CSI Dives Into Direct Digital Printing with Complete EFI Nozomi Platform
Though it wasn't the first company to acquire an EFI Nozomi C18000 digital corrugated press, Corrugated Synergies International (CSI) has become a pioneer of direct digital corrugated printing because it is the first company to purchase the press along with EFI’s complete corrugated packaging platform, EFI announced last week.
Beyond the press itself, the platform consists of EFI’s Corrugated Packaging Suite, integrated with the EFI Fiery digital front end. Jeffery Dumbach, CSI’s VP of manufacturing and print, explains that in addition to the speed advantages that single-pass digital printing provides, the software component will be important in delivering printed corrugated sheets efficiently.
“Software talking to software is a critical piece, especially in today’s market,” he says.
Though CSI has only just recently made the leap into direct digital corrugated printing, Dumbach says the company has had its eyes on the technology since the early 2000s. He explains that, at the time, CSI had been using roll plotters to produce packaging mockups — the types of short runs that would be ideal for digital.
But Dumbach says it wasn’t until drupa 2016 that CSI felt the technology had truly arrived. Dumbach says CSI spent time at the show checking out the Nozomi and its print samples, along with some of the other direct-to-corrugated digital presses on display. After returning home, he says the company continued its due diligence, but ultimately landed on the Nozomi after gaining additional insight into the technology behind the press. Specifically, Dumbach says he was impressed with how the technology is adopted from EFI’s Cretaprint ceramic printing platform, which integrates digital printing into the manufacturing process. Additionally, he says paying a visit to Hinojosa Packaging Solutions in Spain, the site of the first Nozomi press install, helped to seal the decision.
“We never made the connection about that technology transforming into the Nozomi,” Dumbach says. “To have a digital printing device in-line in a very costly manufacturing process tells you a little bit about its reliability. Then visiting Hinojosa and spending a couple days there really made our decision pretty easy.”
Dumbach says that the press also provided several features that were particularly attractive to CSI – namely its white printing capabilities and in-line, fully integrated 100% inspection system. While the breakthrough technology that the Nozomi brings to the table is exciting for both CSI and the corrugated industry, Dumbach explains that the company took a highly calculated approach to its decision to venture into the Nozomi platform, including how it will evolve in the future.
“We’re a very measured company in the way that we evaluate a system, a process and a new piece of equipment,” he says. “We spend an enormous amount of time evaluating and understanding the technology, but also what the next generation is — what the upgrade looks like and what the plan is. When we did that, the economics made sense for us to get into it now.”
With CSI’s role as a sheetfeeder for the corrugated industry, Dumbach explains that the Nozomi will also provide an opportunity for small and medium companies to access digital printing technology. He says that these companies may not be quite ready to make the jump into digital, but could have customers that will benefit from its advantages. He also explains that because CSI has people positioned across the country, they can help spread the word about digital's capabilities.
“What CSI has always done, is be at the tip of the sword in deploying technologies into the market,” he says. “This is just another piece for them to start talking about and start raising awareness that digital is here. Hopefully, people will see what CSI is doing and there’s something there. If we’re investing in the technology, then it must be real.”
Related story: Commentary: EFI Lands Another Customer for 'Nozomi' Printer