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Finding new markets with digital ink-jet label press

Derbyshire-based Charapak is one of the UK's market leaders in the design and manufacture of specialty corrugated packaging.

New digital press brings new business to Charapak.
New digital press brings new business to Charapak.

The company has recently diversified into the labeling sector with the installation of a Model N610i digital ink-jet label press from Domino. This investment has opened up new business opportunities for the company, enabling it to supply both existing and new customers with high quality, digitally printed labels with short lead times.

First established as a corrugated packaging company in 1980, Charapak now has 127 employees operating across four business units with an annual turnover of approximately £13 million. Their core business utilizes their award-winning flexo post print and litho-laminating processes to produce specialist corrugated packaging, promotional displays, and retail-ready packaging. After expanding into integrated fulfillment and specialty coated packaging, Charapak Labels is the latest business unit to be created within The Charapak Group. The company serves both domestic and international customers in the industrial, food and drink, automotive, retail, and e-commerce market sectors.

From more than 200 entries, Charapak was recently awarded the prestigious “Company of the Year” award in the 2015 Derby Telegraph Business Awards.

When a long-standing customer inquired about the possibility of Charapak supplying digitally printed labels, the company recognized an exciting new business opportunity. “This was our chance to broaden our service offering beyond corrugated packaging and capitalize on the vast potential of the digital labels market,” explains Richard Smith, Owner and Managing Director of Charapak. “We set out to find the right digital print supplier that we could partner with.”

He continues: “Charapak operates to three core business principles: quality, innovation, and flexibility. We look for these attributes in any supply partner we work with. After an intensive review of the different print technologies available--during which print quality, productivity, color vibrancy, durability, and cost of ownership were all assessed, followed by a further evaluation of the shortlisted suppliers in terms of their commercial stability, accessibility, and the level of service support they could provide--we decided that Domino was the company that could deliver on all fronts.”

For Smith, the ability to visit and conduct a series of trials at Domino’s headquarters in Cambridge was instrumental in ascertaining that the N610i digital ink-jet label press was able to address three key requirements for them. Ease of operation was crucial, as Charapak was venturing into a new market and so required a system that was easy to operate and understand. It needed to be productive, and in this respect the N610i exceeded expectations with its high production speeds. In addition, the capability to print long-lasting, durable labels was vital for their customer.

Michaela Smith, Business Manager for Charapak Labels, comments: “Our customer was previously having their labels flexo printed and were carrying huge amounts of stock on the shelf and were spending a lot of money on inventory, storage, and obsolescence. We realized that the way forward was for short run, digitally printed labels that would lift their print from mediocre to outstanding, and that’s exactly what we’ve done! We decided on the six-color N610i because it was extremely important for us and our customer that the colors were vibrant and that they ‘jumped off the print.’ We have found that the quality of the labels printed on the Domino is outstanding compared to what we previously had.

“The key benefits in using the Domino press are its productivity, the quality, and the durability of the labels, which are absolutely first class,” she continues. “Our customer now has zero inventory, lack of obsolescence, and we print to order – they are very happy!”

The digital press has helped Charapak transform its business by exploring new territories, concludes Richard. “It’s been a great learning curve for us, but already we’re really happy with our decision to partner with Domino. The support and service we have received have been second to none and we would have no hesitation in recommending Domino to anyone who asks us, or have any hesitation in making the same decision again. With the continued support from Domino, we’re expecting impressive business growth.”

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