Above: Christian Collazo
Puerto Rico-based Collazo Group acquired an EFI Nozomi C18000 Plus ultra-high-speed, direct-to-board corrugated packaging printer. The company is the first Caribbean packaging converter to adopt single-pass inkjet technology.
By printing high-quality packaging and displays on the Nozomi C18000 Plus printer being installed this month, Collazo Group Owner Christian Collazo anticipates being able to replace nearly all his company’s litho lamination work with more-efficient digital production. “Just a couple of years ago, we had three litho presses,” said Collazo. “We sold them and began outsourcing the lithography we needed for packaging. We expect that the Nozomi will enable us to bring 90% of those outsourced jobs back in house.
“In fact,” he added, “we believe the Nozomi C18000 Plus will allow us to double our capacity for high graphics work compared to what we have been producing with litho lamination. Plus, we can provide a better price and faster turn time for our customers by printing directly on the board.”
The Nozomi printer creates opportunities for businesses on the island that buy flexo printing as well. Puerto Rico has little in the way of full-color flexo printing capacity. That is a barrier for local flexo packaging buyers, businesses that cannot drive greater marketing appeal with high graphics designs because of litho lamination’s added cost, time and quantity requirements. Now with Collazo Group, those companies have a better, digital high graphics option that is more cost-effective than litho lamination at the quantities they need.
Collazo Group uses white top liner for much of its work, and when comparing technologies found that the Nozomi C18000 Plus delivered higher quality than comparable aqueous inkjet single-pass products. “Had we chosen a solution with water-based inks, we would have been more limited,” according to Christian Collazo. “We would not have the quality we need to migrate our display work to digital.”
Collazo Group is retaining its litho lamination equipment for the occasional 100,000-plus quantity jobs it produces. That said, company executives expect some larger-quantity jobs will migrate to digital once clients and prospects see the versioning advantages the new printer creates.
“Because it is a digital printing process and we are largely producing on demand, our customers can easily change their artwork based on seasonality, promotions and more,” Christian Collazo explained. “This is a huge selling point that no one else on the island can accommodate the way we can. When I explain this capability to new prospects, I almost always get a meeting with them!”
“We are excited to be able to work with Collazo Group to bring these new capabilities to Puerto Rico,” said Evandro Matteucci, vice president, Packaging and Building Materials, EFI Inkjet. “Even before this month’s installation, the company has client work lined up for its Nozomi C18000 Plus printer, so we expect volumes to grow quickly. Collazo Group can be a leading example of what the corrugated converting industry gains in the transition to a more-efficient, more sustainable, premium-quality, and proven single-pass inkjet solution.”