Inside Print in a Corrugated Box
Inside Print is not a single, homogenous market.
One differentiator is box style. In a Regular Slotted Container, the consumer will not see the complete inside of the box, but much rather only the flaps. In a C-Series, or roll-over and tug top case, the consumer will have the full unboxing experience.
This is why we see great interest for single or two color inside print in a case-maker, which produces RSCs. It produces simple inside print, the box is closed around the print, and much of it is hardly seen again…
In die cut cases this is very different: we see litho label inside, we see single-face litho lamination inside, we see flexo pre-print inside, and -of course- high end flexo direct print (HQPP) inside. All that in combination with marginal to very high-quality graphics outside.
To produce such a high-end case with full graphics inside and some- to full-graphics outside, along with the die cutting process, is a daunting task. Operators have to control multiple quality aspects at speed. Also, the capital investment required to cover all eventualities [six colors inside and six colors outside?!] would be huge, if technically even feasible.
When talking about die cut boxes/cases, it may be beneficial to separate the inside printing process from the outside printing and die cutting pass.
Highly productive rotary die cutters or automatic platen die cutters with multi-color and high-quality flexo printing in line are well established. Add an offline printer, possibly a digital inkjet printer, to the complement, and many possibilities emerge. Yes, the digital printer can produce excellent graphics or medium graphics on the inside of the corrugated sheet.
The inkjet process is much less burdened by flute lines and wash-boarding. Of course, the digital printer could also be used to “pre-print” graphics on the outside for shorter runs or higher line-screen process print requirements, that are beyond the scale of the flexo operation. The printing die cutter is unencumbered by the inside print pass and can run at high productivity, as previously known.
Food for thought…