application. A full-on signage machine, it had all the ‘bells and whistles’ added for corrugated packaging, as the machine is customisable. ‘We do a lot of printing on foam board, Plexiglas, ABS, wood and aluminium, so we can customise the cutting of these substrates with various tools and accessories,’ said Malan.
The machines have created new markets in signage, POS and displays for the company, particularly in the retail space, as well as very small-run bespoke packaging in-house. ‘We previously did signage on a small scale, but it was outsourced. Now we can do signage at any time, and have seen significant growth. Covid-19 also created a big e-commerce market, so we have seen many new customers requesting short run package box orders. In this instance, we can print samples for customers, and if they are happy, they sign off and we can print more.’
HP Latex 335
Malan explained that the company needed a machine for in-house proofing and sampling. Since the installation, the machine has been very useful, especially with its instant drying. ‘With this machine, we can print on a lot of media, and can do a lot of short-run label work. In terms of label work, this has opened a new market for us, and the machine runs every day for this.’
Malan said that by using the ‘take on reel’, one can load a job for printing before going home at 5pm, leave it to print on its own, and it will be ready the next morning. The machine can also produce a lot of poster work, PVC banners and print on stretchable canvas. It also has very good colour accuracy.
HP Latex 64
A stand-alone unit, the cutter works hand-in-hand with the L335, and came as part of the same package. It also features self-registration and self-alignment thanks to the L335’s barcode printing feature. The machine features different kinds of cutting and is perfect for labels. Other features include an HP media basket, optimised workflow management, efficient job recognition and much more.
The company saw the machine as an ideal opportunity to get into the large format space: ‘We were confident that it was a good quality machine because it is distributed and maintained by Midcomp, which is a very reputable company,’ Malan said. ‘It can process substrates up to 2.4m wide, with a 2.4 x 1.3m area, which is a very good size. The print quality and speed is also good. It can print white and CMYK, has UV curing and prints bi-directionally.’ As the second installation in South Africa, the machine was initially kept in Midcomp’s iHub to work while IPAK’s newly built digital facility was being finalised.
Malan described the service from Midcomp as excellent with ‘very good after sales service’. He also mentioned plans for additional modifications to the Zünd, such as adding on a conveyor and reel-to-reel system, as well as Caldera RIP software. The company is also looking at getting an even bigger JHF flatbed (3800 Vista that can accommodate substrates up to 3000 x 2500mm).