There's heightened demand for more flexible designs when it comes to packaging materials. Lucia and Martin Kleiner from O. Kleiner reveal how digital printing can help professionals respond to this trend.
Lucia Kleiner: O. Kleiner provides flexible packaging for food and non-food products. It is a family-owned stock company that was founded in 1954. There are approximately 85 staff employed in admin, sales, purchasing, communication, development and production. The organisation is regulated under certifications ISO 9001:2008, BRC/IoP, CO2 certificate EnAW, certificate myclimate, SMETA certificate, and halal and kosher.
Martin Kleiner: The market requires more specific solutions. These include smaller runs and more flexible designs. Personalisation is a key trend we've noticed in recent years, and we've adapted our business to reflect this. Brand-owners need new tools to differentiate in their markets. For example, Coca-Cola personalised their bottles in its recent campaign by swapping its iconic logo on its product with some of the most popular first names. Aside from personalisation, the main focus of all new packaging developments are solutions that are opened without difficulty, and can be handled with ease.
MK: It has enormous potential. Digital printing gives us and our customers new opportunities. The process meets the requirements of our consumers in a perfect way. With a quality similar to gravure, we are able to produce families of products cost-efficiently. Small and medium orders don't need to be subsidised by the big runs anymore. A key challenge is to meet demand for metallic inks, and we have succeeded in developing a way to get an excellent gold and silver result, and matched this in digital printing. The same goes for matt lacquer in register in combination with digital printing. We've been developing all of these solutions over the last 13 years.
LK: Today, we have all three relevant printing processes in our plant. We are the only flexible packaging company in Switzerland with all these printing systems under one roof. Expertise in combining these three methods is our key strength. For example, we combine flexo printing with gravure. This gives us the ability to print the main design in the cost-efficient flexo, and add any required lacquer high-covering in gravure.
MK: Today, we have two ways to go. One of them is the climate-neutral packaging film for which demand is increasing. The second is biofilm - these are biodegradable packaging materials and raw materials from renewable resources. As there is still a long way to go until we have an economical solution meeting all requirements, we have to take a step-by-step approach. For example, by using a film that is partly made from renewable resources if a totally renewable material is not appropriate for the task at hand. Our environmental programme was honoured by Zürcher Kantonalbank with the sustainability prize in 2012.
LK: Compared with the steel opening, handling by the consumer is easy and safe - there's no risk of injuries anymore. Additionally, CANPEEL offers an excellent printability - protected between two layers - for the brand-owners.
Our latest innovation is a transparent lid that combines a well-proven technology with a top modern packaging solution.
MK: Our structure is very flexible, and we have extensive know-how within our organisation. Decisions can be taken whenever we see an opportunity in the market. Thanks to our experience in printing, lamination and converting, we can offer a wide base of opportunities to our customers.
MK: Besides the new printing presses for flexo and digital, we will launch a new packaging system soon. It fits perfectly into our product range, and within our environmental strategy.