The ability to flexo direct print on both sides of a corrugated sheet in one pass is generating a new level of excitement well beyond the brown shipping container. “It’s cool and it’s sexy and it’s fun,” Rob Golove, General Manager and VP of Sales of Arma Container, says. “We live in a brown world. I always say, ‘Knowing someone in the corrugated business isn’t so great until you need to move.’ When you’re able to show somebody something that has a strong marketing application then you’ve got something.”
Retailers, especially companies that sell products on-line, are looking for ways to differentiate and “wow” their customers. The box is no longer “just a box.” Consumers want an “unboxing” experience.
Arma Container, a sheet plant in Deer Park, N.Y., has been printing on both sides of a sheet in one pass for several years now at the request of a customer that sells products on-line. “It’s certainly the way of the future because for our customer who is an Internet company they want to deliver an extra message. They want to wow the customer when they open up the product,” Golove says. “What’s nice is it gives a call to action that you could easily change almost like a coupon inside your box. We’ve found a lot of our customers are looking at almost 100% coverage on the outside with a message on the inside. That secures their culture with their customers. It’s a phenomenal marketing tool.”
Arma Container was using two machines to produce inside/out printing orders and challenged BW Papersystems in 2016 to come up with an inside/outside solution. “You had to plan to take down two machines and you had to be at least 60% through the diecutter before you could start setting up the other machine,” Golove says. “Our Field Sales Manager (Stephen Weil) wondered why we couldn’t have a machine that prints both sides in one pass.”
As a result, Arma Container was the first installation of a G-Grafix flexo folder-gluer with top and bottom print units. The machine has two outside and one inside print stations and a diecut unit. The efficiencies gained are worth noting: eliminated 7,496,996 additional feeds; eliminated 123MSF of dunnage needed for the first pass; eliminated 479,800 LF of strapping needed for the first pass; eliminated 4,136MSF of waste accumulated for the first pass (1.9% waste); reduced direct labor by 2749 hours; reduced indirect labor by 547 hours