除了生产一些世界上最好的蜜饯、花生酱和咖啡，The J.M. Smucker Co. 是宠物护理市场的主力军。一个多世纪以来，其最具标志性的宠物品牌之一 Milk-Bone 一直是狗狗值得信赖的零食。Milk-Bone 营销团队最近认识到，消费者个性化的趋势为该品牌提供了一个机会——提供可定制的 Milk-Bone 纸盒，让消费者用他们自己毛茸茸的家庭成员照片对标签进行个性化。
Zumbiel Packaging 总裁 Ed Zumbiel 表示，“我们帮助 Smucker 团队对从墨粉到喷墨的所有已知数字技术进行了试验。所有数字设备都提供了出色的印刷质量，但大多数在成本效益和生产力方面都有不足。当 Smucker 团队参观我们的车间并试用柯达鼎盛 6000S 喷墨印刷机时，他们立即确信柯达独特的连续喷墨技术是最适合其需求的工艺。
Smucker 团队不仅看到了与他们目前的平印纸盒没有差别的图形质量，还看到了非凡的生产力：以数字方式印刷纸盒的速度达到每分钟 600 英尺。柯达技术的速度给他们留下了深刻的印象，给运行中的印刷机拍摄视频时几乎欲罢不能。Smucker 还推崇鼎盛的水性油墨满足食品安全要求，并且可持续性和色彩再现方面远胜于平印油墨。
Zumbiel 认为，“简而言之，柯达鼎盛是第一款被 Smucker 团队认为‘满足所有条件’的数字设备。”
提供个性化的包装是一回事，而快速、完美地执行和交付则是另一回事。The J.M. Smucker Co.的技术和销售团队与 Zumbiel 和柯达密切合作了几个月，他们开发了从网络到印刷的电子商务门户、可变图形工作流程和内部物流。最后，每个纸箱包含四个可变元素：背景（标准和假日副本）、宠物照片、宠物名称和可变条形码（用于订单跟踪和下游运输标签生成）。
Smucker 需要对从其网站收集的图像和文本进行批量处理，然后以电子方式传输给 Zumbiel，Zumbiel 利用可变数据软件组合和映射图形，然后进行数字印刷。将数千个可变图像转换为可印刷文件的过程是高度自动化的，传输、组合和 RIP 文件只需不到 20 分钟。
文件就绪会，Zumbiel 独特的鼎盛数码印刷机配置有在线基材底漆、数码印刷和高速模切能力（每小时印刷超过 15,000 个 Milk-Bone 纸盒），可以缩短印刷生产工作。为了进一步压缩生产周期时间和降低机器设置成本，Zumbiel 专门为 Milk-Bone 生产提供了一台糊盒机。纸盒从数字印刷机上出来后直接进入糊盒机。从接收文件到装运成品 Milk-Bone 纸盒的总周期时间约为两个小时。
从营销人员的角度来看，该计划将经济有效地增加 Milk-Bone 网站的流量，因为消费者在 Milk-Bone 纸盒正面张贴他们可爱的狗狗图片时会在社交媒体上引起轰动。定制牛奶骨头纸盒自推出以来已成为 NBC 的《Today》节目中重点关注的对象，许多名人在 Instagram 和 Facebook 上发布了他们珍爱的宠物定制纸盒的照片。
为狗零食创建定制折叠纸盒让 Milk-Bone 和 Zumbiel 面对不确定性——两者都无法预测该计划成败与否。Zumbiel 表示，“有一件事是确定的。我们基于柯达技术的解决方案已经证明，对于想要利用个性化力量的品牌来说，数字印刷是一个很好的选择。”
In addition to producing some of the world’s best preserves, peanut butters and coffees, The J.M. Smucker Co. is a major force in the pet care market. One of its most iconic pet brands, Milk-Bone, has been a trusted treat for dogs for well over a century. The Milk-Bone marketing team recently recognized that a consumer trend toward personalization presented an opportunity for the brand—offering customizable Milk-Bone boxes that allow consumers to personalize the label with a picture of their own furry family member.
Smucker was quick to recognize digital packaging’s potential to engage consumers and bolster brands. They formed a technical task force comprised of marketing and R&D personnel to evaluate digital print technologies and determine their suitability for various campaigns they were considering.
PROSPER delivers the whole package
Naturally, the team was concerned with print quality and cost, but they had an additional concern regarding throughput. Smucker operates on a national scale and requires large volumes even for promotional activities.
“We helped the Smucker team run trials on every known digital technology from toner to inkjet,” said Ed Zumbiel, President of Zumbiel Packaging. “All the digital devices provided great print quality, but most came up short in terms of cost effectiveness and productivity. When the Smucker team visited our shop to run trials on the KODAK PROSPER 6000S inkjet press, they were immediately convinced that Kodak’s unique continuous inkjet technology was the process that best fit their needs.”
The Smucker team saw not only graphic quality that was indistinguishable from their current lithographic cartons, they also saw remarkable productivity: their cartons run digitally at 600 feet per minute. They were impressed by the speed of the Kodak technology and could not seem to take enough video footage of the press in action. Smucker also appreciated the fact that the PROSPER’s water-based inks are food safe and far superior to lithographic inks in terms of sustainability and color reproduction.
“In short,” said Zumbiel “The Kodak PROSPER was the first digital device that ‘checked all the boxes’ for the Smucker team.”
A streamlined process
It is one thing to offer personalized packaging, and quite another to execute and deliver quickly and flawlessly. The J.M. Smucker Co.’s technical and marketing teams worked closely with Zumbiel and Kodak over a period of months as they developed their web-to-print e-commerce portal, variable graphics workflows and internal logistics. In the end, each carton contains four variable elements: background (standard and holiday copies), pet photograph, pet name, and variable barcode (for order tracking and downstream shipping label generation).
Smucker batches images and text collected from its website and transmits them electronically to Zumbiel, who in turn utilizes variable data software to combine and map the graphics prior to digital printing. The process of converting thousands of variable images into printable files is highly automated and takes less than twenty minutes to transfer, assemble and RIP the files.
Once files are ready, Zumbiel’s unique digital PROSPER press configuration featuring inline substrate priming, digital printing and high-speed die-cutting (over 15,000 Milk-Bone cartons per hour) makes short work of print production. To further compress production cycle times and reduce machine set-up costs, Zumbiel dedicated a folder-gluer to Milk-Bone production. Cartons come straight off the digital press and directly into the gluer. The result is a total cycle time from receipt of files to shipment of finished Milk-Bone cartons in about two hours.
The additional benefit of marketing buzz
From a marketer’s perspective, the program will cost effectively drive traffic to the Milk-Bone web site and create instant buzz on social media as consumers post images of their lovable dogs on the front of Milk-Bone boxes. Since its launch, custom Milk-Bone cartons have already been highlighted on NBC’s Today show, and a host of celebrities have posted pictures of their cherished pets’ custom boxes on Instagram and Facebook.
Creating custom folding cartons for dog treats places Milk-Bone and Zumbiel in uncharted territory -- neither can predict just how large the program will become. “One thing is certain,” said Zumbiel “Our solution based on Kodak technology has proven that digital print is a great option for brands that want to harness the power of personalization.”