Nene Packaging’s new digital purchases prove digital and traditional print can thrive side by side

From left, CMYUK director Robin East with Nene Packaging’s Rob Lugmayer and David Lugmayer
From left, CMYUK director Robin East with Nene Packaging’s Rob Lugmayer and David Lugmayer

Nene Packaging is a family run business and like most, the company owes its success to hard work and producing quality products with attention to detail. Keeping up with the latest technological developments in their print and finishing plant has also been key to its continued growth.

The company started in 1994 and current owners Rob and Maria Lugmayer took over the reins in 2003, the company itself celebrating 22 years in business this July. Nene Packaging now employs 42 staff full time and at peak times like Christmas for example, they employ a further twenty-to-thirty agency staff to fulfil orders. They are unique in so far as they are a brown box manufacturer as well as a screen printer and now, with their recent machinery purchases from CMYUK, a digital printer. Nene is one of the foremost manufacturers of screen and digitally printed point of sale and corrugated cartons in Britain today.

The team at Nene Packaging covers everything from design, visuals, layout, print, cut, fold, distribution and assembly. They are an approved Tesco supplier and members of SEDEX (Ethical trading).

Their first foray into digital print was just over four years ago when they bought the Grapo Shark. Unfortunately its bite was much worse than its bark and they had nothing but problem after problem. It was a hard lesson to learn and the company found themselves outsourcing digital again as the quality and consistency did not meet their exacting standards and customer demands, and, as they say, they were ‘once bitten, twice shy’.

However, as Rob puts it, along came CMUYK as their “knights in shining armour” to rescue the situation and fight for the righteous side of all things digital. Robin East, director at CMYUK, assessed the need and quickly established the solution for the company and the result was Nene Packaging investing in the EFI VUTEk LED GS2000 LX Pro Ultra drop with Media Edge Guide (MEG), Spectrophotometer and Zünd S3 Cutter in March of this year.

The MEG system allows operators to print on corrugated material which can commonly have warped edges. Additionally, the MEG system allows printing on climate or heat reactive substrates, ensuring the heads don’t strike the unstable media, saving time, prints and reducing waste. The system consists of a front rail that mounts to the front output roller, and skis that are anchored in the front to the main beam of the printer and in the back to a rear dovetail rail under the main beam. Once mounted, the skis are locked in and leveled to the desired media. Corner stops and rear edge blocks for the media fence are included to compensate for the ski width.

CMYUK supplied an ex-display Zünd S3 to replace one of the CAD tables, alongside the new EFI VUTEk  LED GS2000 LX Pro wide-format printer, which, according to Rob, has sped up the sample-making process and enabled short production runs already.

He said: “We only had the system installed in March and we are now totally up to speed and have the confidence to run in full production mode. The whole system took around 7-10 days to install and train, which we fully expected, and since then we can’t fault it.”

The digital print system runs along side their existing screen printing operation and fits beautifully into the business.

Rob added: “We are able to decide when a job comes in if it’s financially viable to put through digital or screen and are now in a position where we can colour match almost exactly if we need to split some elements of the POS to print digital or by traditional screen processes. It’s enabled us to react more quickly, with confidence that our digital side will be equal in quality, and in some cases better than our traditional print side which has always been classed as the best in the business.

“Far from thinking that digital technology sounds the death knoll for traditional print, we believe that it actually enhances our business and will equip us to develop new products and grow the business exponentially.”