Curtis Adds New Dimension to Packaging with Scodix

ROSH HA'AYIN, ISRAEL | To produce award-winning packaging, Curtis Packaging takes many measures, such as developing proprietary printing processes, such as CurtCoat, a coating that offers an additional dimension of high-gloss luster, and CurtChrome, a recyclable metallic printing process. Another measure the company takes to maintain its leadership role in innovation is to install new technology. Recently Curtis Packaging implemented a Scodix S Digital Press, a press that enhances print with tangible dimensions.

Scodix press at Curtis PackagingCurtis Packaging has installed a Scodix S Series press.

After only a few months of operating the press, the company is recognizing significant benefits: the machine allows them to create eye-catching projects with new memorable effects, and it provides a new marketing tool that is opening doors for salespeople.

"People come back to us for our creativity and our ability to execute extremely difficult packaging," says John Giusto, chief operating officer. "We do the kind of work that many other people are afraid to do or aren't capable of doing. Scodix fits right in with what Curtis is all about—it's a press that is unique and allows us to be creative. There's no limit to what you can do with the Scodix press: the only limit is your imagination."

Curtis Packaging: The Best Demand the Best

Curtis Packaging, a $40 million folding carton company, produces high-end folding carton packaging for customers including major players in the cosmetic industry—Estée Lauder, Coty, and Elizabeth Arden for instance—and for products such as Titleist golf balls and Jack Daniel's. Curtis, which is based in Sandy Hook, CT, and has been in business since 1845, purchased the Scodix press after executives saw it in operation at Drupa and Graph Expo 2012.

The Scodix S Series press, with its advanced Scodix RSP Technology (Rotate, Scale, Position), based on two CCD cameras and highly sophisticated mathematical algorithms, features 99 Gloss Units, up to 250 microns in polymer height, variable density capabilities from 1 to 100%, and unlimited colors with the Scodix Rainbow Station and the Digital-Glittering process. The press handles sheets to 20x29 in. (B2+ size sheet format).

"Implementation went very well," says Giusto. "Within five days we were ready to start making product. It's still in its infancy, but we're getting a lot of feedback and requests for samples from people we don't even do business with. Right now the marketing value alone is worthwhile. It gets you in the door with new people: that isn't so easy these days."

Projects Stand Out With Unique Effects

One of the first pieces Curtis produced was a unique holiday card for customers that highlighted the Scodix advantages including granite and sparkling effects and raised elements.

"The holiday card was beautiful," enthuses Giusto. "The contrast between glossy, matte, and raised effects provides the best look. We used a foil laminated board as the base and put down two hits of white ink with two hits of matte varnish on top of it. Then we reversed out of those two ornaments. For the red ornament we raised up to the maximum height the machine is capable of and added a high gloss, so it's very rich. And then for the other teal blue ornament we added a sparkling effect. It was very cool and unique."

In response to seeing the holiday greeting, one customer ordered their own holiday card and added unique effects. "It started right off the bat with people asking, 'wow, how did you guys do that?' That's always a good thing when our customers, such as designers, look at the print and say 'wow.' "

The company also printed 100,000 self-promotional pieces (25,000 sheets of 8.5x11 4-up) that will be tipped into two magazines in February 2013. The piece uses a four-color process with multiple effects such as glossy solid, vignettes, higher coatings, lower coatings, vignetted coatings, and mezzotint, explains Giusto. "The tip-in will really jump out at you," he says. "It's a bright green and very cool. The press ran flawlessly." The press is ideal for jobs at about 25,000 sheets and under, adds Giusto.

Applying Advanced Technology

Curtis Packaging appreciates that the Scodix press uses advanced inkjet technology, called Scodix PolySENSE, to enhance print by adding a proprietary UV curable clear polymer to images. "It's nice that the press is UV curable—a job goes through and instantly it's drying. That's a huge benefit. We're an all UV printer, so [the Scodix] fits right in with us." Curtis is well known for its innovation and creativity and now it has one more tool to help keep it on the leading edge of innovation.

"We spend a lot of money on R&D; I like to push the envelope," says Giusto. "We constantly try things, and today, using the Scodix, we were doing something for a comp for one of our biggest customers. I tried something we have never done before and wow, what a cool effect. What you could never do or think of doing with conventional type of machines, you can do with this Scodix press. You can print 20 different effects all at the same time—or more if you want. It just depends on how creative you want to be. Once the job gets to the press, it's fast.

"You have to find a way to differentiate yourself to get the opportunities to do the type of packaging we do," adds Giusto. "When a designer comes up with a new package or something unique, we come to mind." And now, with the Scodix press, designers and creative professionals will think of Curtis to produce packaging with new effects and tangible dimensions.

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