Installations News
Kirk Group rides packaging reshoring wave with Kodak Flexcel NX technology from Miraclon

May 27, 2022  By PrintAction Staff

“We approach a new packaging technology today in exactly the same way we have for 50 years. If it looks useful, we investigate it, and if it stands up to scrutiny, we integrate it, validate it, and take it to the market,” said John Kapiniaris, general manager of Australia’s Kirk Group, the largest provider of graphic arts services and image carriers in Australia and New Zealand. He was providing context for the group’s latest technology acquisition — Kodak Flexcel NX Central Software, the new automated plate layout technology from Miraclon, which he says has “transformed our plate utilization efficiency.”

Flexcel NX Central Software is Kirk’s third investment in Miraclon technology, following the November installation of a Kodak Flexcel NX Ultra Solution and a prior investment in the Flexcel NX Print Suite for Flexible Packaging to access PureFlexo Printing Technology. The solutions add enhanced capabilities to Kirk’s offering — more efficient plate utilization, sustainable plate processing, and on press efficiency, which are vital to the company’s response to “resurgence in local demand in the wake of the pandemic, as many brands bring packaging production home from overseas.”

“The pandemic caught a lot of brands off guard,” he continues. “For the best part of two decades the trend has been to ‘offshore’ packaging on cost grounds. That’s  understandable if the supply chain is stable, but the disruption in 2020 forced  brands to reconsider the strategy. Do they stay offshore and risk interruption in supply, or re-partner with local suppliers? Judging on the increased volumes we’re handling, the answer is to come home! We’re seeing work returning that left 10 years ago, and over the last 12 months there’s been a flurry of investment in new flexo presses among our customers.”


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