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Digital Delivers At Delga

Date: Wed 28th October 2020

2020 has been a big year for UK-based Delga Group, with digital technologies important to the gains it has made in its diamond jubilee year.

A supplier of print and packaging, the group's offer runs from conceptualisation and design, through to print and fulfilment, stock management and distribution. The group consists of Delga Press, CSP, Martin Paper Sales, Six Sides and Scarbutts, with each bringing their own specialism, be that print process or market served. The group already had an established footprint in packaging and print, which was bolstered this year with the addition of Delga Labels. Producing high quality, bespoke labels for the group's customer base, this has proved to be a valuable additional resource, satisfying growth in demand from current customers as well as helping the group win new business. An example of that is Owlet Fruit Juice, which has seen a direct effect on sales as a result of Covid-19, with a decline in some areas and gains in others, as owner Suzie Corfield explains.

'The pandemic had an impact on the sales of our 250ml bottles of juices as these are usually supplied to many prestigious cafes, restaurants and food shops in the UK. Our sales pivoted and we saw a significant uplift in demand for our one-litre bottles, due to the increased trade in farm shops and independents. We needed to find another supplier of labels quickly to keep up with demand.'

This demand was met by Delga Labels and its HP Indigo 6900 digital press, which is noted as delivering extremely high-quality output and providing flexibility to respond to high demand for labels.

Flexible and agile

Flexibility in the face of a global health crisis has been evident elsewhere in the group, such as with installation of a Highcon Euclid III within Delga Press' packaging operations.

Euclid III is a digital cutting and creasing system designed to facilitate on-demand production and converting. Highcon's proprietary DART technology sees DXF or PDF files uploaded to the machine, then translated into digital data that is written onto a foil using a special polymer. These digital rules are then used to crease sheets, which then move onto laser die-cutting to be cut, perforated or etched using precise CO2 lasers and optics. This permits precise cutouts and cuts, which Paul Tracey, chief operator of the Euclid III at Delga Press, describes as allowing 'clever, intricate designs. What we can do with this machine is a fantastic capability to have.'

Having been delivered in the midst of a global pandemic, Delga is still getting to grips with such capabilities, with Scott Terriss, operations manager at Delga Labels, saying that the company is looking forward to finding a window of opportunity to experiment with and explore what can be done with the machine. Rather, it is already occupied producing customer jobs. Previously these would have been converted using the company's B1 machine but are now processed using the Euclid III, before diverting back to conventional onward processing and shipment.

'With the B1s, the make-ready can take up to an hour, which by then they have been run on the Highcon and we can be onto the next job,' says Mr Tracey. 'It also means urgent jobs can be more readily handled as we do not have to wait for a cutter to be produced'.

Mr Terriss continues, 'We can take the PDF, convert it into a PDF file and process rush jobs. We do not have to wait two days for a die to be produced, which has brought added flexibility to our production.'

Diversifying into labels has also brought benefits, he adds. 'The label market has gone through the roof during the pandemic and even though we are a new entrant, we have still benefitted.

'The next 12 months are difficult to forecast, but technologies such as the Highcon Euclid III and having Delga Labels will allow us to pivot and adapt quickly to the market and the needs of our customers,' concludes Mr Terriss.

You can find the article on Digital Labels & Packaging's digital magazine at 

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