BHS Corrugated and Screen Graphic and Precision Solutions (Screen GP) have announced an exclusive partnership to develop the BHS Corrugated Inline Digital Printing Solution for corrugated box plants. A new company, Screen GP IJC Limited was established to develop the print engine technology that will be integrated into the new digital print solution. It’s based near Screen GP subsidiary – Inca Digital’s manufacturing plant in the UK. With an estimated turnover of $513 million in 2016 and 50% share of the global market, BHS Corrugated is the leading supplier of corrugators. Screen GP has considerable experience in colour imaging and inkjet technology development, especially for the Truepress Jet range of digital presses for transpromo, direct mail and label print production. Inca Digital is a centre of excellence, well known as a pioneer of wide-format flatbed inkjet printing and manufacturer of the high-productivity Inca Onset UV printer. The newly-formed company will integrate the core competencies and expertise of all three in inkjet, engineering, web transport and manufacturing to develop the new industrial inline print engine. The alpha installation of the BHS Corrugated Inline Digital Printing Solution is planned at a customer site in 2018.
Unlike other digital print solutions, the new solution will be “the only real-time, reel-to-printed-sheet process which is an integral part of the corrugated board manufacturing process.” The single-pass, aqueous inkjet system will print onto widths up to 9 feet wide at speeds of up to 984 feet per minute. It will be available as an option for new BHS Corrugators or as an upgrade to existing installations. Integrating digital printing inline on the corrugator will bring two main value propositions, said the companies – quick turnaround to enable fast and flexible order processing, and savings on total cost of ownership.
Global production of corrugated board is predicted to exceed 2.8 trillion square feet by 2020, growing at a rate of about 5% a year (according to ICCA Corrugated Statistics). The strong cost and environmental advantages of producing smaller volumes of corrugated board quickly and on-demand is driving the development of specialist digital printing systems. “A high-speed inline, inkjet print process meets those market needs,” the companies added.
“We’re delighted to forge this co-operation with BHS,” said Tsuneo Baba, President of Screen GP. “By combining our digital printing technologies with BHS’s equally advanced technologies, we aim to trigger major innovation in the corrugated industry.” Christian Engel, CEO, BHS Corrugated, added: “Screen GP is a technology leader in digital print in a variety of markets. Our partnership will enable us to be well prepared for the digital decade that the corrugated industry is entering – and one that will bring a revolution of print, processes and machinery layout in box plants. BHS Corrugated focuses on providing high-end, high-speed solutions, and I’m convinced that the integration of inline digital print during the corrugating process is the superior option that will deliver significant benefits to our customers.”