Baker Labels launches BakPac for Digitally Printed Flexible Packaging
Brentwood’s Business of the Year, Baker Labels, a trade label manufacturer has officially added a new flexible packaging arm to the company with the launch of BakPac. BakPac will manufacture digitally printed flexible packaging in the form of stand-up pouches, pillow pouches, shrink wrap and printed film.
BakPac was officially opened on Thursday 12th February with a ceremonial ribbon cutting by Marian Baker, who founded Baker Labels with her husband Roy in 1973. The event was attended the Deputy Mayor of Brentwood Cllr Olivia Sanders, former Mayor Mrs Sheila Murphy, Deputy leader of Brentwood Council Noelle Hones, representatives from Bakers’ supported charities SNAP & Kids Inspire along with Head of Business Studies at Brentwood School Mrs Kelly Giles, retired Baker employees and other invited guests.
The £2.5m investment in BakPac included a factory expansion and renovation plus the installation of three new presses that will allow the whole process of manufacturing flexible packaging within the same facility. The process involves digital printing on an HP Indigo 20000, thermal lamination on an Enprom Thermal Laminator and pouch conversion on a Karlville Pouchmaker. The business model is geared towards offering the trade print and traditional flexible packaging industries the option of offering short to medium runs of digitally printed pouches to their customers.
The production of digitally printed flexible packaging is a more sustainable option for packaging compared to traditional methods and more environmentally friendly.
- Reduced waste and energy consumption during production,
- Reduced carbon emissions and zero hazardous chemicals
- Less material used in production
- Less fuel used to ship the finished product.
In addition BakPac will be able to offer recyclable, compostable and biodegradable material options to customers. With a much reduced time to market and the option to order only what is required rather than their large MOQs (minimum order quantities), traditional packaging manufacturers will now, through BakPac, be able to benefit from offering seasonal or event-driven promotions, market testing packaging and product life cycle solutions.
As a trade supplier BakPac will be offering the following services:
- Production of complete pouches
- Print only roll stock
- Print and laminate
- Pouch conversion from customer printed stock
- Material supplied by customer
- Concept proofing
- White label packaging and invoicing
“It’s a big step to move into the manufacture of flexible packaging so we’ve been planning this for a couple of years. Making the equipment investments, designing the factory refurbishment and the training and educating of our staff all took meticulous planning and a lot of time but it’s been a brilliant journey and we’ve had great support from HP, ABG and Karlville along the way. I’m more than confident that it’s the right decision for Bakers and I’m excited about the future.”
“The prospect of joining the Bakers business and running such an exciting project was too good to resist, having seen the evolution of digital in the labels industry and understanding what benefits it would bring to the flexible packaging market I wanted to be a part of that journey.
From joining the business and hitting the ground running 8 months ago we have converted an empty warehouse into a state of the art digtial flexpac factory which involved a new mezzanine floor, room build, high voltage substation install, internal power circuit revamp, 3 machine installs, staff training, testing equipment and BRC standard programme. Wow, it has been such an exciting and busy few months all made possible by the support of an incredible team at Bakers.”
HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press
The HP 20000 was the first major investment for the BakPac plan, being delivered and installed in August 2019 before being wrapped up for protection as the factory and BakPac facility was refurbished and constructed around it. Baker Labels already produces labels on 3 HP Indigo 6900 presses and has a long established relationship with HP since first producing digitally printed labels on an HP 4050 in 2006 so it was a natural progression with the move to flexible packaging to continue the investment with HP.
The HP 20000 is a proven application fit for food packaging and with technology such as HP Smartsteam Mosaic and Collage it can offer variable images, data and brand protection. In addition, HP ElectroInk is fit for use in compostable and recyclable packaging.
“The HP Indigo 20000 opens a realm of possibilities for flexible packaging converters, by enabling them to efficiently and profitably cope with changing market demands for shorter runs, more varied SKUs, and customized campaigns. HP Indigo is the only digital color printing process that matches gravure quality and is safe for primary food packaging.”
Enprom Thermal Laminating Machine
Enprom is a company of AB Graphic International and Kocher & Beck. Baker Labels has a long established relationship with AB Graphic, with a fleet of Digicon presses for label embellishments and finishing. So when Steve Baker heard of the connection to Enprom he knew they would be able to manufacture a thermal laminating machine suitable for the digitally printed flexible packaging market. Steve worked closely with Matt Burton and the Enprom engineers as they designed and built their first ever thermolaminating machine and delivered it to Bakers in December 2019.
“The Enprom Thermal Laminating machine has been specially designed for flexible packaging markets and for adding value to the quality finishing of the products. The compact solution is composed of two stages joined with a web path bridge. The first unit supports two unwinders with its control tension units and corona treatment. The second unit contains the rewinder and laminator unit. The machine is rigidly joined by four union beams. The new development of this solution has been designed with the goal of shorten the web path to a maximum and thus reducing waste by up to 33%. With the Enprom eTL machine, different types of flexible packaging products can be laminated, ideal for the high performance of short run flexible packaging for immediate time to market.”
Karlville KS-DSUP-400-GSW Pouchmaker
For the conversion of the printed, laminated film we invested in the first ever dual web Karlville Pouchmaker. As well as the expected folding of a wide web of material to create a pouch with doyen or K-seal, this Karlville allows the production of pouches with different materials on the front and reverse as well as another for the gusset. It has a very low scrap rate during machine start-up, changeovers and roll changes therefor reducing waste.
The KS-DSUP-400-GSW is the ideal machine for narrow web printers that would like to enter the flexible packaging field, allowing them to manufacture 3-side-seal pouches, stand-up pouches and zipper pouches from multiple reels up to 420mm width.
It is a compact, single lane, quick changeover pouch machine, designed for short/medium run high performance production of: “
- 2-side-seal pouches from 1 web, with/without zipper
- 3-side-seal pouches from 1 web, with/without zipper
- Stand-up pouches from 1 web, with/without zipper “
- 3-side-seal pouches from 2 independent web, with/without zipper
- Stand-up pouches from 3 independent webs, with/without zipper
About Baker Labels
- UK leading trade label manufacturer. Continual reinvestment in the latest equipment has kept Bakers at the forefront of label printing technology.
- Family business established by Roy and Marian Baker in 1973
- Managing Director, Steve Baker
- Company moved from Walthamstow to state-of-the-art facility in Brentwood in April 2011.
- Since moving to Brentwood annual turnover has increased from £5.5million to £10.6million and staff numbers have doubled to almost 100 employees.
- There are now four parts to the Bakers business:
- Baker Labels, trade printer of self-adhesive labels,
- Baker Materials, stockist and supplier of over 450 self-adhesive materials to the label printing industry
- BakPac, trade manufacturer of digital flexible packaging
- Sportstiks, producing athlete identification for sporting events (race numbers, temporary tattoos etc).