Folienprint RAKO managing director Doris Erhardt-Freitag discusses the value of independence, technological innovation and the company’s plans for the future.

What services does Folienprint RAKO offer?

Doris Erhardt-Freitag: The firm’s portfolio consists of flexo printing, digital printing, plate production, laminating, slitting and wrapping, shrinking and climate-neutral production. Its machines produce high-quality flexo and digital printing in up to ten colours and up to a width of 1,050mm. In production terms, the firm’s site has two core business units: shrink sleeves and flexible packaging.

However, the main efforts in production are placed in consulting with customers, and recommending the right packaging for their products and applications. Today, market demands require higher protection and suitable specs for the packaging.

 What value does Folienprint place on technological innovation?

The firm emphasises the value of having close partnerships with its suppliers and customers. This allows it to determine what its customers need and seeks the necessary innovation within its supplier base to accommodate them. For example, Folienprint’s digital printing offering within the All4Labels Group has been a strategic partner of HP Indigo, qualifying the latest digital printing wide-web press for flexible packaging.

Folienprint is the first company in Germany that enables flexible packaging for a wide range of products. It is also the first to install a central-cylinder flexo-printing press with the latest technical innovation. The press can be set up with a GPS and also reduces energy consumption with the low-energy-option (LEO) system.

What are the advantages of your in-house printing plate production?

An in-house printing plate production means being independent of external suppliers. The firm has a quick and highly reactive production process to ensure it can deliver to customers with the urgency required. Its in-house printing plate production enables it to react to consumers’ demands without any bottlenecks or lead time. It can produce plates within an hour if necessary.

Being in the flexo industry, Folienprint needs to understand and be equipped with the latest technology. This means constantly thinking about how to bring its printing technology to the forefront of the industry. It is connected to a printing plate material manufacturer, and is involved in developing the technology between graphics and printing plate manufacture.

An example of this commitment is the recent collaboration with Japanese company Toyobo to develop a water-based printing plate. This isn’t just any green-washing technology. It is a sustainable, closed-water system that does not lead to contamination and even helps to reduce Folienprint’s carbon footprint. Looking after the environment while maintaining its high-production standards has become an important foundation of its sustainability strategy.

How do you combine multiple management systems to ensure quality products?

Folienprint uses only the highest-quality systems such as BRC and ISO. To ensure quality products and services, the firm integrates all of its management systems. Part of this strategy means looking at every management system as a piece in the puzzle. Merging the firm’s hygiene, quality, and environmental management systems gives it a broad method to develop and enhance its offering.

The company keeps its management systems up to date and is a member of Sedex, a not-for-profit organisation sharing data on supply chains. Folienprint uses the best-practice guidelines from the online platform to improve its work across the value chain.

What sets Folienprint apart from its competitors?

The firm is focused on collaborating and consulting with its clients. At the heart of its business is customer-oriented service. This means Folienprint listens to its customers to find out what they actually need. Once this is done, it is much easier to provide them with efficient and customised solutions.

What can we expect to see from Folienprint in the future?

Expect to see production efforts with a special focus on speeding up time to market. The firm is committed to perfecting its production-on-demand services, using the latest technological innovations to enhance its digital and flexo offering.

It wants to enhance its starsaver and starblocker series; innovative production methods that can change branding opportunities, offering more room for creativity. It will also maintain its development of more sustainable solutions for product applications.

This article originally appeared in Packaging & Converting Intelligence.