Kento developed and built the first hybrid printing line especially designed for corrugated, combining the advantages of flexo with the advantages of inkjet technology into one machine, a concept that won the experts’ recognition and an Innovation Award during FEFCO Technical Seminar in late 2021.
In mid-2022, Kento incorporated its North American operation to provide high-quality commercial service and technical assistance to local customers.
The context and the problem
Analog printers are not efficient for projects below 100 msf due to the high cost of plates and their long setup times. Digital printers make it difficult to find customers willing to pay higher prices for “digital packaging” because ink costs for a corrugated box are sometimes higher than the cost of paper itself.
The solution for short and midsized printing runs
The Kento Hybrid® system saves up to 80% in ink costs, using flexo for large areas of solid backgrounds, and white or metallic colors that would be extremely expensive or impossible with current digital printers.
Within the same process, this new hybrid approach minimizes setup times and saves costs because high-res images are printed using single-pass inkjet that does not require expensive four-color plates.
Kento Hybrid®: Some technical data
Measuring less than 100′ from feeder to stacker, Kento Hybrid combines one or more flexo printing modules with a single-pass inkjet printer. It uses a proprietary flexo-digital register control based on Artificial Vision technology and is built with Siemens electronics to guarantee quality, dependability, and durability.
A primer application station ensures the best printing results for all liners, and an over-print varnish application station offers a wide range of finishes.
Adopting an open ink model, Kento certifies ink sets from leading manufacturers so corrugated companies may choose among different suppliers. Kento requires all inks to comply with the highest standards of food packaging regulations: Nestlé’s and Swiss Ordinance.
Kento Hybrid® is unbeatable in printing jobs up to 100–120 msf in the current American market and achieves this outstanding efficiency by saving up to 80% in ink costs, significantly reducing printing plate costs, offering changeovers under 10 minutes to reach 80% uptime rates, and delivering 9,000 sheets-per-hour output with 82.7 (cross-printing direction) x 51.1 (printing direction) maximum board sizes.
Come see for yourself
The first Kento Hybrid® was installed in a state-of-the-art corrugated plant located north of Valencia, Spain. Along with its commercial production duties, this hybrid printer also serves as a demo unit. The Kento team will gladly process all requests for on-site or remote demonstrations.
Kento secured the sale of the first hybrid printer for the USA. This new line will also receive potential customers for live demos by Q1 2023.
I help corrugated packaging companies boost ROI and OEE by implementing Hybrid (flexo+digital) solutions to complement existing flexo and litho-lam capabilities. Focused on customer success, for 20+ years I have provided corrugated converting and digital printing solutions throughout North America.