The RAKO GROUP is Germany’s foremost digital printing pioneer; the company is due to install what will be its third Indigo 20000 system in the second quarter of 2015.

The RAKO GROUP has more than 20 printing machines with digital printing as one of the predominant and fastest-growing printing technologies.

Although digital printing is no longer a new development for self-adhesive labels, it has nevertheless gradually cemented its position as an industry standard. Since it does not require printing tools such as plates or cylinders, it offers customers the increased flexibility they need for special products and small print runs.

In addition, digital printing offers unique opportunities that include the highly diverse range of possible printing substrates, outstanding print quality, even on unconventional materials, and personalisation or regular changes of design.

Following the collaborative efforts of HP Indigo and the RAKO GROUP, subsidiary company Folienprint RAKO GmbH’s products can now be realised on the newly developed Indigo 20000 press.

Folienprint RAKO GmbH has been a specialist supplier of small- to medium-size runs of flexible packaging and shrink sleeves for the food industry for many years. The Indigo 20000 press is a strategic expansion of the existing machinery, which is also a logical response to market demands for fast reaction times.

The benefits are twofold: Folienprint has not only extended its product portfolio, but also opened up a whole new dimension of flexibility for its customers.

We are the first German packaging company that is capable of producing flexible packaging in digital printing quality, which is actually a first not just in Germany, but even in Europe.

Folienprint is now able to react swiftly to market demands and produce small print runs without the corresponding loss of time that used to accompany the production of the new tooling required for flexo, offset or rotogravure printing.

Targeted promotional campaigns and, if required, even regional campaigns for food producers, can now be realised with minimal effort at short notice. Another advantage is that it is now possible to print up to a width of 730mm, which also allows the production of wide-format films for foodstuff packaging.

Doris Erhardt-Freitag, managing director at Folienprint, sees digital printing as a further extension of existing printing technologies and remarks that there are already sufficient flexo printing runs that, on the basis of their size alone, could be executed faster and more economically using digital printing.

An additional positive effect of this increased flexibility is that it gives customers a new, dynamic impetus. It also opens up new ‘small’ markets that were previously inaccessible because of prohibitive pre-printing costs for plates, cylinders etc.

Another advantage is that digital printing allows companies to react much more rapidly and flexibly to individual market developments, as well as giving marketing departments more freedom to launch tests in new markets or generate additional promotional campaigns.

Doris Erhardt-Freitag, pointing out the growing trend towards increased personalisation in all product sectors, can also envisage, in the long term, packaging on demand that can cater to individual requirements or alternative forms and designs.

The RAKO-GROUP produces self-adhesive labels, flexible packaging, sleeves and holograms, EAS and RFID solutions in flexo, digital offset, UV inkjet, offset, screen and letterpress printing, and combinations of these.

With more than 1,500 employees at production sites in Europe, Asia and South Africa and an annual turnover in excess of €211m, the RAKO-GROUP ranks among the world’s leading self-adhesive label suppliers in the packaging industry.