When Iggesund Paperboard asked Print House in Oslo to do the certification testing of its new silvery metallised PET film-laminated paperboard, Metalprint Digital, which is custom designed for the HP 12000 series of digital printing presses, the Swedish company also gained an exciting benchmark example of Metalprint Digital’s performance ability. The printers had simultaneously been asked to develop an exclusive packaging for the launch of Colgate’s gold toothbrush, the Gold 360⁰. From the sheets left over from the certification testing, the printers created a packaging for Colgate in the form of a gold bar – unusually, even before the paperboard was on the market
“Colgate wanted a gold finish and so we tried printing yellow onto Metalprint Digital’s silvery surface to achieve the gold effect. It was a great success,” explains Steven Widlic, project manager at Print House.
A couple of years ago, Metalprint, which is based on Invercote G, attracted great interest in digital print circles. One limitation, though, was that it could only be used in the biggest presses with the equipment to apply a primer. Together with HP, Iggesund Paperboard has now developed another version, Metalprint Digital, which is customised and certified for HP’s 12000 presses.
“The certification test runs exceeded expectations and we’re impressed by how well Metalprint Digital functioned in our press,” Widlic continues. “It works so well because Invercote is fundamentally stable with good quality and a fine surface. When the metallised film is then applied by using a forgiving method, the result is the mirror-smooth finish that is an ideal prerequisite for a superb print result.”
Print House is one of the pioneering digital printers in Norway. Until the beginning of 2018 it had about 20 employees before merging with a considerably larger group of printing companies, 07 Media.
“Here at Print House we’ve been able to follow the exciting developments in digital printing,” Widlic says. “The growth in the packaging segment has been particularly impressive and still has a lot of potential.”
The ability to produce small series of packaging involving complex printing opens up new possibilities for small companies. Packaging printed with traditional technology involves relatively high start-up costs, which are an obstacle for companies that want to limit their print runs for cost reasons.
“That factor is what’s driving the expansion of our packaging business, as well as the advantages that digital technology offers when you have to make many versions of a basic packaging design,” Widlic concludes.