• Digital packaging driving business: Sock Fancy is one of the 5000 businesses using ePac and its HP Indigo 20000 digital presses.
    Digital packaging driving business: Sock Fancy is one of the 5000 businesses using ePac and its HP Indigo 20000 digital presses.

Digital flexible packaging operation ePac is investing some US$100m with HP for a new fleet of 24 HP Indigo 20000 digital presses.

The company only began operations three years ago with a single HP Indigo 20000, it now has 28 and operates around the world.

ePac will roll out its new wave of HP Indigo 20000 digital presses in 2020, to continue what it says is its disruption of the global flexible packaging market. The new fleet will enable it to offer new opportunities for small and medium-size businesses, as well as larger consumer packaged goods companies.

A new incremental order of 24 HP Indigo 20000 presses is the largest packaging deal to date for HP. This nearly doubles production capacity for ePac, to expand within the next year from 28 presses in 12 locations to over 52 operating at 20 sites – including new locations opened in Canada and the UK. The $100m investment includes hardware, supplies and services over several years.

“In every market we enter, we experience a similar reception. SMBs partner with us to help them grow into bigger brands, and as they grow, they see opportunities to rapidly bring new products to market and run more targeted promotions. Based on our success, we have decided to accelerate our business plan with an additional investment,” said Jack Knott, CEO, ePac Flexible Packaging. “We have figured out how to drive the digital transformation within the flexible packaging market for short, medium and even longer strategic runs with this game-changing technology provided by HP Indigo.”

Founded in May 2016 as a greenfield business with one HP Indigo 20000 press, ePac has grown exponentially. A year ago, ePac signed for 20 additional presses that are now all deployed in the field. Since the beginning of 2019, ePac has more than doubled its customer base, with 75 per cent placing repeat orders. Today, ePac serves more than 5,000 customers.

“The meteoric rise of ePac and its business model based on HP Indigo digital printing technology in just a few years is amazing,” said Santi Morera, general manager and global head of Graphics Solutions Business, HP Inc. “Thanks to the continued collaboration between HP and ePac, brands of all sizes can obtain high-quality, digitally printed flexible packaging in quick turnaround times, with low minimum orders, high variation and personalisation options.”

Key markets for ePac include coffee, pet food, nutritional supplements, snacks, health and beauty, organic foods, cheese and dairy, and bakery products.

”Our customers love the advantages of working with an eco-conscious, community-based packaging partner and the financial impact of fast time to market with the ability to order to demand,” added Carl Joachim, ePac CMO.

The company says additional advantages of the 30-inch wide (76 cm) HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press are the 42-inch repeat and white ink options. At ePac, HP PrintOS is also an integral part of job flow, performing press performance uptime monitoring across its entire fleet of printers.

ePac customers taking advantage of the capabilities of HP digital to reinvent their businesses include Sock Fancy, a worldwide sock subscription service delivering monthly to customers. “The big reason we switched to ePac was personalisation. Nobody else could do this type of high-level customisation. With other companies you have to order tens of thousands of one SKU,” said Stefan Lewinger, founder and CEO.

Granarly, a granola snack company is also a customer. “Since we received the ePac bags, we have grown tenfold, and it’s all because of the packaging,” said Morgan Potts, founder. Smackin' Snacks, a company producing sunflower seeds for sporting events has also switched to ePac. “The low minimum quantity and fast lead time are great for a small company and allows us to have multiple SKUs in a single order,” says Cole Schaefer, founder.

HP Indigo presses are supplied in Australia by Currie Group.

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