'The wow factor': Roland S-Series transforms packaging samples for Monro


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Monro has installed a Roland VersaUV S-Series UV-LED belt printer, enabling this packaging specialist to offer substantially more complete mock-ups to its customers.

Working with a broad range of retail brands, both domestic and global, Leicestershire-based Monro develops packaging products to meet every need, from retail shopping bags to cosmetics containers to branded packing materials for e-commerce goods. Until recently, the company was either sourcing complete packaging samples from international print service providers – a process which could take over four weeks – or showing its customers mock-ups that were not totally finished. 

However, since January 2019 the new VersaUV S-Series has been put to work producing accurate samples at a significantly faster turnaround, thanks to its extensive colour gamut, material compatibility and production speeds. This compact yet powerful UV-LED system can print CMYK, White and Gloss onto practically any roll-to-roll, flexible or rigid substrate or object up to 200mm in height and 100kg/sqm in weight, making it the ideal investment for businesses with diverse requirements. The S-Series is also available in a flatbed version, with a number of configurations available to enable users to choose their perfect system. 

Andy Turner, Packaging Designer at Monro, explains that he visited Roland DG's Creative Centre in Clevedon to see the VersaUV S-Series in action, armed with some typically difficult packaging materials. 

"The demonstration of the S-Series blew my mind," he says. "I was invited to run tests printing a white design onto some black recycled polythene bags I had brought with me and it was amazing.

"What we can print on now using the S-Series is extensive: we can print directly to tissue paper for inside shoeboxes and gift boxes, personalise leather-bound notebooks with initials – no other machine can do that. The capabilities are endless."

Andy says this direct-to-substrate ability delivers enormous potential for creating impact in packaging: what he calls 'the theatre of opening the box'.

"When you receive an e-commerce package the outside is normally plain brown corrugate, but when you open the box you can add the wow factor in the form of really colourful designs," he says. "Using the S-Series, we can create that same effect for our customers by showing them accurate mock-ups of their finished packaging rather than asking them to use some imagination. You can really knock their socks off.

"It's a great aid to our salespeople and of course gives us an advantage over our competition." 

As Monro is a company known for pushing boundaries, Andy says 2020 will be about preempting new trends in packaging and retail, and exploring the potential of the VersaUV S-Series.