- Opening new doors to even more high-end packaging opportunities
- Seeing a minimum 25% reduction in make-ready time for increased productivity
- Meeting its environmental and sustainable goals with the addition of energy saving LED-UV lamps
During the past year, consumer brand packaging designers have worked harder than ever to design packaging that is immediately recognizable, impossible to ignore, and engages with their customers. These designers have tapped into the expert knowledge and productivity at the Carlson Print Group, a pioneer of specialty print products, packaging solutions, and finishing technologies headquartered at its 74,000 sq ft facility in Eden Prairie, south of Minneapolis. It is utilizing its new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 PRO press as its centerpiece work-horse machine, providing its exceptional customers with the definitive advantage of high quality, color consistency, embellishments, speed and quick changeovers.
“For decades, we’ve cemented our reputation as an elite printer for the most recognizable brands,” says Carlson Print Group chief executive officer Darren Carlson. “Now we are taking that experience and moving quickly into the premium packaging market. Equipped with our new Rapida 105 PRO, we’re partnering with the finest brands around the world that have the highest expectations. The press, which is exceeding our requirements and displaying its many unique capabilities, is being specifically used for its efficiency and productivity, allowing our customers to get their high-end packaging jobs completed quickly to market.”
Internally, Carlson is quite pleased with its press data that quantifies the benefits its customers have received. “We’ve gained 35% more capacity with our Rapida 105 PRO,” says Guinter, “and 30% productivity gains. We’re also seeing a minimum 25% reduction in make-ready time as compared to our prior press.”
The Rapida 105 PRO press is playing a key role in producing these attention-grabbing and inventive packages. Carlson Print Group is a trusted advisor to these well-known brands, ensuring that their package printing is delivered quickly to market with more customized messaging and solving their unique packaging challenges with expert solutions. “We’re finding that the Rapida 105 PRO is opening doors to even more high-end packaging opportunities and expanding our high value print products for all of our customers’ brand marketing,” says Earl Guinter, Carlson’s sales manager.
To market its growing services, Carlson designed a Specialty Print Kit to inspire package designers and highlight its numerous capabilities. Its outer box displays Carlson’s Colour Foil treatment with Matte varnish and UV spot gloss coating. Inside are six tools: foil board, MotionCoat, recycled plastic-PE, Cast & Cure, soft touch, and Colour Foil. Each one displays the amazing capabilities offered by Carlson and its Rapida press.
Vosges Haute-Chocolat, a worldwide luxury brand of chocolate with limited edition collections all packaged in its signature purple boxes, has partnered with Carlson to produce its eye-catching labels and packaging. Vosges, like other chocolatiers, premium confectioners, and boutique snack purveyors, needs to stand out in the market using high-quality packaging, unique designs, vibrant colors and specialty print techniques. While its package keeps the premium chocolate bar safe and delicious for its consumers, the box and label serve as the most important advertisement for the firm itself.
Press is a “game-changer”
Carlson is using its “game-changing” Rapida press to produce true color and brand consistency for customers like Vosges. It has the capability to create and print on a variety of high-end, food-safe boxes, using eight specialty print techniques. These include holographic effects and lenticular graphics, which give an impression of depth and movement, or metallic foils, which add a knockout element to every color on an image. Coatings and varnishes have a universal appeal in print and packaging. Coatings create a tactile experience, and some can convey specific sensations.
Carlson purposely equipped with the press with a trio of superior color control systems — ErgoTronic Color Control, ErgoTronic LAB, QualiTronic Color Control — to ensure superior color consistency from the beginning of their production run to the end. These systems also give Carlson the ability to measure print quality and execute automatic color correction with QualiTronic ColorControl inline measuring equipment. This new holistic color control is ideal for ensuring perfect customer press checks.
When iam8bit, a creative production company that works with brands like HBO, Nintendo, PlayStation, and Disney, approached Carlson with an important premium packaging assignment, it sought to replicate the retro trappings and all-important custom dust cover for its legacy cartridge collection for The Lion King.
Another customer praised Carlson for its “ability to produce everything from ultra-small runs with exceptional quality has been such a benefit since the new press was installed. The detail and consistency gained over large multi versioned runs has been a game changer for us as some of our pieces are quite involved and need the most accurate print application to achieve the look we require.”
With greater capacity and the need for faster turnaround, the Rapida 105 PRO was able to turn work quickly due to its LED-UV lamps for fast drying speeds. This has allowed Carlson to accept those “I got to have it yesterday” jobs without interrupting the print schedule.
“Our new Rapida 105 PRO press is playing a key role as we move deeper into the packaging market,” says Carlson. “We’re excited to see what designers and brands will bring us to produce their bold, unique printed packages.